“When hell freezes over!”
That was the response of one of our clients when she was asked if she’d give up her monthly real estate newsletter she’s done for ten years.
A regular newsletter – print, email or posted on social media – is one of the most time-tested, effective and proven real estate marketing strategies.
In fact, marketing experts across all businesses, large and small, give advice such as:
“…my single biggest recommendation is the use of a monthly customer newsletter… Nothing, and I mean nothing, maintains your fence better.”
Dan Kennedy, No B.S. Sales Success
Dan Kennedy here refers to his analogy of a ”fence” being the method you use to secure repeat sales and referrals from your past, current and potential clients to make sure they don’t “jump the fence” and work with your competitor.
How long has it been since you last spoke to all your past vendors, buyers, appraisals and other contacts?
Have they forgotten your name?
Are they talking to the agent in the office across the street from you?
Here are 7 secrets on how to create a successful real estate newsletter to:
- Secure repeat sales and referrals
- Get more listings from your geographical farm area
- Meaningfully engage with a social media audience
- Increase your income
Secret #1: It’s Not All About Real Estate
Your ultimate goal as a real estate professional is to build a large community of people who know, like and trust you, then call you when it’s time to sell.
At any one time, only around five percent of people are interested in buying or selling. The new homeowner who just bought a new home will loathe hearing from you if have nothing to offer but hounding them for the sale. You need to stay in touch in a way that is relevant, authentic, friendly and professional so that when they do decide to sell again, whether that’s in two or twelve years’ time, they remember your name and know that you are still successfully selling in their local area.
Half of your newsletter should actually have nothing to do with real estate. It should have fun and friendly advice and information that is relevant to a homeowner, whether or not they are thinking of selling.
Current events, inspirational stories, advice on healthy living, motivational type articles, recipes, quotes and a touch of humour all work well as non-real estate content. A snippet from you personally with a pic of your children, pets, most recent holiday or the office Christmas party keeps the feel very warm and friendly.
Secret #2: Position Yourself as the Local Area Expert
People like to deal with an expert. If you’re having a triple heart by-pass your surgeon will take the time to explain the process in detail, what to expect, highlight potential complications and answer any questions, as well as communicating their qualifications and experience.
As a real estate agent responsible for the sale of people’s most valuable asset, you too need to assure them you are the best.
Use your newsletter to pre-educate vendors about the sale process, how to decide on a method of sale, why they should invest in marketing, how to present their home for sale. Assure them that you know exactly how to achieve the best price.
Secret #3: Use Social Proof
What other people say about you is at least ten times more powerful than anything you say about yourself. Ask all your vendors for a testimonial after the sale. Include these in your monthly real estate newsletter. Before committing, people want to know that you are who you say you are and that others have had success in working with you too.
Secret #4: Include Evidence of Your Success
Include photos of your current listings and recent sales, prices achieved and auction statistics. Case studies written as heart-warming stories from your vendors have star-pulling power. Show that you are active in the local area, and consistently achieving excellent results.
Secret #5: Frequency is Key
To be most effective, a real estate newsletter needs to be monthly. Any more frequently it can become annoying (especially for people not interested in buying or selling), any less than that, if someone misses one or two issues (someone else clears the mailbox, they overlook your email, scroll past your post) they end up not hearing from you for six months. People need to hear from you every month so they remember your name, feel like you actually care enough to maintain the relationship beyond the sale, and that you are still active.
Secret #6: Build Your Tribe
After more than a decade in the industry, I’m still shocked at how many agents still don’t “get” the concept of building a large community of people who know, like and trust you, then call you when it’s time to sell.
A marketing strategy that only targets people ready to sell right now is a recipe for wasted marketing spend, and energy burn out. If you only target 3-4 streets for a couple of months, then move onto another set of streets you might get lucky occasionally but you’ll never create a consistent flow of new listings.
Trust is built over time. Consistently contacting the exact same group of homeowners over and over again – whether by mailbox drop, email to a database or posting to a social media audience – builds your “tribe”.
People who remember you. People who trust you. People who refer you to their neighbours, friends and family. And call you when they need to sell.
It’s a much more enjoyable and sustainable way to do business.
Secret #7: Have Your Real Estate Newsletter Professionally Done For You
It takes time to create a successful real estate newsletter. An agent enquiring about our services recently told me it takes him the best part of three or four days.
How much is your time actually worth? Let’s say your goal is 3-4 listings per month, 48 listings per year.
Using an easy to calculate, in the hand commission of $10,000, your income goal might be $480K. Real estate isn’t a 9-5 job so with a 60 hour working week, your time is worth $154 an hour.
To write and design a half-decent real estate newsletter will realistically take 5-6 hours, more if you want it to be really professional, and that’s not to mention the energy it takes to constantly be on the search for new sources of inspiration to keep it fresh and interesting.
Six hours of your time is worth $924. For much less than that, you could get someone to write and design your newsletter, plus print it on high quality paper, email it to your database and post it on social media!
What would you do with an extra six hours? Sell more houses? More time with your family?
Contact us today to explore having your print and/or email newsletter and social media marketing done for you.