TRP028: Mailbox Money – Using Direct Mail for Your Rehabbing Business Part 2

February 23, 2016

In this episode (Part 2) I’m providing insight into the mindset with respect to direct mail (DM) marketing to find motivated sellers for your rehabbing business. Finding motivated sellers gets you one step closer to making money. I’m also talking about your mailing list, your message on the mailer and other logistical things to consider.

Show Notes

Your DM Mindset:

Think of it this way – about 80% of this (marketing effort) will be about your list (your target audience) and the message  (your offer). The rest (20%) is about things like your mailer format, postage options, how you personalize, etc. Focus on obtaining quality lists AND make the message on your letter or postcard cause the property owner to act. Also – before you dive in – get a plan and be organized. Commit to a budget you can afford (for at least a year). Don’t spend a few hundred or even a thousand dollars for a few months, then quit.

Your List(s):

Determine exactly who to target e.g., owners willing to sell at discount

  • Absentee owners
  • Probate owners
  • Owners with code or tax violations

Know exactly what type of property you are looking for

  • Single family home
  • 1500 – 2000 sq. ft.
  • 3/3 or 3/2 bed/bath combo
  • Built after 1955

Select the best list direct mail provider to meet your goals and objectives

  • Validate their lists is good for your target audience
  • Validate the accuracy of their lists and that they are current
  • Test data from list provider before you sign up long-term monthly commitments

Get list(s) and stick with it (more than 4 x for high conversation rates)

Your Message(s):

Don’t get bogged down on the mailer itself (e.g., use yellow letters or post cards?). The most important is your message on the mailer. It’s about the right message to the right audience – not just “We buy houses”.

Remember to be direct, transparent and pre-screen so you don’t get a bunch of non-motivated sellers. Depending on your target, your message should include:

  • You’re an investor looking for a discount (not a retail buyer)
  • You can pay cash and close quickly
  • No realtor commissions or appraisals, etc.
  • For the right price you’ll buy house in any condition


The Other 20%:

Creative (Copy & design):

  • Small amount of overall effort but must visible
  • Reflect your image and brand
  • Grab their attention quickly – you only have seconds to get your mailer to stand out, read and acted upon
  • Personalize as much as possible


  • There’s debate on what is best | they all work | choose one or more and split test over time
  • Postcards – harder to ignore | message easily visible | limited message space
  • Letters – outer envelope | more room for words | can support reply device
  • Self-mailers – doesn’t require envelope | like post cards but more room for words | less expensive than letters


  • Can be up to ½ the cost of mailer campaign budget
  • Influenced by format of mailer e.g., shape, size, weight, categorization
  • Categories – USPS machine readable | Non-machine readable | Automated barcode technology

Direct Mail Providers:

  • To be successful a lot has to be done right
  • Access to good and fresh data
  • Current on postal rules and rates
  • Print production
  • Copy and creative
  • Not all good in all areas so decides what’s important for you
  • Find one that can steer you through the process that meets your objectives
  • Direct Mail Provider Comparisons and rankings for 2016


  • DM solid vehicle to attract motivated sellers
  • Your message needs to present the right value to your target list
  • Quality of your list is key (refresh every 6 months)
  • Commit to multiple mailings per year – conversation rates go up dramatically after 4th mailing to the same recipients
  • Be organized and select the right provider for you