Probate Mailings 101
I first wrote an article about probate mailings back in 2013. Truthfully, almost all of the information is unchanged except for the fact that the return on your probate mailings is somewhat less. What that means is that the percentage of calls you will get from each mailing is smaller than a few years ago. Today I thought it was time to update this information and tell you what's working best for me.
I can remember the time when I was getting around a 5 to 6% on all of my direct mail no matter what the niche or group of motivated sellers was. That statistic was certainly true for my probate mailings. Today that number is more like 2 or 3% tops. There are still investors in many areas that are only getting about a 1% return on their direct mail campaigns.
Here is the most important thing to remember:
Knowing this is huge! Most investors will throw in the towel and quit mailing after 3 or 4 probate mailings which give you a definite edge. You want to be the last man standing when they are finally ready to sell.
Let's Talk about the Different Types of Mail Pieces
There are a lot of different types of mail pieces that you can use for your direct mail campaigns. Putting together the perfect direct mail pieces for probate mailings doesn't have to be hard. But in my experience if you use the wrong type of mail piece your results will be much lower than average so you want to get this right.
When it comes to the types of direct mail pieces, you can use white computer generated letters, yellow letters, plain postcards and fancy postcards to name just a few. Different types of mail pieces work better for different investing niches. However for probates there is one that works much better than the rest.
What Is the Best Mail Piece For Probate Campaigns?
When it comes to probate mailings, I have found over the years for best results you need to use a very specific mail piece. That mail piece is a professional computer generated white letter with a white handwritten envelope. Everything about it should say “I am a professional. How can I help you with this problem?”
Foks that are involved in settling estates often have a lot of emotion surrounding this process. Many times they are still grieving. At best they can be very emotional. These sellers find it offensive to get a postcard from someone that wants to buy the property that belonged to their loved one who passed away.
I have found this to be true with yellow handwritten letters too. Folks tell me they don’t like getting those yellow letters. They just aren't professional. Recently a seller told me that they wouldn't do business with anyone that just scribbled their message on a pad of yellow paper.
Your probate mailings are the first step to building rapport with these very motivated sellers so you need to make it count. Every communication with these seller should be done with the utmost of care. Being sensitive to their situation will go a long way toward standing out.
Should I Mention the Estate or Offer My Condolences In My Letter?
There are 2 different schools of thought when it comes to whether or not to offer your condolences in the first letter you send. Some do and some don't.
I am one of those people that believes you should get it out of the way. You can just go ahead and say you are sorry for their loss and move on. Trust me; it's going to come up.
At some point they will almost certainly ask you how you found out about the house, and you will have to tell them. If you choose to leave out any mention that you know it's an estate and they ask how you got the information, just say that you are looking for property in the area and you did a mailing to folks in the neighborhood.
You can also say that you have access to the public records, then go on to mention that you have been able to help a lot of sellers who are trying to settle estates in the past. This is a good time to tell them how you can help them close the estate more quickly so they can go on with their lives.
What Should Be In My Letter?
The first probate letter is more of an introduction. In the letters that follow, you will want to inquire how the estate is progressing. In your letters you will also want to tell them that you can help them settle the estate more quickly. Be sure to go over the benefits of working with you, and remind them that you are a cash buyer.
Always offer to help them clean out the house. This is the #1 thing that holds folks back from finishing this whole process. Always have a call to action at end of your letter. In this case would be for them to contact you to see how you can help them with disposing of the property in the estate.
How Long Should I Mail?
Here's the answer; until you buy the house, someone else buys the house, or they asked to be removed from your list. That makes it pretty simple doesn't it?
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