Direct Mail, Television, and Word of Mouth
You have probably received a “Just Listed in Your Neighborhood” card in the mail. Direct mail and hand delivery of flyer campaigns let your neighbors know that your house is for sale. Your neighbors may have friends that they would like to see move into the neighborhood. If they know your home is available, they can tell those friends. This type of advertising is hit-and-miss and may or may not work. Agents who are consistent about sending this type of mailer will get responses, but a one shot deal may head straight to the trash can. You do have a better chance of getting your information read if it is on a postcard. Most people do not open all the mail they receive, especially if it appears to be a bulk mailing or some other type of junk mail. A postcard can be read without opening it.
Direct mail can work well for condominium owners or owners of cooperative properties. Owners in these complexes usually have a friend who has said, “Let me know if anything ever comes up for sale in your building.” Most people are not reading the classifieds unless they are actively looking for something, and a postcard about your property may be the only way other owners in your complex will know your place is for sale.
Depending on your market place, you may have the opportunity to put your house on television. There are a number of real estate shows that showcase different houses each week. Most of these shows are sponsored by a real estate company and do not showcase FSBO properties, but if you are listed with an agent, this infomercial-style show can provide some good exposure.
Be sure you can provide several good interior and exterior photos of your house for television. Usually your agent can take these photos. A high-resolution digital photograph works fine. Most of the television programs use a slide show, but if they use a virtual tour, your agent can have one done for you.
Word of mouth is another great form of advertising for your home. A good agent will be calling every potential buyer they have worked with to see if one of them would be interested in your house or knows of someone who would be. They will also be in touch with other real estate agents, asking if they know of a potential buyer. Whether you have an agent or not, just talking to people about your house for sale could be the way a buyer is found. In conversations at parties, at the kids’ ball games, or anywhere that you have the opportunity to talk about your house, you have the chance of meeting a potential buyer or meeting someone who knows of one. If you are working with an agent, hand out his card with your address on the back. If you are an FSBO, hand out your own card. If you don't have a business card, get one! You can have 1,000 business cards printed up for under $100. Put your name, phone number, and description of your house on the card. The more people who know your house is for sale, the better.
Repetition is the best way to advertise. This does not mean that you can't catch someone on the first mention; it just means that repetition is the best way to advertise. Don't give up if you run an ad once with no results. Repetition is the best way to advertise. See?
Of course, your own campaign does not include the personal promotion that many agents also do. This personal promotion gets people to call them, people who may end up being interested in your house. From a huge billboard to a tiny grocery cart sign, each of the advertising mediums has worked at one time or another. While none of them work every time, they are all important to consider.