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MAhome Reaches More Clients Thanks to Direct Mail

Meet Ed Daniels, who runs the realty business MAhome in Holliston, MA, with his wife. Ed is driven by connecting clients to homes that are right for them, and his business is driven by direct mail. Learn how he uses direct mail marketing to get the right message in front of the right people.

What was the inspiration behind starting MAhome?

My wife, Doriane, and I are a real estate team with Realty Executives, a franchise that has an umbrella over a bunch of self-employed agents. This is my 14th year. My drive to get into real estate was really the benefit of owning and having a house-flipping business beforehand. After seeing the rewards of flipping houses, I thought I had a great foundation to teach others the importance of owning a home.

I loved taking a house and making it a home for my clients. I wanted to take people to the next level and felt I had the right expertise to do so. I also felt that in a tough economy people needed to take advantage of the mortgage interest rates and make their dreams a reality.

How do you get the word out about your business?

We currently use Internet marketing, direct mail and private events. We are also involved in community groups, which help us build relationships and networks. Once we create those relationships, our direct mail and email marketing helps to make them stronger. It helps us gain trust and turn a personal relationship into a professional relationship.

We started using direct mail to focus on segmentation and marketing to the right people. We wanted to make sure we instilled a very cost effective way to relay the correct, professional message.

We found one amazing resource that has helped us tremendously: The U.S. Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program, which helps small businesses enjoy local, specific mail routes that help to disperse select direct mail campaigns into the hands of customers.

How do you define success for your direct mail campaigns?

Defining success can be difficult in direct mail. The best measurement is getting a comment or feedback from the people who receive the mailing. People will say they heard about events and are excited to attend. We also use response rates that correlate to events and pieces of direct mail. It helps to know how they heard about us to make sure we are up-to-date on the best calls to action for our customers’ needs.

Have you had any challenges or issues using direct mail?

Trying to stay consistent, being a jack of all trades, and making sure all tasks get completed in a timely manner are some of the minor issues we’ve encountered. Because we’re small, we have to make sure to cover all the bases on our own while maintaining relevancy. The economy has pushed us to really look at the consistency and make sure to improve with each year. Our main goal is to have a message that truly speaks to our company’s brand.  

What have been the biggest benefits of using direct mail for your small business?

The greatest benefit has been the connection to the consumer. We hope that when they think of buying or selling a home, they think of Ed and Doriane Daniels. Because we are so connected on a personal level to the community, we feel the direct mail allows the personal connection to translate into a professional connection.

What advice would you give to another business that wants to begin using direct mail?

Commit to consistency. It’s a waste of energy if you don’t touch base with the person multiple times. You need to make sure you adhere to giving your customer all of your focus. Being in the local real estate community, we must make sure to stay relevant to our target audience.

Also, I think if you have passion for your business, you can make it come out in all that you do. Don't get bogged down in messaging, just always have a strong message in what you promote, and promote with passion.

How has Staples helped you to make more happen?  

I run a Community Day for our town with need for signage and banners. The process with the design and print center was easy and low cost, which was required for the job. The reliability of the store to have ink and folder supplies I use often make it a reliable and convenient source for my business.

Have you ever found anything "unexpected" at Staples that you never knew we carried? 

I just came across the Teacher Rewards program, which I brought to the attention of my children’s teachers. Adding value locally is always good for my business.

What is the one "must have item" from Staples that you can't live without? 

I cannot live without a particular presentation folder I use for my Listing Presentations. I leave this with the client for review. I also use certain ink continuously.

How does your business make more happen? We want to know! Share your story with us in the Comments section below, and we might contact you for a future article.

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