In an industry where a large portion of business comes from referrals, keeping in touch with past clients is crucial. It keeps you top of mind and creates an easy entry point to reopen communication.
As it relates to marketing investment properties for sale, brokers’ will leverage market intelligence and the ability to find the best buyer through successful marketing campaigns as a way to engage clients.
CRE marketing programs are core to commercial brokers’ value-add, and also core to brokers’ attempts to differentiate from the competition. A large part of procuring and retaining clients is promoting yourself and your ability to sell a property. To do this, use proven marketing strategies that are unique to each property you sell.
The broker creates a marketing document and will initiate a marketing campaign targeting potential buyers. These campaigns exist on a wide spectrum, from outbound calls to 20 relevant buyers (relationship driven) to open or post listings online accompanied by large (sometimes 20,000 recipients) e-marketing campaigns and outbound cold solicitation calls. Aside from those tasks, brokers also have to figure out ways to uncover a buyer for their seller.
Email Marketing for Real Estate Professionals
A common strategy for brokers is to use email campaigns as a way to find buyers. Email marketing can be an extremely useful tool for your business. First, you have a direct line of communication with potential buyers or sellers. And you already know these are strong contacts interested in working with you. Second, with a robust contact list, you can take that contact information and use it across other channels. For example, you can target your email list through Facebook.
Email marketing has a very high ROI. For businesses in the U.S., there is an average of Email marketing has an ROI of 3800% according to the DMA. While email can be oversaturated, marketers rank email as the single most effective tactic for acquisition, conversion, and retention. 70% of people say they always open emails from companies they love, and for every $1 spent on email marketing $44 is made in return, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. So if you have a good brand with a strong following, your message is likely to be read. On average, employees spend 13 of their working hours each week in their email inbox. However, if you don’t engage with your clients or send useless content, your emails will likely get lost, ignored or deleted.
One common tactic is starting with a limited distribution email campaign and widening distribution from there until an appropriate buyer is found. This must be unique to each property; some properties are best marketed on a more broad spectrum to get visibility for the deal. It is up to the broker to determine the appropriate target size.
It is also important to continually update your buyer database. With each deal, your segmented email lists should be updated to effectively execute campaigns. 77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns. Learn from each campaign and leverage that data as market intelligence going forward.
Sending deal announcement emails to the same list of subscribers, and through the same server as they do closed deal announcements or newsletters can be a big mistake. Most brokers send their prospects newsletters, market updates, and closing announcements. Because most of your subscribers opted in to receive deal flow, they are much more likely to unsubscribe from general marketing emails than they are from deal announcements. Growing a strong list is a difficult process, maintain it by allowing users to unsubscribe from your marketing while still receiving your deal announcements. This ensures your most important marketing emails are reviewed by the best prospects, not just by those with the fewest filters for spam.
Specify metrics you want to build on
The one metric every real estate agent would like to improve is their commissions, but in terms of marketing, determine all the areas you want to improve. Trying to increase awareness? Increasing your website traffic could be a great starting goal then. Want to cultivate future sellers? Building your email list might be your primary goal.
Identify your audience
Knowing who to market to is more than half the battle. Target a niche group of buyers and sellers you either have had experience working with or who you’d like to market to. Narrowing your focus will greatly improve your success.
One factor to consider in selecting an audience is to think of past clients. If you haven’t found success with a certain segment of buyers and sellers, you should likely market to a new group. If you’re satisfied with your contacts and business success, stick to marketing to the same audience.
We live in the age of Big Data. Figures related to sales, property values, tax, and dozens of other areas influence marketing decisions for agents and brokers nationwide. Embrace this data for your local market to determine who’s worth pursuing and who’s not. Research your neck of the woods to help inform what marketing tactics to undertake.
Make use of big data and understand your target market with Reonomy. By tailoring your message to the interests and behaviors of your leads you are much more likely to connect with potential clients and foster relationships. With Reonomy you are able to achieve this by running targeted, filter searches specific to your needs. The search returns a list of relevant leads, and the option to access contact information for any property on your list. Here are a couple of popular filters and searches among commercial real estate brokers.
Finding in-market and asset type leads.
The first step in making any lead search more relevant is ensuring that the property owner you are emailing fits into your focus domain. This includes filtering for both geography and property type.
Find seller leads.
If you are a sales broker, finding prospects looking to sell is an ongoing battle. In the Reonomy platform, there are several prospecting searches to find leads that are more likely to list. These should be applied in combination with the property type and geographic searches as described above. One of those is searching for properties that have not sold in the last 10 years. The reason for this is that the average holding period of a commercial property is 10 years and if a property hasn’t sold in this period then it is more likely to sell than one that has. Ten years is just one range, you may feel that this period should be longer or shorter and can change accordingly.
Finding buyer leads.
On the other hand, if you have a range of properties that you are looking to find buyers for, you will run slightly different searches. There are several ways that this can be achieved in the Reonomy platform. The first of these is to search for recent sellers. The idea here is that recent sellers have cash on hand and the potential to invest their cash elsewhere.
The second way to find buyer leads is to search for recent buyers. Here, Reonomy users are looking at investors making purchases with the potential to make further acquisitions. You can try any of the example searches yourself within the Reonomy platform. Tailor your search on who you determine best to email.
In order to get more business from real estate email marketing, you need to send the right message, to the right lead, at the right time. In order to do that, you need to know what to send them.
The first email any lead will receive is a welcome email. This a short, friendly yet professional message to thank them for signing up for your email list, or ordering a free competitive market analysis from your landing page. You should also tell them what to expect from future emails.
When writing your welcome email, you should focus on answering these two questions for your leads:
- What kinds of emails will you send them?
- Why are you someone they want to work with?
Since competition for buyers and sellers is fierce, getting your welcome email just right is crucial for any successful email campaign. Think of it as your elevator pitch – you need to grab their attention and prove your value quickly.
Make it actionable
- A powerful and intelligent headline will grab attention instantly, and make your content stand out.
- Discuss features of your product, services or solution – these are important, distinctive qualities that could be listed on a package.
- Describe the function of these features or the purpose that they are meant to serve.
- Explain the benefit of your value proposition. How are you helping them, and why should they want to work with you moving forward?
- Finally, use a call to action to motivate a decision in your readers to get more information or contact you directly.
Like all good marketing messages, emails should have a prominent call to action (CTA). Your CTA can be an offer to schedule a phone call or in-person meeting, an invitation to connect on Linkedin or other social media, or an invitation to add you to their address book so further newsletter emails don’t wind up in their spam folder or “promotional” tab on gmail.
Whatever CTA you decide to use, remember to make it prominent. A button is a great way to encourage people to click your CTA. They may never call or click to set up a meeting, but it reminds them there is a real person behind your emails that they can talk to when they’re ready. Remember, your goal of any real estate email marketing campaign is to get them off email and into your office.
Besides an interview, there is no better way to tell your lead that you’re a local market expert and someone they want to spend time with than an email newsletter. Email newsletters are a great way to educate, entertain, and sell to your leads until they’re ready to hire you. They’re also the perfect way to stay top of mind — with your best source of new leads or former clients who refer you to friends.
Try to keep these emails short enough to read or skim in a few minutes, and only send relevant, engaging, and shareable content. You can include market reports, interesting articles, or sneak previews of new listings. 2-4 topics or articles per email are more than enough.
Not only does a regular company newsletter allow you to stay in touch with your most valuable prospects and customers, it provides a means to showcase the activity of your company, offer valuable free information, and build a relationship that transcends the anonymity of your website.
To help educate your lead, you can post content like infographics highlighting market data (Use a free service like Venngage to create eye-catching and shareable infographics), links to interesting news articles about your local market, recent sales or new listings, or advice. If you do decide to post articles, remember to always include a quick summary to explain why it matters to your audience. Always focus on the needs and interests of your audience.
For people who don’t work in the industry, a newsletter about interest rates and median price per square foot can get dull pretty quickly, so be sure to include content that is engaging and entertaining to people in your area. You can also include charities or other local events you participate in, and other opportunities to connect.
Make it convincing
There is no quicker way to end up in someone’s spam folder than constantly pushing for a sale in your newsletter. No one likes to be thought of as a dollar sign. You can and should include invitations and new and recently sold listings, but try to keep the main focus of your newsletter on educating and entertaining first and leave selling as an afterthought.
In addition to newsletters sent out to different segments, if you are looking to connect on a certain deal or market yourself more aggressively or specifically a drip campaign might be the way to go. Say you have a great new property and a list of 50 potential clients that could be interested. From your initial email, you may want to set up a drip campaign. Set the campaign so a second email is sent to people who click or look through the first email. The second emails might request further contact or a meeting. Based on if there is a response to that email, perhaps it triggers another.
The end goal is to get the person to want to do business with you – not to annoy them. So make sure that your content is meaningful, personal, direct and informative.
To clearly understand how to segment and target your emails to lists more directly, think about it in terms of buyer and seller lists. Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. – Campaign Monito. Failing to segment your email lists to execute targeted marketing can be a big mistake. Building market intelligence on a buyer database is the first step to segmenting a large list of buyers not interested in every deal. Sending 5 office deals in Indiana to a buyer active on multifamily in New York will not find you success. Put systems in place to collect data on every deal send for use in segmenting buyer lists. Not only does this help shorten deal life cycles going forward (not cold calling 100 buyers who have not indicated interest in the Indiana office deals), but it helps brokers appear smart in the marketplace and convert buyers to future clients.
Buyer and Seller emails
You wouldn’t target a buyer the same way you would target a seller – so why would you send them the same email? Personalization is key to an email response. Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.as reported by Aberdeen. People don’t want to feel like they are just part of an email blast. You are much more likely to get a response when you have personal information about the client, and have directed the email to them by name or managed to reference something specific to their company or interests.
Email Marketing software
CRMs If you want to step up your email marketing game, then you need to get a powerful real estate CRM like Contactually, Hubspot, Active Campaign or campaign monitor. There are a ton of CRMs out there – so make sure to do research around features you need if you are looking for a new CRM.
So you know what to look for, let’s dive into what two of these platforms offer.
ActiveCampaign is an email newsletter driven site that also includes a full-featured CRM with marketing automation. You can gather leads, with rich profiles on each one that includes your conversations with them, their latest social network updates, and more. Then, you can convert them to leads, sort them on boards as you take them through your sales process, and keep them updated about your company with beautiful email newsletters.
Or, you can automate your marketing with ActiveCampaign’s flowchart-style marketing automation screen that lets you easily create detailed automation workflows. You can use data from your contacts profiles, their interactions with your site or emails, or anything else to steer your automation and reach back out to them with emails. You can even remind yourself to follow up on the most promising leads, or automatically turn off emails to people who seem to not be interested. Then, you can still reach out to all of your contacts with email newsletters, without needing a separate app for sending update emails.
HubSpot allows you to see what content is performing best and what pages are being looked at in real time, along with the tools you need to create great landing pages, blog posts, and more, plus CRM tools that’ll help you identify your customers and continue your marketing efforts. It has a detailed CRM that shows info about your site visitors, marketing automation tools to reach out to your visitors and turn them into customers, and the Sidekick tool gives give you a combined place to email and contact everyone.
Based on your CRM, you can organize your leads into segments and design custom-tailored drip campaigns to ensure you reach the right lead, with the right message, at the right time. For example, you can create a filter that puts all your buyer leads on one drip campaign, and another for sellers.
For a less intensive and more cost-effective option, you can sign up with an all-in-one real estate lead generation website like Placester, Real Geeks, or Zurple who offer email drip campaigns, your own responsive IDX website, Google and Facebook advertising, and lead management all for around $150 per month.
If you’re not happy with the email marketing capabilities that come with your lead generation website’s CRM, they also offer integration with popular email marketing software like Constant Contact, Aweber, and MailChimp
A/B testing & other forms of quality control
Open rate, click through rate and delivery rate.
Delivery rate is the main starting point of your email campaign and is a great metric to monitor the strength of your email list. A high deliverable rate means your message is, in fact, reaching your intended audience. A low delivery rate means you need to work on building a healthy subscription list, and a lot of emails are getting dropped and not delivered to your intended recipients.
Once your email has reached your clients’ inbox, the next challenge is to get the email read. Your subject line will have the biggest impact on your campaign and is what gets the subscriber to click “open”. It needs to catch the reader’s attention and should be relevant to the user to describe what the reader can expect when reading the entire email. A great way to learn from your emails and see what kind of headlines are getting people to open your emails is to use A/B testing. You should be able to automate this through your email service provider, and then use the results of campaigns to further inform your future marketing emails. In this case, content in the email is the same. This would be a case where you want to look at open rates only based on a difference in the headline of the email.
A/B testing is a classic way to find out what kind of content, headlines and emails are working best for you. You have the option to target segments in different proportions, with emails as similar or varied as you want.
Research by Implix found that subject lines with more than 25 characters are more likely to be read than subject lines with less than 25 characters.
After your subscriber has received the email and opened it, the goal is for them to take action. This is solely down to your content – make sure your content is relevant to the client. Relevant emails will have high click-through rates. If your email campaign approach is to send one email to all subscribers, your click-through rates will likely be poor.
To achieve high click-through rates, segment your lists by topics of interest. It may result in sending more email campaigns per month, but it will bring more visitors to your website and result in fewer subscribers clicking the unsubscribe button.
In order to make these tests, you need an email provider that allows you to track how clients interact with your content. When deciding which email platform to use, consider all of the factors. Price, tools, analytics and tracking capabilities, segmentation capabilities, how many contacts you have or will need to contact, what kind of drip campaigns do you need to run etc.
However, email conversion rate is a statistic not everyone knows. If your email service provider doesn’t include a/b testing abilities, it is possible to track your email campaigns using the Google URL builder to identify how much revenue each email brings and your email conversion rate.
If you would like to increase your email marketing lead lists, why not sign up for a free trial today.