Just Listed Card Winner

by Dean Jackson

Welcome to the Marketing Monday dot com live pod cast.

My name is Dean Jackson and today we’ve got a little different Marketing Monday for you.  We’ve got an audio from an interview that Julie Escobar from Prospects Plus just did with me.  We launched a new program called Getting Listings Sold recently and its been in BETA testing and the very interesting thing that’s happened, is they have been tracking everything, every piece of data that goes along with this and they’ve found that one particular just listed card that we’ve been sending is getting over three times the response of the standard just listed post cards and so Julie was very curious to find out the psychology of this and what’s going on, that one post card is getting so much more response.
So, take a look at the post card first off and you’ll see that it’s very different than the standard kind of just listed cards that you might be used to seeing or used to sending and then Julie and I had a great conversation.

I shared with her a lot of the psychology behind why this post card gets more response and what’s actually going on in the mind of the people around your new listing as they getting this post card.

So listen to this interview and then I’ll join you after the interview and we’ll talk a little bit more about it.

J: Hi Dean, thanks for joining us.

D: Hey Julie, thanks good to be here.

J: Always a pleasure to talk to somebody whose been in the business for as long as you have.  Today we wanted to talk a little bit about why direct mail, or direct response post cards are really outperforming traditional just listed post cards.  Obviously we just launched, Getting Listings Sold and we’ve been monitoring those response rates and we’ve really found something surprising for us that the new just listed post card, the one that’s got all the direct response on it, is really getting over three times the response rate of our traditional just listed post cards, almost 60 per cent of the time we’re getting over 5 per cent response rates.  What’s going on with that?  Can you tell us a little bit about why this card is outperforming traditional cards because I’m sure – – –

D: Yes, isn’t that great.

J: I would really like to know.

D: You know it’s really great to have the data too, I mean it’s amazing, but it’s not really surprising to me.  The reason that the direct response card out performs traditional cards is a few different reasons.  But most of all, if you look at that card it does not look like your standard just listed card that people have seen again and again.  I mean if you were to ask just people on the street, what to draw, what a just listed card looks like, they’d probably about to draw something pretty similar to a standard just listed card, because everybody has seen them.  They get them in the mail and they become largely invisible.  It’s something that we know what it is; we’re kind of used to seeing it; and it just kind of gets sorted right through and this card where we’re seeing it looks a newspaper article, or it looks like a magazine feature, it’s kind of a little bit has a tone of almost being breaking news.  You know, did you know what your neighbour at 22 Greystone did last night.  It’s kind of like, it draws you in, you don’t immediately know that this is regarding real estate.  So people are kind of – they pay attention to it.  It’s almost just like something that you have to do to almost like it’s kind of pinch somebody a little bit, you know, it’s kind of like something different that they’ve seen and they kind of sit up a little bit and their eyes dilate a little and you pay attention to it and you see what it is, and when you get into it then you realise that it’s the story about your neighbours have put their house on the market and it goes on to kind of tell the story and to invite them to tell their neighbour or tell their friends who might be thinking about buying a home in the neighbourhood.  You know that’s really where a lot of the time homes are actually sold.  Somebody who lives right across the street, or next door, or somebody has been over to their house and said we really love your neighbourhood, as soon as, if anything comes for sale in here, just let us know.  So that really it sets the tone, it kind of tells that story and it lets people take some kind of action.  We encourage them to tell anybody that they know or to pass that card on and of course, the main difference is that we’re giving people something to do to take action because of that card.  We’re inviting them to go to, to take an online tour of this house and we give them the online house tours dot com URL to put in the code to see that particular listing.  That’s what really drives direct response is giving people something to do.

J: Sure and you really get to play into that, that natural curiosity we as human beings all have too.  So one is the curious what is this, it’s different from what I’ve seen in the past.  And two, wow let me look inside my neighbours, which is a little – we all are guilty of wanting to do I think and it gives a play on both of that.

D: Yes, that’s exactly and even you just want to compare your house to their house, that really.

J: Absolutely so you can list driving that response, that it’s all based on human curiosity, so that’s very interesting.

D: Yes, right absolutely.

J: What really goes on in the mind?  I mean I know there’s a lot of psychology behind telling a story and the difference between just giving a post card that is strictly information, in other words, here’s a listing, here’s how many bedroom; here’s how many bathrooms; here’s the square footage and telling a story.  So there’s a lot of psychology behind a post card that’s written in those terms.  So tell me a little bit psychologically what’s going on in the minds of people when they get a card like that.

D: Sure, first of all when we – you look at the opportunity that we have with our mail system.  That literally we can get something for 50 cents we can get something.  We can get a uniformed government employee to deliver a message right to somebody’s door.

J: It’s amazing, isn’t it?

D: Well, the reason you know it was so funny I thought about it.  My wife and I were in Wyoming and we drove past this outpost that was one of the original pony express outposts, the mail things where people would take a message over the mountains and get it out to the west coast and risk their lives to do it.  I thought to myself, you know those guys would kind of roll over in their graves if they saw some of the things that we were actually sending people.  It’s almost like there’s no conversation going on.  If you really look at it the opportunity you have and the reason that we send post cards at all, is to send the post card in lieu of you.  We’ve got a message that’s important enough that we want to deliver it to you, but we can’t go and deliver it personally to every person but we can send this post card.  So if you take that mind set and you start kind of thinking what would I say if I was actually delivering this message in person to somebody.  So you look at, you start to paint that picture and if you take the standard kind of just listed card, first of all whose language is just listed?  It’s kind of a real estate term, right?  Like that’s not the way real people talk, that’s the way realtors talk you know.  So can you imagine hiring somebody to go and knock on the door and when somebody opens the door you stand there with the for sale sign and say “just listed, goodnight” and go to the next door and say “just listed, goodnight”.

J: That’s not quite as compelling is it?

D: Because people think that that’s a normal thought Julie.  Normally people think well, you got to have – people don’t read.  You got to have just short punchy language and when you think about the reality of that, if you were sending somebody out to  visit with the neighbours around that house would you limit them to just a couple of words in your slogan?  You wouldn’t do it at all, you wouldn’t dream of it.  But you can imagine somebody knocking on the door and having that conversation that we talked about on that card with them.  Do you know what your neighbours at 22 Greystone did last night?  No, we don’t.  Well, they’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but they’ve decided to sell their house and now they could really use your help and tell that whole story just we like we do on the card and that would be a much more productive visit, wouldn’t it?  I mean it would be a much more productive conversation – – –

J: And more personable.

D: Well absolutely, and that’s just because we’re sending a post card doesn’t mean that we can’t be conversational.  You got to kind of set the stage for how this arrives in their mail box.  I mean they have an awareness.  Imagine them coming out in the morning and they are going up to the end of the driveway to get the paper and they are wiping the sleep from their eyes and they look and there’s this for sale sign on the house across the street.  Now do you think they are going to walk in the house and say to their partner, honey the Johnson’s just listed.  That’s not really the way that normal people talk.  They might come in the say, do you know what the Johnson’s did?  I mean did you know the Johnson’s were moving?  That’s how that conversation might go.  So we’re just kind of jumping into the conversation that’s already going on in people’s minds.

J: Perfect and what would you say, I mean there are a lot of people in our industry that say post cards marketing is dead, direct mail is dead, email is the only way to go.  Social, marketing, social media is the only way to go.  What’s your response to that?

D: I think that there’s a few mistakes that people make when they are doing direct mail.  With just listed cards, particularly and so a couple of the mistakes that people make are number one, they send something that’s not compelling and doesn’t have a reason for people to respond.  So they just want to do the easiest thing and get something out in the mail without really thinking through what are we expecting or inviting people to do once they get this card.  That’s why everything that we’ve got that with Getting Listings Sold dot com, of all of the tools where we can direct people to a single property website where they can take a tour of that property and you can do all of those have all of that available for them.  It gives somebody a reason to respond to the post card.  The other thing that people do often is that they make the post card more about them than it is about the property.  You know what I mean, right?

J: I would definitely agree with that.  What about their dog?  That’s the one I like.

D: Exactly.

J: Or their phone or their car or you know.

D: Yes, or their horse or whatever, and they do it as an all about me kind of card and not about the real purpose of what it is, so they are not mailing with a purpose and the purpose should be to really help find a buyer for that house, because if you can find y our own buyer that’s even a bigger thing.  Another mistake that I see people make especially with just listed cards, is that they mail too many just listed cards.  It would be better for them to mail fewer cards around more listings than to mail a particular just listed card to a whole zip code, because it doesn’t have the same impact.  So if you’re looking at it, it’s very rare that you’re going to get a call from your friend who says, hey you know that house four streets over from me, it’s unlikely that you’re thinking, their thinking right in their immediate neighbourhood.

J: That’s right.

D: That’s going to be the most compelling.

J: The one that’s in the next state is probably not a – – –

D: Right exactly.

J: I’m not the highest propensity buyer for that, right.

D: Yes, so those are some of the big mistakes that people make.  But most important having a reason for people to respond.  That’s what the having the single property website does, it gets compels people to go and do something.

J: Yes, I think that’s what is exciting, was most exciting actually, about the Getting Listings Sold concept, is that it is so interconnected.  You have the single property website, which gives people exactly what they want.  They want to look at all the pictures, they want the information at a glance, at their fingertips, and instantly.  The QR codes come into play with that too, and boy, aren’t those creating quite a buzz in the industry and all over as a matter of fact.

D: I think finally, I think we’ve finally reached the tipping point with those with the QR codes.  Because if you look through magazines now.  I was just looking through Esquire Magazine and they had all of these – all the ads, a lot of the ads had QR codes where you could go right into the website and buy whatever.

J: Isn’t that funny?  Two months ago you never saw that, I just finished reading an article about QR codes and as I was reading it, I literally not had much contact or much experience with them in person up until that point.  I was sitting in a doctor’s office with my daughter and all of the brochures, you know in a doctor’s office where there are lots of brochures about all kinds of illnesses whatever, they all had QR codes on them.  I just thought wow, how far we’ve come right.

D: Yes, absolutely.

J: In such a short period of time.  It’s wonderful, I’m excited about the response rates and it’s just more reason for people to take a look at what they are doing and why I think, the way you said that was perfect and that you have to have a purpose what you’re mailing and why.  That probably tells a lot of the tale as far as why the long copy or the story if you will, is really winning out response rate wise over the traditional, here’s the picture of the house, here’s the property address and here’s the just listed tag.

D: I’m happy to have all that data.  That makes me excited, because I love to look at response rates, that’s the reason I do is all about.

J: Wonderful.  Thank you so much for your time today.

D: Thanks Julie.

There you go, that’s a little bit of the psychology of why these just listed cards are outperforming standard cards by such a margin.

Let’s do this…next week, I’m going to talk a little bit more about some of the opportunities that you have when you get a new listing to really find your own buyer for that listing and to tap into the momentum that’s already happening when word of a new listing is getting out into the market and into the buyers who are looking for a home just like that and how we can kind of tap into that and be the one that finds those buyers before another agent brings those buyers to your listings.

So that’s it for this week, tune in next time and we’ll continue the conversation.

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Joe Brant October 25, 2010 at 7:55 am

Awesome postcard!!! I can’t wait to try it out. When will it be available? I have been using the materials provided by Prospects Plus for several years and like them, but this card is superb.

dave santi October 25, 2010 at 8:01 am

Hi Dean, I really enjoy your “Marketing Monday” & always get a lot of good ideas from these emails & maybe even relearn some of the ideas that you want to get across.

You made a reference to “QR Codes” above. Somehow I missed what this code means in your article above.Would you mind giving me a definition of this term.

Lastly,I really want to master the “Listing Next Door” campaign.Somehow I’ve bogged down in the area of getting these post cards printed.Your wife was very helpful with other questions that I have had with this campaign.Thank you.

arturo bugarin October 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Great card Dean! Do you think the new text msg. service will replace traditional recorded info hotlines?

Jackie October 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

This is great how can I get a copy of the postcard program?


Ken Montville October 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Great call on 10/28/10. I would really like to get rolling for 2011 but I want to avoid short sales like the plague. Do you think if I allocated $12,000 for the Year ($1,000/mo) that I could pull this off.

Ken October 29, 2010 at 6:25 am

Looks like a great program…is it available now ?

admin October 31, 2010 at 4:57 am

Ken…what a great question!
$1000 a month is a great budget to work with…but let me ask you a question back.
If you spent $1000 a month for the first 6 months and turned it into $60,000 – would you still want to limit yourself to $1000/ month.
The reason I ask is because I’d rather see you start looking at your “budget” as a running tally that you’re MULTIPLYING than a line item you’re SPENDING.
Just a thought…
As far as avoiding short sales, it’s pretty easy to do. All you have to do is focus your attention on people who have equity in their homes, and only mail to them.
MOST of the people in any neighborhood have lived there for long enough that they’re probably not upside down. Florida and California are the highest with around 30% of mortgages upside down.
Check out the GettingListings.com Members calls in the EXTRAS section of the members area, and in our August call, we talked about avoiding (or attracting) short sales.
Looking forward to a BIG 2011 for you!

admin October 31, 2010 at 4:59 am

The GettingListingsSold.com program is available in many areas.
The main thing to check for is if your office participates in ListHub syndication.
If they do, then all your listings would be available for this program automatically.

admin October 31, 2010 at 5:00 am

Ken…just realized I’m signed in as Jesse 🙂
It’s Dean though.

John November 1, 2010 at 7:03 am

Are these recordings available as podcasts or mp3 anywhere. I never sit at my computer and listen to recordings. I listen to them while I walk or while I am driving in my car.

Lorena Tankersley November 1, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Great ideas. I would like to implement it right away, would you be sending a template soon?

Lou Ritthaler November 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I have sent out post cards around sold listings and I advertised a phone number with the recorded message as well as a web site for them to go to to sign up for their report. I had about 3 calls but nobody left their name or number but the 800 number I used captured their number. Should I call them back ? If so what do I say to them?

Susan Rosenberg November 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Hi Dean –

When will a template for this postcard be available? Want to get it into action!
Thank you!

Bronwyn Merritt November 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I want that card marketing system. It looks fantastic.

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