New real estate agents: Forget the drip email marketing (for now) and do this instead
Ready to dabble in email marketing for real estate? We've compiled a list of the most important steps you need to take (and what you absolutely MUST avoid!)
Although attributed to the Chinese, it was a 15th century Italian lawyer (Hippolytus de Marsiliis) who invented a certain type of water torture.
The torture subject was strapped to a board and water was very slowly dripped, often for weeks, on his forehead.
Often, the victim went insane before giving the torturers the information they sought.
Drip email marketing for real estate is, in a way, comparable. If not done right, recipients feel tortured by your constant drips into their email inbox. They may not go insane, but they will most likely either stop opening your emails or unsubscribe to them.
In short, a drip email campaign is a marketing method in which marketing emails are “dripped” consistently to your leads and prospects over a period of days, weeks or even months.
It takes time to develop an effective strategy for drip email marketing for real estate and if you, like most new agents, lack current clients, time is a commodity you can’t afford.
There’s a kinder, gentler and easier way to nurture the leads you’re able to generate: regular old email marketing, without the “drip.”
The difference between basic email marketing and drip marketing is the timing. You aren’t going to smother your recipients with drops of water every few days.
You’ll be able to “… provide value without inundating …” the recipients, Sendbloom’s David Sneider tells Ryan Buckley of hubspot.com.
Productive agents are busy, busy people. Any halfway-decent marketing method that is low-cost and pretty much hands-off is intriguing to them.
Ask Google how many touches it takes to convert a sales lead and you’ll get a number of different opinions. On the low end, for top producers, it supposedly takes five touches or contacts.
On the high end? Thirteen is the lucky number.
Regardless of the discrepancies in the answers you’ll find, nobody says that you’ll convert after one contact. Sure, it happens, but not often.
Real estate marketing is a long game and patience and consistency are the keys needed to win the game.
So, you’ll need to reach out to your first real estate email campaign recipients at least once a month. All while learning the ropes, looking for clients and getting your name out there.
The ability to automate an email campaign is a definite benefit for real estate agents, especially new agents who have so much to accomplish on any given day.
It is the warehouse where you’ll store all of your contacts, so if you don’t have one, get one. Learn more about real estate CRMs here.
Then think about planning a real estate email campaign.
The other tool you’ll need right away is automation software, if your CRM doesn’t come with it.
Some of the most popular products are offered by:
All of these services vary in offerings, but ensure the one you choose has the templates you need and the ability to track your campaigns’ results.
If you’re a new agent, the simpler you make your first campaign, the easier it will be for you to track and tweak results.
Choose your audience carefully. Most new agents start working with buyers in the beginning. But, “buyers” is still a broad target.
Narrow it down, at least for now, to a smaller niche market of buyers. Here are some ideas:
If you’re knowledgeable and passionate about something, say horses, consider horse ranch buyers. An avid golfer? Golf course homes might be a great niche for you. Veterans may want to work with other veterans.
Not only does narrowing the audience help simplify this first campaign, you won’t be wasting time and money contacting consumers who have no need for, or interest in, your services.
Determine how often you’ll send emails. A good starting point for the new agent is to send one a month.
Time to get creative and figure out what you’ll be sending each month. A newsletter is the popular and best choice of email marketing for real estate.
Newsletters, if done right, bring value to the recipient while establishing the agent’s knowledge. They accomplish the business triad of “know, like and trust.”
Your content will help folks get to know you and, hopefully, like you. The consistency with which you contact them will go far in helping you to build trust with them.
But, first, let’s design your email newsletter and create a template of it that can be easily edited each month.
This is where the above-referenced email companies come in handy. Some have rather large template libraries with drag-and-drop capabilities, making it a snap to create and edit your newsletter.
Other companies that offer real estate email newsletter templates include:
Ensure that the template of your email marketing for real estate contains your branding, contact information, a link to the social media platform you use the most and your DRE license number (if required in your state).
The body of your email will be your newsletter or a preview-link to its content. Ensure the preview includes a yummy, irresistible photo or two.
About that content: it is imperative to always, always, always keep your target audience top-of-mind.
For instance, don’t include content about home staging to your homebuying audience. Do send:
Then, sprinkle in some general interest pieces, such as local restaurant reviews, quick real estate market updates, neighborhood reviews (with photos), client success stories, etc.
Where will you get content for your email marketing?
Fancy yourself a wordsmith? If you have the time, go for it; write your own newsletter content.
Do yourself a favor, however, and when you finish a piece, set it aside for a day. Then, go back and read it over, looking for grammatical errors, spelling flubs and to ensure that the flow is spot on.
Let’s face it, though. Your time right now is best spent trying to load up your sales funnel, not writing content. You have other options. Take a tip from Houlihan Lawrence’s Linda Kermanshahchi (Scarsdale, NY) and link to others’ content.
There are typically 4 to 5 articles in Kermanshahchi’s newsletter, curated from around the web with a link to the original. Notice that she also gives credit to the site that hosts the original.
View a sample of the newsletter, here.
Pre-written content is also available from:
If you prefer your content custom-written, hire a writer. Content writers abound across the internet. What you need, however, is a real-estate writer. Otherwise, you may end up sounding like a dunce in your newsletters.
For example, one agent’s blog writer called a plat map a “plant map.” Said agent didn’t catch the mistake and there it was on his website for all to see. Under his byline.
Another agent’s email marketing for real estate featured advice for home sellers in which it told readers to never hire the agent they worked with before. Yes, seriously.
I about slapped my monitor, though, when I read the article that claimed that it’s buyer’s agents who “… pay for any damages found during the final walkthrough.”
If you must hire a writer with zero real estate experience, proof every word of every piece before paying for it.
You can find writers for hire at:
It’s one thing to deliver emails to inboxes and yet another to induce the recipient to open the email.
The email’s subject line is the hook. Flub that and you may as well not send emails.
“35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone” according to Hubspot.com’s Anum Hussain, citing statistics from Convince&Convert.
Keep your subject line to less than 90 characters to avoid having it cut off on mobile devices.
Finally, consider using the recipients’ first names in the subject line, if your marketing platform automatically generates them.
Welcome to the real estate industry, rookie. The road ahead isn’t smooth and you have a lot to learn. Kicking email marketing for real estate to the top of your “to do” list is a good first step.
Then, stick with it, because, as Denzel Washington cautions, “To achieve your goals you must have discipline and consistency.”
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I got another email from that agent today. When I first started receiving them, they were somewhat interesting and in newsletter form. Now, they’re blatant appeals for business and the emails I receive on an every two- to three-week basis are identical. And annoying as hell. And, at this point, with her becoming the Queen of Spam in my email inbox, if she were the last real estate agent on earth, I’d sell my house FSBO. Let’s make sure you aren’t annoying the you-know-what out of all those folks you’re dripping on. It’s time for a reminder of what it...
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