Bypassing Realtors to Reach Florida Homeowners


Project Overview: Graphic Design, Printing, Real Property Data & Statistical Analysis, Bulk Mail

Location: Sarasota, FL

Industry: Real Estate, Private Individual

Website: N/A

If you are looking to buy a home in a hot area – such as on the Florida Keys (think Siesta Key, Longboat Key or Lido Key in Sarasota, or, even Key West) – and you don’t want to use realtors in Sarasota, Tampa or Venice – here is a tactic that we have deployed around the United States to reach homeowners directly, circumventing real estate agents and agencies. The approach here started with our sourcing real property data for Sarasota County and then building an SQL database so that we could build a framework to model potential homeowners for the client to approach. Without giving away too many specifics, the general profile included factors such as a $1,000,000 assessment value, number of square feet, most recent sale date as well as owner-occupant details.

Then, we created an unusual non-business envelope for a personalized outreach; here, we selected a # 6 ¾ regular envelope with B/W return address and a red “faux meter” [link:] permit that would mimic the style of a Pitney Bowes meter slug, hoping not to tip off the recipient that this was an automation bulk mailing. Further, for addressing, we used expanded addresses and not the USPS-recommended abbreviated addresses, again enhancing the personalized initiative. The inside of the envelope had a simple size-appropriate card, mildly personalized with reference to the property. There were several versions here, but the general sense was “we’d like to talk to you about buying your home if you’re ready to talk”. A little blue sea turtle also helped make this seem non-commercial and friendly. About 1,500 to 2,000 cards were sent and the responses were swift. Interestingly, many people truly believed that this was a personalized letter and not a mass mailing (it always helps when your direct mail campaign achieves one of its objectives). Since people were encouraged to call or email, there was no website, which made sense given the project objectives. Some realtors reached out, and were not impressed; and, of course they weren’t – we were going around them, but since the homeowners gave them the cards, they figured they’d talk to the senders directly as well. Many of these residential homeowners said they’d like to talk, but not right now, so this is an approach which certainly does well with patience. The client did buy a home, but ultimately in Boca Raton, FL, where something landed in his lap, too good to pass up.