Please welcome Frances Flynn Thorsen, a widely published writer and blogger with new digs at a soon-to-be-announced sister blog to The Zebra Blog. (Keep your eyes open … this blog is coming soon!) In this article she shares six tips on marketing HUD homes to apartment dwellers.
Frances is the author of two books, HUD Homes For Sale — A Complete Buyer’s Guide and HUD Homes For Sale — A Sales and Marketing Guide For Real Estate Agents. Frances and Denise Lones of The Lones Group are Co-Founders of the Government Home Sale Professional™ certification program for real estate agents.
Print is NOT dead! Online evangelists who make this claim are wrong.
There is nothing more powerful than a well written direct mail campaign targeted to renters.
Tip 1 – Create or buy a list of all the addresses in an apartment complex. Renters comprise the first-time homebuyer market. HUD Homes are usually on the lower end of the price range in each market area and particularly suitable for first-time home buyers. Apartment addresses remain the same when the property turns over to a new tenant. Use a second address line to reduce mailing waste.
John and Jane Arizona
or Current Occupant
1234 Harley Circle Apt. 14
Williams, AZ 55555
Tip 2 – Create a 10-week direct mail campaign. Renters are always a good source of buyers for HUD Homes. Most areas of the country have affordable housing prices and situations where home ownership trumps renting. Create a campaign of 10 home buying tips. Send tips every other week, with a call to action.
Tip 3 – Use postcards. Shelf life is short, be sure you have an attention-grabbing headline!
Tip 4 – Always include an irresistible offer like a special report or a discount or a subscription to a newsletter with a list of all the new HUD Homes on the market. Remember, your goal is to generate leads and turn them into paying customers.
Tip 5 – Have a PLAN to follow up after someone responds to your irresistible offer. If they ask for a copy of a free report about HUD Homes, call them seven days later to see if they read it. What did they think? Establish dialogue and build rapport with a personal conversation. Have a follow-up plan for one year following your first contact with the person.
Tip 6 – Calculate the approximate monthly mortgage payment for the HUD Home, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI). Target a flyer or a newsletter to apartment complexes that charge monthly rents comparable to the PITI of the HUD Home. Include a line in the piece that asks:
“Do you know that you can own your own home for less than you are paying in rent?”
Renters are always intrigued with the prospect of getting a home at a discounted price and the concept of home ownership has mass appeal among renters in all real estate cycles.
(This article is an excerpt from Frances Flynn Thorsen’s newly revised book, HUD Homes for Sale – Sales and Marketing Guide for Real Estate Agents.)