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Email Marketing for Real Estate Agents: How to Build an Email List

By Ben Shepardson | June 27, 2022

If you want to be a successful real estate professional, there are no two ways to say it: you need a solid email marketing client base that goes the distance. Getting your name out there, building new relationships, and maintaining existing ones is all part of the job, and it’s a major part – no matter what you do or where you go, everyone, you meet should know you’re a real estate agent and you’d be happy to work with them. 

Does that sound like an unrealistic goal? You might think so, but the truth is that there are indeed ways for you to build relationships with as many people as possible. In this case, it’s no secret: email marketing for real estate agents is the most effective way to do just that. In the following guide, we’ll discuss how to build an email list, how to manage one over time, and how to leverage that list in the most effective ways for marketing you and your professional services.

Why Turn to Email Marketing for Real Estate Agents in the First Place?

Email marketing is an incredibly robust tool for building and maintaining those all-important client relationships. That’s what being a real estate professional truly is all about – sure, you’re in the business of facilitating property sales, but the real heart of your job is building relationships, real, long-lasting ones, with clients while doing so. That’s because happy clients that are satisfied with your service come back when they want to handle another property purchase – and recommend you to others looking for real estate services. 

Today, being able to keep in touch with clients digitally is even more important than it has ever been. If the coronavirus outbreak has taught us anything, it’s that life can and does go on when we find alternative methods of communication – and in this case, it’s email and other digital communications that helped hundreds of business sectors survive the COVID-19 pandemic to come out the other side. That includes the real estate market! In other words, online marketing methods, of which email marketing is just one very important facet, have become crucially important. That’s unlikely to change any time soon.

What Email Tools Bring to the Table

At this point, maybe you’re thinking there’s something to this whole email marketing for real estate after all! But it’s understandable if you don’t know where to start, much less how email marketing tools work. That’s why we’ve come up with a good list of the most common features of email tools, which typically include the following:

  • The ability to collect new leads and clients easily
  • Methods for building community relationships that stand the test of time
  • Procedures to establish your own reputation and solidify your brand
  • Send e-mails on a timely schedule with an eye toward growing your sales figures 
  • Use automation tools to save you time and energy 
  • An easy follow-up to encourage satisfied clients for referrals after a successful deal

How to Start Building Your Email List: Pick the Tool For You

Your network is your lifeblood as a real estate agent. It all comes down to how well you work that network and how good you are at building and strengthening the relationships you have with that network. The bigger your network gets, the more potential success you’ll have – but it also gets more difficult to forge real connections with others. There are only so many hours in the day for face-to-faces after all! That’s where email marketing helps you hit these targets with ease in ways you couldn’t do without it. 

Of course, so much depends on what tool you use when it comes to building your email list. Real estate professionals need one that can help you manage contacts, properties they’re interested in, and everything else that goes into the balancing act. That’s why the best email marketing tools have the following functionalities:

  • Email automation, which lets you automate welcome emails, follow-up messages sent after viewings, e-mails to check up on satisfied buyers, or any other type of message you send regularly. An email tool with automation lets you set up a schedule and then go about your business without having to do everything by hand. Just check to see if you’ve gotten any replies regularly!
  • Market segmentation, helps you group your contacts into specific demographics. If you want to target first-home buyers with one specific email, for example, segmenting them into their own group makes it a quick and easy process. The same goes for any class of contacts in your network, as the choice is yours: segment them by age, budget, geographical location, interests, or anything else you can think of.
  • Signup forms, help you capture new leads in a simple, organized process. A signup form collects contact information from new leads, grouping and segmenting them according to how you categorize them – and again, this makes it easier than ever to follow up with more personalized emails and interactions. 
  • Branding, helps you showcase who you are and why you’re the best at what you do. Every email you send to someone in your network, you’re demonstrating that you’re not just another real estate agent – you’re a real person, with a real personality, and you’re really dedicated to ensuring you meet the needs of all your clients. Plus, you can share value-added content in the form of regular newsletters!
  • Subscriber groups, which you can update manually and classify to your heart’s content. When combined with other email tools like market segmentation and email automation, you can create entire custom campaigns that are personalized for each subscriber group, as well as even further personalized for any segments of that subscriber group. The more personalized you make your emails, the better value they’ll have to your network.

The Next Step: Capturing Leads

Once you’ve got the infrastructure of an email marketing database ready to go, it’s time to get to the real work: capturing leads to populating that database. There are opportunities to begin this process everywhere, such as collecting email addresses at open houses and networking events. You can even take down emails at social events whenever you run into people who react with interest after learning you’re a real estate professional. This can be done either the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, but it's easier if you collect email addresses digitally with your mobile device, adding the addresses directly to your list then and there.

That doesn’t mean that you’re only going to be building that email list from in-person interactions, though. Online marketing is incredibly important today, and that means you’ve got to be present there as well so that you can reach as many other people as possible. You can leverage social media or Google using paid ads, but this can add up very quickly. What’s often more effective – and certainly less expensive – is to focus on organic search engine optimization methods, such as creating online content with keywords that will be relevant to the type of leads you’re looking for.

You’ve Got Your Email List – Now What?

So you’ve gone ahead and populated your email marketing database with lots of fresh new email addresses. Congratulations – you’ve built yourself a great list! But now what do you do? Send a welcome email, of course, but what should that email say? What should it look like? The first email you send to new members of your network is of crucial importance, as it sets the tone for the entire relationship, and a single misstep here can send prospective leads scrambling for the unsubscribe button if you’re not careful.

In this case, you use the welcome email to introduce yourself more fully to your audience. Remember – you likely either just met them briefly at an in-person event or they clicked on a social media or search link to find you. It’s time to show your stuff – who you are, why you’re an expert in your field, and why you can be trusted. Offer a glimpse at the experienced professional you are and above all show your network why you’re the agent to go with instead of one of your competitors. Additionally, never end a welcome email without a call-to-action that sets up a follow-up conversation, either a phone call, a message, or an email back.

Following Up On That First Email

Now that you’ve introduced yourself, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and start proving to your network that all the great things you said about yourself are absolutely true. That’s why the next few emails you send should be chock full of entertaining, informative content that adds value to your network in terms of learning more about the real estate industry. This is not time for the hard sell – instead, it’s time to build relationships.

Great email content that adds value can take many forms. As the goal is to build a community spirit among your network, it’s time to begin drawing attention to the things that make the neighborhood you live and work in so great. Tell your email list about fun events coming up in town, new restaurants and shops that have opened, how the local school sports teams are doing, and whether there are any local charities that you’re participating in. Alongside this, include information like home improvement and DIY tips, the occasional news tidbit on how the real estate market is performing currently, and similar content.

Send Targeted Emails To Your Segmented Subscriber Lists

The more work that you do to establish that you’re more than just another faceless real estate agent looking for their commission and nothing else, the more receptive your list will be to emails that let them know about property sale opportunities in their community. Instead of hard selling, you’re simply looking out for your network, letting them know what’s going on because you know they’re interested in certain types of properties based on your earlier interactions.

The best way to supercharge this is to use market segmentation and subscriber lists to send out automated emails whenever a specific property comes across your desk that ticks certain boxes. Do you have house hunters looking for bargain properties that they can renovate and rehab themselves? Send out an email to that segmented list when a new one goes up on the market. Do you know you’ve got leads that are interested in buying investment properties for vacation or long-term rentals? Create a custom list that you can send email alerts out to whenever subdivided homes are on sale. The possibilities are endless.

The Final Word on Email Marketing for Real Estate Agents

Truth be told, it’s hard work being a real estate professional – especially when it comes to building a robust customer base. Clients don’t exactly grow on trees, and that’s why you need to both gather leads as effectively as possible and then nurture those leads in ways that have the greatest impact on growing positive relationships with them. 

This is a tall order to be sure, but you didn’t get into the real estate profession because you thought it would be easy – you got into it because you have a passion for connecting people with houses, and houses with people. Building an email list and then using that list to provide value to your network helps you accomplish all of these goals in ways that help reduce the amount of work you would have to do otherwise. That’s why email marketing is such an absolute lifesaver when it comes to growing your own personal brand as a real estate agent, so make sure you leverage this amazing tool today!

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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