Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at events around the country (Request a Consultant Speak At Your Event). I get many requested topics to speak on: Brokerage of the Future, Increasing Profitability, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization and more. I always try to relay the fact that Social Media is a branding tool and not a lead generation system and that search engine optimization for the average Realtor should be for them to just write content. Agents around the country hope that “this Twitter thing is a great new way to get clients.” Sure, over the long run a good Twitter strategy will help you acquire clients. If you’re using sites like DemandSpot and doing Twitter Searches in your area for people interested in real estate, and you answer their questions instead of selling them in 140 characters… sure you will eventually get clients. And sure, a great SEO strategy over the long run will definitely increase your traffic faster than a poor one. But then someone always asks:
What is the best tool an average Realtor can use to get business now?
Folks, it’s not Twitter. It’s not Facebook. It’s not postcard campaigns. It’s definitely NOT any form of print advertising.
So what is it then?
Drip Email Programs! By far the single most effective strategy is email campaigns to clients. What is it that makes email campaigns so effective? It’s simple. If you have a regular program you either A) create interest in a potential buyer or sell to start considering the home purchase process or B) If they are already interested, you’ll constantly be in front of them so when they are ready to contact an agent, you’ll be the person they remember.
One of the keys to this process though is that your emails have to provide consistent value. They can’t be “Go to my website” or “look at my new listing.” One of the best campaigns we ran for our St. Louis Real Estate affiliate was a campaign on Short Sales and Foreclosures. People signed up on the company’s website to receive weekly updates. The click through rate for this email was an astonishing 28%! That’s almost 3 times the average for a real estate related blast email. Couple that with the fact that the list at it’s height had more than 3000 subscribers and you have 840 clicking through to your website each week. Users that are sticky and spend time on the site. Users that are constantly remember that your brokerage is where they can go to get quality real estate information in your area. Or that your agent website has hyperlocal content.
There are other factors in email marketing. Do you know when the best time to send out bulk email is?
Most Realtors when I ask this question say “Saturday or Sunday.” WRONG!
Statistically the best time for real estate emails to be sent is actually Mondays at 12:30-1:30 pm. Why? Simple. It’s Monday, people have just eaten lunch and they don’t feel like getting into work yet. They want to avoid work a little longer so they troll through their email box and find something distracting. Newly listed homes! Check out their subdivision. Check out areas they are interested in… etc. We found that a simple shift from sending emails on Fridays to Mondays increased the total number of emails opened by almost 50%!
We’ll be writing more in the near future about this topic. But start looking at services like MailChimp, ConstantContact, and MadMimi.
Shameless Plug: Tribus offers TribusConnect a full service drip email platform. The system connects your Customer Relationship Management software to your IDX and to your drip emails. Each time someone opens an email it’s recorded in your email box, as well as any properties they end up viewing on your site. Then you can tell