For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25. (ExactTarget)
Building relationships with clients is an essential part of business for any real estate agent.
However, managing numerous relationships with both prospective and existing clients can be tricky. On any given day, you might interact with at least a dozen people. And if you host an open house, that number might even triple.
So how can you maintain a conversation and build a relationship with everyone you meet, without having to sacrifice a huge chunk of time from your day?
That’s where email marketing comes in.
Why Real Estate Agents Love Email Marketing
Email marketing allows you to communicate with a large group of people at once, while still giving you a chance to build intimate relationships at an individual level, too. This means you can build more, quality client relationships than if you were to attempt to communicate with all of your clients and prospects individually.
Here’s a picture of how that might look for you:
It’s a beautiful day for an open house. Dozens of people stop by, guide themselves through the house, and maybe leave their name and number for you to contact them again. Or, they take your business card while you hope they make the effort to reach out to you.
With email marketing, however, you can set up your mobile device and encourage interested buyers to subscribe to your email list so they can get more information. As soon as they enter their information, they’ll immediately receive automated emails you set up the day before with more information on the house, as well as details about the neighborhood, local school district, nearby shopping and more – and they’ll get all of this before they even walk out the front door.
Email marketing is not only a great way to stay connected with people who visit you during an open house, but it also gives you a chance to keep communication channels open between people who stop by your office, buyers and sellers you’ve worked with in the past, and more.
So how can you build a robust email marketing plan that allows you to grow your business?
Grow Your Subscriber List, Grow Your Client Base
Your subscribers are the most important part of your email marketing strategy, as they’ll consist of existing and prospective clients. That means growing your business can’t happen if you don’t have subscribers.
To help you encourage people you meet to sign up to your email list to stay in touch, here are three places to get started:
- Your Website
If you have a website, you already have potential homebuyers and sellers visiting your website every day. And that’s why adding a sign up form is an easy first step towards capturing those leads and growing your email list.
Your sign up form should explain what subscribers get when they sign up to your list. Whether it’s updates on new home listings, home improvements tips, or industry news, setting expectations during this time is crucial to convincing people to give you their email address.
In addition to asking for their name and email address, you can also include additional fields in your sign up form. If you want to differentiate between those who are looking to buy a house from those who are selling, this is a great place to obtain that information. Or, you can ask about what town/city they live in so you can send them more targeted information that’s relevant to their location. Whatever you decide, just remember that less is more. If it’s too complicated to sign up to your email list, they might get discouraged from subscribing at all.
- Open Houses
Open houses are great for meeting interested homebuyers face-to-face, which makes it a great opportunity for encouraging them to subscribe to your email list. There are two ways to collect email address: 1) Place a paper sign up sheet and pen near the entrance of the home, or 2) Download a sign up form app to a mobile device (such as a tablet) and leave it near the entrance of the home or carry it around with you.
Both forms are great for capturing email addresses; however, the mobile sign up form app is convenient because it will automatically add those new addresses to your email list (so you don’t have to enter them manually).
Whichever form you choose, your sign up form should include a brief description of the purpose of your email list (e.g., updates on this particular listing, weekly newsletter, etc.).
As you engage in conversation with your guests, be sure to direct them to your sign up form and tell them more about your email list and the benefits of signing up.
- Social Media
Active on social platforms like Facebook or Twitter? This is another audience you can tap into and encourage to subscribe to your email list. On Facebook, set up your call-to-action feature to connect to your sign up form or a landing page that’s specifically designed to attract new email subscribers.
If you regularly post on Twitter, encourage your followers to sign up to your list by tweeting a link to your sign up form. And of course, don’t forget to tell them the benefits of signing up to your list!
Create Engaging Emails
Your subscriber list is an essential part of your email strategy because you need people to send emails to. Now, it’s time to focus on what exactly you’re going to write in those emails to keep your new subscribers engaged and loyal to your business.
The cool thing about email is that there are a number of different approaches you can take with your email content. Basically, you’re only as limited as your creativity. To help spark some inspiration, here are three ideas to get started:
A recurring email newsletter is a great way to stay connected with your clients and keep them updated on upcoming events, industry news and other relevant content.
Other content ideas for your emails include answering FAQs, featuring testimonials from your clients, and other tips to help them make more informed decisions when either buying or selling a home. You can even create two different newsletters (one for homebuyers and one for home sellers) so you can send newsletters with content that is targeted to those who will benefit from it most.
Whatever you decide to write about, avoid getting too self-promotional in your emails. The goal here is to establish trust by bringing value to your readers; this way when they need your services, they’ll go to you.
- New Listings
If you know which subscribers are interested in buying a new home and what area they want to look in, you can send them regular updates about new houses listed on the market.
You can even get more targeted with your emails by sending a message only to those who opened your email and clicked on the link to view the listing. Follow up with them to see if they want to learn more about the community in which the house is located, or if they’d like to schedule time to talk more about the house. This gives you a chance to continue the conversation with someone who may have been interested, but for one reason or another didn’t reach out to you.
- Home Improvement Tips
From painting tips to gardening advice, there’s a lot of helpful information you can share with both new and veteran homebuyers. The DIY movement has also helped to inspire many to take on projects of their own, and offering your own advice, sharing tips from others, or even curating other content you’ve discovered is a great way to get this information to your subscribers.
Here are only some of the many topics you can cover: remodeling, carpeting versus hardwood flooring, designing children’s rooms, renovation for a more modern look, interior decorating, and more.
Start Connecting with Clients Through Email
Educating your clients is essential to creating a great home buying or home selling experience. And email is a great tool for maintaining that relationship and gaining their trust.
Growing your client base with email marketing isn’t difficult, but don’t get discouraged if it seems like a lot of work. As with any good habit, it’s important to have patience and stick with it.
To help you get started with email marketing, download this bonus Email Marketing for Realtors Toolkit. In it you’ll find a PDF guide filled with even more advice on how to use email marketing, along with content suggestions for your emails.
Guest Post By: AWeber