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The Truth About Mailers and Why I Use Them

By Guest Author | September 17, 2014

As a person who has created marketing that does not require me to knock a door, cold call or send a mailer, how is it possible that I can advocate mailers?


photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc

My answer is 46%.

There are many phases to marketing in a cohesive direct marketing funnel. For marketing to be successful it is all based on the number of people who look at my mailer (marketing piece) and then respond to my marketing piece (response rate) and then schedule an appointment to meet with me (face to face rate).

My personal marketing strategy (the MONSTER) relies on a homeowner living in that home to see my marketing piece, walk inside, and call (response rate) and then scheduling an appointment (face to face rate).

But, what if the homeowner does not live in the home?

What if the homeowner gave up, and has already moved out?

My preferred “data source” (leads) are people facing a foreclosure sale date (or auction depending on your state terminology).

I still want to meet with people even if they have moved out and have a sale date.
This applies for distressed properties that are NOT short sales (yes, people are moving out with equity).

My geo-targeted cities in north county San Diego are: Oceanside, Vista and San Marcos. In an average month there are 65 sale dates.

After research with my friends at 50% of homeowners who have a sale date ACTUALLY go to sale in 30-90 days without postponement (check your records, it’s astonishing).

I used my traditional method of marketing, and out of 65 homeowners 35-40 homeowners still “appeared” to live in their home. Of those homeowners I was able to get face to face with 8 homeowners.


I work as homeowner advocate in north county San Diego @OceansideLee (, my job, even as an investor is not to let homeowners walk away with a foreclosure on their credit and without money in their pocket.

In week 2, 3 and 4 of my monthly marketing plan I send 57 mailers.

I use a single hand written note and mail them off; I assume SOME of these homeowners have already forwarded their mail. Of the 57 mailers, I spent approximately $5.00 on ‘CVS’ brand envelopes.

I wrote a handwritten note on a white sheet of copy paper (black thin tip sharpie), with a simple message:


I attempted to try and meet you and deliver some information, but I did not hear from you.
I am sure you are aware you have a sale date.

It appears that you have moved out or are in the process of moving out.

I do not mean to offend you, I would like to help you…

The banks are offering money and as an investor and advocate I want you to get something out of your current situation.

I want to help you avoid the word foreclosure on your credit and get some money in your pocket.
Just call me and let me know how I can help you.

Lee Honish
www.defaultadvocate .org

I then copy the note with a standard copier machine and allow the rule of 46% to play out…
The “secret” is that mailers have a 46% open rate.

I have web site and social media that are congruent to helping people in north county San Diego.

MY GOAL is to try and help!

For my efforts, I usually stop 1 or 2 sales AND get 1 deal for fix and flip for me or my investors.

The standard mailer routine:

  • You need 500-1000 names and addresses
  • 4 unique mailers and 4 unique envelopes
  • Use one mailer marketing piece and one envelope per week
  • Week 2, 3 and 4 change mailers and envelopes
  • You will get (approximately) a 46% open rate
  • You will get (approximately) a 1% to 3% response rate of the 46% who open it
  • You will get 1% to 3% that call you inviting you to their home for a ‘face to face’ meeting

Google: sample real estate mailers

You will find mail pieces for ANY data source: FSBO, EXPIRED, PROBATE, CANCELED, DIVORCE and NOD/NOTS/AUCTION/SALE DATE. They are free and completely usable in PDF format.

I cannot stress this enough: KEEP YOUR EXPECTATIONS ‘REAL’ it is very possible to send out thousands of mailers and get ZERO response. It is also VERY possible to send a few mailers and get MANY responses.


About the author: Lee Honish is an ADVOCATE, Author, Real Estate Consultant and FORMER Head Loss Mitigator at IndyMac Bank with 22+ years Asset Management & Real Estate background

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