Five Content Ideas for Real Estate Emails

Tuesday’s post about Real Estate email marketing talked about what’s wrong with a lot of campaigns.

I don’t mean to pick on agents – there are a lot of fields that don’t email market as well as they could/should – but they’re at the front of my mind. See, I’ve been poking around in the local real estate market myself and I just wasn’t getting what I wanted and hoped for as a subscriber.


So I wanted to offer some alternatives for you agents out there (maybe the rest of you can get an idea or two out of this, too).

By the way… it made my day to see some of the suggestions that I’d put together for today’s post already showing up in the last post’s comments. Apparently we’re on the same wavelength :).

Build A Relationship With Your List

Hopefully the list of things that a “catalog” approach to real estate email marketing doesn’t do has given you some ideas on what you can do.

Real Estate offers a unique opportunity for relationship-building, because a lot of time can pass from when someone expresses interest to when they actually make a purchase. (I personally have been looking at homes off-and-on for over a year.)

Build a relationship and the accompanying trust, and you’ll:

  • Establish yourself as an expert
  • Increase your referrals
  • Get more of your subscribers to call or come into your office for a visit

So what can you send besides listings to build this relationship? I came up with five areas that you can go into:

Home Buying Tips

Buying a house isn’t a fly-by-night operation (hopefully). There’s a lot of planning that goes into it, and you’re going to know more about it than the average Joe.

So clue your readers into the ins and outs of:

  • Appraisals
  • Total Cost of Ownership – It’s Not Just the Mortgage
  • Financing – What Kind is Right For Them? What are Points and Closing Costs?
  • How to Choose an Agent
  • How to Negotiate a Lower Price – Getting Seller Concessions, Making Counteroffers
  • Home Age – Should I Buy Newer or Older? What are the trade-offs?

Success Stories

Buying or selling a home is the largest financial transaction that most people will make in their lifetimes.

That makes it inherently scary – nobody wants to work hard for years, saving money for a house, and then lose all or a lot of it by making a poor buying or selling decision.

Show them examples of people you’ve helped, with specifics.

These testimonials will reduce your subscribers’ fear of “getting taken”, as well as provide additional insight into the buying or selling experience, from real people who have been there.

Plus, the fact that people are willing to endorse you further establishes you as an expert and as someone who’s not just in it for the paycheck.

Market Trends

Since the home buying process can be a lengthy one, why not talk about whether it’s a good time to buy or sell right now, and compare it to past conditions and future expectations? (Relatively speaking, of course – it’s always a good time to buy or sell with you ;))

Talk about the role of interest rates, unemployment, foreclosure rates, seasons, and other factors in setting the housing market.

Local Factors – Where Should I Buy?

I can’t speak here for the international community, but in the U.S. people are often willing and able to live anywhere within a pretty wide circle around where they work; obviously, closer is better in general, but we’re not bound to one neighborhood or town.

Distance from work is just one factor that helps determine where we end up buying. Others might include:

  • Relative Cost of Housing
  • Quality of Public Services (Education, Water, Sewer, Parks)
  • Age of Community (If someone has children, they’re likely to prefer an area with a lot of children; elderly clients may prefer a quieter area.)
  • Mean/Median Income (am I going to fit in socio-economically?)
  • Access to Fine Arts (Theater, Concerts) and Sports (Pro, Semi-Pro, College)

All of these are things you can highlight about different neighborhoods/areas within your territory.

Do a monthly profile/highlight of a township or community: talk about what it has to offer, who it’s perfect for and why! Or compare/contrast different areas based on any or all of those criteria.

Home Maintenance

Owning a home doesn’t stop at closing. It’s just getting started.

What adventures await the new home buyer, and how can s/he get through it relatively unscathed? After all, nobody wants to be “house poor.”

Talk about how different materials and amenities in a house can make it a better or worse investment:

  • Brick vs. Siding vs. Stucco vs. __________
  • Quantity and Types of Window (heating and cooling cost): When Should You Replace?
  • Flooring: W/W Carpet vs. Hardwood vs. Tile vs. Linoleum
  • Wallpaper vs. Interior Paint vs. Paneling vs. __________
  • Heat: Forced Air vs. Baseboard vs. Radiator; Gas vs. Oil vs. Electric
  • Roofing: Slate vs. Asphalt Shingles vs. Clay Tiles
  • Plumbing: (I don’t even know but there’s gotta be something relevant here.)

What Else?

There’s so much more to a house than just the “sticker price.” So why is that what you see so often in Real Estate marketing?

I’m no agent. This is just the sort of stuff that I know I’d find useful as someone looking around at houses.

So what else do agents have access to that home buyers don’t know about and would find useful?

Get it into your email marketing plan. Stop sending a catalog and start providing real value.

Want to Learn More?

For more information on email marketing for real estate, view our complete Email Marketing for Real Estate Agents Guide.

32 Comments

  1. David Pannell

    4/12/2007 11:37 pm

    Right on the Money….

  2. Johan

    4/13/2007 6:05 am

    Hi

    These tips are great.

    I have started from a different angle where I focus on the home owners. And I provide them with a newsletter on monthly property trends and other relevant info.

    I have selected 800 people in my small suburb, I have to date phoned 100 and asked them to join my list. The success with getting people on the list is 99%.

    They become members of a membership site where I lock content from non members. I use wordpress.com a few plugins and awerber.

    The intention is that they will come to know me, like me and trust me and when they sell their home I be the one they phone đŸ˜‰

    Regards

    Johan

  3. Donna

    4/17/2007 2:24 pm

    We market to agents, brokers, investors and residential clients. I am also a licensed agent. These are great tips and we plan to use them to improve our offerings. We have had great success with aweber.

  4. » Real Estate Email Tips, Pt. 1 - Don’t Do This! - AWeber Blog

    4/17/2007 2:49 pm

    […] UPDATE: My post on real estate content ideas is now up on the blog – take a look and let me know if you agree/disagree/have other ideas on how to best market to potential buyers! This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 at 8:17 am and is filed under Email Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment response, trackback from your own site, or permalink. […]

  5. Daviud Carter

    4/24/2007 10:41 am

    I’m based in the UK and have implented Aweber on a fewe of my many sites. I am about to launch a new site that was mentioned in Business2.0 Magazine in November 06, called http://www.commercial-property.co.uk.

    At the pre-launch stage, I am already building a mailing list of potential advertisers (it will be free) and am receiving calls asking when the site will go live.

    I agree with much of what was in the article – but never forget the opportunity to pre-sell on a new site or business, as your visitors will tell you what the y want to see – just make sure you ask the question in some of your emails!

  6. David (RealtyMarketingCoach.com)

    6/12/2007 7:52 pm

    Thank you for this valuable blog entry,
    you are speaking from my heart – unfortunately
    most real estate agents don’t use email lists
    effectively and leave money on the table.

    May success be with you all

  7. Neil Simmons

    7/5/2007 11:12 pm

    I think the ‘local factors’ is particularly important. I’m buying my first house a little bit out of the city, but the govt. are building a new elevated train route to the airport that passes my house. It won’t be finished for 2 years, but I’m confident that the house will appreciate in value in the not too distant future.

  8. Carl Pruitt

    10/12/2007 10:02 am

    We have the same issue in mortgages. A campaign based on home buying or refinancing tips, or tips on how to improve your credit score works very well with the people who receive it. But the problem is that once you start talking about mortgages, that SPAM score starts going up quick – just because of the subject. So it’s hard to keep a whole series of emails consistently delivered. I had a website host that had a built-in autoresponder system, but I found that most of my messages weren’t being delivered. So I switched to Aweber recently. Hope that helps.

  9. Rick Marnon, Howell

    11/16/2007 12:01 pm

    This is a great post. I am a firm believer in that you need to establish a realtionship with your client as a trusted expert. Not just an expert. Anybody can be an expert, but not everybody can be trusted.

  10. Chris Heath

    12/16/2007 11:06 pm

    The whole key to the success of a Real Estate Agent is customer relations . It would be great get that info back from websites,as far as the current tools are, ACT and Goldmine are very good to keep up with customers relations.

  11. Bob Simpson

    1/27/2008 6:36 am

    I have had many clients who have approached my with an enquiry and taken over 1 year to purchase their property. I think many estate agents will show the prospect around for a while, and quickly give up on the prospect when they reaslise that the prospect is in no great rush. I always set a reminder on my outlook to keep following up with my client every month or so. Not too often to annoy them, but enough for them to know that I am still willing to assist them in their search.

  12. Matt Harrison

    1/28/2008 8:58 am

    My record is over 2 years between a prospective buyer first making an enquiry and them finally making the purchase.

    The same also applies to the home owner. Agents need to build relationships with the sellers as well. I have kept good relationships with Landlords and although it has taken sometimes a very long time to sell their property, they have stuck with me all the way through.

    As agents, we are in the middle and both sides (buyers and sellers) need attention.

  13. Justin Premick

    1/28/2008 9:21 am

    Matt,

    Very true – there are 2 sides to real estate transactions, and it pays to court the sellers, too!

    Great comments everyone, keep ’em coming…

  14. Johan

    1/28/2008 11:17 am

    Hi It’s amazing how famous you become when you focus on the sellers. It’s all about trust and permission. And as soon as they give you permission you are not pushing anymore.

  15. CSS Shadoz

    3/14/2008 1:08 pm

    i think your ideas are very useful. Do you know if many real estate companies use them today?

  16. Alec Bobdon

    4/12/2008 6:39 am

    Another thing that people should consider is trends in the rental market. This is particularly relevant for cities. Some cities, particularly Asian Cities have certain areas that are most popular with expatriates, and someone buying for an investment should consider the rental trends as well.

  17. Lyn Smith

    4/16/2008 7:05 am

    What with global warming, nowadaya one of the considerations for people looking to buy near the coast, is height above sea level !!

  18. Peter Bland

    4/24/2008 9:21 am

    Following on from that last point, maybe estate agents should consider selling up office in Greenland. There’s going to be some nice real estate opening up there after the world temperature goes up a few degrees!

  19. John

    6/18/2009 4:02 pm

    You are spot on with your tips. I have a drip email campaign for my website visitors in many categories, and each campaign focuses in these points among others.

  20. William Tingle

    12/15/2010 9:24 am

    When it comes to content ideas on real estate I try to keep mixing it up but I do send some standard stuff like the ones mentioned with the main goal of getting a connection and providing value.

  21. Andy

    3/4/2011 7:45 pm

    Nice article, Well done Quite true and honest!

  22. johannes Bergstrom

    7/11/2011 5:52 am

    I think that the community around the Real Estate company should be included in the newsletter. What I mean is all the social media channels, such as facebook, you tube etc.. we ourself have a you tube video for each listing.

  23. Dave Cook

    7/13/2011 1:57 am

    I think it is important to have testimonials

  24. Rob Smeed

    7/22/2011 7:26 am

    It seems to be quite popular nowadays to have an ‘on-line’ status, or a ‘chat now’, which could be used with apps such as Skype.

  25. Sue Clark

    8/16/2011 7:07 am

    It seems that social media is very important nowadays, and a lot of websites now have a ‘follow us on Twitter’ or ‘follow us on Facebook’ icon.

  26. S

    9/2/2011 2:38 am

    Businesses (including real estate firms) need to make sure that their website or blog looks good on mobile devices, as more and more people are now turning to mobile devices.

  27. rubal saggu

    9/29/2011 1:56 pm

    Thank you so much for providing this great information. That was just what I was looking for, keep the great info coming.

  28. Amy

    11/18/2011 5:47 pm

    It was really helpful information for both of buyer and owner. Great post.

  29. Adelaide

    5/2/2012 12:17 am

    I will follow up your ideas of email content and I hope, these will be beneficial for my business.

  30. Michael Pasquale

    4/9/2013 8:59 am

    You are right in saying that good relationship with the sellers is needed. You must also be able show the sellers how eager you are to sell their properties and you are doing your best to close a deal.

  31. Dallas TX REALTOR

    6/13/2014 12:41 pm

    Thank you! More please! I’m always, always, always looking for fresh ideas for my real estate newsletter. It isn’t easy!

  32. Mr. Declan

    8/23/2014 3:18 am

    It is all about email marketing blog summary and also about five content for real estate emails..which is really good & very useful to that..thanks to share it..