Have figured out the power of direct mail, increase you business series step 2

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

In step one we learned about the power of voice mail.  I mention in step 1 that direct mail has very little return, the direct mail association says less than 2% of direct mail creates a response unless you incorporate a twist.

I asked you to create a mailing list....including birthdays, pet names etc.  Every agent mails new listings and sold cards to neighborhoods and clients.  So how do you make an impact when others are getting no response. 

How will you separate your mailings from other agents mailings?  This is the trick and it is a great one once you know how.

I use direct mail and I get responses but I don't mail the typical just listed or sold card.  I use pictures that surprise and stun people.  Here is one of my marketing techniques that sells homes and increases you awareness in the community.  It also creates anticipation as to your next marketing creation.

gorilla

Here is one of my photos that gets mailed...I call it gorilla marketing....it creates wonder and open house traffic.  This example does not show my photo but it does on my mailing.  If you notice this is a 3 story gorilla.  It is standing in front of a listing before an open house.  This is a full sized 3 bedroom ranch.  PD usually has the open house time on his chest with a banner between his hands that says open house.  PD stops traffic, he creates a traffic jam literally.  I have to notify the police when I use PD (short for "Pretty Darn Quick") it does not take over 20 minute to set up.  The use of PD does require a permit and it is worth every penny.  Can you see how to be innovative and create a reason for people to open your your mailings. 

This is just one of the methods I use to get people to respond.  I use open house mailers, I use sold cards too but they aren't like everyone else's and they create anticipation by clients to see what zany thing is next.  I get listings because they know I am going to do everything to sell their home.

Today I received a call from one that got away....they didn't sell.  The agent bought the listing....telling the client his home was worth more than it is in todays market.  They called me and are ready to list using my marketing techniques.

Do you have a unique way to generate business....let us know.

How do you get people to respond your direct mail?

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Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi David, I own him and several others that are not 30 ft tall like PD but they are very effective.  The cost was $3400.00 but the traffic and listing gernerated paid for him on the first listing and the till just keeps ringing with one of these guys like PD.  I also own 4ftx8ft portable signs to advertise my open houses before I have them.  These may or may not require permits in your area they do mine.  $40.00 for the permit.  Good for 5 days.   Kiss the days of low open house traffic good bye with this type of marketing.  Thanks for the comment David.  If you want a contact for purchase let me know.  I thought of a PINK elephant but it would confuse to many drunks on Sunday morning!

Jul 29, 2007 07:51 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Thanks for the comment Paul, it is a bit unusual but it does create traffic!  Thanks again for the comment.
Jul 29, 2007 07:53 PM #6
Rainmaker
767,482
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate

Jeeze, a three story gorilla? That would be earth-shattering here in Cary, NC.

We aren't even supposed to use ballons on Open House or directional signs. 

Jul 29, 2007 07:54 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Joseph, yes.....If I were you I would have an inspector with a big magnifying glass make to put in front of the home during my inspections.  The other option is to create a vehicle that is very unique.  This may be the best option because you do not have to get the home owners permission to use it.  They do amazing things with fiberglass that can be added to vehicles.  The other good option is a vehicle wrap that cover the vehicle, make sure you use someone that has done many wraps.  The cost for a van is approximately $3400-4000 which you can write off as a business expense.  Now you have a rolling billboard.  Send us a picture once you make a decision.  Thanks for the comment Joseph.
Jul 29, 2007 08:00 PM #8
Rainmaker
911,712
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
Gary - that is an excellent twist. I have always found tasteful humor to be an excellent way of grabbing some attention. I think people get bored with the same ole blah blah blah. Humor is something people relate to well. Personality makes a big difference in our business. Humor can be a great part of your personality.
Jul 29, 2007 08:05 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Gary, this is one of my post cards.....this is for "Just Listed"  here is a "Just Sold" version.  Look at what the family thought of the Gorilla.........here is my clients wife and little girl in front of the home.  They thought I was nuts until the offer came.  Thanks for the comment Gary.

client with sold sign

Jul 29, 2007 08:17 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Thanks for the comment Bill, it also can be fun at the same time.  The extra publicity never hurts either.  I had my photo in the local paper with this one.  The caption was, "Local Realtor Uses Gorilla Marketing, literally to sell homes!  I could not have purchased a better spot in the real estate section.  I taking PD on the road to a new community to see if I crate another stir....Thanks again for the comment Bill.

Jul 29, 2007 08:21 PM #11
Ambassador
277,175
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

Thank you Gary, excellent stuff here......you are so right about pink elephants, as I have been there!! I would definitely make the papers here in Akron Ohio. Thanks again for the mind spinning!

DavidC

Jul 29, 2007 08:26 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hey Mike get a permit or go to the city and see what a permit costs....you will be shock if they said $40.00 or 35 dollars for 5 days.  Tell them it is a blow-up promotional inflatable.  The permit asks for measurements in some cases.  I write in yard size....it fits on the front lawn between the house and sidewalk with not problem.   They usually say OK.  after I get the permit I go to the police department and tell them what I am doing.....so if they get a call they can tell people they know about it and I have a permit it is OK.   The neighbors gasp and so does the seller when PD hits the yard!  People stop and take pictures, I get more open house traffic with him than anything I have ever used.  I advertise my 30ft gorilla will great you at the door!  They think I am kidding until they show up.  People just can not stop talking about PD.  The other issue is I get listing from him too.  Thanks for the comment Mike.  Hope this helps.
Jul 29, 2007 08:29 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
David share what you come up with once your head hones in on an idea.  Thanks again for the comment.
Jul 29, 2007 08:31 PM #14
Rainer
33,629
Melissa Olson
HOPE Lending LLC - Bellevue, WA
HOPE Lending LLC
That is a great idea!
Jul 29, 2007 08:32 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
You can do this too Melissa with an inflatable Bank with the "purchase" or "lending funded by Melissa Olson" and a phone number.  It could sit in the yard for 5 days.....I wonder how many call you would get from something like that?  Thanks for the comment Melissa.
Jul 29, 2007 08:38 PM #16
Rainer
33,629
Melissa Olson
HOPE Lending LLC - Bellevue, WA
HOPE Lending LLC
Gary - had to stop back in to bookmark.  Yes, that would work well for me.  THANK YOU!
Jul 29, 2007 09:46 PM #17
Rainmaker
767,482
Mike Jaquish
Realty Arts - Cary, NC
919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate

Gary,

I am really, really, really skeptical I could get a permit.

Hmmmmm....that in itself might be reason enough to try.

Then get tarred and feathered by the HOA...

LOL

I think it is a great promotion.

Jul 29, 2007 09:55 PM #18
Rainmaker
634,729
Brian Block
RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President - McLean, VA
Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate
Gary -- Wow!  That is some wild & crazy marketing!  I can only imagine the possibilities with this one.  Try guerrila/gorilla marketing!
Jul 29, 2007 10:02 PM #19
Rainmaker
295,244
Ray Saenz
United Property Brokers, Inc - Aurora, CO
Homes for Sale in Aurora, Colorado - Aurora, CO
Gary,

Awesome idea with the elephant or gorila :) it seems that both will work :P

thanks

Ray Saenz
Jul 30, 2007 03:53 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Well Mike how do you look in feathers?  It wouldn't cost you as much for the promotion and I bet you would make the front page!  Give it a shot, let us know how it works for you.  Thanks for the comment Mike.
Jul 30, 2007 09:01 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Hi Brian, let yourself go on the wild side!  If it increases your listings and open house traffic why not?  I do have to tell you your sellers will be a bit embarrassed when you put it up in their front yard!  They get over it when the home sells........real fast!  I have another photo of this family where they were making fun and posing like Gorilla's when they accepted the offer.  I have had nothing but great response, with the exception of a few neighbors because of the road traffic.  I have even had people stop with their kids and take pictures in front of JD.  My direct mail post card says, Tired of the average Realtor?  Want to find about Gorilla Marketing?  The card has more detail but the photo is so unbelievable they call....I think just to see if I really use JD.  When I say "Yup" he goes in your front yard 3 days before open houses.  They always say "you are kidding"?  When I tell them if it helps them sell faster would they mind and they say NO!  I also have 4'x8' lighted sign trailers that I plug in and sit in the front yard for open houses when JD is to big to fit.  I also have a Tube man.....he shimmers and shakes with the word "Open House" on him, he is 20 ft tall.  You would be surprised how quickly you will become known with this type of marketing.  Your sales will jump dramatically.  It is not for everyone I must admit you have to have a sense of humor and enjoy people because you are going to meet lots of them!  Why else do this?  I get listings for just having JD in the yard....they noticed and asked what is going on...just an "Open House" is my response it is a great property would you like a tour?  I do have to have more than myself for open houses but it is worth every penny!  Brian, just send money......when it rolls in I can put it in my Gorilla fund!  Thanks for the comment Brian.

Jul 30, 2007 09:19 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,072,243
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Hi Ray, check your area for permits, I am not sure about the Aurora area.  Power lines are and issue so be careful.....I use nylon twine and tent stakes to hold JD in place.  I also do not put him up in more than 20 mile per hour winds.  I did not want him visiting the neighbors!  They are kept filled with air by a blower system.  The other thing if you are going to use one over a several day period make sure you have security of the blower.  I use an alarm system that sounds a loud horn if anyone unplugs him.  I also have a mercury switch sensor that sounds the horn if JD is tampered with near the blower.  The power cord and alarm are housed in a metal tackle box with warning information concerning security.  I have not had one taken but car dealers lose theirs all the time.  I am not sure what parents think when they open a bedroom door and a gorilla face is looking at them!  I just thought I would mention some of the other issues you will face with this type of marketing.  It is unusual and works.  Thanks for the comment Ray.
Jul 30, 2007 09:28 AM #23
Rainmaker
295,244
Ray Saenz
United Property Brokers, Inc - Aurora, CO
Homes for Sale in Aurora, Colorado - Aurora, CO
Gary,

I do not know, I have not tried that and I will invest later on something like your Gorilla, but you seem that you have good experience with this marketing thing and your buddy gorilla, I was laughing when you wrote about that you do not put your gorilla on more then 20 mph becuase you do not want to see it in the neighboors home LOL hahahahaha   true, but funny :P  thanks for sharing all thos experiences with us.

Now, make your meme.

Ray SAenz
Aug 03, 2007 08:38 PM #24
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