UPDATE: Best Marketing Letter Ever To Homeowners In Foreclosure!

UPDATE: Best Marketing Letter Ever To Homeowners In Foreclosure!

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  • April 2, 2010

Update May 25, 2015: As you can see above, I wrote this article over 5 years ago. I wonder how many people reading this were even in this business 5 years ago. Here’s the deal. My background is in advertising and marketing. I’ve used a myriad of multi-media techniques to help my clients increase revenue and awareness. If they don’t sell more products, they don’t pay monthly retainer checks.

The reason I bring this up is because I’m not a real estate investor who does marketing. I’m a marketing guy who happens to do some real estate investing. There’s a big difference in that statement.

The former is someone who has a background or desire to make a lot of money in real estate and is trying to find the marketing that will help he or she make the money they desire. The latter on the other hand, me, is someone who knows how to market to consumers, has experience in knowing what consumers want and what gets their attention and uses that knowledge and experience to his advantage to make money in real estate. (and a number of other business endeavors)

This article below is one of over 6,000 articles that I’ve written. I’m re-marketing this piece now because I’ve been getting so many inquiries from people as to why I say the infamous yellow letter used by some investors is bullshit. I’ve NEVER sent out a yellow letter and I never will.

Here’s why. The goal in any marketing campaign is to get noticed. My campaigns are behaviorally designed for the biggest impact. Why send anything…traditional mail, email..or even video, if the intended audience isn’t going to pay attention?

The key in marketing is not to blanket everyone with the same message. Your objective should be to get the right message, in front of the right people, at the right time. Before you read any further, let me reiterate that so that it sinks in!

The key in marketing is not to blanket everyone with the same message. Your objective should be to get the right message, in front of the right people, at the right time.

What you’re going to see below is one such specific marketing piece that performed exceptionally well for me…in 2010!! And it’s still way beyond anything I have seen lately on the forums.

Most investors simply send out the same yellow letter in the same pink or purple envelope that every other investor is sending out. I’m sorry to tell you, that’s not marketing.  I think a smart guy we all know had the more appropriate definition of what that kind of activity is:

insanity in real estate investing

You see, while people in my market send out blanket “I want to buy your house” letters to everyone on some regurgitated list, I’m sending out very specific marketing pieces to very defined markets.

For instance, the marketing piece below is ONLY being sent out to homeowners who have a short sale currently active on the MLS in specific zip codes that I want to target. Think you could find a few of those. If you can find them, do you think your yellow letter campaign has a snowball’s chance in Hell of even being opened?

In addition, I don’t have to send this out more than once. I don’t need any additional frequency or saturation in this marketing campaign. It’s so defined, it resonates strongly with the right people…at the right time…and it has a very compelling message. I give them actionable information that compels them to call me or go to this website. A simple yellow letter pales in comparison. It’s not even close.

So feel free to take a look at the article below. And then feel free to click on the category heading and see more short sale info. Yes, most of it is from a few years ago. I’m taking my time and updating this site as we’re now ramping things up again. There’s a boat load of free content on here that you may find useful. And it’s all free.

As you’ll see, I’ve been at this a long time. Pretty much “been there, done that…and have lots of t-shirts.” I love my real estate investing and I’ll always give you the straight scoop. It pisses off some of the guru types but who cares. They’re just trying to make a quick buck.

I hope you enjoy the article below, and if you do, maybe you’ll want to come back and check out more. Have a great day!

Short Sale marketingRecently we have been using a killer ninja like marketing letter to reach homeowners in foreclosure. When I say this is ninja I mean like uber-ninja. It’s so much of a guerilla marketing tactic that I doubt most real estate investors would dare to use it.

However if you are involved in real estate investing to actually make money, then this is a serious “take no prisoners” approach that will pay off in a BIG way.

 Caution: The use of this letter is not for the meek and timid. Using this letter will piss off so many Realtors that you may have to watch yourself in line at the grocery store!

Seriously…we have had some of the most vile emails and voice mails left by Realtors (you’ll see how fast the Code of Ethics goes out the window) that it would make your head would spin and even the most hardened Teamster blush.

But you know what…I don’t care. I am so tired of calling and emailing Realtors offer after offer and getting their pompous aloof attitude. You’d think that they were actually closing some deals. At least you would think so based upon the pablum they spew when their feathers get riled…and boy does this marketing letter get them riled up.

Now for the good news. We are getting an unbelievable response rate. So great that we can only send out 20 or so letters per week! What would you say if I told you that we get a 30-40% response rate? Yep…we get to speak to 6-8 homeowners per week who want, and have to, sell their home. How do we know they need and have to sell their homes? Because they are already listed! Told ya it was diabolical!

You see we drive the neighborhood we farm or have our network of double agents do a search on the MLS and pull up the homes that are listed as short sales. Then we cross reference that with the foreclosure auction list from the Courthouse and BAM! Instant lead list of Sellers who want and need to sell their homes in a friggin hurry.

What makes it so easy is we give the homeowner the ammunition they need to expose their “Short Sale Expert Comelately” as being inexperienced and we impart a bit of scarcity by letting them know that we know when the bank is taking back their home and tell them they better call us before it’s too late.

I could go into more strategies…but I don’t think I will have to. You real estate investors out there who do this as a business will see the value in this piece. As for you agents who might get ticked off, don’t get mad at the playa…get mad at the game.

If you actually answered your phone and new how to perform comps you probably would close more deals but I don’t have time to hold your hand anymore and in our market, I don’t need you anymore either. So you brought this on yourselves!

Now before the lynch mob comes calling, understand this. For nearly 3 years we have been writing and speaking to Realtors across the country and telling them that they needed to change things up and improve their proficiency. Some listened, most have not, and they just rely on a silly business model of getting as many listings as possible without any regard for actually learning how to increase closing efficiency.

So I think there has been plenty of fair warning. It’s money time and there is just too much opportunity in real estate investing these days. When we can make as much as $10,000.00 on a $30,000.00 house or as much as $100,000.00 on a $400,000.00 house, this is no time to be messing around with the weak or coddling the wicked.

So we’re going to take as many deals away from as many agents as possible, and from our efforts a couple of things will happen. Sellers will avoid foreclosure and some agents will be forced to step up their game or they’re going to starve. Either way we generate huge profits.

If you use this letter you are admonished to tread carefully as undoubtedly some will strike out at you. But when you cash that check for 5 figures on your first deal, you’re not going to care one bit.

So let the games begin!

Short Sale Marketing Letter

here’s a bigger sized version

p.s. there are some really covert ways that you can implement in the utilization of this letter. Do you know how? I’d love to hear how you think that you could use this letter so feel free to leave a comment below.

oh yeah…I almost forgot, we have charged as much as $1,500.00 to develop a marketing piece for our clients. So this one is a real gimme and I hope it helps you make some money out there.  BTWHere is the short sale letter / postcard that some marketing minded agents asked to take a look at for their business campaigns.

Update May 25, 2015: In 2010 when this article was written the average success rate of short sales was indeed less than 25% nationally. As of today (May 25, 2015), that number may have changed nationally as it has here in Broward County, Florida.

Here in Broward, less than 23% actually close. Think there’s still an opportunity to penetrate this market?

About Barry Cunningham

Remember us? was one of the co-hosts of the long-running, truly goundbreaking, and arguably the #1 online radio show about real estate investing. Real Estate Radio USA was on the air 5 times per week before podcasting became cool. But now, we're back as a full multi-media operation and we're aggressively buying houses again! We're back baby!


  • Telly says:

    Hi Barry –
    Excellent post, great debate back and forth…

    Do you have the Real Estate version of the above letter?


  • Hi Telly…it’s coming TODAY!!

  • I just posted the link to the real estate based marketing piece in the post above but in case you missed it… here it is http://www.realestateradiousa.com/files/shortsalepostcard2.pdf

  • Rolando says:

    Hello Barry, I echo Telly’s request above . . . is it possible to post the realtor version of the Ultimate Marketing Letter?

    On the other hand, I’ve never seen anything like this postcard, but then again, I’m sure that’s why it gets a lot of attention and response!

    If possible to post both items as Publisher files, that would be most appreciated. You’ve got my wheels turning to strategize a marketing campaign for my area (SF Bay Area). Good stuff.

  • Hi Rolando…you should see the link in both the article and my previous comment…let me know if you have trouble accessing it.

  • Wayne Malcomb says:

    Love the post card. My grandaughter saw the picture and “said is that you Pa?” I almost peed my pants.

  • Wayne kids will do that to you…I am working on a bunch of free postcards for investors and agents. Trying to figure out how best to deliver the templates so that they can be modified if necessary…might just have to post publisher files so people can use them. Glad you liked it.

  • Jim says:

    I like TOOO. Cant wait to get the templates for the postcard and realtor letter.

  • Hey Jim..the links are above in my comments and in the update section of the post…are you not seeing them?

  • […] the last week I have created quite the stir because of a marketing piece that I released. I had some who loved it and some who hated it, but it was passed all around the […]

  • Rolando says:

    That was a DUH! moment! I found the link up above Barry, thank you for sharing these materials with us. Definitely gonna find a way to implement these, they are way outside the box marketing!

  • No problem Rolando! Check out the Tiger Woods article on the front page…I believe that if you are going to be in as compettitive of a industry as real estate then you have to continually step outside of the proverbial box.

  • Barry. I love that letter. I think I’ll adapt some of that into my expired listings mailer. Not sure why Eric thinks you could be in legal trouble for soliciting active listings. You’re not a REALTOR(R) and therefore can solicit anybody you want. This is also an area that our CoE is dead wrong in my opinion. We too should be able to solicit active listings directly. Of course I know I can by doing the old “neighborhood mailer” but I think it would be so much better if I could just pull up all the active listings and solicit them. That would save me a lot of peripheral postage.

    Love the Tiger Woods Nike ad. That’s what brought me here.

  • Hey BB..thanks for stopping by. Eric got his panties all in a bunch because he thought we would be pilfering commissions. I told him over and over again that we didn’t care if the agent got paid but he wouldn’t listen.

    Hey I feel if people like you who know what they’re doing and are agressively helping homeowners out of their plight then you indeed should be able to market as you fell. If someone is visiting a certain Doctor, they are always able to get a 2nd opinion. It’s ludicrous that a homeowner is locked in. I know if I had a short sale up in Orange county or Poinciana who I’d call!

    As for the Tiger ad…I just love how Nike again went outside of the box. If agents created stuff like that they would own their marketplace.

    Keep it real BB!

  • […] couple of weeks ago I created somewhat of a stir by publishing what I believe to be the best marketing letter ever to homeowners in foreclosure. We heard from all kinds of people. Realtors and Investors who voiced their opinions on the […]

  • Ed Petrie says:

    Hey Barry!

    Hope all is still rocking and rolling! Could you do me a solid and email me a copy of the homeowners in foreclosure letter? I would very much appreciate.

    Thanks soul brotha!

    Fast Eddie

  • Richie M says:

    Hey Barry,
    Can i get a copy of the realtor version?

  • naleen says:


    Can you pls. email me a copy of your “Homeowners in foreclosure” letter

    Thank you.

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