The New Real Estate Agent's Guide to Email Marketing

Real estate agents, here’s your beginner’s guide to using email marketing like a pro.

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas


When you do business as a real estate agent, you're only as successful as your contacts. That’s because your entire business is built on making connections with others. Once you've made that initial contact, you can't rest on your laurels. You must make an effort to stay in touch with all of your contacts, including current, previous, and prospective clients.

The best way to stay in contact is through email marketing. Sure, you can and should pick up the phone, but sometimes, it's much more efficient to send a mass email. That way, instead of spending 10 minutes with just one client, you can spend the same amount of time with exponentially more. Email marketing allows you to stay top of mind with your past clients while building trust with future ones.

But, even if you’re a born marketer, email marketing isn't exactly a skill that comes natural to any of us. You need help to formulate an effective email marketing strategy. Fortunately, you’ve landed on the right post. Let’s discuss how to set up your email marketing strategy so that you can build your real estate business, improve your client communication, and win the trust of your clients.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a form of digital marketing that uses email to nurture an audience towards a purchase. Even if you haven’t sent an email for the purpose of marketing your business, you’ve definitely participated in email marketing before. Every time you sign up for and receive emails from a business-- any business-- you’ve experienced email marketing.

In order to communicate with your audience (which includes all of your contacts and clients) in a one-to-many scale, you need to operate through an email marketing service provider.

I know what you’re thinking: Why can’t I simply send emails to my clients directly from my inbox?

Here’s why: You can send one-on-one emails from your personal/ professional inbox. However, if you’re communicating en masse to a large group of people for commercial purposes (such as marketing a listing or inviting them to an open house), you need to use an email marketing service. If you don’t, you’re breaking the law (which is the CAN-SPAM act). And breaking this law can result in massive fines of up to $41,484 per violation.

CAN-SPAM protects email recipients, giving them the ability to opt-out of any unwanted email. When you use an email marketing service provider, you will have two securities built in to protect you. First, most email marketing service providers require you to institute a double opt-in process (where new subscribers must confirm subscription via a confirmation link within an email). Second, the email service provider must provide the subscriber with an option to unsubscribe at the bottom of every marketing email.

What Role Does Email Marketing Play in Real Estate?

Let’s get specific about how to use email marketing to grow your real estate business. Here are three of the top benefits of using email marketing:

Stay Top of Mind - It’s easy for you to fall out of touch with important contacts. Use email to remind your contacts that you’re still around.

Get the Word Out - Keep your clients on top of the latest happenings in real estate. Need to sell a house? Looking to attract new clients? Use email to drum up new business.

Market for Cheap - Email marketing is very affordable. Aside from the monthly fee of using an email marketing service provider (and that can be free), you’ll have nothing else to pay. It’s one of the most effective and cheapest forms of marketing available.

Which Emails Should You Send?

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Now that we’ve looked at how email can improve your real estate business, let’s discuss exactly which emails to send.

Start your email marketing campaign by determining which emails you should send and when. You've got to get organized and use a strategy - plan it out and then you'll be able to keep a regular schedule

1. The “Welcome to my List” Email

When a new subscriber joins your list, make them feel immediately welcomed with a gracious email. In this email, be sure to do the following:

  • Thank them for signing up
  • Introduce yourself and explain why you’re a great real estate agent
  • Discuss the types of emails you’ll send and how often (i.e. “I’ll send valuable information about current listings straight to your inbox every Tuesday”)
  • End with a call to action (i.e. “Schedule a phone meeting now” or “Download your free neighborhood guide here”)

2. The Newsletter Email

The newsletter email is your regular email. Depending on your clientele, you can further target this newsletter to buyers or sellers specifically.

The purpose of the newsletter is to build trust with your audience by providing relevant, useful, and educational content on a regular basis. When creating a newsletter, remember the following:

  • Always provide something useful and actionable for the subscriber.
  • Choose content that’s shareable. Select topics and offer advice that your reader will want to forward to others.
  • Focus on the audience. Your newsletters aren’t about massaging your ego, but rather helping your clients succeed.

Not sure what topics to discuss in your newsletters? Here are a few ideas:

  • Market trends
  • Newest listings
  • How to sell your home fast
  • How to woo sellers
  • Home loan advice
  • Local neighborhood tips
  • Home decorating tutorials

3. The “Buyers” Email

If you’re a buyer’s agent, you should send emails that are targeted to your buyers. There are tons of topics you can tackle in your emails, including:

  • Brand new listings (including listing videos)
  • How to negotiate with sellers
  • Financing tips
  • Neighbor and community reviews
  • How to buy a new home as a first time buyer
  • Exciting happenings in town (such as a monthly schedule of events)
  • Open house invitations

4. The “Sellers” Email

Work primarily with sellers? You can send specific emails to your seller clients with content such as:

  • Home maintenance and renovation tips
  • How much other homes in the area have sold for recently
  • Why they should choose you to represent the sale of their home
  • How to raise the value of a home
  • Testimonials

5. The Drip Email Sequence

A drip email sequence is a series of pre-written emails that you send to your target audience over a specific period of time, i.e. a week or a month. Generally, drip emails are used to teach your email subscriber something such as how to negotiate, whether to buy a house or condo, or how to stage a house to sell on a miniscule budget.

Drip sequences can be promoted as an email course, and used as an incentive to join your email list.

Best Email Marketing Tools for Real Estate Agents

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Not sure what tool to use to send your marketing emails? Here’s a look at three popular email marketing service providers to consider:

MailChimp - This free, easy service is geared towards beginners. One of the benefits of using MailChimp is that you can get started right now without having any experience in email marketing. However, after using the free service to build up your list initially, you may find that MailChimp is somewhat limiting because it doesn’t offer some of the advanced features that come standard with other services.

Constant Contact - Like MailChimp, Constant Contact is pretty easy to use. However, it doesn't always feel intuitive. The benefit of using Constant Contact is that it offers a high deliverability rate. This means that you don't have to worry about your marketing emails being intercepted and marked as spam by email providers, like Gmail.

ConvertKit - ConvertKit is relatively new to the scene, but it's growing in popularity with its focus on very small business. This is because it's geared to the visual thinker. You can also use ConvertKit to build a simple landing page. The major drawback of ConvertKit is that customization is limited.

Final Thoughts

One of the best things you can do to grow your real estate business is to simply start emailing your contacts on a consistent basis. Use the above email marketing principles as a tool to help.

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