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 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.
These final notes apply to all of the emails that you send. Make sure that all of the emails are designed to help you establish yourself as an expert and the local authority to contact when looking to buy or sell your home.
Real Estate Email Marketing Lead Nurturing
Real Estate Email Marketing is a great tool to help nurture leads. Using Real Estate Drip Email Campaigns in conjunction with a well crafted real estate newsletter can make your real estate lead generation and lead nurturing much more effective and easier. Below are some real estate marketing tips on how to structure your real estate email marketing lead nurturing system.
Create two real estate drip email campaign series – we recommend two series to get started. One is targeted towards buyers and the towards sellers. The important thing here isn’t to sell the lead on your services but to provide something of value that demonstrates that you are the expert they should when they are ready. For example – a quick analysis of steps to take when preparing to buy or sell a home (what sort of financial info is needed, things to inspect in the home, etc…). Usually just three or four emails in the series is enough.
Make sure that the lead is moved into your real estate newsletter list. – Even though your drip series has ended you don’t want to end communication with the prospect. Your lead nurturing system should move the prospect from the drip list into your newsletter list automatically. This makes it easy for you to continue providing information and stay top of mind with the prospect.
Send a regular real estate newsletter – A key part to staying top of mind when it is time to buy or sell is regular and consistent communication with your sphere. The easiest and most unobtrusive way to do this is via email marketing. It allows REALTORS© to provide information of value to their sphere without having to call or meet each person while allowing the sphere to decide whether or not they want to receive the communications.
Real Estate Email Marketing Benefits
Keep in touch with your client base – The number one benefit of email marketing to real estate agents is that it keeps you in touch with your existing client base. This keeps you top of mind when they decide to buy or sell a home or are asked to refer a REALTOR®.
Promote Listings and Open Houses – Most Email marketing systems have easy to use templates that allow for the creation of Just Sold, Just Listed, and Open House Emails. This makes it easy to inform your entire client base about upcoming Open Houses, new and sold listings.
Reduced Time and Efforts – Most email marketing systems have predefined templates that take all of the hard work out of creating emails and getting them sent in a timely fashion.
Reduced Costs – Compared to most print marketing Email marketing is extremely cost effective and much
cheaper. Most do it yourself email marketing systems start out in the $20/month range to deliver a few thousand emails per month. Compare this to sending just 1000 postcards at the current $.34 per card and you have $20 vs. $340. Seems pretty obvious.
Targeted Marketing – using multiple lists or list segmentation you can target an email to a specific group of people like buyers, sellers or investors. This makes it easy to tailor a message to prospective buyers about special loan opportunities, tax benefits or new listings.
Measurable Effectiveness – With a good real estate marketing platform you can tell who is opening and clicking links in your emails. This allows you to see who is engaged and what messages are working.
Relationship Building/Nurturing – Email marketing is a great way to nurture and build relationships. Got a new potential buyer? Put them in a buyers series of emails and build trust by providing a step by step guide to buying.
Stay Top of Mind – Email is a simple and unobtrusive way to remind your sphere that you are a REALTOR®. Sending a monthly newsletter puts your name in front your sphere on a regular and frequent basis. Hopefully this helps your name rise to the top when a friend or family member asks if they know a real estate agent.
Increase Brand Awareness – Email marketing is a great way to increase your brand awareness. Make sure to include your logo and tagline in every email. Over time this repetition will sink in and make your brand instantly recognizable in the real world as well.
Along with these benefits there are many opportunities to use real estate email marketing in your everyday business.
- Just Listed Emails
- Just Sold Emails
- Open House Emails
- Special Events
- Home Maintenance Tips
- Community Information
Real Estate Email Marketing Frequently Asked Questions
Is real estate email marketing effective? – If email marketing is done consistently, absolutely! How many times have you found out somebody listed their home with another agent or referred a friend to someone else because they didn’t think of you at the time? Stay in front of your sphere with content that engages them and they will think of you first.
My contacts aren’t organized. Won’t it take forever to get an email list together? – We have options in place so that you can import emails from your email client and easily choose which contacts that you want on your list. When you start seeing responses to your email campaigns, you’ll be inspired to add to your list on a regular basis. Don’t have someone’s email address? That is a great reason to pick up the phone and reconnect.
What if someone decides that they don’t want to receive future emails from me? –
Our email marketing for realtors program is CAN-SPAM compliant and includes an opt-out link in every email allowing recipients to simply opt-out should they choose.
How will I measure the success of my real estate email marketing? – In addition to getting responses from your sphere, we offer easy to read reporting that shows you who opened your emails and what links they clicked.
Do the emails show my address in the from line? – Yes, emails will appear to come directly from you and when someone hits reply, they will be responding to your email address.
Will most people open my emails? – The open rate average for the real estate industry varies greatly depending on a number of factors. Open rates will be impacted by a number of things including the size and quality of your list (are your addresses current?). Remember that it may not always be the same people who open your emails each month. To date, we have seen that our customers have a much higher open rate than the industry average.
Can I send the automated emails on some months but not on others? – Sure. The automated emails are in place to help make email marketing easy for you. For some agents, that’s all they use. Others, will use the automated emails in addition to creating their own using our template options.
What are E-cards? – E-cards allow you send one to one email to a contact on a special occasion like their birthday or the anniversary of their home purchase.
We hope this information has been helpful. Feel free to contact us if you need help with your real estate email marketing.