Newsletters should be a staple of every successful broker's marketing plan. For every dollar spent on email marketing, companies see a return of $38, making it a highly cost-effective way to spend some marketing dollars.
Still, you may feel you're not keeping up. "Where will I ever find the time?" many brokers and agents lament. But, if you follow these simple steps and ideas or your broker newsletter, you can create a steady, systematic way to keep in touch with clients and prospects year-round.
Why Create a Newsletter?
Real estate newsletters have at least two key benefits:
- They build your brand and establish your credibility as a real estate professional. Especially when you include powerful market data or hard-to-find information about a community, you can be viewed as an expert in your geography.
- They keep you connected. You never know exactly when someone is ready to buy or sell. Newsletters keep your brand top-of-mind, and when a buyer, seller or renter is ready to take action, you'll be at the top of their inbox.
Develop a Content Strategy for Your Broker Newsletters
If those reasons make you eager to get started, pump the brakes for a second. Before you put your fingers to the keyboard, be sure you develop a sound marketing plan. Here are a few factors to consider.
It begins with the names that are on your email list. Using a tool like PropStream's List Automator enables you to add your own contact leads to others and apply filters so that you can even customize messages to specific audiences. When you meet new prospects, ask them if you can add them to your database, too.
Decide on the frequency of your newsletter. If you're feeling challenged and time-pressed, you can start with one per quarter and then expand from there. Test different days of the week and times of day to see what performs best, but establish a set schedule and stick to it.
If you need to enlist external help to get it done, look for a partner with extensive experience with real estate newsletters but enough of a unique style and approach so that your newsletter won't look exactly like your competitors' communications.
Content and Graphics
When your newsletter lands in someone's inbox, you want to make sure it gets viewed and read.
- Use high-power subject lines. The average consumer gets hundreds, if not thousands, of emails a week. How will yours stand out?
- Be consistent and powerful in your brand look and feel. Many brokers use attractive photos of themselves to personalize the newsletter.
- Video and graphics rule these days. Among the brokers we polled, all of them said their newsletters containing videos (either "talking heads" from the brokers themselves or creative clips about a property) outperformed text- and graphic-only newsletters.
- Include a small handful of links to relevant content. These keep readers engaged and offer you a way to track and measure that engagement (see below).
- Be pithy and direct. Today's consumers don't have time to scroll through endless copies. Many people read their emails on their phones. Be sure your newsletter is mobile-friendly and easy to consume.
- Include information readers can't find everywhere else. Many brokers and agents give shout-outs to local businesses or highlight upcoming events.
Share, Analyze, and Learn
Once your email launches, your work has only begun. Be sure also to share your newsletter throughout social media and encourage people to sign up on your website. Continually build your database.
An advantage that email marketing has over other marketing forms is that it's highly trackable. You can see exactly who opened your newsletter and when. Most newsletter systems will also tell you which links are the most popular. This helps you to keep fine-tuning your newsletter and campaign efforts.
Crafting an effective broker newsletter is both a science and an art. Those who do it well see the fruits of their labors — more sales, new and returning clients, and a hearty return on their investment.