Does anyone have any success stories of marketing to distressed homeowners?  I would like to do this as economically as possible!  Thanks for your help!

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Bandit Signs for me prior to any housing crisis has always been a negative response. I associate these signs with slimy losers seeking to prey upon others.......or gimmicks.........and scams....

I guess not everyone has that response..... and it appears not all have sinister motives.....interesting
By the way, guys, I've never knocked on a door in my life. Don't think you need to. Bandit signs work. I sold 12.5 Million my 1st year in the business by putting signs up around new construction communities and offering a rebate to buyers (perfectly legal in Florida).

Mailing out postcards works also, however there are LOTS of people doing this so it is very competative.

There are few people putting up signs AS AGENTS in our area. It is common for investors to do it.

For signs, mine would say "Short Sale Specialist Realtor FREE HELP!" Then my office phone (others screen them for me!) and brokerage company name (must to stay legal in Florida). Short and sweet works best. Another way to keep them up is to bring a six or eight foot stepladder and put them up where the "sign police" (people with nothing better to do) don't take them as quickly.

I've literally put out somewhere around 1,500-2,000 18X24 signs over the years. Most were back in the new construction days in '05 and '06.
Ahh, but Mike I don't see those as Bandit Signs. I see Bandit Signs as "Call Me For Foreclosure Help 555-5555". No name. No brokerage. Nothing.

I like what you are doing.

I'm going to have to check on it and see what I can do.

I'm really liking the idea of having a special short sale card.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. Tomorrow, I am going to check into the sign ordinances in my area.(Fayette, Coweta and South Fulton counties in GA) I know there are some restrictions, but not sure of the exact limitations. Mike, I am also going to look into the website you suggested to get distressed homeowner leads. Is there a letter that you use to email? Would it be within the Preferred Partner resources? I'm excited about working for these leads and getting results!
I absolutely love the signs...the problem is the county doesn't lol. I'm going to do what you've suggested and what I've noticed lately: post them several feet off of the ground. I'm big on building relationships, so I can't bring myself to ditch door knocking/neighborhood walking....plus it works for me....better than the signs.
Mike, then what sets you apart is you actually identify who you are as well as your company..........Toby hit the nail on the head with his response.

I know a lot of areas have increased their scrutiny and ban of "signs" as they have become a blight to neighborhoods.
We don't have any postcard templates yet, but its likely something we'll add to the training course soon. It compliments alot of the training that we provide on there.

I'm definitely about doing something different. I'm not a big fan of the "joey buys houses" or "we stop foreclosure" signs either. These types of signs can be put in ANY neighborhood. They WILL likely be against sign ordinances unless put on private property. In many areas in Northeast Florida (my area), they don't really care that much. I've never been fined for them. Another good tip, if they get snatched up, is to put them out Thursday afternoons. The city workers don't work weekends, and typically will NOT pick up signs on Fridays. that way, you can at least keep them up for a three day weekend...
About the mailing: do you really think that mailing to the same homeowner a couple of times works better than being able to mail out to a larger number of homeowners just once but with a good message?
Which method has worked best for you? Multiple mailings to the same homeowners or larger number of homeowners with a good message?
I'm still in the process of getting my "distressed" mailings defined, BUT, I've done quite well with expired listings and I attribute a very large part of that success to multiple mailings to the same prospect as opposed to only one letter. My first year doing expireds I closed $4.2M worth of them and would mail an average of 5 times to each prospect. I received comments from several clients mentioning that part of the reason they went with me was due to my persistence. So few agents mail more than once so its an easy differentiator.
Bill, thanks for the insight. If you mail to the same prospect an average of 5 times, when do you begin mailing to them? Do you have any samples of what you had mailed to your expireds? Are you marketing exclusively to expired short sale listings?
In all honesty, my personal experience is more with signs and internet. I have not done much with mailouts, but I know there are MANY agents on here who have. I know there is a thread on here somewhere (same/similar topic) that has alot of info on mailouts and stuff. Hopefully some of them will join this thread as well...

Quick question, as we could create a few of them pretty easily (and it would be a nice service to add!) - If we DID add custom templates for Short Sale Mailouts / postcards on the preferred partners site, would you guys use them????

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