How to Use Cold Emailing to Generate New Real Estate Clients
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
When you work for yourself as a real estate agent, a huge part of your job is to generate new clients. The good news is that people are easy to find and practically everyone you find is a potential lead. Everyone needs shelter, and that happens to be your specialty.
But the not-so-good news is that, while they may be easy to find, people are not always receptive. In order to earn a new client, you first must earn their trust (even a little bit). But how will a client trust you if they don’t even know you exist?
That’s where cold emailing comes into play. Through the power of cold emailing, you can introduce yourself, highlight your success, draw parallels between your skill set and the needs of your potential client, and get your foot in the door for future contact. It’s a win-win situation. You generate a new lead, your new lead gets introduced to the rockstar that will help them sell their house.
But, to be effective, there are some rules you must follow when cold emailing as a real estate agent. In this guide, we’ll share top tips to help you start generating clients through your inbox.
Cold emailing is the process of sending unsolicited emails to people who you’ve never made contact with before. However, cold email is different from spam because it’s highly personalized and intended for a specific individual.
A lot of agents are hesitant to try cold emailing for various reasons. First, no one wants to be accused of sending out smarmy, spammy emails. Second, no one has the time to type email after email. Third, and perhaps the most concerning, some agents don’t see results after cold emailing.
So why even try?
It’s effective. Cold emailing is one of the best ways to generate new leads. You go from obscurity to top of mind for the potential client that you’ve reached out to in your email. Some people in your area may never see your billboards, or watch your local commercials, but they will get your email with an immediate introduction and a reason why they should care.
It’s ridiculously inexpensive. When compared to the different types of marketing strategies available to you, email marketing is perhaps the cheapest way to connect with a potential client. You’ll spend pennies per day to pay for your email marketing tools (we’ll explain why these are essential later).
It can be automated. You can save a ton of time when cold emailing. Here’s the process in a nutshell: Create a cold email template, add unique details about each prospective client, and then schedule your emails to deploy at a specific time when they are most likely to be read. This means that you can batch process dozens of emails in the same amount of time that it would take for you to write one from scratch.
Cold emailing will definitely raise awareness for you as a real estate agent and, if you follow the below tips, will be effective at generating warmed-up leads.
Now, let’s discuss how to create non-spammy cold emails for real estate that get results.
The first step to cold emailing is to gather a list of email addresses for your potential leads. However, you must be careful with how you go about collecting email addresses. Buying a list of bad or dead leads from a less-than-reputable source can derail you immediately. If you send emails to bad or dead email addresses, you'll lose twice.
First, it's a waste of time, because these “leads” no longer exist. They'll never see your email. Second, sending emails to dead addresses can get you labeled as a spammer. This will affect the emails that you send to legitimate leads and even long-standing clients. If an email service identifies you as a spammer, they'll redirect all of your emails to a spam folder where they'll never reach the intended recipient.
Moral of the story: Don't purchase or rent email lists. It's not a good idea.
Fortunately, you can gather email addresses from potential leads in many other ways. Here are the top ways to do it:
There’s an important process in each of the above email collection methods. The potential lead checks a box that gives you permission to send marketing emails to them. This will help you get out of the junk folder, and is crucial if you want to avoid spam filters and legal troubles.
Yes, legal troubles.
Email is a protected domain. There are laws around the types of marketing emails you can send, what these emails should contain, and to whom you can send them. It's serious business, with each violation carrying hefty fees of up to $16,000 per email.
The CANSPAM Act, short for The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, is a federal law that sets rules for commercial email engagement.
Here are the basic rules to follow:
If you follow the above best practices, you'll have a good chance of making it into the prospective client's inbox. The next mission is to get them to actually open your message. Many people are ruthless when it comes to inbox hygiene. If they're suspicious of your email, they'll immediately delete it or mark it as spam. To get past the human filter, practice the following:
Identify who you are with a descriptive “from” name. Since this is a cold email with a recipient who doesn't know you, give two names: Your name and the name of your brokerage. If it's not apparent, add “Real Estate” or “Realty” to further demystify your identity. For example, your email “from” name can be Bob at Bob Realty LLC. That little bit of information can inspire enough trust to get the recipient to consider opening your email.
Create an irresistible subject line. Kill 'em with a subject line that they can't help but open. People are curious by nature, so draw them in with a question that makes them think.
Or, if you have the lead's first name, use it in your subject line. People are immediately engaged when you use their name in an email subject line. Very few emails do that. This can increase email opens by a whopping 64%.
Keep the email subject line between 51-70 characters in length. Studies show that this subject line character length produces the most email opens.
The next step is to send an email that your potential lead will care about. How do you determine what your lead cares about? Consider how you got their email address in the first place. If you received their email address via your website, when they were signing up for a free resource you were giving away, you can use that as your subject. Your cold email will include the following:
Appreciation - Thank them for signing up for your free resource.
A brief introduction - Explain why you rock and can help them. Make your case in two to three sentences, being mindful of what they seem to be after (which is reflected in the type of resource they downloaded). A buyer will download a neighborhood guide and a seller will download a checklist of what to do before selling a home. Use this as your cue of what service to promote in your cold email.
At the end of your email, offer the next step. Should they respond to your email, call you, wait for a follow up email from you, or visit your website?
The cold email is the first step in your client engagement, but don't leave it up to the potential client to decide what to do next, because they'll likely close your email and forget about you.
Earlier, we mentioned that cold emails can be scheduled to be sent at a specific time. Studies show that the ideal time to send cold emails is between 9 AM to 11 AM, adjusted for time zones. This tends to get the most email opens.
Cold email as a real estate agent doesn’t have to be complicated. Using the above tips, you can create an effective cold emailing strategy that gets results.