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The reality is, there is no magic pill when marketing your services to distressed homeowners. The biggest determinant of success, in my view, is repetition and the number of "touch points". Familiarity builds credibility, which in turn builds trust. Remember, all of the news media has told homeowners that if anyone contacts them with the offer to stave foreclosure, they are probably vultures looking to swoop down and profit from their misery. Repetitive marketing goes a long way to overcome this distrust.
In addition to constantly exposing your message to these financially troubled borrowers, it's important to speak to the homeowner in terms of benefits, not features. That you've "saved 28 homeowners from foreclosure last month" is a feature. Are you a CDPE or SFR or have another designation? That's another feature that doesn't answer the distressed homeowner's fundamental queswtion: "What's in it for me?" They want to keep their children in school... move on to build better memories... get a good night's sleep for the first time in six months... restore normalcy to their day to day affairs, etc - these benefits resonate more with distressed homeowners than your credentials.
There are several marketing vehicles to carry your message of hope and solutions:
Postcards: These are popular because they are cheap to print and cheap to mail and they stare homeowners in the face. The headline, the copy, the call to action, are some factors that determine effectiveness. Yet a post card will not close the sale. This tiny billboard is best used to continue the conversation that the postcard started, like sending the homeowner to a website. > Read more about mistakes to avoid when sending postcards.
Letters: A handwritten envelope/letter will beat postcards any day. Let's face it, we all judge a book by it's cover, and so will distressed homeowners that see you took the time to hand write an envelope. This has a high open rate because of the look and feel of personal correspondence. > See an example of letters that have worked well (pdf).
Dimensional Mail: Think inside the box, literally. Anything in a package is guaranteed to get opened. We work with one agent that actually sends a fortune cookie to distressed homeowners. Inside the cookie is a clever slip - "Save your home. Call me." While this can get expensive, the ROI is phenomenal.
Door knocking: While it takes a special kind of person to do this, delivering your message in person has the most impact. > See a door knocking script that has worked for other agents
Calling: In our view, the phone is best used as a follow up device after you have communicated with them through other means, but you can use the HAFA program as the thrust for a cold call.
There are other considerations when marketing to homeowners in pre foreclosure which go beyond the scope of one blog post. To bounce some other ideas around, get in touch with us at www.preforeclosuredata.net