For a product as unpredictable as real estate, reaching out to the right audience can be tricky. Modern realtors, builders and brokers are utilizing quite a few innovative ways to reach the millennials – videos, snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and many more.
McKinsey and company claim that email is 40x more effective than Twitter and Facebook put together.
There’s only one problem though – most real estate businesses are still using the spray and pray method in email to reach the potential home buyer.
Consequently, the responses that most real estate emails get are dismal as well. It’s time that real estate marketers make a much needed change to their email marketing techniques – by using trigger emails to send the prospects exactly what they need at one point. I am talking about including Drip campaigns in your marketing strategy.
When it comes to real estate drip marketing, there are four important elements that you need to remember.
- Target: Who would get your emails?
- Timing: When do they get your emails?
- Frequency: How often do they receive these emails?
- Content: What do these emails say?
Being flooded with random real estate emails is never fun. So, before you start shooting off your emails, you need to take a step back and think about who is going to be getting these emails and why.
The best bet on building a valid email list is by perfecting your lead generation strategy. Once you have a steady flow of leads coming in, you can then segment them into lists and start setting up relevant real estate drip campaigns.
(Get more tips on real estate lead generation here)
The buying cycle in real estate is usually much longer compared to other products and services. Therefore sending the right email at the right time can have a positive effect for your business.
(Here’s a step by step guide to help you set up your real estate drip campaigns)
By using a tool that tracks a lead’s activity and setting appropriate triggers, you could easily figure out what the lead is interested in. Sending them relevant content like pictures of the property, or offering a site visit , immediately after the event occurs, could push the scales in your favor.
This is a tricky one. There is no set formula about the number of emails a person should get from you. While it is true that frequent emails can increase brand recall, it is also true that too many emails can create a negative impression.
Look at this example:
I received three of the same emails over a period of 10 days. Let alone the fact that what they sell is not relevant to me, they now hold the much dreaded “spammer” title.
A study conducted with the question, “How often would you like the receive promotional emails?”, showed that most people preferred ‘at least monthly’ followed by ‘at least weekly’ (image below). You could experiment with the frequency, to find out what works for you, without flooding their inbox.
No matter how timed or spaced out your drips are, they won’t amount to much if the content doesn’t make sense to the user. The content can be anything from newsletters, promotional offers, videos or even surveys.
The more targeted the content, the higher the chances that the prospect will relate to it, and fewer unsubscribes.
What happens when I see an email with the subject line “3BHK villa now available in Marathahalli”? I either ignore it altogether, mark it as spam or if I’m in a particularly savage mood, I’d hit unsubscribe. Why? Because I cannot afford to buy a villa, and those mails add no value to me.
But if I were to get mails such as “1BHK on rent in HSR Layout” or “Luxury PG for ladies with the latest commodities”, then the probability of me opening the email to see the content would be higher. Why? Because that’s what I am looking for and that’s what I can afford.
(Here are top 6 real estate marketing must dos for you!)
Types of Real Estate Drip Campaigns:
While you can experiment with the type of content that you send your prospects, here are a few drip campaigns that all real estate businesses should set up at least once.
1. “Welcome to ABC Realtors”
This would be the email that you send your prospects the moment they enter your system as a lead. This could be through subscribing for your newsletter, signing up on your website or by filling a form on your landing page.
Since this would be the first interaction that you have with them, it is always wise to stick to the basics. Instead of sending them a lengthy email with pictures and videos of all the latest properties you have, a simple welcome message highlighting your USP would be the best bet.
2. “What’s new in real estate”
In order to get people to buy from you, you need give them reasons to value you. You can do this by helping them along during their research phase.
Send them occasional mails telling them about the nuances of buying property, the latest trends in the industry, how to maintain their new home and the like. Not all of them would know how to go about it and they’d appreciate a helping hand.
If you have a blog associated with your website (which you should have), then send over the latest posts that you have published. A sure shot way to keep them engaged! Based on their engagement with these emails, your sales team can re-target them at a later date.
3. “Book homes in your preferred location”
Since you are setting up drips only for those who willingly came to you, a little occasional promotion cannot hurt.
You can send over colorful pictures of your properties in the locality they would be interested in . Just make sure not to overdo it, though. The key here is to promote properties in locations they would prefer. No sense sending over pictures of exotic homes in Noida to someone living in Bangalore.
You could also experiment with your promotion, as well. Instead of the same boring emails exhibiting properties, you can put forward an offering that would appeal to your target audience. The way Zolostays has done.
Though cleaning services are commonplace at every PG, this is one catchy example that almost makes you believe you are getting special treatment.
4. “What our customers have to say”
Your prospects are more likely to believe your claims, if they have someone who will back it up. You can request your customers to write reviews on you. Then, pick out the best and send them along to your prospects. This gives you a sense of credibility like nothing else.
(Pro tip: Including a picture with the review gives it more authenticity, as our design expert believes)
5. “It has been a long time since we emailed”
If the prospect has been inactive for a while, then you need to tread carefully. Chances are, they either already found what they were looking for or have changed their mind about their real estate needs.
In this case, you can set up a time bound drip, that can be triggered on their inactivity. A mailer asking them if they are still interested in the property, along with a few pictures would work.
99acres has gone a step ahead and asked the lead outright, as to what they intend to do. These kind of surveys will make sure that you don’t annoy the customer with irrelevant promotions. Chances are that they’d appreciate the fact that you asked them before spamming :)
6. “Can you write us a review?”
Once they have become your customers, you can set up a drip after a specified period of time asking them to review your business on review portals, or to fill out a survey.
You could use the good reviews to nurture future prospects, and you also get feedback on how your business is perceived by your customers. It is also another way of making sure that they don’t forget you after the purchase is complete.
7. “We wish you a Happy New Year”
This is optional, but recommended to remain at the top of your customers’ minds. Sending your leads greetings on important occasions would only create a good impression of your company. This drip can be set up for both prospects as well as customers.
The content of your drips would depend on the nature of your business. It would vary across seller portals, property listing platforms, rental platforms and the like. But the rules remain the same.
As with all emails, you should keep in mind your email marketing best practices while setting up your drips, to avoid ending up in spam.
So what are you waiting for? Get started and set up those awesome drips for your own clients. Have I missed out on anything that you have used for your business? Let me know in the comments below.
(Check out other real estate marketing posts on the LeadSquared blog)