How to launch a real estate drip campaign in 5 simple steps

Lead Conversion
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If you’re here, you already know email marketing is one of the most effective ways to turn real estate prospects into customers. In fact, email is so much a part of life that most of us spend 149 minutes per day just checking our personal emails.

But the reason email is popular is the same reason it’s challenging. 

Your prospects’ inboxes are flooded with hundreds of emails vying for their attention, forcing them to become extremely discerning about where they spend their time.

To win with email, you’ve got to cut through the noise. 

In this guide to real estate drip campaigns, we’ll share everything you need to know to create a nurture sequence that rises above the inbox chaos.

What is a drip email campaign?

A drip email campaign is a series of automated emails designed to nurture leads, newsletter subscribers, and unresponsive contacts by providing them with valuable information over time. 

An effective email drip campaign delivers value at every touchpoint and is usually one piece in a larger, multi-layered nurture sequence consisting of text messages, cards and mailers, video emails, phone calls, and more.

For real estate agents and teams, the goal with drip email campaigns is to steadily and consistently help a prospective buyer or seller make the right decisions in their real estate journey through a series of automated messages that are typically designed to inform, not sell.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can set up (or step up) your email drip in five simple steps.

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5 steps to a better real estate drip campaign

Say goodbye to stale listings updates and start crafting relevant email sequences that meet potential buyers and sellers right where they are in the real estate journey.

The following steps will help get you started.

1. Align your content to your prospect’s buying stage

If you don’t know what your prospect wants, there’s no way you can give it to them.

The best drip campaigns are designed with the customer journey in mind and are often triggered by specific lead behavior events. In real estate, this typically happens when a new lead comes into your database via a listing site, home search, or your real estate website

For example, you could set your nurture sequence to trigger at the following moments:

  • When a new subscriber opts into your listings updates or email newsletter
  • After an open house, webinar, or community event
  • On a certain day, such as a past client’s “housiversary” or the one-year sign-up anniversary for a newsletter subscriber

For an effective nurture sequence, start by positioning your earliest points of contact around getting to know your new real estate lead. Each time you get a reply, you can update the lead’s stage to trigger a more targeted nurture sequence based on the information acquired from the initial touch.

10 quick content ideas for your next real estate drip campaign:

Buyer leads

  • Real estate listings in their area
  • Housing market updates
  • Community emails featuring local festivals, restaurant openings, and other events
  • Customer spotlight emails highlighting stories, reviews and testimonials from happy clients
  • Resource lists (roundups of homebuyer resources, checklists, what to look out for when buying a new home, etc.)

Seller leads

  • Real estate comps with key stats on homes sold by you and your team
  • Highlights featuring recent deals and the percentage above asking price secured
  • A video or blog digest featuring your largest market analysis, plus home selling tips, insights into market changes, etc.
  • Case studies and testimonials from happy sellers
  • Home seller resources, such as a list for presenting the house on open days

Past clients & non-responsive leads

  • Video updates or blog posts about the market 
  • Relevant updates about your business and/or team’s impact in the community
  • Invitations to community and/or customer appreciation events
  • Homeowner resources (home maintenance tips, interior design advice, etc.)

It’s important to note that when it comes to your nurture emails, automated should not mean generic.

In Follow Up Boss, you can easily use the tracking Pixel to tailor your email content to your client’s actual intent and website activity.

Offer something of value in each and every email. And if you need more ideas to fuel your nurture sequence, be sure to check out these 10 real estate newsletter examples designed to engage passive leads.

2. Show up consistently (not constantly)

When you launch a new drip campaign, you might be wondering how often you should be sending emails, or exactly how long your drip campaign should be.

The (somewhat annoying) truth is: it depends.

Here’s a quick example of two types of nurture campaigns with two very different sending cadences:

  • Listings updates for buyers: These nurture emails will likely go out on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on how hot or cold your market currently is.
  • Market updates for sellers: These might only go out once per quarter to passive seller leads and past clients. 
A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least monthly contact for each individual in your database. It’s enough to help you stay top of mind, without overwhelming your recipients.

However, you may be able to increase frequency by providing more valuable content based on deeper insights into a lead’s pain points, motivations, and buying or selling timeline.

For example, for contacts with a buying timeline to three to six months, team owner & CEO at Virginia Beach based Friends in Real Estate, Barry Jenkins, automatically triggers a Warm/Cold to LCA + Ylopo Drip.

This nurture sequence is specifically designed for longer-term touches, with content like a closing costs checklist and list of top mistakes homebuyers make to help educate potential buyers and slowly win their trust.

3. Keep your subject line and content compliant

Subject lines have one job, and one job only: 

Get your prospect to open your email.

There is a multitude of research and resources on the art and science of subject lines, but you don’t need a PhD in subject line poetry to ace your open rates.

You do, however, need to keep both your subject line and body content compliant with the latest regulations and emailing best practices.

Here are the key practices to keep in mind:

  • Avoid using spam-like content such as all capital letters, excessive exclamation marks, and spam-like words or phrases.
  • Personalize email subjects with merge fields and avoid deceptive subject lines.
  • Ensure that links in the email are valid and avoid using link shorteners.
  • Maintain a good text-to-image ratio by including at least two lines of text for every image.
  • Test email content before sending to ensure links and images are working properly.
  • Analyze click, open, reply, and unsubscribe rates of previous emails to learn from successful content and avoid future mistakes.
  • Keep email signatures simple with a balanced text-to-image ratio.
  • Check your email reputation using tools like MXToolBox or Postmaster.
  • Address any blacklisting issues by following up with the website that has added you to their blacklist.
  • Improve delivery rates by authenticating your custom domain.

Now let’s take a look at some examples of subject lines to try out. 

As with all things real estate email marketing, the best approach is to experiment with a few different variations until you find what works best for your audience.

Pique the reader’s curiosity: Draw your reader in by promising something interesting, valuable or entertaining. Then deliver on that promise in the body text vs. giving it all away in the subject line.

💡 Example:

Learn the number one mistake first-time Phoenix homebuyers make


The number one mistake first-time homebuyers make is a low down payment

Mix up your subject line lengths: Subject line length can vary from 40 to 70 characters depending on what system you’re using to send out your emails. To stand out, try alternating between subject lines that are noticeably longer or shorter than what’s already in your prospect’s inbox.

💡 Example:

Longer: Learn the number one mistake first-time Phoenix homebuyers make


Shorter: The biggest mistake buyers make

Use a friendly tone: Some of the emails with the highest open rates are those that are written informally, as if they were coming from a friend. Think about it, which email would you rather open?

💡 Example:

The Best Way to Increase the Value of Your Home


Here’s how to get top dollar for your home

The second one just feels better, right? 

The main rule of thumb for nailing your subject line is to imagine how it would look if you were to send the email to a friend. Then, write it as close to that as possible.

4. Make your emails memorable

If your drips aren’t getting opened, go through your real estate database and pick 100 names to send a personal email to. Then, break it down to a few names per day or week that you’ll casually check in with.

You can contact these folks about pretty much anything — a comment that traces back to your original conversation, a quick check-in to see how their move went, or a friendly note reminiscing about the excellent lunch you had when you last met.

No matter your content or approach, you can increase your opens by including the following elements in each email:

  • Credible from line: Use a name (most likely your own) that signals trust. Most spam comes from businesses, brand names, or awkward, untrustworthy sources. Keep your ‘From’ line simple and direct to avoid spam filters. For example, ‘Jane Smith’ if you’re already pretty well-known in your market, or ‘Jane Smith at Legacy Real Estate’ if your recipients won’t immediately recognize your name.

  • Irresistible subject line: Don’t copy what your competitors are doing. Just keep your subject line friendly, conversational, and intriguing.

  • Interesting angle: Tell your prospects something they don’t already know. You’ll be surprised how things that seem obvious to you, could be seen as valuable “inside info” for them!

  • Tangible benefits: Make sure every email offers value. Whether it’s packed with resources, relevant listings, or detailed how-tos, your reader should always walk away feeling like they’ve learned something new.

  • Mobile-ready: Today 81% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Most email marketing platforms allow you to test your email on mobile so you can make sure it looks great no matter what type of device your prospects are using.

  • Compelling Call to Action (CTA): Your readers want you to tell them what to do next, even if that’s just to reply with a question, register for an open house, or look out for your next email.
Choose what works for your leads
Got leads who would rather read than speak? Mix and match text, phone and email tasks all within the same Action Plan.
See FUB in action

5. Send the right template at the right time

Your first email is a golden opportunity to get the info you need to deliver an irresistibly relevant drip campaign. But don’t stop there.

An effective drip sequence allows you to make the right touch at the right time from the beginning to the end of a customer’s journey.

Here are a few email templates, organized by lead source, to get you started.

Home search internet leads

People who find you via your home search website are usually much earlier in the buying cycle than someone who requests information on a specific property through a portal like

For website leads, the purpose of the first email is to gently warm them up by asking simple questions about what they’re looking for:

Subject: Nice to e-meet you


Glad you found me!

Can you tell me a little more about what you’re looking for? When are you planning to purchase your new home?

Talk soon,

Jane Agent

Home valuation leads

The surest way to get seller leads to unsubscribe from your drip campaign is to send them irrelevant buyer content like listings. Luckily, most CRMs make it a breeze to segment out the sellers. Here’s a quick template to try:

Subject: How much is your home worth?

Hello NAME,

Are you still interested in knowing how much your home is worth?

I think you’ll be surprised by what I uncovered in my market analysis. Want to grab a coffee and walk through it?

How’s Tuesday afternoon?

Jane Agent

P.S. Getting homes sold above asking price is kinda my superpower. Wanna see how I do it? Grab my free guide on How to Get Max ROI out of Your Houston Home.

Content opt-in leads

If you’re running a blog, opt-in or any other real estate content marketing, take a close look at your published content and make sure you’re asking for your prospect’s email address wherever possible and natural. Then create a drip sequence, or Action Plan if you’re using Follow Up Boss, relevant to that specific prospect. Here’s an example:

Subject: Good call.


Thanks for downloading my First Time Homebuyer’s Guide!

Most new buyers rush into a purchase and end up overpaying. But not you.

Can you tell me a little more about what you’re looking for? When are you planning to purchase your new home?

Talk soon,

Jane Agent

Remember, you’re not here to qualify the lead or try to get a pre-approval via a drip email. Instead, look to start a conversation.

Sometimes it’s as simple as asking: “Do you prefer to text or email?”

If you’re already a Follow Up Boss user, you can access a wide range of proven pre-written templates from other agents and teams in the Action Plan library

And if you’re using a real estate CRM that includes merge fields, it’s easy to customize your drip emails with links to your website, landing page, or blog post, as well as images, or even a YouTube or BombBomb video.

But there’s no substitute for hand-crafted emails that reflect your unique voice and perspective. Take time to add your own twist and experiment until you find out what works for your team and area. 

Successful leaders like Albert Vasquez, Team Leader for AV Home Experts at Keller Williams Realty, are all about finding — then scaling — what already works.

“If you're a solo agent, you definitely are going to be thinking about having a high open rate and that's great. But if you're a team leader, the Follow Up Boss email integration is amazing because you can create the email and send it as the members from your team,” said Albert Vasquez in a behind-the-scenes episode of Bosses In Action.

Albert shared his top drip email templates, plus insights into how he reviews his open rates, click through rates, and other engagement figures, to reach a 55% unique open rate on his team’s newsletters.

The best time to connect with a prospect is within the first 5 min. of them engaging with you. Once you schedule your drip campaign, the Follow Up Boss Pixel provides detailed information to help you engage your hottest leads at the just the right moment. 

How to send personalized emails at scale with Follow Up Boss

These days, real estate prospects can recognize stale drip content in a blink.

At Follow Up Boss, we’ve worked with leading teams across North America to eliminate generic messaging and awkward autoreplies in favor of relevant, personalized emails that work

To get more out of every email you send, we recommend two key approaches:

1. Action Plans

In short, Action Plans help you automate repetitive follow ups, including: 

  • Engaging brand new internet leads
  • Nurturing long-term leads
  • Staying in touch with non-responsive leads
  • Following up with open house leads
  • Conducting regular follow up with past clients

When a lead engages, the Action Plan will automatically pause the remaining emails in the sequence to ensure a natural dialogue with no random autoresponses.

It also removes the analysis paralysis that comes with not knowing when to reach out beyond the first response. You can use a range of criteria to create plans that make it easy to stay top of mind for new leads, clients, past clients, referrals and more.

2. Batch emailing

Since it’s easier to customize existing content before sending, batch emails are great for sending highly targeted emails to segments of your database — usually people who already know you but might not have heard from you in a while.

You can segment your database to find people who have inquired about properties in a certain area to send them new and relevant listings, invite top referrers to a holiday event, check in with saved search contacts to make sure their alerts still match their preferences, and more.

Whatever you do, keep it relevant and genuine.

Take care not to fall into the trap of relying on the same ol’ Action Plan or drip sequence to move the needle.

Instead, adjust your systems to ensure you’re delivering a real, personal connection at just the right moment for prospects. The right tools, supported by the right community, can help make it easy.

Start building an impeccable email reputation

In an ocean of emails, throw your leads a life raft. Keep your emails concise, friendly and 100% value-led.

And whatever you do, don’t just randomly pop in and out of your contacts’ inboxes.

Follow Up Boss makes staying in touch easy with proactive Action Plans to help you automate text, task, and email sequences for new leads — plus targeted Batch Emailing to help keep you top-of-mind with folks who already know what you’re about.

Build an email rep you can be proud of
With the ability to automate multi-layered follow up using text, phone and email, you can reach out to every lead in your database using their preferred communication method.

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