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Just Listed Post Cards Something Every Listing Agent Needs

Published: 27/11/2012
By: larry

Here's a photo related product that real estate photographers can easily sell along with a shoot to a listing agent. The product is "Just Listed" postcards that let neighbors near a new listing know that the property has come on the market. The point of the postcards is to get the listing agents face and name in front of the neighborhood and to show them what kind of job that agents does marketing a property. Agents that do this well and repeatedly can significantly increase the number of  listings they get in a neighborhood. It's called "farming" a neighborhood.

If you have the photos of a newly listed property and you've done it once or twice, creating "just listed" postcards takes about 20 minutes and you don't even have to leave your computer. The printing company will deliver the post cards right to the agents office. Here's how to do it:

  1. You use an online printing company. I've used expresscopy.com (works for anywhere in the US) for years but there are many other companies that do the same thing.
  2. Use a front exterior shot of the home on the front of the postcard. You want neighbors to recognize the home that is for sale. I use Photoshop to create a postcard according to the specs of the online printer. My ebook, The Business of Real Estate Photography comes with several examples like the one above.
  3. Use a photo of the listing agent on the postcard. This is important. Listing agents should have name and face recognition in the neighborhood they are working in.
  4. Use a simple URL for photos and more information. Frankly, this is one of the prime motivations for having a tour. Very few broker supply agents with a simple URL to put on postcards and flyers. If you supply a tour and simple URL with your shoot you should also provide a rider or topper sign with that URL for the For Sale sign. Nowadays a QR code can be used instead or in addition to a short URL.

Your listing agent customers may already be doing a diluted form of just listed postcards where they send out a generic postcard that isn't customized to the particular property or doesn't have a photo of the listing agent and doesn't have a simple URL to more photos and information. Being a top listing agent is about winning the competition for the home sellers business. As a photographer you can provide listing agents with photo based products that help them win the competition for the home sellers business. By photo based products I mean, Just Listed postcards, Just Sold postcards, Flyers, brochures and tours.

9 comments on “Just Listed Post Cards Something Every Listing Agent Needs”

  1. I have had a few inquiries about post cards, but they have been about Just Sold cards instead of Just Listed, and I could not find a cost effective way to produce them.

    A couple of questions:

    What do you charge for this service? Do you handle just the photoshop and then hand off a pdf file to the agent for printing or do you do that part as well?

    What do you use for a mailing list? Some printing companies have in-house post offices and their own demographic software that will target a neighborhood and/or a target market.

  2. @Carl - Just charge whatever hourly rate that makes sense to cover your time. I've always done this for my all my wife's listings and she pays me .25/hr ;). You can either have the printer deliver all the cards to the agent's office and let her handle the distribution of the postcards or the printer will handle addressing and mailing of each postcard if you supply the printer with a mailing list. You can get a mailing list from your local tax record website. Every county in the US is legally required to provide tax info public (which includes mailing names & addresses of all properties) most are online.

    I would be inclined to let the agents do the mailing of individual postcards. Real estate offices are setup to do mailing since they do it so much and agents should have and maintain their own mailing list for the neighborhoods they are farming.

  3. I absolutely love this idea! I checked out ExpressCopy and their prices are very competitive. It looks like you could send out 80 regular postcards on behalf of the client for just $32.80. I personally like the Jumbo post cards, although 80 of those would run $52. Those prices include having ExpressCopy mail the cards for you, too, so that helps out even more.

    Nevertheless, the two big questions for me are (1) how to get the addresses to target (both Mark and Larry seem to have the answers on this) and (2) how much to up-sell this service for?

    It might me a good idea to find your cost for two runs of the postcards and go from there: For example, if you cost you $65.60 ($32.80 x 2 runs) to print and send 80 post cards each for "Just Listed" cards and then for "Just Sold!" cards, you can offer a Postcard Marketing Package for maybe $75-100 extra but say "We'll even print and mail your 'Just Sold!' postcards for free!" since your cost is already built in. There are dozens of ways to market this.

    Once you get a good template, the postcards will literally design themselves -- swap out a headline, the photo, change the address and upload. Once you've got the file ready once it should only take a few minutes to update. Hell, when I upload a new client website it only takes me 15 minutes, so this would be easy..... Thanks for the share, Larry!

  4. @Jake - If you use expresscopy.com you have the added advantage that you both are located in Portland so the turnaround should be overnight.

  5. I have used Expresscopy.com for years and their work is 10+. The print quality is "magazine quality" and once I hit the send button -
    it's to it's destination in 48 hours. I always get the postcard sent to me and take a moment to enjoy the beautiful 'glossy' card. Can't say enough good words about this company.
    Kevin Walsh
    Re/Max Showcase
    Illinois, USA

  6. Better then that is to deliver the postcards in person to the neighbours. Also I print my own cards. It's way much cheaper and quality is great. Use a CISS.
    Sure the idea is great but imo the postcard you show is kinda ugly... you can also add a QR code.

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