Direct Marketing Campaign Finding Apartment Buildings Multi-Units/Apartment Buildings

$34,317.01 and Direct Mail Response Rate

Are you wondering what my direct mail response rate has to do with $34,317.01? Well at this point in time..Nothing. 🙂 That 34k figure was how much it cost for me to be in the hospital from Feb. 6th at 7pm to Feb. 9th at about noon. Crazy, huh?

I’m certainly glad I was on Kathy’s insurance at that time….now I’m officially on my insurance, which isn’t as good as Kathy’s work insurance, but it’s a whole lot cheaper.

Anyway, back to our direct mail response rate. We’re STILL getting calls from our direct mail piece that we sent out in January. We have just under a 4% direct mail response rate on that last batch of letters to buy apartment buildings.

I delivered our current mailings to our neighbor and I’m waiting for her to get them all stuffed and ready to go. I’m trying to improve our direct mail response rate with this batch so I included a fax back page. Dave Lindahl suggests this and says that it improves his response rate generally by 50%!!!

Basically, it’s a form that let’s them fill out their information instead of calling me directly. You know how some folks don’t like to talk on the phone? I figured it was a great idea because of that simple fact. So now they can either call me directly or fax me their info. I’ll keep you posted on my results.

I’ll post the form itself just in case you guys want to “steal” it from me and use it in your next direct mail campaign. But there is a catch….if you use it and it works, please come back and tell us about it. Fair enough?

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Direct Marketing Campaign How To's Multi-Units/Apartment Buildings

Direct Mail Lists – Where To Get Them?

Wondering where to get your direct mail lists for your real estate direct mail campaigns? Well there’s all kinds of places you can get direct mail lists from and we’ll explore them. Plus, I’ll let you know where I got my direct mail list from for my current direct mail campaign to apartment owners.

I want you to keep in mind that depending on the focus of your business you may have more than 1 direct mail list depending on who you are targeting and why? Perhaps you target pre-foreclosures one week and maybe probates another month, etc. I don’t know what your individual direct mail campaign needs are, only you do. But there are many ways you can find direct mail lists regardless of what area of real estate investing you are interested in.

List Brokers – you can literally look in the yellow pages under list brokers or mailing lists. I’m talking about your physical yellow pages book (do ya’ll still get one of those? lol) or you could very well go to Yellow Pages online as well. These types of direct mail lists you will have to pay for, of course. Sometimes, you may be able to negotiate a free batch just to test the vendor and make sure that their list is current.

Online List Brokers – Gosh you could go to google and type in direct mail lists for real estate or just direct mail lists and a whole bunch of services will come up. I’ve used and there are places like and all kinds of places you can check out. You will have to pay for these services and the prices vary from vendor to vendor.

Tax Assessor’s Office – taxes suck! But the cool thing about taxes is that somebody has to pay them on a property and the tax assessor’s office needs to send them the bill for them to pay! Sooo, they’ll have the address of where the tax bill will go for a particular property. Now you may be able to get this information for free, you may be able to go in person and get the information and you may very well be able to look on your tax assessor’s website for the info if they have one.

Prothonotary’s Office – I’ve gone to this office for pre-foreclosures plenty of times. At the Chester County courthouse in my area, they have the information written down in a notebook and you have to physically take this notebook over to one of their computers to get more detailed information. It’s a lot of work, but ya know what? The information is free! Perhaps you could pay someone to do it once you know how to do it, or perhaps you’re low on funds so this would be a perfect way for you to build your direct mail lists.

Register of Wills – I’ve gone to this office in my county courthouse several times to dig up leads to add to my probate direct mail list. Again, you’ll have to physically go through folders and there are a lot! But you go through them and write down the information of the ones that have property that you want to mail to their heirs. You also could learn how to do this and then pay someone else to do it or if money is tight, it’s a great way to get these direct mail lists for free. Your only expense would be your time. Keep in mind I’m talking about MY county courthouses here. Whether you’ll have to pay a fee or not for your area you won’t know until you go down to the offices or call. Also, in different areas the offices may be called different things then what they are called in my area. I’d say to start out at the offices that I mention but if they don’t have what you’re looking for, ask the folks at the court house where you can find the information you’re looking for.

Other Government Websites – the Tax Assessor’s Office can be included here too, but I like to keep them separate. When I talk about government websites I’m really referring to your local and county government. In certain areas you can log onto county websites and get very useful information for your direct mail lists. For instance, in Montgomery County in my area, you can log onto their county website and log into the courts website and search for certain type of filings i.e. foreclosures, etc.

If you don’t know what section of the government website will have useful information for your direct mail lists then you could just mess around on the website by trial and error or you could actually call up the tax assessor’s office, the prothonotary’s office, register of wills, etc. etc. and when you get someone on the phone tell them what you are looking for and ask them if this information is available online. Keep in mind, some county websites may make you pay for this access but a lot will not. 🙂

Public Records from the MLS – I am a licensed real estate agent in Pennsylvania and because of this I pay for MLS access. This is the multiple listing service for those of you that didn’t know (this is where all of the real estate agents list their properties for sale and other agents look what’s available there for their buyers.) Now the part of the MLS that I use for my direct mail lists is the public records section. I can literally search for any types of properties, I can put a certain time frame for settlement dates; for instance let’s say I want apartment owners that have owned their properties for longer than 15 yrs. I can just input the dates, or I can just look for out of area owners, etc. There’s all kinds of way to use this data and it’s free (well not exactly, it comes with the cost of the MLS fees.) Then the beauty of it is that after I get my records together that I want to be on my direct mail lists then I can export them as a csv file or excel file right from the public records section. It’s super easy (well once you learn how to do it, of course. The first time I tried to figure it out it was a pain in the ass!)

MLS – You can also just use the MLS in general without getting into the public records. Perhaps, you want to add expired listings to your direct mail lists. Or maybe you want to have a direct mail list that you mail to property owners whose places have been listed for 60 days, 90 days or more. It’s up to you what you want your criteria to be. Now, of course, if you’re not a licensed agent, you’re going to have to hook with one that will let you utilize their MLS or you can look into becoming an assistant for an agent so you can get MLS access.

Real Estate Investors Associations – If you belong to your local reia (and I think you should belong) then sometimes you’ll find folks within the group that are selling lists for you to use with your direct mail lists. They most likely pay folks to go to the courthouse for them and gather the list and then they put it in a file and sell it to you. So again, this will cost you some money as well. You may be able to negotiate a free batch of these to ensure that the leads are current (and you’ll have to cross reference the list you get at the court house to make sure they are current.)

So there’s a bunch of ways you can build your direct mail lists. Personally, I’ve used every method up there except the list brokers in the yellow pages and I never went to the tax assessor’s office either. Every other method above I have used. My favorite is public records from the MLS. That’s how I developed my apartment owners direct mail list for my current use.

When you’re getting your list from someone other than you physically going down to your courthouse or local government office and getting the information be sure that the lists you receive are current. There’s nothing like old, outdated direct mail lists that a billion other investors have already mailed too. That’s just a waste of money.

Oh and I wanted to add one more thing…for you real estate investors that are real estate agents, perhaps you can create your direct mail lists and send them out one week as a real estate investor and perhaps the next couple weeks as a real estate agent? It’s a great way to get listings! Of course, if you’re like me, you don’t really concentrate on that side of the real estate world, but hey, you have your license so you’re qualified to do it (just make sure you meet your states advertising criteria for real estate agents.)

If you have anymore ideas for developing your direct mail lists, please tell us! The more options folks have the better.

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Direct Marketing Campaign Finding Apartment Buildings Multi-Units/Apartment Buildings

Buy Apartment Buildings – Direct Mail Letter 1

So I figured it’d be cool to share with you the letters that we’re using in our direct mail campaign to buy apartment buildings.

I have 5 letters in a series that I will send out to folks on my list in hopes that I can buy apartment buildings from them. Then I actually have 2 separate letters for different types of folks: out of state owners and landlords that are evicting tenants.

Crap, I just realized I didn’t tell you how I came up with my list of apartment building owners. Ok ok I’ll make a post about that after I finish this (sorry 🙂 )

Here’s the first letter the way I sent it out originally (remember all of the whack jobs that have been calling:)

I’m Interested in Buying Your Property

Read On…

Carey Buck (this is right justified, I just don’t know how to do that here)
State, City. Zip

Apartment Owner Name
Their Address (most likely their home)
State, City. Zip

Dear Apartment Owner Name:

I’m interested in purchasing your property. Are you interested in selling?

I currently hold a portfolio of properties like yours and I’m looking to add more.

As a property owner, I realize that there are a number of reasons why someone may be interested in selling. Everyone has his or her own reason and my question to you is, are you now ready to sell? If so, I am ready to buy.

I can close quickly or delay the closing as long as you like.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience so that we can discuss the sale of your property. Call me now at my phone number.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Carey Buck

P.S. To Get The Best Price For Your Property, Call Me At My Number.

Now keep in mind, we only sent out 278 of these and we only got 6 responses back (just over 2% response rate) but not all of the responses were good.

I’ve since changed the letter and I’ve now replaced pretty much everywhere that it says property with apartment building or building, etc. You get the picture. I’m hoping that will cut down on the whacky calls and folks not knowing why we sent them a letter.

What do you guys/gals think of the letter? Any pointers? Tips? Ideas? Thoughts? Criticisms? Comments? Etc.

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Direct Marketing Campaign Free/Low Cost Marketing Methods Must Have Books

Outsourcing Direct Mail Campaign

Well you read a few days ago that we have our direct mail campaign letters printed out on our quest for an apartment building, right?
Now we’re trying to find someone to address the envelopes, stuff the envelopes and stamp ’em.

After listening to some of Dave Lindahl’s cd’s about apartment investing I decide that I want to do what he does. He has someone in an old folks home do his direct mail campaign. I thought that was an awesome idea.

So I go to 2 retirement communities near me. The first one took my information and said “Volunteer Services” would call me back.
The 2nd one, which is literally 1 minute from my house gave me the number of “Resident Services.” I called her and left a message but she’s never gotten back to me yet. I’ll keep following up with both.

I didn’t think it would be so difficult to find someone to do this for us, especially since we’re willing to pay them. We’re gonna pay .10 per envelope (now Dave said he pays .11 per envelope but I just figured .10 makes the math easier lol)

My requirements are quite simple too:

1) Someone with nice handwriting
2) And I’d prefer someone that perhaps doesn’t get many visitors or perhaps none…so that way they’d at least be visited by myself and/or Kathy at least twice a month? Know what I mean??

I’m gonna put an add on craigslist now and still keep following up with the retirement communities.

P.S. I got the book “Million Dollar Habits By Brian Tracy” that Steph over at Flip This Wholesaler is reading for the book of the month. I picked it up at the library yesterday and have been reading it since.

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Direct Marketing Campaign Goals and Planning Kids Multi-Units/Apartment Buildings Passive Income Random Ramblings

Back to the grind

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday and I hope you will have a safe and exciting New Years Eve. Kathy and I will be hanging out with friends for dinner if the weather cooperates for New Years Eve, otherwise we will be attending our neighbors party (Becky and Jeff, our rent-a-husband!)

Anyway, I’ve been sooooo out of it since we got back from Cali. Total slacker, but I want/need/and will stop it. I’ve been doing lil stuff here and there, but enough of that…BIG ACTION is coming up, because BIG ACTION always gets us BIG RESULTS!

Kathy and I seriously want our first multi-unit (4 unit or more) by March 1st, 2010. Tomorrow we are starting our direct marketing campaign. I put all of our 5 letter campaigns into my computer today, plus 2 speciality letters. I also got a list of all 4 unit and more owners in our county. I think we’ll start there for now. Then expand out when we need to. I’m psyched about this….and scared at the same time. I was telling Kathy about it this evening, but then again I’ve been scared about mobile homes before and I did them and I’ve been scared about getting into single family homes and I did them and I’ve been scared about rehabbing and I’ve did them and I’ve been scared about subject 2’s and I’ve did them and I’ve been scared about wholesaling and I’ve did them… I guess it’s ok to be scared as long as I keep doing shit! Ya know?

I’m telling you, for any of you that have never played Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow game, I really recommend it. I mean I’ve had an interest in multi’s and mobile home parks before but never like I did after playing that game earlier this month. I mean it’s like the brightest light bulb ever went on that night. It was the “don’t worry about getting out of debt first, just start to accumulate passive income and assets and get out of debt while doing so” light bulb just smacked me straight up in the face. And I’m glad it did….because you know what? It may have taken me a hell of a long time to start doing what Kathy and I are getting geared up to do.

Now that’s on the real estate front…on the ATM front, well I have to follow up with 3 pizza shops, 2 hotels and I did follow up with the other strip club tonite. When I called the guy was so nice and said he was just thinking about us yesterday and we talked about our holidays and he said he couldn’t talk too much now because he was on the road and he said he wants to call us before the end of the week to talk about things because his current ATM contract is up then too. We got our fingers crossed but I’m hoping he signs up with us. That will be 2 strip clubs! And that right there folks, is an ATM goldmine. We offered the guy a pretty damn good profit sharing thang if he signed up with us. Our only obstacle was what if he takes our plan and asks his current guy to match it? Soooo that’s why in my follow up thank you letter to him I didn’t really talk about that too much 🙂 I talked about our charming personalities and how I’m sure we’re wayyyy cuter (mostly Kathy lol) to look at than the guy he’s currently doing business with. Actually, I think I’d be all of my money on the fact that he’d prefer to look at Kathy then his current guy. So, we shall wait and see what happens in a couple of days.

Well I’m off to bed. This is the first night in a longggg time where Kathy and I are actually home alone. Joe is with his Dad and Brandon is spending the night at a friends house. It’s actually really nice. And quiet! (I know some of you make think that sounds mean, but ya know what? I’ve never had kids, never wanted kids, never lived with kids and as you know, when you suddenly have kids in your life your whole entire world CHANGES. Trust me, it’s still a process to get use to for ALL of us, I’m sure. So I don’t mean to come off mean in regards to the kids, it’s just that I was use to living by myself for a long time and just having girlfriends who may have had kids, but didn’t live with me. Whole new ball game when they live with you.)

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