In a previous article I mentioned that e-mail can be a really useful tool for real estate agents that want to attract more clients and keep an effective long-term marketing strategy. Beyond the advantages of this powerful tool, I also mentioned some fundamental principles of e-mail marketing that apply to real estate market as well. In this article I will explain what kind of content is adequate for each buyer’s journey stage and, therefore, what kind of email should be directed for the audience in each stage. Finally, I will mention some important requirements that an e-mail software should have to be considered reliable.
The real estate market changed a lot in the latest years. A lot of real estate consultants worried more with the client that wants to sell his property, however the client that wants to buy a property became more important. The buying journey became more complex and long. Nowadays, the client is more prepared and informed when he decides to contact an agent, because a lot of free content related to real estate market is easily available, for example the basic rules one should follow to secure a loan or the average price in certain locations. Therefore, I will describe the main stages one usually follows to buy a property.
Property’s buying stages
The first step from this process is consideration. In the beginning of this process it is very important to share relevant content for potential clients that are still not sure what kind of house or apartment they want to buy and, because of that, are searching for a lot of useful information. The information they are in search of can include current tendencies about the best moment to buy a property according to economic forecasting, real estate market latest news, what kind of property better attends their personal preferences. This content must be available in the first pages of the searching tool of their choice. Google has a qualitative criterion to define which websites have useful content related to the keywords used in the research, so it is worth to invest in a complete, updated and relevant blog for your different niche markets. A blog with educational content that has backlinks to it in other websites which are somehow relevant to your audience will give you more chances to be well indexed on Google.
The second and third steps are the active search for properties. For those steps, you should invest in sending e-mail to the list of clients that previously subscribed in your blog because they found the information you provided useful. This e-mail should have a clear goal and call-to-action, for instance an action that drives your potential clients to download a free e-book about available funding choices to finance a house. When the client is ready to visit different properties that matched her selection criteria, she is looking for personalized recommendations – that is why is so important to previously segment and build trust with your audience since the beginning of the process – and information about the buying process itself, including legal and contract data.
Next, there is the transaction stage, where the client already chose a property and wants to gather information related to this stage. The real estate agent can send an e-mail with important details about the purchase agreement, the property’s evaluation by an independent expert, how long will he need to wait before moving to the property after the end of the contract, which taxes does he need to pay.
Finally, the next step is known as aftersales. Many real estate agents do not put enough effort to engage the client in this stage, but the conclusion of the purchasing process does not end your relationship with this client. By sending exclusive content, as long as you are careful not to send it too often, you show him that you care enough for him and his needs in this important stage of life, not only for the commission. This is the key to be indicated by this client to his friends, colleagues and family. A client that loves the service provided by an agent will likely want to share it with others for free, and this is a very powerful way to get more clients. You can send a newsletter with new articles posted on your blog, as long as the content is potentially interesting for this list of past clients, for example the change of prices in properties located on the areas where they bought their houses. The e-mail is a great channel to send newsletters, and the receiver can be engaged to share the blog article in social media or even send personally to his friends.
I highly recommend you interview groups of clients from time to time to understand if the content themes are still relevant or interesting for those groups, and also to get suggestions of new content they would like to read about in the future. Before that, you must define your buyer personas for each group segmented, including details about their needs, wishes, lifestyle. Each buyer persona can represent, for example, a different buyer’s journey stage. The interview can have questions such as which channels of communication are frequently used by the clients to search for information about real estate market or available properties, and which content attracted them mostly to choose you as agent.
Next, I will explain the benefits of hiring a software that will help you send e-mails to lists of clients and leads to engage them for next steps through effective marketing campaigns.
Importance of e-mail campaigns
With a paid software service, it is possible to segment your list of clients and send the right e-mails to the right people, according to each buyer’s journey stage. Moreover, a quality service allows you to prepare reports and measure the opening rate and click through rate success. If your click through rate percentage is low, for example, you can change a few elements of the email and run tests with different e-mails to check which one performs better. You can change the title only, rewrite the e-mail content to be more interesting, or even just change the call to action so it is more direct and clear.
I warn you that the clients list must never be bought, but instead built based on trust that was established between you and your leads or potential clients. How can you build this trust? When the users access your blog, after clicking on a social media campaign or finding it on a research for keywords that are related to your content, you can offer the option to subscribe in your blog by providing some basic information, mainly a valid e-mail address to contact them and name. Do not ask for unnecessary information now, just for what you really need to first contact those subscribers. After they are subscribed, you can ask for more relevant information that will allow you to identify in which buyer’s journey phase they are, or you can ask that through a channel directly on the site where the users can ask questions to an agent, like a chat. Each e-mail that you will send must have a specific goal and also offer to the receiver something that he wishes for, or needs to solve his problem, in an attractive manner.
Finally, you can run other kinds of tests to improve your marketing campaign, such as tests to define what is the best time of the day or day of the week to send e-mails to a certain group. The idea is to send the exact same e-mails to the group of leads, however send half of the e-mails at one time and day, and the other half at another time and day. A good e-mail software usually provides the option to analyze and show which contacts are not interacting with your e-mails, so you can try to reengage them with a different campaign and, if they still do not interact, delete permanently from your list. Most quality e-mail services are paid, but you can also find decent free ones. The free software may not offer as many features, but for the beginning at least it can be enough to help you segment lists and send personalized e-mails to each group.