The Definitive Guide to Creating a Just Listed Postcard
Marketing can be a hard nut to crack, especially in an industry as saturated as real estate. Many realtors experiment with all kinds of creative approaches to stand out from the pack. However, if you’re looking to build local brand awareness, you will still need to master the art of the classics: the Just Listed postcard and the Just Sold postcard.
While there are a number of companies that can handle the design and distribution of your just listed postcard, the tricky part is deciding what to say in the first place. How you word a just listed postcard will inform the kind of impact it will have on your target audience, and by extension, the reach of your marketing dollar. This article will show you how to write a just listed postcard, using real world examples for your reference and inspiration. In the end, you should be able to create a just listed postcard campaign that will promote your brand and win you more business.
Does the Just listed postcard even work?
According to direct marketing statistics, businesses that get the majority of their clients from within a 3-mile radius of their office are: REALTORS®, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, dentists, and chiropractors. Just listed postcards, when done right, could help you create a “market expert” impression in your local market. Plus they are relatively cost-effective. According to ProspectsPlus, “you can literally send up to 5,000 pieces each day (to be delivered to EVERY SINGLE mailbox on your chosen carrier route) and still pay no more than 18.3 cents in postage per piece.”
However, the problem is that the typical Just sold or just listed postcard has a 90% chance of getting thrown into the trash without a second thought. If you want it to have a different fate, your just listed postcard needs to be thought out and compelling.
So, what can you do to make sure that your just listed postcard ends up in the top 10% of marketing collateral? Beautiful designs and photography win every time. However, imagery is not all that it takes. What you say also matters. This article focuses on the strategies of winning real estate postcards and what you need to say on yours to make sure you get noticed.
What do you say on a just listed or just sold postcard?
Before writing the wording for your just listed or just sold postcard, you need to understand the goal. Sure, you want everyone to see your postcard, share a picture of it with all their friends, then flock to your next open house. But, you need to keep things in perspective. And if you want your content to have the desired impact, consistently and over time, you will need to understand the behavioral psychology of your target audience. What do they need to feel first? What impression do they need to have? And what do they need to know to take that next step that you want them to take?
The Hierarchy of Information on a Just Listed Postcard
Photography matters. Your name and your brand matter. The address of the listing matters. The property features and details matter… When dealing with a small piece of marketing collateral such as a just listed postcard, every piece of information needs to be important. Anything that is filler should be scrapped or saved for a different marketing effort. However, if everything is equally important, how do you know what to prioritize?
It helps to understand how your audience will engage with your postcard. The reality is that when the homeowner sees your postcard, it will take them a fraction of a second to decide whether they’re going to read it or throw it away. That glance and that fraction of a second is all that you have to get their attention.
Sounds like a tough room, right? In many ways, it is. But, in other ways, this makes things rather simple for you. This is because it tells you what you need to prioritize: Grabbing their attention. It’s only after you have their attention that you can say what you’re offering and how they can get involved. Before you have their “okay,” no combination of images, colors, or words will do the trick.
The Steps to a perfect Just Listed Postcard
- capture attention
- answer the implicit question of what’s on offer
- display a few highlights to pique further curiosity
- provide information about where they can learn more
So, is our remarkable idea that you should lead with a remarkable idea? Actually, kind of. While it may seem self-evident now that we’re spelling it out for you, you’d be surprised how often this advice falls on deaf ears. People who are not in the habit of creating short form advertising content struggle to identify the one thing that is important to lead with first. Instead, they gather all the information, pack it into the limited space they have to work with, and call it a day.
That is how all just sold and just listed postcards end up looking alike. And that is how so many of them end up in the trash.
Does this look familiar?
Best Performing Just Listed Postcards in Real Estate
While there are many ways to peel a potato, all peeled potatoes have a few things in common. When it comes to effective just listed postcards, what they too have a few things in common. For example, they all lead with their strong foot first. Whether that’s the agent’s sense of humor or a feature about the listing property, there’s only one main takeaway message and it doesn’t compete with anything else on the page.
Check out this just listed postcard as an example
Regardless of whether it makes you chuckle, humor is a marketing tactic that works. The example above leverages the agent’s sense of humor to get the reader’s attention. Then, once they agree to read more, it tells them that a neighbor just listed their home for sale.
Since you’re trying to build awareness, your just listed postcard should do the following and in this order: First, capture why the reader should pay attention. Next, explain where the house is located. Finally, explain who you are and how they can get in touch.
1. Why should I pay attention?
Like most advertising, the first thing you need to do is speak to the right audience. Next, lead your prospect through a slippery slope that compels them to take action. At the surface level, a catchy headline should connect the readers with an offer that leads them to your CTA (Call to Action). This is why most expert copywriters always start with the offer.
Gary Bencivenga, one of the most successful copywriters in modern times said “A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen.”
You want to use the 40-40-20 rule of direct marketing.
This shows that the offer is 2x more important than wording and design. Your just listed postcard wording and design should simply help put the offer in good light.
So how do you craft a good offer?
- Only offer one listing per just listed postcard
- Be creative. “Come let’s have a cook-out” presents a better offer than a generic open house invitation. Another way to present an offer is anchoring. For example: slash the price and print a new, reduced price below it. Another example could invite people to sign up for a webinar (home showing) and get a chance to win free gifts (state the prize). Also, you can use scarcity to drive folks to take action, for example “homes are selling within 12 days in …”
- Show them what they’re getting. The listing in itself is your main offer. You want to present it in its best light with great pictures.
B. Just Listed Postcard CTA
Use a CTA that actually compels action. Instead of a “call now” CTA, experiment with an imperative CTA based on what the viewer might be inclined to do after seeing your postcard. Use Joana Wiebe’s formula, “I want to…”. The answer would be your CTA. That is, what’s your prospect inclined to do? Probably “view more listings.” It’s always a smart idea to put up your website or a QR code along with your number on your just listed postcard.
C. Just Listed and Just Sold Postcard HEADLINE
There are lots of Just listed postcards with generic “just listed” headlines. People get these all the time and they probably throw them in the trash every time too. You want to be creative with your headlines i.e think up ways to grab attention. Study billboard signs and any marketing collateral that catches your attention to get some ideas.
Using some headline templates I found here…
Real Estate Postcard Headline Ideas
“Just Listed: This can be your new home within the next 14 days”
“City Island Homeowners: How much could this home be worth?”
2. Who are you?
The majority of people viewing your postcard aren’t going to call you right then. However, they might think your postcard is good enough to keep. Most times, your design has a lot to do with this. Ensure they get a basic idea of who you are by going through your postcard.
3. Where is the property located?
While you don’t want to fill your postcard with wordy descriptions like “a house located on a picturesque hill… and on and on”, the goal is to encourage readers to find out more about the listing. Hence, having the property address on your postcard is a no-brainer.
Examples of the best just listed postcards
Predicting whether a postcard will be successful is like playing a bet. There are many things that can go wrong. This is why you want to put your best foot forward and hope your just listed postcard doesn’t end up in the trash. While your design helps get your foot in the door, your just listed postcard wording could influence your response rates. Here are some examples of just listed postcards that work.
1. The simplistic design features the best images of the property taking more real estate (instead of the real estate agent’s headshot). The postcard also opens with a catchy headline that makes the reader interested. Yet, there is no explicit offer and the fonts used for the home’s details are too small. But overall, this just listed postcard works.
2. Aside the great pictures of the home and the nice postcard design, the testimonial adds social proof.
3. Although it seems wordy, this postcard works because it focuses the description on the main elements of the home. “Five bedrooms, four bathrooms with dual master suites.” Anyone interested in these features would want to check the property out.
4. This postcard (not a just listed postcard) wants to use urgency to drive action. And it does this especially well with its headline.
5. This postcard does a nice job with its headline.
6. This postcard stands out for its minimal design. The description also creates enough intrigue to lead the reader to check the back for the agent’s or company details.
I hope this article has given you a few ideas on how to use just listed postcards to gain more local real estate brand awareness. However, you don’t want to take a scattershot approach to direct mail. Keep the 3-7-27 rule in mind. It takes 3 impressions for someone to recognize your name, 7 impressions to put your name with your business, and 27 to become a ‘top of mind’ brand name in someone’s head.
Disclaimer: This guest article was written by Agnes A Gaddis. Agnes A Gaddis is a writer for Inman News, Influencive, and the TSAHC (Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation). She has over 7 years experience writing for the real estate industry. Connect with her on Twitter @Alanagaddis
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