Whether you’re a new agent or an experienced guru — the fact is there are only so many hours in the day — challenging real estate professionals to carefully choose where they invest their time and money.
Because email marketing has one of the highest ROIs with more than 90 percent of consumers checking their email daily, most realtors are at least tempted to try it. But before you do, consider the following seven factors if you want to be successful.
- Time — This is probably the biggest reason most agent either don’t start email marketing or fail at it. Just like all marketing, putting together an email campaign takes time. You should plan on spending a minimum of 45 minutes a month putting together your campaigns, and depending on your marketing objectives and the service you use, possibly 6 to 8 hours. If you know you don’t have the time, consider a company that will create and send your campaigns for you.
- Money — This shouldn’t be an issue. Most email services cost less than $50 a month … and some are even free. Even full-service email companies are very affordable compared to other media.
- Writing Skills — This is important as it represents your brand, but you don’t have to be Shakespeare. If you can write clean, concise, error-free copy, you’ll be fine. If you absolutely can’t write, you can buy real estate articles and use them as your own (called private label rights).
- Tech Skills — A few years ago this might have been a problem, but not today. Most email platforms offer “drag-and-drop” email builders so creating an email campaign is super easy. If you know how to use MS Word or Excel, you can put together an email newsletter, announcement or promotion.
- Software — Not an issue any more. Nearly all email platforms are based in the cloud, so you don’t need software. What about editing graphics? There’s tons of free resources, like pixl.com or gimp.org.
- Content — If you plan to send your subscribers an email once or twice a month, you need something to say. And it can’t just be about product all the time. You need a good mix of content to inform, educate and entertain your readers. This factor can be challenging, but if you get in the habit of writing down any ideas when you come across them, more than likely you’ll have plenty to share when the time comes to put your email campaign together. Once again, you can buy content or use a service that provides this.
- Make a Plan — There’s really no point to email marketing if you don’t have clear goals. Maybe it’s simply to keep your name out in front of your sphere of influence? Maybe it’s to keep prospective buyers informed about market conditions and new listings? Or to ask past clients for referrals? Or all of these and more! The point is this: Take the time to figure out what it is you want to achieve with email marketing — and then come up with a plan to make that happen.
Out of all the factors above, making a plan is where most real estate agents fall short. Email marketing is a long-term endeavor — especially in real estate where the buying and selling cycle is very long. If you’re thinking it’s about sending out an occasional email blast, it’s probably best to move on to another channel. But if you understand that putting together an email marketing plan with monthly and annual goals will likely produce results, add it to your mix and get started.