Five Content Ideas for Real Estate Emails
By Justin Premick April 12, 2007
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).
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:
- 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?
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.
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.
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.)
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.