Rising home prices and mortgage rates have slowed down US real estate sales in some areas as more people take their time to consider their buying plans. Simultaneously, short-term rentals and migrations to the South—where housing rates are more affordable—are on the uptick.
Amid the industry's roller-coaster ways, real estate professionals need all the marketing and tech support they can get to focus on what they do best—build relationships. As a realtor or brokerage owner, there's no more ideal season than now to lean into the time-tested effectiveness of email marketing. By reading our guide, this versatile communication tool can help you nurture leads and train your new agents to compete strategically in the digital space.
Step-by-Step Email Marketing Guide to Increase Real Estate Leads and Clients:
- Email Isn't Dead: Why It Matters in Real Estate
- 5 Benefits of Email Marketing for Realtors
- Possible Factors Why People Are Disregarding Your Emails
- 10 Steps for Strategic Real Estate Email Marketing
- Effective Real Estate Email Campaigns
- Best Practices for Real Estate Email Marketing
- Frequently Asked Questions
Email Isn't Dead: Why It Matters in Real Estate
46% of realtors consider social media more effective in lead generation than multiple listing services or the platforms agents and brokers use to share information about properties for sale. However, 99% of email users check their inbox at least once daily.
All age groups use email, although each age bracket may depend on it more than others, depending on their needs.
According to GetResponse's Email Marketing Benchmarks report, real estate emails have an average open rate of 37.23%, higher than the 33.1% average across all industries. Thus, using emails to make your company known is vital in a sector with over 1.5 million registered realtors.
5 Benefits of Email Marketing for Realtors
Here are five reasons for incorporating email marketing into your digital marketing strategy:
Relevance and brand awareness
Emails can keep your name or company on top of your target audience's minds through free property updates and an offer to provide real estate guidance. Brand recall can lead to referrals, from which a majority of real estate firms get their business.
Social media blasts may achieve an extensive reach, but personalized emails have a greater chance of converting recipients to clients and sustaining customer relationships. Emails give you more control because you can address people by name at ideal times.
You can group your contacts list based on location, demographics, buying or selling stage, property type, spending power, and other categories to help craft messages suitable for each segment.
After launching your email campaign, you can check how your content performed through metrics, such as click-through rates (CTR), open rates, conversion rates, and engagement rates.
Email campaigns are cheaper than paid ads and direct mail. You may have to invest in email marketing software. But once you’ve established a workflow and subscriber list, it's easier to maintain communication.
Possible Factors Why People Are Disregarding Your Emails
If you're already using email for real estate marketing but aren't getting results, the following factors may be causing your contacts to skip your emails:
- Boring subject line
- Lack of a preheader or the gray-shaded text in your inbox after the subject line that contains text to build curiosity or summarize your email content
- Non-mobile-friendly content
- Irrelevant content
- Low-quality written or visual content
- Spam (unsolicited messages)-like format
- Too many emails
If your emails include one or more of the above, you can still turn things around by revamping your email strategy.
10 Steps for Strategic Real Estate Email Marketing
Following these steps can streamline your email marketing workflow and get more contacts to act on your messages:
1. Build a mailing list and upload it to your chosen software
The email addresses you collect and gather will come from your inbound and outbound leads. Outbound leads are products of your outreach, including cold calling, text, email, flyers, or billboards. Meanwhile, inbound leads contact you after reading your blog or attending a real estate event, or an activity you or your company hosted.
Find software that can segment your audience and automate your campaigns. Determine your mailing list size because most subscription-based platforms charge you depending on your contacts volume. Also, choose an online solution that your team can learn and use quickly based on your goals. A vast template library and A/B testing are some of the other must-have features to look for.
2. Segment your contacts
Email marketing platforms allow segmentation in various ways. One method is to group your email recipients based on where they are in the client journey. Leads already know your services and must be nurtured or "warmed up" to become a prospect through lead magnets, newsletters, and other offers.
You can further segment leads and prospects by criteria, such as location, interaction with your website, annual income, and gender. These variables aid in lead scoring—another tool to look for in email software—which allows you to determine the likelihood of the person converting.
3. Plan an appropriate campaign for every segment
Your content should match the segment they belong to, which means your emails for leads will differ from what you send existing clients. At the same time, you must customize separate messages for potential buyers and potential sellers.
Emails for leads:
- Welcome email
Welcome emails introduce yourself or your property firm and build trust with your lead. Results of GetResponse's report showed that welcome emails have a 63.91% open rate and a 14.34% click-through rate.
- New listings
The new listing email caters to the recipient's segment, including any pain points you may have discovered in interactions before sending out your welcome message.
- Educational series
For buyers, write about the latest market advice or an eBook on buying a home. For home sellers, share simple open house hacks and other tips to entice potential buyers.
- Client review or testimonial
For hot buyer leads, include examples of high-competition homes that you've helped past clients buy. For hot seller leads, write about the homes you've sold above the asking rate or in unique circumstances.
- Holiday message
Send a personalized greeting celebrating local, national, or worldwide holidays.
Emails for clients:
- Testimonial request
- Referral request
Keep in touch with previous clients and ask if they could refer you to relatives or friends who may need your services.
- Company news
Make your company's image shine by reporting on new property projects, company expansions, or new agents joining your team. Always focus on how these developments can benefit your readers.
- Greetings for birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays
Remembering the important dates in your clients’ lives makes them feel special and will inspire them to put in a good word for you when you need a review or referral.
Emails you can send to leads and clients:
- Social media contest invite
Offer a contest prize in partnership with a local establishment, such as home maintenance supplies or service providers.
- Property viewing or event announcement
An email newsletter positions you as a knowledgeable local expert who fosters connections within the community. It can feature several content types, such as listings, event announcements, market advice, and testimonials.
4. Design templates for each campaign type
Create templates for leads to save time and ensure that your content will resonate with the recipient's current needs.
- Include branding elements
To make your business recognizable in every digital touchpoint, your emails should align with your brand style guide, which includes your company's color scheme, logo versions, font, tone, and word usage. Email marketing software typically offers customizable templates.
- Brainstorm creative content ideas
The basic principle is to focus on your audience's interests and needs so you can't stick to listings and company-related stats. Remember the 80/20 rule: Make 20% of your content promotional and 80% educational.
Feature interesting infographics, a guide to saving for a home purchase, home improvement tips, mortgage advice, funny real estate memes, fun survey questions (“Which door color do you prefer?” or “What's your favorite part of your home?”), stories from previous clients, restaurant reviews, and neighborhood news, such as newly opened establishments and road construction or repairs.
- Optimize for mobile device viewing
5. Include a strong call to action (CTA)
Your email must always invite readers to take a specific action that will sustain their engagement with you. Make the CTA easy to do, such as clicking a button or sending a brief message.
6.Establish a consistent schedule
Automate your platform to send your pre-written templates after specific “trigger” events, such as registration to your newsletter, attendance to your webinar or open house, and holidays.
7. Adhere to local and national email laws
Check regulations governing commercial emails in your state or location to avoid getting penalties. In the US, businesses must comply with laws on spam, data privacy, and accessibility to people with visual and other disabilities.
8. Connect your email marketing software with your CRM
Find an email marketing tool or service that can sync with your customer relationship management system (CRM). Or choose a solution with a built-in CRM, where you can store your contact's data, keep track of interactions, update their status or stage in the buyer journey, and send more targeted content.
9. Conduct A/B testing, analyze results, and adapt
Pick a CRM with an A/B testing capability. In such a test, you send two versions of an email to see which one gets a higher CTR and open rate. Data analytics from the testing allows you to tweak aspects of your email and send a final message with the best-performing attributes.
You can perform a split test on the sender's name (your name, your company, or a combination of both: "Stanley at Estrada Realty"), subject line, layout, copy, images, CTA, and delivery times.
10. Combine emails with other marketing channels
Make your emails work in tandem with other digital marketing channels, including your social platforms, SMS, and website.
Effective Real Estate Email Campaigns
Use various campaigns to make your contact excited about your next message.
Send targeted emails to leads segmented by location, property type, or lead generation source (whether through your live or offline event, blog post, or other online content). For instance, you can send a targeted promotion of a listing to contacts living in a particular area.
Drip campaigns should be evergreen sequences of current and personalized emails triggered by an internet searcher's behavior—visiting your website, clicking on your blog post's link, or searching your listings. You can try these sequences for each internet searcher type.
For buyers: Welcome email (sent upon subscription), pre-buying tips (after one day), home types in the buyer's area (after two days), testimonial from similar home buyers (after two days), active listings in the area with a CTA (after three days), local market report and impact on buyers (after two days), invite to book a virtual or in-person consultation (after one day)
For sellers: Welcome email (sent upon subscription), home-selling checklist (after two days), home-selling and buying process (after three days), guide on home improvement priorities before listing their property (after three days), quick selling for best value tips (after two days), local market report with impact on sellers (after two days), invite to book a virtual or in-person consultation (after one day)
Post-event follow-up campaigns
Thank contacts for their attendance at your activity and request feedback. You can later share off-market listings similar to your open house and suggest a private tour, offer a buying guide, and request a meeting.
Referral or testimonial request campaigns
Share a happy client's experience with your agency or firm. You can include an image of the successful home purchase or sale.
Client milestone email campaigns
Birthdays and anniversaries are among the data you should save first and create an event campaign for using your email management system or CRM. Receiving a greeting on their special day is a connection builder.
Follow your state's spam laws when sending out cold emails. Your sequence should include an introduction, a query on their pain points, an offer to assist them with an expired listing, or a brief sales pitch.
Best Practices for Real Estate Email Marketing
These tips will help improve your email's open rate and engagement:
Use a custom domain
A custom email domain builds credibility among your target and prevents your messages from being sent to the spam folder. Web hosting firms typically include email addresses in their plans.
Choose a memorable sender name
Use any of the following formats to make your sender name more professional: Company Name, Your/Agent Name from Company Name, Your/Agent Name @ Company Name, or Company Name Newsletter. Avoid using "noreply@[Company Name]."
Write an appropriate subject line with a matching preheader
The subject line is your email's most important element so it needs to undergo A/B testing. Don't forget to include preheaders—they lead to a 25.83% open rate or about six percentage points higher than messages that don't have them.
Make your emails skimmable
Most people skim messages so pull them in with a catchy header text and image. Use simple language and short paragraphs with bold subheads (use bulleted or numbered lists when necessary). Front-load the most important information and close with a footer optimized for conversion. Do this by featuring a slogan or your brand mission with your contact info—including your official social channels, a CTA leading to your website, or any service updates.
We have just scratched the surface of email marketing tactics and how you can use them to close more deals. If lead segmentation and campaign development still sound complicated, get more tips from our blog or get support from email marketing agencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other content can I feature in my real estate email newsletter?
Explore the following ideas:
- Drone videos and video tours
- Landscaping and interior design tips
- Contractor reviews
- Homeowners' association information
- Property interviews (real estate lawyer or mortgage broker)
- Facts busting common buying and selling myths
- Historical trivia or vintage photos of your community landmarks
- Activities of your local charity
What are the most effective lead magnets to include in real estate emails?
You can offer these resources and activities in exchange for people's email addresses:
- Free home valuation or first consultation
- Property (cost of living, future value, home renovation, mortgage) calculators
- Free buying or selling guide
- Free local market report and insights
- Webinar or virtual Q&A session