Get exposure for your new listings and begin establishing yourself as “the neighborhood’s real estate agent” by faithfully sending “just listed” cards to everyone in the neighborhood every time you take a new listing.
If you’re consistent with your mailings, before long you’ll be known as the neighborhood expert – the one they call first!
Use Publisher or a similar product to create a greeting card that fits into an invitation envelope… because people’s curiosity will force them to open it. On the front of the card, use a photo of your new listing, with the words “Just Listed.” Inside, explain that you’re sending it to them in case they have friends or family who would like to move near them.
If you’ve set a time for an open house, invite them to attend. Otherwise, invite them to contact you for more information or a showing.
Do include the address, and do be ready for at least one person to misunderstand the cards over the course of time. I’ve actually had it happen twice. Both times the people thought I was trying to sell their house, and it took me a while to convince them otherwise.
One gentleman said that just because his wife had died and he had gone to Arizona for the winter didn’t mean I could sell his house. I explained over and over that I wasn’t trying to do that – it wasn’t his house in the photo. He hadn’t seen the card at all – one of his neighbors had called to tell him the news. (Big sigh.) Finally, exasperated, I said “Even if I wanted to sell your house, I couldn’t do it. I don’t have a key to get in.” Then he finally understood.
The other time it was a lady who did have the card in her hand, and I wish she had thrown it away. We had the exact same conversation twice – about ten days apart. Each time it took about 20 minutes to convince her that the house in the picture was across the street from her house!
But don’t let that stop you.
Prepare the cards and send them to at least everyone on the block and across the street. You can get a couple of blocks away without people wondering why you sent it to them.
If you’re working in a rural area, try to take in at least 10 to 20 homes in the immediate vicinity – even if that means a few miles away.
When you mail your cards, hand-address them, and don’t add a return address. Again, the aim is to create curiosity so the card will be opened.
Always remember to include your photo. People who won’t remember your name will remember your face. And do put a business card in the envelope as well.
After the home is sold, send another card.
This one can say: “We’ve just closed on the sale of your neighbor’s home at 123 Main Street. Showing this home generated a lot of interest in your neighborhood, so if you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, give me a call!”
If you’ve had the good fortune to sell the house in record time, mention that too!
By the way, I wouldn’t mention the price in either card. If they want to know that, they’ll need to call you – or go by and take a brochure from the box you’ve placed outside.
If you want to make an even stronger impression on the neighborhood, throw a little “welcome” party for the buyers, and invite all those neighbors to attend.