How to Develop an Email Marketing Strategy for Your Real Estate Business
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Your number one mission is to grow your real estate company by getting more clients. There are a lot of great ways to accomplish your goal that we’ve covered in posts such as Small Marketing Budget, Big Leads, Tips to Generate Real Estate Leads for Free, and Getting More Referrals for Your Real Estate Business Easily.
However, one of the best ways to get clients is through email marketing. In this post, we’ll discuss how to develop a strong email marketing strategy from scratch that allows you to nurture leads and turn them into clients.
You may be thinking, How can email marketing actually help me get more clients?
Email plays an essential role in client nurturing and relationship building. Without email, you’re unlikely to generate a steady stream of real estate clients. Here’s why:
Let’s say you’ve accomplished an incredible feat — A prospective client has landed on your website. Perhaps they want to learn more about a listing or maybe they were enticed by your promise of a free CMA. But just because they’re on your site, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to sign up with you right away. Your prospective client is still hesitant, suspicious even. They’re not sure they can trust you.
And here’s another brutal truth: Most people who visit your website will never return. They may be sincerely interested in your services, but they’re not ready to act immediately. They need time to think about their next move.
And this is where email marketing comes in.
If you can convince the prospective client to sign up for your email newsletter, you’ll then have a chance to gain their trust and prove to them that you’re the right agent for the job.
You can also use email to stay in touch with your former clients. One day, they’re going to need your services again (the average American moves over 11 times in their life). And even if they don’t need your services right now, they likely know someone who does. It just makes sense to keep up with former clients so that you stay top of mind when the time comes to recommend a real estate agent to their friends and family.
Email marketing is necessary for growing your business, but how do you do it? Let’s discuss how to create an email marketing strategy for your real estate business from the ground up.
Before sending out another email, you need to understand your audience. By doing so, you’ll nail the messaging and start building trust with your email subscribers.
The pivotal question you should tackle is “why,” specifically, “Why did your subscriber sign up?” Are they buyers and wanting to learn more about the area? Are they sellers and wanting to learn about your marketing process?
If you already have email subscribers, you can discover the answer several ways:
If you don’t have any subscribers just yet, you’ll have to make an educated guess on why future subscribers will sign up. We’ll discuss this below.
Let’s talk about building your email list from zero.
The first step is to give your prospective clients a reason to sign up for your email list. Simply inviting them to join your list won’t work because people are very careful about sharing their email address. Instead, you’ve got to incentivize your ask.
Offer something of immediate value in exchange for signing up to receive your marketing emails. For example, you can offer a free CMA (for sellers) or neighborhood guide (for buyers). The offer is simple but it’s effective because it’s valuable to your intended audience. This offer is known as a lead magnet.
You can advertise your lead magnet on your website (in the header or as a pop-up box). You can also create an ad on social media that links to your lead magnet’s landing page. On the landing page, you’ll include a simple form that asks for their first name and email address. Don’t weigh it down with too many questions, because that can scare away a prospective subscriber.
If you plan to host an open house in the future, don’t forget to invite visitors to sign up for your email newsletter. You can use the same lead magnet to convince them to join. And, if you bring along your tablet, they can sign up right on the spot.
Once you have a subscriber, it’s important to assign that subscriber to a group, or segment. Segmenting your email list allows you to create more targeted messages that resonate with the reader.
For example, a first time buyer isn’t likely to be interested in selling a house, so they won’t open those emails. After a while, if you bombard the buyer prospect with selling emails, they may unsubscribe.
This is one example of why it’s important to segment based on what the prospect is interested in now. You may have a prospect who’s interested in both. This is why sending out a survey (as we mentioned above) is crucial. It can help you learn more about your prospective clients so you can segment accordingly.
How do you segment your list? As an agent, the easiest way to segment is based on client type (i.e. buyer or seller). You can also segment on other factors, such as how much they want to spend, their preferred house type, and whether they’re new prospects or former clients.
Most email marketing service providers (such as MailChimp and ConvertKit) make it easy for you to create segments in your subscriber list.
Once you have subscribers on your list, you must do two things:
Segmenting your audience helps you send emails that they actually want to receive. If you don’t segment, you’ll send some emails that are relevant and some that aren’t. That’s not good.
Always keep your eye on the prize. The goal of your emails is to get your subscribers one step closer to choosing you as their real estate agent. Be sure that the emails you send are created to gain their trust — that’s huge! If you’re only sending marketing emails without care about the subscriber’s individual needs, then it won’t work. But if you segment and send emails that align with what you know about the subscriber (their desired neighborhood, house type, financial questions, etc.), you’ll win them over.
Create an email marketing calendar.
The purpose of a calendar is two-fold.
First, a calendar encourages you to create fresh content ideas for your email audience. Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with a new email idea, especially if you have to do it every week.
However, if you allot a couple of hours to create an email content calendar for the next three months, it’s a lot less intimidating because you’re already in the creative mode. If you send out one email a week, that’s only 12 emails. In the span of two hours, you can come up with 12 emails to send to your list.
The easiest way to do this is to come up with a theme for each week. For example:
Emails to Your Buyer Segment
Then — and here’s the magic — you can repeat those four themes each month by tweaking the content. For example, if the theme for emails 3, 6, and 9 is financing FAQs, you can tackle a different FAQ each week, such as:
(Email 3) “What is mortgage insurance?” (Email 6) “What’s the difference between an adjustable rate and a fixed rate mortgage?” (Email 9) “How do I improve my credit score?”
The second benefit to creating a calendar is that it keeps you on schedule. Without a calendar, you’ll likely send emails whenever you feel like it. Maybe twice in one week and nothing for the next three. Sending emails on an erratic schedule won’t build trust with your target audience. In fact, it increases the chance of them unsubscribing from you because they’ll likely forget about you during the times when you’ve forgotten about them.
It’s always better to send on a predictable schedule so that your subscribers get used to seeing your name pop up in their inbox. This keeps you top of mind.
Most website visitors will leave and never return. But, if you can get them on your email list, you have a greater chance to convert them into actual clients. Use the above email marketing tips to match the right marketing message to the right group and build trust with them.
Before you go, check out these related posts: