Getting Started with Real Estate Email Marketing

Many of our new real estate agents are intimidated by the thought of real estate email marketing. They have a lot of questions and concerns.

  • What do I email about?
  • Where do I get my list of email addresses?
  • How many/how often should I send?
  • Should I promote my listings
  • And many more questions.

So we thought we would put together a list of things to help our agents get their real estate email marketing program going. Below are tips, advice, terms and definitions to help you understand real estate email marketing and get the most out of it.

Real Estate Marketing Emails You Should Send to Real Estate Leads

Introduction: This real estate marketing email assumes that you have already interacted with the prospect in some way (they signed up via your website, you met them somewhere, etc…) and that you are just expanding on the prior interaction with a little more information relevant to them. be careful not to overwhelm the prospect with information but also provide enough for them to want to contact them. Highlight the value of what you can do for them.

Valuable Real Estate Content Email: This is your traditional real estate marketing email. It is usually home oriented, seasonal or market related. It provides the potential real estate seller or buyer with some piece of information that is valuable. This is usually sent in a monthly real estate drip email campaign. The objective with this type of email is to impart valuable knowledge on a regular basis, establishing yourself as the go to real estate resource in the area.

After Transaction Email: On the surface this doesn’t appear to be a real estate marketing email but it is probably one of the more important emails you will send. This email provides the buyer or seller with a chance to provide feedback, testimonial and a referral while showing them that they are still important to you even though there is no money on the table. It also increases the chance of the buyer or seller becoming a repeat customer.

CMA Email: Usually this email is your first opportunity to interact with the prospective seller. The most important thing here is to make sure that you provide the answers they are looking for. Don’t tell them you will call them with the answers, don’t make it hard to understand, be clear, be concise. Then follow up with a call.

Expectations: This isn’t really a “real estate marketing email” so much as it is a relationship building communication. This is your opportunity as real estate agent to let your prospective customer know how you work with and communicate with them. Some important things to include in this real estate email are expected frequency of communication, how to prepare for buying or selling (depending on customer need), any tasks the customer will need to perform, current market conditions and how the closing process works. This will give the real estate buyer or seller a sense that they are informed, which will make them more comfortable and easier to work with.

Market Status: Market status real estate marketing emails provide valuable information to potential buyer or seller but they can sometimes be overwhelming with all of the statistics. We recommend that you provide the data in a tabular form but also provide a concise summary of the relevant points. If you can make a real estate infographic that would be even better.

Just Listed/Sold: Real Estate Email Marketing is all about proper timing and content. If you send too often, you turn off your subscribers and they opt-out, send too few and they forget they opted-in. So how do you handle Just listed and sold emails? They are often of a timely nature and don’t occur on a schedule. Our advice here is to understand your subscribers and follow your gut. If you are closing one or two houses a month then sending an email per listing when the event occurs is probably ok. If you are doing more than that, then you might consider consolidating the listings into one email and sending once a month. You could even segment your lists and just send to potential buyers or sellers. In the end this is where knowing your real estate email marketing list comes into play.

Real Estate Testimonial: This type of real estate email marketing is interesting in that an email that is only comprised of a testimonial seems self aggrandizing. Your best bet is to include a testimonial in each of the emails that you send. Just create a section near the bottom of each real estate marketing email that includes a testimonial from your previous real estate buyers and sellers. That way your are showing potential customers what your previous customers say without being overbearing.

Real Estate Email Marketing Tips

Just Get Started – It doesn’t matter how large your email list is at the moment. Just get started. Many agents want to wait until they have compiled a large list and then get started. The problem with this strategy is that compiling the list becomes a daunting task that gets pushed to the bottom of the list and never gets done. Which means that your email marketing program never gets started. We recommend that you start with the 10 or 20 email addresses that you have. This will motivate you to get more because your program is now running and needs more which makes it a priority.

Grow your list – A sure fire way to get a good list of email addresses is to pick up the phone, call your past clients and tell them that you are starting a newsletter program and want to know if you can add them to your list. This also gives you a chance to reconnect directly with past clients and ask if they know of anyone looking to buy or sell.

Send a regular real estate newsletter – The whole point and purpose of email marketing for REALTORS® is to stay top of mind when someone needs a real estate agent. The best way to do this is to send real estate newsletters regularly. Your frequency is best determined by you and what you think your subscribers will want. We’ve seen agents send every week up to once every other month. The most important thing is that you are consistent and regular in your sends.

Promote your listings – Send Just Listed, Just Sold, and Open House emails. These emails are a bit different than newsletters. Their content is more timely in nature so you can send a few of these per month and not worry about overwhelming your subscribers.

These tips should help any real estate agent get their email marketing program going. Once the program is running smooth and you are comfortable with it you can start looking into the more advanced features like drip campaigns for lead generation or list segmentation.

Real Estate Drip Email Campaigns

Our Real Estate Marketing Platform has real estate drip email campaigns built in. When we released this feature we hoped to see our real estate agents create some truly great drip real estate marketing emails and we weren’t disappointed. We have seen offices and brokers use our real estate drip email campaigns to help in the agent recruiting process, to provide coaching and marketing materials to agents, and agents use real estate drip emails campaigns to send newly committed buyers and sellers tips to prepare them for their buying or selling journey.

This last use really intrigued us. It would come to mind while in conversations with agents where it seemed like the perfect fit for their situation. So… we created the content, setup the lists and made the buyer and seller drips a standard part of our email and premium programs.

Now every account comes with two extra lists (Buyers and Sellers) and two drip campaigns (Buyers and Sellers). All an agent needs to do is add a contact to the Buyer or Seller email list and the contact will receive that drip campaign over the next two weeks. There are four emails in each series. They are:

Buyers Real Estate Drip Email Campaigns

  • Buying a home can be fun and stressful – Delivered Day 1
  • Fixer-upper vs. Move-in Ready – Delivered Day 4
  • When searching for your next home – Delivered Day 8
  • Viewing a home – Delivered Day 12

Sellers Real Estate Drip Email Campaigns

  • One of the biggest decisions – Delivered Day 1
  • Staging and Depersonalization – Delivered Day 4
  • The inside of your house is ready to show – Delivered Day 8
  • The exterior of your home is welcoming – Delivered Day 12

Downsizing Real Estate Drip Email Campaigns

  • Downsizing – key tips and benefits – Delivered Day 1
  • Downsizing your closet – Delivered Day 4
  • Downsizing your garage – Delivered Day 8
  • Downsizing your kitchen – Delivered Day 12

First Time Home Buyer Real Estate Drip Email Campaigns

  • Understanding the home buying process – Delivered Day 1
  • Get your credit in check – Delivered Day 4
  • Why pre-approval is a good thing – Delivered Day 8
  • Consider all costs of home buying – Delivered Day 12
  • Think Long-Term and Resale – Delivered Day 16

Although our Real Estate Drip Email Campaigns are setup by default and ready to go you can edit the content and delivery schedule to better suit your preferences.

Real Estate Email Marketing Open Rates

Real Estate Email Marketing Open rates are an interesting topic. Mainly because the expectation isn’t correct. What should real estate email marketing open rate should you expect? We researched a few of the other Email Service Providers out there and amazingly many of them aren’t very forthcoming with open rate data. We did manage to find that Mailchimp reports a 22.12% Open Rate for the Real Estate Industry and Constant Contact reports a 17.49% Open Rate. We find these are rates are fairly consistent with our own average real estate email marketing open rates.

We do have a small segment of users from a particular agency that are achieving an average of close to 40%. We believe this is because of the value of the content that they provide and the cleanliness of their lists. In general our advice to agents is that if you are getting an open rate of around 20% you are doing pretty good.

The same people are not opening your emails every time. Meaning that you have a small core of people that open every email but that most of the time there is a larger group of people who are opening an email every few times you send. So over a period of time you are actually interacting with a larger percentage of people than the average email marketing open rate indicates.

Email Marketing Open rates actually only indicate the minimum number of people that actually opened your email. Because of the way email opens are tracked, some opens just don’t get counted. This is because of preview panes and images automatically being turned off. So the reported open rate actually indicates the minimum number of people that we can track that opened your email.

Real Estate Email Marketing is a long term marketing effort, more of a marathon than a sprint. The goal is to regularly and consistently remind someone that you are an agent so that when they need one they think of you. The way to achieve this is to provide quality content that the reader feels is valuable and establishes you as the real estate authority in your area.

Improving your Real Estate Email Marketing Open Rate

Use a recognizable From Name – This may seem like a small thing but use the from name as something that your list subscribers are going to recognize. If you use something like Info, Admin, No-Reply, or Newsletter then people are less likely to realize it is you.

Use a relevant and interesting Subject Line – Your subject line is extremely important. It gives the subscriber a first peek at what the email is about. If your subject line isn’t interesting or relevant to your content then your open rates are going to dwindle. It is also required by CAN-SPAM laws to be a representation of what is in the email.

Segment your Real Estate Email Marketing Lists – Create different spheres that logically divide your subscribers into groups and send emails to those segments. Sure you can send this “Open House” email to everyone in your list but are your subscribers that just bought a home going to care? Most likely not and over time they may start ignoring your emails altogether if there is never anything relevant to them. Whereas segmenting your lists and sending only relevant information to select spheres will help keep your list healthy and open rates up.

Balance your Send Frequency – Send frequency is a balancing act. It all depends on the type of content you are sending and the expectation of your subscribers. Send too many in a given period of time and your open rate will drop as people start to ignore your emails. Send too few and people forget about you, wonder how they got on your list and opt-out. How can you tell when frequency is impacting your open rate? If your Open Rate is lower than your industry average and your subject lines are strong then you need to look at your frequency.

Real Estate Email Marketing Lists

Real Estate Email Marketing can be an overwhelming prospect and like many things if you overthink it, it will become so complicated that you just stop. That is why we recommend that our agents start with three email lists that target three core groups. Prospect Buyers, Prospective Sellers and a Monthly Newsletter email list.

Prospective Buyer Real Estate Email Marketing List

This is an email list of real estate prospects that you meet that are looking to buy a home in the next six months. You want to send at least one email per month to these prospects. These emails should be about what to expect in the home buying process and how to prepare for buying a home. Talk about things like home inspections, offer negotiations, getting your finances in order for a mortgage, etc…

Prospective Seller Real Estate Email Marketing List

Prospective Seller – This is an email list of real estate prospects that you meet that are considering selling their home in the next six months. You should send at least email per month. These emails should be about what to expect in the selling process. Talk about things like preparing the house for a showing, offer negotiations, relocation assistance, etc…

Monthly Newsletter Real Estate Email Marketing List

Monthly Newsletter – Anyone you meet that doesn’t fit into either the Prospective Buyer or Prospective Seller email list should go in this list. This email list should be looked at as a long term “Lead Nurturing” list. Send a monthly newsletter, make sure that you have a nice, big call to action that links to a form or asks the reader to hit the “reply” button to contact you. These emails should not be Real Estate Industry specific. Nobody cares about the real estate marketing industry until they are ready to buy or sell. So make these emails about the home, or the local community, provide tips on home maintenance, or talk about special events. Just make sure that you are providing information that will be looked at as having value by your reader.

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