In today’s digital marketplace, it’s easy to overlook the power of print marketing. Direct mailers, like real estate postcards, are extremely 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 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 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 biggest farm areas. That’s the power of a strong postcard campaign.
Not sure exactly what to send and when? I’ve compiled 20 of my favorite real estate postcard examples and explained why they work, when to send them, and where to find the best templates. And once you’re ready to deploy your stellar mailing campaign, you’ll want to check out our top eight real estate postcard providers for 2023.
20 Real Estate Postcards That Actually Work
Let’s take a look at 20 different kinds of postcards to better understand how they create conversations, generate leads, and, ultimately, get you to the closing table more often.
- Handwritten Post-sale Note
- Just Listed Real Estate Postcard
- Just Sold Real Estate Postcard
- Expired Listing Real Estate Postcard
- FSBO Real Estate Postcard
- Free Home Valuation Real Estate Postcard
- Stalled Funnel Real Estate Postcards
- Homeowner Tip Postcard
- Open House Real Estate Postcard
- Meet Your Agent Real Estate Postcard
- Real Estate Postcard for Rental Communities
- Fence-sitting Buyer Real Estate Postcard
- Farming Real Estate Postcard
- Holiday Real Estate Postcard
- Special Event Real Estate Postcard
- Recipe Postcard
- Market Update Postcard
Pro tip: For active real estate agents, efficiency is a huge asset. We recommend batching 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. For example, if you have a listing that’s about to go on the market, create three campaigns. Start by creating a “coming soon” postcard to go out in the farm area surrounding your new listing. Then create and schedule a “just listed” postcard to send out once it goes live. Finally, create a “just sold” postcard that will be ready to go after your listing goes under contract. You’ll save yourself so much stress by having them done when you’re ready.
Real Estate Postcards That Generate Seller Leads & Listings
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. Handwritten Post-sale Notes
While technically not a postcard, there is nothing as meaningful as a handwritten note. They’re extremely 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 incredibly 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 and message type, along with any 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 easily.
You can use this technology to send handwritten notes to every neighbor as soon as you sell a property to generate interest from nearby would-be sellers. Check out Addressable to see how an elegant, traditional, “handwritten” note can help you build your business fast.
2. Just Listed Real Estate Postcards
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 very 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 (marketing to homes surrounding your existing listings and past sales) 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 on each communication.
How Circle Prospecting Got One Tampa Realtor 200 Leads in ONE DAY
3. Just Sold Real Estate Postcards
Every time you sell 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—let them know you’ve hit it out of the park and can do the same for them. Again, consistency is key. 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 farms.
How to Get Listings in Any Market (Without Spending a Fortune)
4. Expired Listing Real Estate Postcards
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 do recommend sending out these postcards to homeowners as soon as their listings expire, that’s not your only opportunity to capitalize on this postcard style. You can also reach out to the owners whose listings expired six, nine, or even 12 months ago. They may feel like revisiting the idea of selling if their home never sold. And you could be the agent who swoops in and helps them with that decision.
The 26 Best Expired Listing Scripts + Objection Handlers
5. FSBO Real Estate Postcards
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 sell it. 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 FSBOs is easy. It takes skill and patience. But if you take the time to learn some strategies, FSBOs can become a rich source of listings.
In this situation, I’ve found it extremely fruitful to simply offer value. Most FSBOs opt to DIY their home sale in order to save money by not paying the Realtor 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.
The 9 Best FSBO Scripts (+ Why They Work)
6. Free Home Valuation Real Estate Postcards
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.
How to Do a Comparative Market Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide
7. Stalled Funnel Real Estate Postcards
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.
8. Homeowner Tip Postcards
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 homeowners) who will appreciate the 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 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.
9. Open House Real Estate Postcards
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 boost your attendance.
Open houses are an effective and cost-efficient way of generating seller leads too. More than half (56%) of your seller clients will want to host one, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2022. Plus, your sellers get to 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.
27 Open House Ideas That Will Actually Get You Leads in 2023
10. Meet Your Agent Real Estate Postcards
For agents who are new to an area or company, getting the word out about their 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 neighborhood farm campaign.
Pro tip: Bonus points for using a QR code that feeds directly to a lead-capturing landing page with a valuable homebuying checklist. QR codes make it easy for your audience to learn more about you and provide their contact information. 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 a Canva account, you can use a free QR code generator and export it to your design.
11. Real Estate Postcards for Rental Communities
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. Let’s say you want to farm an apartment complex where the average rent is $1,200 per month. A mortgage calculator can determine the purchase price range that correlates to their monthly 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.
12. Fence-sitting Buyer Real Estate Postcards
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-sitting 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. Remind them why paying someone else’s mortgage is not as appealing as paying down their own.
Get More Real Estate Buyer Leads Using These 12 Proven Strategies
Postcards for Farming
Staying in touch with your geographic farm keeps you in the minds of the homeowners in your area. You want to 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.
13. Farming Real Estate Postcards
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.
Real Estate Farming: How to Become the Go-to Agent in Your Neighborhood in 2023
14. Holiday Real Estate Postcards
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 and cards at the end of the year during the busy holiday season. If you want to stand out with your postcards and get a bigger bang for your buck, 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, and send out something fun. Find holidays that mean something to you or your clients or that fit your personality.
15. Special Event Real Estate Postcards
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 create something that will 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.
19 Real Estate Magnet Calendars to Promote Your Business Year-round
16. Recipe Postcards
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. We can picture your grandmother’s favorite pancake recipe on the fridge of every potential buyer, seller, and former client in your farm area.
17. Market Update Postcards
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 National Association of Realtors annual report says the typical Realtor earned 20% 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 you top of mind.
18. Personal Sphere Real Estate Postcards
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.
7 Tips for Building Your Sphere of Influence in Real Estate (+ Script)
19. Referral Appreciation Real Estate Postcards
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: Don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you message or gift when you do get those referrals. We like the above mailer that says, “Coffee is on me today!”
7 Savvy Ways to Generate More Real Estate Referrals
20. Home Purchase Anniversary Real Estate Postcards
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 (CRM) 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.
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 Provider||Best For||Offers 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|
|Addressable||Campaigns that require a personalized, handwritten touch with a scalable system|
|LCA Marketing Center||Agents looking to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that includes postcards|
|PostcardMania||Agents who want to try before they buy with free samples delivered straight to their mailboxes|
|Canva||Agents who crave absolute creative control to customize postcards and more|
|Etsy||Those seeking trendy designs in ready-made, customizable templates (often via Canva) created by independent sellers|
|Corefact||Agents who want a real estate-specific company that provides integrated social media campaigns to complement their postcard marketing|
|Coffee & Contracts||Trendy designs with ready-made, customizable templates in Canva to match your overall digital and mailer branding|
Real Estate Postcard Marketing FAQs
Now that you have your real estate postcard inspiration and our favorite providers, we want to answer all of your postcard marketing questions.
Who do I send my postcards to?
Your database is everything. The more specialized and engaged your audience is, the better conversion, interaction, and, ultimately, success you’ll have with your postcards.
The best lists are cultivated organically, so don’t feel like you have to send a postcard to everyone you’ve ever met or even everyone within a certain ZIP code. Designing, printing, and mailing postcards isn’t cheap, so build your list strategically over time.
When I first got my license, I didn’t know many people in my area. I started my database by building a following on YouTube creating videos that targeted my niche audience. Once I added a farm, my database really began to take off. So, even if your sphere of influence is nonexistent, you can still start growing your database by building it yourself.
What information do I put on my real estate postcard?
The top priority is your contact information: at a minimum, your name and phone number. Many states have specific requirements for what must appear on postcards, such as a return address for unsolicited mail pieces, and in the case of real estate-related marketing, brokerage information, location, and license numbers. Be sure to double-check the legal requirements in your state and your association before sending your postcards so you can avoid legal headaches.
What is a CTA on a real estate postcard?
A call to action (CTA) describes what you want the audience of your mailer to do after they read your message. Encourage the recipient to take an action, whether it’s to give you a call to discuss home prices, put the football game schedule on the fridge, or remember you’d appreciate their referrals. It doesn’t have to be complicated, so don’t overthink it.
What design elements are important on a real estate postcard?
First and foremost: a compelling headline that stops your reader in their tracks. Couple your eye-catching headline with big, bold imagery. Postcards are a visual medium, and even if your message is delivered in the text, you need to catch your recipient’s eye as they open the mailbox. You only have seconds, so make your design count!
Should I include a headshot on my postcards?
Yes, we recommend including a recent headshot. That way you leave no doubt who is behind the message that your audience is enjoying. Plus, it helps establish a relationship with your audience. Make sure to smile in your headshot—smiles generate positive feelings!
How much does it cost to send postcards?
If you use a design program like Canva or you’ve purchased a template from Etsy, you can print your postcards with a vendor like VistaPrint, where pricing (depending on paper quality, thickness, and quantity) can be as low as 8 cents per postcard. Then you’ll need to calculate postage; postcard stamps are currently 48 cents a pop.
If you use a full-service provider, like ProspectsPLUS!, the pricing is higher, but they do all of the printing and mailing for you, and can even send out multiple mailers for a marketing drip campaign. With ProspectsPLUS!, standard postcards mailed first class cost between 74 cents and 96 cents per card.
You might even consider looking into a service like Every Door Direct Mail that works directly with the United States Postal Service to deliver your postcards to a targeted area. You can design your own postcards and upload them or use their design templates to create and ship from inside the platform.
What about the NAR disclaimer?
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Code of Ethics prohibits the solicitation of business from buyers or sellers already exclusively represented by a Realtor. You may inadvertently mail postcards to addresses that are currently on the market or to buyers who are already represented by an agent. To avoid the headaches of potential ethics complaints, include the following somewhere on your postcard (we suggest in very fine print):
If your property is currently listed with a Realtor and/or you are currently represented exclusively as a buyer by a Realtor, please disregard this notice. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other brokers.
Bringing It All Together
Real estate postcards are powerful tools for marketing, brand development, and lead generation. 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? Leave us a comment below!