How to Market Listings & Open Houses With Email
By Sandra Manzanares
About Inbound Marketing
Of all the marketing tasks you can perform as a real estate agent, few matter more than making buyer leads aware of suitable listings and open houses. Email newsletters for listings and open houses can be an effective way of making a direct connection with interested buyers.
Considering the fact that 91 percent of consumers check email daily and 77 percent prefer to receive permission-based marketing through email, emailing listings and open houses to leads will provide a higher return on investment than other marketing avenues. Listings and open house newsletters can also be targeted and customized for your leads, and help move them further through the sales funnel. But crafting and distributing these newsletters strategically is crucial to garnering lots of interest and, ultimately, getting some offers on the table. Here are effective ways to create email newsletters to intrigue buyers.
When marketing listings, you must consider many factors, from mapping out which listings are best for which buyers to crafting the right unique and alluring copy for each listing. The tips below will help you create a strong newsletter presentation that gets your leads excited about listings.
Personalization is everything.
When creating listings newsletters, how you craft your copy is one of the most vital factors in getting leads and clients interested in a property. Personalization starts with including a recipient’s first name, but it doesn’t end there. Segment your buyer leads so you can highlight the properties that are most suitable for the right people. This is especially important when emailing listings: Emailing listings that are out of a lead’s price range or off the mark in design or specs could lead to a newsletter opt-out or a decline in client engagement.
Captivate with your subject line.
Emails with descriptive subject lines (“Now on the market: 5-bedroom homes in Springfield”) are much more intriguing than branded ones (“John Doe’s Weekly Real Estate Listings”). To increase clicks and engagement with your newsletters, use your subject line to advertise what’s at the heart of the listings in the email.
Don’t forget a call to action.
You probably don’t want your lead to just take a peek and then click the “X” button. A call to action (CTA) can change all that by encouraging your lead to directly reach out to you — whether that’s for more information, a consultation, or to answer any questions. The trick here is showing your lead you care and that you’re willing to help them in any way possible during their search. Try something like, “I’m hoping one of these will be your dream home. If you see something you like, email me and let me know!” or, “Haven’t found what you like? Reply to this email and let’s start your home journey!” While many folks are used to CTAs coming at the end of an email, there’s a good chance that your lead will click on something early in the email thread and not see your CTA. In these emails, it’s crucial to put your CTA at the end of your introductory copy, but before your listings.
Create an enticing preview.
Real estate marketing is all about highlighting the value in what you’re selling, and successful real estate listings newsletters use high-quality photographs of each listing to draw readers in. Because you’re focusing on a few listings, you won’t have room to include more than 1–2 photos per property, so showcase your best here.
Highlight the details.
Take a cue from newspaper listing copy. Property specs should include the basics, like address, beds and baths, price, amenities and features, etc., but you should also present listings with an enticing headline and some great real estate listing copy.
When you can’t maximize on space, link.
Space will no doubt be an issue in email newsletters — you don’t want to overload emails with too many photos or too much information. This is where it’s important to provide clear links with CTAs like “View this listing” or “View 25 Lakeshore Drive” to get your readers clicking. Then, decide where you’ll link to. You may decide to link directly to your own site, highlight the listing in a dedicated blog post that features its best elements, or something a bit more stimulating, like a Pinterest board or video.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
— Alexander Graham Bell
Marketing Open Houses
Open houses are major undertakings, but email marketing with the right presentation can make them worth your while. When marketing open houses, you should go above and beyond. First and foremost, you’re asking folks to take time out of their schedule to come to a property, so your marketing should convey why this house is worthy of a special viewing. Use the open house newsletter tips below to maximize the power of your email list and get the most appropriate foot traffic come open house day.
Inspire with presentation.
Statistics show that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so your open house newsletter marketing should be a compelling mix of images and copy, with an emphasis on the visuals.
Be clear from the beginning.
Your subject line here should clearly outline that you’re having an open house, and should list the basic specs of the home and the day and time of the event.
Format your newsletter with conversion in mind.
You’ll want to include some introductory copy that outlines the most important features of the property and states how the property can meet the needs of prospective buyers. Include “teasers” of your professionally shot photography — brief snippets of some highlights that will leave readers craving more. Add a CTA that entices leads to click, like “See more of 100 Park Avenue here” and link to your featured listing, which can be in one of the following formats:
- A blog post or dedicated web page. If you’ve created a strong campaign around a listing, it makes sense to give it a traffic boost by creating a dedicated blog post or landing page. Your leads will want to see as much as possible before committing time to your open house, so include as many high-quality images as possible.
- A Pinterest board. Dedicate a Pinterest board for your listing that will give leads a visual montage of the property and its surrounding area.
- Video. Video can allow you to set a mood and ambiance for your lead. Whether it’s imagery set to music and landscape views, frames accompanied by some descriptive narration, or even a humorous Hollywood-inspired short film, professional video marketing for open houses is an option worth pursuing. Of Internet home buyers, 43 percent ranked video as “very useful” in their buying decisions and marketers who used video in email saw higher click-through rates and increases in the amount of time subscribers spent with an email, the sharing of emails, and conversion rates.
- A listings page on your website. Use this option if you’re in a time crunch and optimize the listing page with as much visual and textual detail as possible.
Seal the deal with storytelling.
In your newsletter and on your landing page or feature post, use effective storytelling to draw your reader in. This doesn’t have to be super theatrical, but it does need to convey what makes this property worth the open house. Features and specs are great, but they aren’t alone going to get folks through the door. Think about your lead and the lifestyle they aspire to, and create terms and language that provide proof they can achieve that with this property. “Large deck” isn’t quite the same as “expansive wrap-around cedar wood deck overlooking Willow Lake, perfect for warm weather party hosting and even some morning yoga,” is it? For the purposes of your newsletters, include shorter, bulleted details and save your fuller story for your landing page. And don’t forget to prominently display the time and location, a link to maps or directions, and your contact information in case leads get lost.
Send and attract at the right times.
How soon and often you send your open house newsletter will vary for everyone, based on client urgency and how much buzz you want to create around your event, so definitely take those factors into consideration when you set your schedule. In general, take a cue from newspaper open house announcements, which publish typically on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays. Therefore, you should publish your newsletters on weekends, at least 1–2 weeks in advance of your open house, and be sure to send an early reminder on the day of the actual open house. If you’re sending out early invites, create incentives to get people to RSVP to your open house and send them a reminder a couple of days prior.
Grow your newsletter list at the event.
It goes without saying that you should have an email sign-up feature on your website, but open houses provide a deeper in-person connection for newsletter growth. Many folks have a sign-in sheet at their open houses to keep track of who attended. Include a field for email and a box they can check to sign up for your newsletter if they haven’t already. Don’t forget to follow up with folks after the open house and add new contacts to your newsletter mailing lists.
Don’t forget the content
While the primary focus here is listings and open houses, not every lead will be ready to take action. Use this opportunity to offer your customer value by offering links to tips, advice, or something fun within the newsletter. With your segmented lists, you’ll already have a sense of what your lead will enjoy, so include brief snippets to keep them engaged.
Make sure your email template is responsive for mobile.
Why is this important? Statistics show that during weekends, 59% of page views on real estate websites originate from smartphones and tablets. Make sure your email template renders appropriately so your click-through rate and engagement stays high. Companies like Litmus help you test how your email will look for virtually all mail clients your leads might be using.
Include a link to your listings page at the bottom of every newsletter.
Always include a link to your general listings page so that even if your lead doesn’t identify with your featured properties, they can easily peruse the rest of your offerings.
Want more ways to increase engagement with your leads and clients? Check out 5 Emails Real Estate Agents Should Send to Every Lead on our Academy.
What other email marketing tips do you use for your listings or open house newsletters? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Published on September 11, 2014
Written by Sandra Manzanares
Writer, editor, and marketing manager with a passion for helping brands enhance their content marketing strategy. I'm a firm believer that creative storytelling is an essential part of the way we communicate. Constantly striving to fill my head with as much creative and analytical information as possible.