In a world obsessed with artificial intelligence and social media, you might be tempted to discount print marketing. But direct mailers, like real estate postcards, are incredibly effective at branding and lead generation. 

Don’t believe me? I became a listing machine when I used one of my very first listings in a neighborhood as a catalyst for a massive print marketing campaign. I was able to generate several additional listings from the postcards I continued to send to this same neighborhood. 

I sent out a mixtape of the postcards you see in this article over the course of a year. The homeowners in this neighborhood had no choice but to see my face more than 12 times that year, and it became one of my most lucrative marketing campaigns ever. That’s the power of a strong postcard campaign.

I’m also including a guide to help you with your own postcard design so you’ll be able to hit the ground running with your campaign when you’re ready to get started.

Download Your Real Estate Postcard Design Guide

Not sure exactly what to send and when? In this article, I’ll show you the types of postcards I sent out in that print marketing blast that kick-started my business (plus about a dozen others I’ve used in my career) and explain why they work, when to send them, and where to find the best templates. When you’re ready to deploy your stellar mailing campaign, you’ll want to check out my top eight real estate postcard providers for 2023

So let’s look at 23 different kinds of postcards to understand better how they create conversations, generate leads, and, ultimately, get you to the closing table more often.

Real Estate Postcards That Generate Seller Leads

Listings are the heart of any real estate business. Generating a steady stream of them is crucial to building a solid business, and using postcards as part of your marketing mix will help—not to mention postcards are a pretty cost-effective way to show off your neighborhood prowess. Here are some great postcard template ideas to generate those coveted listings.

1. Just-listed Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating seller leads (along with buyer leads for your subject property)
  • When to send: Every time you set a new listing live

The just-listed postcard is a favorite for two reasons: It alerts buyers that there is a new property on the market and it lets the neighbors know that you, the local area real estate rock star, are great at promoting your clients’ homes. This postcard is a key component of any listing agent’s print strategy. 

Trust me when I tell you just-listed postcards definitely help establish your dominance in a territory. When I got my first listing, I made sure to send out a slew of just-listed postcards to establish the neighborhood as part of my farming community. That one postcard started my takeover of the neighborhood! Using other postcards in this section in conjunction with that first just-listed postcard helped establish me as the neighborhood expert.

📌   Pro Tip

Circle prospecting is a great place to use just-listed postcards. This technique gets more efficient over time, but only if you are consistent. The more neighbors hear about your success, the higher your return rate will be.

Related Article
How Circle Prospecting Got One Tampa Realtor 200 Leads in ONE DAY

2. Just-sold Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating new seller leads from the surrounding area
  • When to send: Every time you close on a property

Every time you close on a property, get the word out with a postcard that shares your impressive track record of success with the whole neighborhood. Everyone’s already seen your sign in the yard and should have seen your just-listed postcard—let them know you’ve hit it out of the park and can do the same for them. Again, consistency is vital. The more you advertise your accomplishments, the better your return on your postcard investment.

I always try to get as much mileage out of my listings and closed deals as possible. I send out just-sold postcards to my farm areas, past clients, and new potential farm areas.

📌   Pro Tip

Batch your mailers to avoid a drop in your services. Create a plan of action, set up all of your mailers at one time, then schedule them to go out when you need them to.

Related Article
How to Get Listings in Any Market (Without Spending a Fortune)

3. Expired Listing Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating new seller leads from expired listings
  • When to send: Immediately, every time a listing in your farming area expires

Expired listings are valuable leads if you know how to convert them. It’s crucial to have both the right message and timing. There are a few different strategies you can choose. For example, you can address the seller’s pain points with empathy and gently offer professional assistance. Or you can pose a guarantee to sell in 60 days. Choose the strategy that fits you best. But get those cards out as soon as a listing expires, and you’ll be top of mind when sellers are deciding next steps.

📌   Pro Tip

While I recommend sending out these postcards as soon as listings expire, that’s not your only opportunity to capitalize on them. Reach out to the owners whose listings expired six, nine, or even 12 months ago. They may feel like revisiting the idea of selling. And you could be the agent who swoops in and helps them with that decision.

Related Article
The 26 Best Expired Listing Scripts + Objection Handlers

4. FSBO Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Turning FSBOs into clients
  • When to send: Whenever you see a listing that’s being sold by its owner

A homeowner in your target area has held up their hand and announced to the world that they want to sell their house, but they’ve chosen to venture forward without the assistance of an agent. It’s up to you to show them that you’re the perfect person to help. A postcard is an ideal way to get your foot in the door.

Your postcard should focus on what you can do to eliminate the challenges of selling a home. Identify some common obstacles, but don’t dwell on them. Instead, focus on your solutions, and then follow your postcard up with a solid phone conversation or drop by to close the deal.

I won’t lie and tell you that converting a for sale by owner (FSBO) is easy. It takes skill and patience. But if you take the time to learn some strategies and offer value, FSBOs can become a rich source of listings. 

Most FSBOs opt to DIY their home sale in order to save money by not paying your commission. I offered tips and advice on how to sell their home, invariably showing them the amount of work involved. It didn’t work every time, but I succeeded often enough for FSBOs to become one of my main streams of leads.

Related Article
The 10 Best FSBO Scripts (+ Why They Work)

5. Free Home Valuation Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating new seller leads
  • When to send: Once before the busy selling season, and then again as it wraps up

Most property owners are curious about exactly how much their home is worth. As an expert real estate professional, you can tell them. Creating a postcard that details your offer of a free, no-obligation market analysis is a strategy that’s almost guaranteed to get responses, particularly in a rapidly changing market.

📌   Pro Tip

Try this postcard when dipping your toe into new potential farm areas. Find a neighborhood that has been hot in recent months, and customize the message just for them. Even if you haven’t sold a home in the specific neighborhood, you can still send them a market update and become the local expert.

Related Article
How to Do a Comparative Market Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide

6. Stalled Funnel Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating new seller leads
  • When to send: Up to once a quarter

We’ve all had prospects who hang out in our lead funnel for months—people who just can’t seem to pull the trigger. Delivering a postcard message of encouragement to soon-to-be sellers can be very effective. If you want to maximize your return on investment, be sure your message reflects your market and lead category. Make your postcard recipients feel like the market isn’t just good—it’s good for them. It never hurts to instill a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) in your potential sellers.

7. Homeowner Tip Postcards

  • Best for: Establishing yourself as the homeownership expert
  • When to send: Once a quarter or monthly

You helped them buy the house—why not help them get the most out of owning it? There are plenty of first-time homeowners (and even seasoned ones) who will appreciate advice and seasonal maintenance reminders. This format also underscores your specialized knowledge of the local housing inventory. Just be sure you keep your tone light and professional, rather than preachy. And make sure the tips you include are tailored for the types of homes and climate of your local area, especially if you’re using a template.

Real Estate Postcards That Generate Buyer Leads

A lot of seasoned agents shy away from working with buyers, but that’s a huge mistake. Most listings come from your own past clients, i.e., buyers. And house hunters are great to work with. You’ll spend time educating them on the homebuying process, showing them homes, and building solid relationships that you’ll be able to nurture for years to come. These types of real estate postcards will help you find and convert buyer leads.

8. Open House Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Inviting the neighbors and prospective buyers to your events
  • When to send: A week before every open house

Boosting attendance at your open house with direct mail pays tons of dividends. You’ll collect a treasure trove of buyer leads from the attendees, and you get to show the neighborhood and your sphere of influence that you’re active in the market. Sending an invitation to attend an open house via postcard is a great way to broadcast your professionalism and bring more people in the door.

Open houses are an effective and cost-efficient way of generating seller leads too. And honestly, many of your seller clients will want to host one. Plus, your sellers will see your commitment to exposing their property to as many people as possible, making you look like the rock star you are. 

When I used open house postcards alongside the just-listed and just-sold postcards, my farm areas received a lot of communication. This made me look like a rock star agent in the area (which, of course, I was) and continuously reinforced the idea that I was the neighborhood expert, keeping me top of mind. I got tons of calls from my farm when I practiced this consistently.

Related Article
33 Open House Ideas That Will Actually Get You Leads

9. Meet Your Agent Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Letting the area know about your services
  • When to send: Within your first year at a new office

If you’re new to an area or company, getting the word out about your business is critical, and postcards can help. Be cheerful and optimistic in the copy. Make sure to mention what sets you apart from the competition and why that’s important to your community.

It may be tempting to pepper the entire city with new-agent postcards, but for this type of campaign, a bigger mailing list isn’t always better. The most receptive audience will be people who already know who you are. This is a great first point of contact in your new real estate farm campaign. I sent these postcards out to my personal contacts and my neighborhood. I ended up getting a few listings that were on my street. Talk about convenient!

📌   Pro Tip

Bonus points for using a QR code that feeds directly to a lead-capturing landing page with a valuable homebuying checklist. Canva recently added this as a feature in their Pro account so you can create a QR code for your website, a new listing, or a personal bio in minutes. If you don’t have Canva Pro, you can use a free QR code generator and export it to your design.

10. Real Estate Postcards for Rental Communities

  • Best for: Turning renters into buyer leads
  • When to send: Up to once a quarter

Many agents overlook renters in their farm areas, but they shouldn’t. Rental communities are full of potential first-time homebuyers, so targeted marketing can offer a serious return on investment.

I like to send these out while also scheduling a homebuyer’s workshop. They help advertise the workshop and lay out why homeownership may save money over renting. It serves up a one-two punch on the power of equity.

📌   Pro Tip

You’ll get a much better response rate when you tailor your message to the community. Targeting a complex where the average rent is $1,200 per month? A mortgage calculator can determine the purchase price range that correlates to their rent payment. Renters in luxury complexes or artsy communities might be more drawn to a message about the freedom to customize their living spaces.

Looking for more info on how to crush rental community prospecting? Check out our video below on how to effectively convert these leads.

11. Fence-sitting Buyer Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Moving buyer leads down the funnel
  • When to send: Up to once a quarter

When a homebuyer doesn’t feel any urgency in their decision-making process, it’s easy for them to fall out of your lead funnel. Obviously, you never want clients to feel rushed into a decision they aren’t ready for, but sometimes a message that creates a sense of urgency reminds them of what they really want.

How do you know if you’ve got a fence-sitter on your list? These postcards are perfect for any prospect who is getting slower at returning calls and texts, who decided not to stop by that open house, or who is considering signing another year-long lease.

Related Article
12 Strategies to Get More Buyer Leads in Real Estate

Postcards for Farming

Staying in touch with your geographic farm keeps you on the minds of prospects in your area. Keep contacting everyone in your locale so they know you’re the agent who knows the area best. It takes an average of eight touches before a buyer or seller decides to hire you. 

Farming is one of the many ways agents can stand out as the go-to pro in their designated territory. Using multiple touchpoints can drive potential clients to that decision-making point. Consistency and relevance are the keys to winning at farming. Postcards will help you do that as an integral part of a targeted, multi-channel marketing strategy.

12. Farming Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Establishing yourself as the go-to agent for a particular area
  • When to send: Every 45 to 60 days

Part of working a real estate farm area is showing that you’re active in the community and care about its long-term growth. You should limit this type of mailing to a small area because the point is to remind your neighbors that you’re a local with a vested interest in the value and potential of the community. 

Farming postcards can also prompt potential clients to consider what their home is worth—a sure-fire way to generate conversations with potential sellers.

Related Article
Real Estate Farming: How to Become the Go-to Agent in Your Neighborhood in 2024

13. Holiday Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating new buyer and seller leads
  • When to send: Special occasions, up to once a quarter

Special occasions are excellent opportunities to connect with your entire sphere. Major holidays are ideal, but don’t forget important but overlooked milestones like back-to-school week, Independence Day, and birthdays. 

Do your best to time the delivery of mail for maximum effectiveness. A daylight savings reminder won’t do much good if it arrives two weeks early and certainly won’t work if it arrives late. Make your message positive and concise, and maybe even include an invitation to connect over coffee.

📌   Pro Tip

Everyone sends out postcards at the end of the year during the busy holiday season. If you want to stand out, choose a holiday that no one else is recognizing. I like to use National Day Calendar to scope out fun days to recognize, like National Burrito Day. Find holidays that mean something to your clients or that fit your personality.

14. Special Event Real Estate Postcards

Special event postcard template from ProspectsPLUS!
Find this special event postcard template at ProspectsPLUS!
  • Best for: Snagging a spot on prospects’ bulletin boards
  • When to send: Once or twice a year

Take advantage of major local events and create a calendar of can’t-miss happenings. Sports team schedules, concerts, local festivals, and even school calendars can become permanent fridge additions. Just be sure your name, contact information, and a call to action are prominently displayed.

Special event postcards are effective because consistency breeds effectiveness. If someone gets the football schedule from you every year, they’ll look forward to it and make it a fixture in their kitchen. Just make sure you pick a theme that is timely, reflects your personal brand, and appeals to your local audience.

📌   Pro Tip

If you really want to get a lot of mileage, turn these into magnets that can live on the fridge indefinitely. Every year agents in my brokerage create either school closing days or high school football calendars (depending on the agent) and send them out to their databases.

Related Article
19 Real Estate Magnet Calendars to Promote Your Business Year-round

15. Recipe Postcards

  • Best for: Keeping you top of mind in your farm
  • When to send: Once a quarter or monthly

Sending out favorite recipes is a tried-and-true way of staying top of mind and providing a thoughtful service. Select a recipe that’s personal to you and appropriate for the season, and we bet this will be a mailer that your audience looks forward to receiving. 

I spent three years living in Germany, where I learned about glühwein, a hot mulled wine drink served during the holidays. I sent out postcards with the recipe to my sphere, farm, and all my past clients who told me they saved that postcard long after the holidays were over. I still get comments from people several years later.

16. Market Update Postcards

  • Best for: Finding seller leads and generating new listings in your farm area
  • When to send: As often as monthly, but no less than quarterly

With the real estate market rollercoaster of 2023, many people in your farm area will appreciate a regular market update. Send out one of these elegant and insightful postcards as often as once per month to stay top of mind as well as establish your expertise in your geographic farm area. You’ll be the first agent homeowners will think of when they decide to list their home for sale.

Postcards That Generate Referrals

The heart of every real estate business is referrals. The 2023 National Association of Realtors’ annual report says the typical Realtor earned 24% of their business from referrals. That’s a huge chunk. So, once you begin to build those relationships, it’s crucial that you continue to cultivate them to generate new referrals. It takes a while to establish your referral-based business, so the time to start is today. 

Postcards are a cost-effective and powerful way to stay in touch with your sphere of influence, your past clients, and your family of favorite vendors to keep those referrals coming and keep yourself top of mind.

17. Personal Sphere Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating buyer and seller leads
  • When to send: Twice a year

When you’re an active agent, your sphere knows that they’re going to hear from you. Whether it’s text messages, phone calls, email, or lively conversation at the local watering hole, the longer you do this job, the more your social circle comes to expect it from you.

Do the unexpected and include them in your postcard mailing. Your messaging can be a little lighter and more familiar, but make sure it’s designed to keep you top of mind for referrals.

Related Article
8 Tips for Building Your Sphere of Influence in Real Estate (+ Script)

18. Referral Appreciation Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Generating new leads
  • When to send: Once or twice a year

The buyers and sellers you’ve worked with can be your greatest marketing asset. Leverage those relationships with a postcard that actively solicits referrals. Then follow up with a phone call 24 hours after the postcard has been received. Keep your messaging gracious and thoughtful, and your past clients are sure to step up and refer others to you when it counts.

📌   Pro Tip

And when you do get those referrals, don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you message or gift. I like the above mailer that says, “Coffee is on me today!”

Related Article
7 Savvy Ways to Generate More Real Estate Referrals

19. Home Purchase Anniversary Real Estate Postcards

  • Best for: Reminding your former clients how great you were to work with!
  • When to send: Once a year, on the closing day anniversary

Keeping in touch with happy clients is the best way to stay top of mind when they, or people they know, are in need of a real estate pro. Create a calendar or set up your customer relationship manager to track every closing you’ve participated in so you can use the anniversaries as a chance to send a postcard with a short, handwritten note. You can do this for the next five years to keep generating referrals from each transaction you helped close.

Other Real Estate Postcards to Consider

20. Investor Postcards

  • Best for: Finding new investor clients you can add to your database
  • When to send: Every 45 to 60 days

Today’s market is much different than it was 20 to 30 years ago. More and more people are getting into real estate investing, both long-term and short-term, and they need your help. Send out postcards in your area announcing that you’re ready to help them through the process. Once you help with that first property, they’ll likely keep coming back over and over again.

21. Lifestyle Postcards

  • Best for: Focusing on your lifestyle niche
  • When to send: Once per quarter, especially around specific times of the year (New Year’s, end of the school year, in the fall, etc.)

Big changes happen at specific points in prospects’ lives, like when the last child moves out of the house or they reach retirement age. That’s when they re-evaluate their homeownership status and options for change. Hit these potential movers with some lifestyle options they may have yet to consider. If you specialize in working with empty nesters or certain lifestyles, target them with postcards highlighting specific benefits to encourage them to finally make the move.

22. Recruiting Postcards

  • Best for: Building a team or expanding your brokerage
  • When to send: If you’re ready to scale your brokerage or team, send these as often as once per quarter

To build a successful business that doesn’t rely on you constantly having to do all of the work, building a team or expanding your brokerage ranks is essential. If you’re ready to start scaling your business, it’s time to start recruiting real estate agents. Choose a mix of new and experienced agents to target with postcards tailored to each group.

23. Handwritten Notecards

Find this handwritten note postcard template at Addressable
  • Best for: Generating seller leads and referrals
  • When to send: Every time you sell a property

While technically not a postcard, there is nothing as meaningful as a handwritten note. They’re incredibly effective at getting attention after a closed sale. I have sent tons of handwritten notes to vendors, other agents after a smooth transaction, and, of course, past clients. 

While I do recommend agents take the time to write personalized notes to clients after closing and during other high-touch opportunities, writing out all those handwritten notes for direct mail campaigns would be exceedingly time-consuming.

Addressable solves this problem with technology that recreates a person’s handwriting using an actual ballpoint pen—and tracks the results. And now they’ve leveraged Open AI’s ChatGPT to make your job even simpler. This new technology, called Smart Copy, allows users to input their target audience, message type, and other important facts to customize the message. Smart Copy creates a unique, personalized message for your specific audience. Then, the writing robots create handwritten messages, allowing agents to scale their business effortlessly. You can use this technology to send handwritten notes to every neighbor as soon as you sell a property to generate interest from other would-be sellers in the same neighborhood. Read our unbiased review of real estate marketing companies, or check out Addressable’s site to see how an elegant, traditional, “handwritten” note can help you build your business fast.

Visit Addressable

Top 8 Providers of Real Estate Postcard Templates & Services for 2023

Now that you’ve seen some examples of effective and creative real estate postcard marketing, take a look at our eight favorite providers for 2023. Note that some offer customizable templates and others are full service—everything from the design to the actual mailing.

Real Estate Postcards ProviderBest ForOffers Mailing Services
ProspectsPLUS!Agents seeking a full-service, real estate-specific company with options for just about every postcard type and those looking to create direct mail drip campaigns
AddressableCampaigns that require a personalized, handwritten touch with a scalable system
LCA Marketing CenterAgents looking to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that includes postcards
PostcardManiaAgents who want to try before they buy with free samples delivered straight to their mailboxes
CanvaAgents who crave absolute creative control to customize postcards and more
EtsyThose seeking trendy designs in ready-made, customizable templates (often via Canva) created by independent sellers
CorefactAgents who want a real estate-specific company that provides integrated social media campaigns to complement their postcard marketing
Coffee & ContractsTrendy designs with ready-made, customizable templates in Canva to match your overall digital and mailer branding

Real Estate Postcard Marketing FAQs

I’ve given you some serious real estate postcard inspo and shared my favorite providers. Now let’s tackle your postcard marketing questions.

Bringing It All Together 

Real estate postcards are powerful tools for marketing, brand development, lead generation, and even expanding your business. While you won’t rely solely on postcards, they remain an impactful strategy—especially if you’re purposeful in building your database.

Did we miss any postcard examples that have been successful for you? Any providers that you love? Share them with us in the comments!

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