How To Locate or Create Effective Mailing Lists

Posted on November 3, 2012 by

Where can I find a good mailing list to find motivated sellers? How can I create my own list to find highly motivated sellers? These are the big questions that I get a lot from Real Estate Investors! The true secret to success for a Real Estate Investor is finding sellers who really need to sell. I use different direct mail campaigns to locate different types of motivated sellers: out of state owners, properties quit-claimed from one person to another, expired listings, burned out landlords, vacant properties, military transfers, and pre-foreclosures, just to name a few.

The best part is that you can customize your direct mail piece and your list to reach exactly the kinds of motivated sellers you want to deal with in order to create the kinds of deals you want for your real estate investing business. This is best done by locating mailing lists and refining them to meet your individual criteria, then mailing to these potential sellers again and again, thus creating a multitude of profitable deals.

Investors often neglect to market to sellers using direct mail because they think the list is too difficult to get, or they only send the mailings once and quit. They don’t take the time to create the machine that will bring them deal after deal.

These are some of the easiest lists for you to get and it will be very profitable for you to do so. You can contact a list broker or your local property assessor’s office and ask them for these lists, or you can create the lists yourself. It’s fairly easy to do. You can go to the courthouse and research divorce cases, death notices, liens and judgments, tax liens, marriage licenses, bankruptcies or Lis Pendens, which is the first step toward foreclosure. Let me share a few pointers here.

  1. Do your homework when picking a list broker. How current is the list? Does it have all the information you need to create your direct mail campaign? Does it reach the audience you are targeting?
  2. Do a test mailing of 100 pieces to test any new list. How many responses did you get? How many letters came back with a bad address?
  3. Don’t waste your marketing dollars marketing to a bad list that won’t get you the result you want.
  4. Create continuity with your direct mail campaigns. You can mail a lot of letters or a few letters but you need to have a flow of mail going out at all times in order to create a funnel of incoming leads.
  5. Never mail more pieces than you are comfortable getting responses to. If you do a huge mailing and you get tons of responses you can’t get to, you are wasting marketing dollars. Put systems in place to help you respond to the mailings and grow your business gradually.

Another way to find motivated sellers is to cultivate relationships with individuals who can help you find deals. One of the ways I do this is to create a direct mail campaign targeting attorneys who handle family law, estate planning and probate law, divorce and marital law, and corporation and business law and I let them know we are in the business of buying houses.

Once you develop relationships with some of these attorneys, they will call you when they have a client who needs to sell a property quickly no matter what condition it’s in. This is just another way to build ongoing lead sources using direct mail. You only have to create this direct mail campaign once to create an ongoing source of leads for your Real Estate Investing business.

If you own any kind of business and you need certain types of leads, think about unique resources that can provide you with the leads you need and create a direct mail campaign targeting these resources. This can be really profitable. For example; if you own an alarm company or a lawn maintenance service it would behoove you to create a direct mail campaign targeting owners of properties in your area who live out of state. These are potential customers who need your services.

The main reason that direct mail works so well is that you are reaching highly targeted leads. You become the potential seller’s first option when they need to sell. Even if you are on a limited budget, direct mail is an excellent source of leads for you since you can buy more houses from fewer leads, thus maximizing your marketing dollars. As your business grows, you can increase the number of mailings you do. You can also target specific neighborhoods or dominate certain parts of town. In doing so, you become a “property value expert” in those areas, which makes the offer-making process that much easier for you.

You end up creating an ongoing relationship with your target market, which makes it easy for you to follow up with formerly inflexible or unmotivated sellers. Since these mailings are so targeted and so residual, there is virtually no competition for these properties. It puts your lead generating system on “auto-pilot,” leaving you more time to make offers, do more deals, and make more money.

Most importantly, be consistent in all your efforts. The successful Real Estate Investor has a network of people and strategies at their fingertips at all times. If you don’t develop continuity to your marketing campaigns, you’ll see your results begin to drop off immediately. This is true no matter what business you are using direct mail to target to.

When you implement multiple techniques and several different direct mail campaigns, you will have more opportunities than you’ll be able to handle and the possibilities become almost endless. Using direct mail to develop a “cookie cutter” system to accomplish this is one of the most affordable, reliable, and effective ways I know to build your lead base quickly and have all the business you will ever need.

Be sure and visit my website at for all the information you need on developing highly effective direct mail campaigns and finding all the list brokers you need to increase the number of leads coming into your real estate business. I have done all the work for you and can provide you with all the tools you need to be successful using direct mail in your business.

Kathy KennebrookKathy Kennebrook is a speaker, author and has been actively investing in real estate since 1999, Kathy currently resides in Bradenton, FL and is known as the “Marketing Magic Lady” because she is the country’s leading real estate marketing expert on finding motivated sellers using direct mail.

Contact Kathy Kennebrook


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