One of our strategies for long-term success is to cultivate clients for life. It’s how we do business, and it’s how we counsel our agents to do business. To that end, we’re a big fan of email as a way to begin and develop relationships. Last month, we sent 18,637 emails to our database of 45,000 people.
Approximately 75 percent of our agents are using drip email campaigns to generate clients. In our experience, those agents who don’t use email just aren’t as successful as those who do.
At Better Homes and Gardens Northwest Home Team, we’ve taken extra steps to set our agents up for success by creating templates in an email management system that they can send to their spheres to drum up their own business. Behind the scenes, our inside sales agents are also using email templates to cultivate company-generated leads, which we offer to our agents as part of our value proposition.
Here are three simple best practices for using emails to launch conversations with the goal of creating clients for life.
1. A personalized message
In a time of spam, bots and auto-replies, deeply personalized emails can really stand out in the inbox. It can also differentiate you from other real estate professionals because it demonstrates that you pay attention to each person’s needs and preferences.
Here are a few ways we personalize emails to cultivate client relationships:
- Tax information: Every January, we encourage our agents to reach out to clients who closed in the previous year asking them if they need a copy of their HUD-1 for taxes. While they’re at it, we suggest they ask them if any friends or family are looking to buy or sell their home. It’s a great way to engage with your database.
- Neighborhood information: People who visit our website can register and set up searches based on the type of home they are looking for. We are able to see what people are searching for so that when they save a home, we can send an email offering to provide more information on that neighborhood. To make it even more personal, we say, “I was looking through some of your recent searches. I had a few minutes this afternoon to pull some information about those neighborhoods for you.”
- Property information: When we see that someone has viewed a particular property, we can suggest other properties they might like based on their viewing history. If a home they saved becomes pending, we recommend similar options and invite them to attend an upcoming open house.
2. A call to action
The second thing we include in every email is a call to action — something for the recipient to do or respond to. That starts as early as the subject line. We like to ask questions that relate to the body of the email.
Examples related to the three messages mentioned above include:
- Need your HUD-1 for your taxes? Click here if you’d like to receive an electronic copy of your statement.
- Interested in Downtown? Download this complimentary neighborhood guide.
- Want a closer look at 123 Main Street? Visit our upcoming open house.
Each of these requests allows us to develop a deeper relationship with the client by getting to know them better. Sending someone an email that says “I’m just checking in” provides little opportunity for engagement, which makes it junk.
3. Something of value
One of the ways we cultivate client relationships is to give them something useful for free. This aligns with a consumer’s “What’s in it for me?” positioning.
We are proud to have a variety of ways to add value to our clients. Some examples include a complimentary magazine subscription, a cookbook, downloadable reports, a home equity analysis, buyer and seller tips, an opportunity to take advantage of our easy exit listing agreement or a $1,500 rebate on closing costs for military members.
The strategy here is to demonstrate that we have access to information or offers they don’t and that they can get more value from us than from another brokerage.
We have followed this email marketing formula for years and have found great success. But like any marketing effort, it must be worked on to generate results. As broker-owners, we have made the investment in an email system for our agents to use. We tee it up for them; they just have to smack it out of the park.
Here’s to your success in leveraging email marketing to build your business!
Jessica and Steve Poulos founded their brokerage, Northwest Home Team Realty, based in Tumwater, Washington, in 2017. The company affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in 2021 and has since been known as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Northwest Home Team.