If you want to grow your list of clients in commercial real estate and stay in touch with them in a meaningful way, an email based newsletter is a good strategy. Whilst many agents and brokers do already send out newsletters to their client base, they do so with little planning and skill; this then leaves lots of opportunity for others to master the process and improve outcomes.
So what is it?
In basic terms the email newsletter is a marketing process; it is convenient and can be very professional. It is also cheap to implement and easy to maintain. All agents should be participating in an online newsletter as part of their marketing practices. They can do that individually or as part of their brokerage. In my view the individual process is preferable as you are then promoting yourself as a real estate expert and not just your brokerage.
Here are important tips to help you in establishing this marketing process:
- The information that you send out should not just be ‘listing’ based. Provide up to date information about the local area that would be of interest to property owners and business leaders. Check out the shifts in property zoning, highways, road changes, property ownership, business activity, and new local property developments. There are lots of things to write about and talk to that will be relevant and of interest to many.
- To start your list, use one of the well-established and proven list management services such as AWeber or Mailchimp. They are very easy to join and will integrate into your database needs and activities. The costs of the services are low and they are very user friendly to those that know little about this mode of marketing. They usually provide training and support to help you get started.
- Make it easy for people to get the newsletter. Your website, your listings, and your blog should all feature links to a ‘sign on’ page or box where people can ‘join up’. It is easy to use the HTML code from your list manager or database service to achieve that ‘sign up’ strategy and link. So why should people sign up? That’s where the valuable local property information becomes really important; it can attract people to you and your real estate skills and must be your point of difference.
- When you connect with new property people through and as part of your prospecting and networking, ask them if they would like to get your information about the local area. Remember that the valuable part of the equation is ‘real information’ and not just property listings (that’s what most other agents do – you must be more relevant and valuable to the process). When someone agrees to join your list, enter them into your database and send them an email explaining what you have done. Make it easy for them to ‘opt out’ of the process by including the necessary links on your emails. Your email manager will normally do this as part of the email format and in the provision of services.
- Set up a number of informational articles through your list manager service that can be automatically sent by ‘auto responders’ to people on your list. At a predetermined frequency those articles will be sent to new people on your list. You can set the frequency of hours, days, weeks, or months; it really depends on just how many auto responders you want to set up. Over time this ‘information’ service will help strengthen your personal relevance as a ‘top agent’.
- Create a ‘banner’ on your email newsletters that is consistent with your agency brand or your name, so you are consolidating and growing your personal profile with every email. Your list manager will help you do this.
- In addition to sending informational articles to those people on your list, you can and should send updates and details about recent listings. This can be done weekly or fortnightly. Consistency is the key to making this work.
- Some people will leave your list over time, so you must have a strategy to grow your list from ongoing new subscribers; that is why your website, blog and personal contact is so important to the process. Online marketing is a big part of our industry and will continue to strengthen its hold with changes in technology.
When this is done correctly, you should see more people join your list daily. Over time this can mean a growing database of people that need or want property information.
This newsletter strategy can be achieved at an individual agent level if your brokerage is not suitably organised to start the process. As you grow your list of people, you can download your database whenever required.