Are you doing drip email to buyer and seller prospects? If not, you surely know agents who are. With the free nature of email, it has become a much abused form of communication. And, drip email from many real estate professionals is little more than automated periodic spam. With filters and rules in email systems, it's easy to have your drip emails trashed on arrival, so you never know that they aren't being read. One broker used a service that let him know that only about 125 out of 800 of his regular emails were being read.
But, I'm not saying that regular (call them drip if you like) emails are ineffective. They can be one of your most effective lead generators that will bring in commissions on a regular basis. The idea is to first slow down the drips, and second deliver something worthwhile and valuable to the recipient. This is NOT:
- How to sell a home with the baking bread smell.
- Making rooms look larger by re-positioning furniture.
- Curb appeal is important.
- Leave the home when it's being shown.
- And so on and so onů
It's not that there isn't some good information there. It's that there are millions of these going out every week, many purchased in bulk. Identical packages of drip email are being sold to hundreds or thousands of real estate agents. Now that you know what they don't need, what types of emails will get opened, and even be eagerly anticipated by your prospects and even past clients? We've all heard "location, location, location." With ongoing client email contact, it's "statistics, statistics, statistics."
- Homes sold during the period since the last email.
- Average and median sold prices.
- Current inventory and days on market averages.
- Absorption rates - how fast is inventory being sold off?
- Sale price to list price discount ratios.
You can probably come up with a few more reports to add to these, and all right out of your MLS software system. Most provide a great deal of detailed data, and it's as simple as printing it to a PDF document and attaching it to your emails.
This has been proven quite convincingly. Here's the program the broker we mentioned above put into effect to improve email opening and retention rates:
- When you get the email address of a new prospect, enter them into your database and send them the first email thanking them for the site visit.
- In the first email, tell them that you're going to send them three or four informative emails to point them to valuable local area information and real estate statistics. Just letting them know what's coming cut "unsubscribe" requests in half for this broker.
- Then send them three or four emails, each taking them to a section of your site that has maps, detailed area, lender or other information, and some statistical data.
- In the last email, tell them it's the last in this series, and that you're placing them on a special list to receive detailed real estate statistics as you issue them in the future. These will be statistics not available on the site. This broker did quarterly emails, so just four a year. He kept his prospects, and all of his transactions from the Web came from this list. You could do them every two months, or even every month if desired.
From the beginning, the prospect appreciates being told what's going to happen. They don't get your first email and have to wonder if you are going to send one of these every other day forever. By telling them what you're going to do, they don't immediately request to be removed from your list. They want to see what's coming.
This broker's local MLS used the FNIS Paragon software, and it produced all of the required detail reports in just a few minutes. Most MLS software will provide similar statistical data for printing. Just make it a PDF and attach it. Or, if you can FTP it to your site, just send them a nice short email with the link. Remember, buyers aren't the only ones who want statistics. Buyers want to keep track of the market to see what they're going to pay, but sellers are just as interested in real estate stats. They want to know what their home might sell for by seeing stats for their neighborhood.
And, don't forget the past client, as they want to keep up as well.
Peyman Aleagha is the founder and President of RealtySoft.com. RealtySoft provides Realtors with Real Estate Web Design
(http://www.realtysoft.com), Real Estate Print Marketing and Free IDX
(http://www.realtysoft.com/freeidx.php) solutions. Find out more about RealtySoft by visiting RealtySoft.com