ListAbility's Direct Marketing Blog

How to Build an Absentee Homeowner List for Real Estate Investors.

Posted by Carol Arnold on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 @ 02:29 PM

Mail campaigns have been found to be a highly effective way for real estate investors to contact property owners who might be interested in selling.

One category of property owners that have been found receptive to investors’ offers is the Absentee Real Estate Owner. These are people owning a residential property that they don’t live in – they have a different primary address where their tax bill is sent. 

Crafting a targeted mailing list of absentee owners can help you make the most of your marketing dollars. There is no need to spend postage on people who don’t fit your profile.

There are quite a few options to consider in finding just the right absentee owners; the ones most likely to be ready and able to get out of their ownership.  Be sure to keep in mind your local knowledge and ability to evaluate the properties for investment.

Criteria that can be used in customizing a targeted mailing list for your campaign to find sellers:

Where do you want the property to be located? In all but the more densely populated areas, you will probably want to consider looking at one or more counties so you can further narrow down your search.

Where do you want the owner to live? If you are working with a large enough area, you may have enough properties to specify that you want the owner to live outside the county or even out of state.

Do you want to limit the Home Market Value? Most real estate investors, particularly those starting out, have limits on the amount that they can offer for a property. Depending on your market area and your marketing strategy, you might want to specify properties under $150,000 - or perhaps between $50,000 and $250,000. Other investors want only higher-end properties.

What type of home do you want to buy? You might want to mail to owners of just single family homes and/or multifamily homes. In some areas condominiums are desirable. Some investors also want to include apartment buildings with 5+ units.

Do you want owners who have had their property for a long time? …or are you in an area where there is enough turn-over that you don’t mind marketing to people who are newer owners? You can think of the purchase date range you want to target, such as 1/1/1960 – 12/31/2008 for people who have owned at least 5 years.

Are you planning to promote to people based on how much equity they have in the property? Do you want the owners to have high equity or low equity? Loan To Value (LTV) is a great tool to approximate equity. LTV is a calculation based on the total loans (the original amount on the day the loan was written) and the current home market value. For example, if a person refinanced with a loan of $100,000 and the current home value is $400,000, the LTV is 25%. This equates to a minimum of 75% equity. Don’t forget that they have also been paying down that loan, although this isn’t factored into the equation.

Demographic criteria such as the owner’s age can also be useful if you want to further narrow your list. Some investors feel that older owners may be more interested in selling their property.

ListAbility’s Master Absentee Owner Mailing List collects information from local reporting jurisdictions across the country.

Most often these are the Registry of Deeds and Assessors Offices of city and county governments. The list has more than 11.5 million absentee owners of real estate. Many of these have multiple properties.

As good as the data collection is, not all information is available from every reporting jurisdiction in the standardized format required for automation. New counties start providing information every month, but they may not fill in with historical information. Some areas might not include information on the loan.

What can you do if the property counts are too small?

The first is to try cutting out some of the criteria. LTV can be very limiting if the local jurisdiction doesn’t provide loan data. You can make up for that by using purchase date which is available more often.

The second way is to increase the geographic area that you want to target. Adding more cities and towns can help build the quantity available for you to market to.

ListAbility provides list brokerage services to support marketing programs - including the Absentee Homeowner File for Real Estate Brokers and Investors.

Our clients include real estate investors as well as other types of businesses. Our brokers have the expertise and quality data to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing list. A better list will pay dividends with the savings you garner in printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!

Call now to learn more about the Master Absentee Homeowner Mailing List. 866-446-2055

Tags: direct marketing list strategies, consumer mailing lists, Absentee Homeowner List, marketing for real estate investors

Market directly to adult children of your Assisted Living Prospects

Posted by Carol Arnold on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 09:48 AM

Mother and daughter having long distance phone conversationContact people who influence their parents' decision to move to assisted living

Is it time for my parents to move out of their house into a safer living environment? How can I spend time with them and provide assistance when they live so far away? Should I relocate them so they are closer to where I live?

These are questions asked by many adults with aging parents. These same adult children have a major influence in the decision making process about when and where their senior parents move. Without question, these are the people that assisted living communities want to talk to.

Now you can market to just the adults in your marketing area who have living elderly parents with the financial resources to move into your assisted living facility.

A direct mail campaign with a targeted mailing list of people in your area who can influence their parents can be one of your most effective tools.

Mailings to these qualified prospects will understandably yield better results than simply peppering the middle aged market.

Imagine the effectiveness of sending your marketing material to adults in your area with elderly parents who are homeowners and have a net worth of $1MM or more.

These are probably the best assisted living prospecting leads that you can hope for.

You can even turn this around and send your brochure to seniors all across the country that have family close to your assisted living facility.

ListAbility’s Intergenerational Family Mailing List provides these unique opportunities for marketing to adult children of elderly parents – wherever they live in the US.

ListAbility has the expertise to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing, telemarketing or email list.

A better mail list will pay dividends with the savings you garner with reduced printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!


Tags: Trends in marketing, direct mail campaigns, consumer mailing lists, marketing for assisted living

Cost Effective Targeted Direct Mail versus Every Door Direct Mail

Posted by Carol Arnold on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 @ 01:42 PM

archer targetThe postal service is creating buzz and excitement with their Every Door Direct Mail ads on TV.

No list! Drop your mail off at the post office! What could be easier?

The reality isn’t quite that simple. The mail piece has to fit their specification of a flat; you calculate the quantities and bundle into packages of 100. If you are mailing to 5 towns, you will have to take your mail  to each of the 5 post offices, which could end up taking an entire day!

But the cost savings is there, right? Only 14½ cents per piece for postage! You can go onto the map at the postal website and pick out the carrier routes you think you want to deliver to, and it will go to every single address.

What if every single person isn’t a potential customer?

If you are an Ice Cream Stand, Pizza or take-out Chinese restaurant, by all means, get your menu and coupons out to everyone! What about more specialized businesses? Renters and Condominium owners may not be good targets for your landscaping business. A high end jewelry store might not want traffic from lower and middle income households.

Mailing to everyone, when only some are qualified can actually limit your reach. You will be spending money on postage and printing for people whom you are fairly sure will never buy your product. Even worse, they may waste your sales people’s valuable time.

Here is an example I came across the other day when an agency asked about a mailing for their client who is a pediatrician: The doctor had seen the ads on TV and asked about the Every Door Direct Mail program to help build his business.

We ran the numbers and found there were about 41,000 households in his service area of 5 towns on the south shore of Boston.

Using a targeted mailing list, we discovered that only 15,340 of the 41,000 households have children. To further target the mailing list, we took a look at some additional qualifiers. The practice would rather have younger children, and families with an income that would be more comfortable paying mdical bills.

5,212 families ended up on the qualified mailing list using the selections:  Children Age 0-12 and Household Income of $40K+

Additional qualifiers could include Length of Residence or Number of Children. You could also specify that the piece be addressed to the women (where present).

A better mailing list will pay dividends by helping you go get noticed by the right people!

ListAbility is a mailing list broker with the expertise and quality data to guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing, telemarketing or email list. A better list will pay dividends with the savings you garner in printing and postage – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!


Tags: USPS Services, direct marketing list strategies, mailing list brokers, direct mail campaigns, consumer mailing lists, direct mail marketing, direct mail advertising, direct mail, Every Door Direct Mail

Direct Mail Advertising continues to be a powerful marketing channel

Posted by Chris Dyer on Fri, Mar 02, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

Many people would be surprised to read that the US Postal Service ended their fiscal year 2011 with a volume increase of 2 billion pieces of standard class mail. This 2.6% increase comes in spite of the barrage of negative media coverage. Standard mail is the primary mail service for Direct Mail Advertisers.

                  The Direct Marketing Association’s Statistical Fact Book states that
                     US marketers send over 90 billion pieces of direct mail per year!

What does this mean? The volume increase sends a clear message:

                                              Direct Mail Marketing still works

My advice to Marketers, especially younger marketers, is to incorporate a multi-channel strategy when developing their marketing programs. And that should include direct mail.

When planning a direct mail campaign, there are many options to consider. Some methods are enduring, and have been used for many years by the best direct marketers in the world.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • A strong offer or promotion is probably the most important element for all direct mail advertising campaigns.

  • Select an updated and accurate mailing list that has been targeted to recipients considered most likely to respond positively to your offer.

  • Consider making your promotion time sensitive to generate urgency.

  • Testimonials or a guarantee can be effective, depending on your product.

  • Copy and graphics focusing on the people you are sending to can increase results exponentially and easily justify the cost of using multiple versions. For example, use a different message for young adults than you do for seniors. Ask your printer about “variable print capabilities”.

  • The use of Digital Printing can bring increased capabilities for personalization. These can include PURLS (Personalized URLs) which set up individual web pages for your prospects to key in, and QR Codes (Quick Response) that can be read by a smart phone to link to a special marketing page on the web.

  • Postage is a large part of any direct mailing job.  Make sure your mail list is certified and processed to get the highest postal discounts for automation.

  • Consult your mail shop when you design the physical aspect of your mail piece. Something as simple as a flap folded in the wrong direction could cause problems with the automated machines, which could cause delays and cost money.

  • Coding records and setting up tracking metrics so response and conversion rates can be done accurately

  • Testing – Try a couple different offers and mail pieces to see what works best for you. This will help the success for your future direct marketing campaigns. 

ListAbility is a premier mailing list company. Our dedicated List Professionals can help guide you through the process of obtaining a highly targeted mailing lists, telemarketing list or email list. A better list will pay dividends with higher response rates, savings in printing and postage costs – to say nothing of getting noticed by the right people!  

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