In case you haven’t noticed, real estate newsletters are big these days. In fact, the volume of newsletters has tripled since the beginning of the pandemic, making newsletters the most frequently utilized of all marketing tactics with 81% of marketers using them, according to Litmus’s 2021 State of Email Report.
That staggering statistic should give every real estate agent pause. First, because if that many people have caught onto email marketing, there must be a good reason for it. And second, because this also means your real estate newsletter is competing with LOTS of others.
If you want to stand out in your prospects’ noisy inboxes, churning out listings updates isn’t going to cut it. In this article, we’ll review some of the best real estate newsletter ideas to authentically engage in real conversations with the people on your subscriber list.
Need more tips and ideas for upping your email game? Check out The Real Estate Agent’s Ultimate Guide to Drip Email Campaigns.
A real estate newsletter is an email marketing tool that real estate agents and teams can use to keep their community, including their leads, clients, and sphere of influence, engaged by providing valuable insight and content. Email newsletters can be sent weekly, biweekly, monthly or at any other cadence and are meant to inform, educate, or entertain subscribers.
Here’s a quick list of content ideas that can usually be found in a real estate newsletter:
Notice that many of these newsletter ideas are focused on providing information, not selling.
Top agents know that keeping your leads engaged isn’t about blasting a listings update to your database, then calling it a day. It’s about using your insight and experience to help potential clients have a great experience buying or selling a home.
Depending on your lead generation strategy, you’re likely to have many leads in your database who are weeks or even months away from buying or selling a home. If you want to keep your lead cost low and your pipeline full, you need structured and repeatable ways to keep passive leads engaged until they’re ready to take the next step.
And the best way to engage your leads? Give them something that matters to them.
Done well, newsletters can keep you top of mind with passive leads, help nurture new leads, and generate referrals from your sphere by consistently reminding them of what you do and how well you do it.
Not only that, the annual Litmus report also found that email drives an average ROI of $36 for every dollar spent. That’s a pretty great return for something that only takes a couple of hours per month to execute.
To start, be sure to fill your real estate newsletter with topics that genuinely interest your leads. Here are some examples to help get you going!
Your life isn’t all real estate all the time, and your email newsletters shouldn’t be either.
Think about what you share in common with all your leads, not just the ones looking for a home tomorrow, and use that common ground to engage and nurture your leads by sending newsletters on a consistent schedule.
Certain topics, like local community events, lend themselves to weekly newsletters while others, like market reports, are best scheduled on a monthly timeline.
Whether or not your leads are looking for a new home, they’ll be happy to have a single source for all the local events in the neighborhood in their inbox weekly.
Sending a community newsletter shows that you’re a neighborhood insider, someone who’s clued into all that’s happening in the community. Be sure to include events geared to both adults and families in order to reach the largest possible audience.
You can even feature “best of” articles with your favorite picks for restaurants, coffee shops, or any other local shops and services that might interest your subscribers.
Instead of putting your newsletter online, try using a teaser example of your newsletter on your website with a signup form to generate even more leads.
Market updates with information on homes sold, average prices and other details work great for warm-to-hot leads that are in the market to buy or sell their home, as well as armchair-realtor homeowners who just want to stay in the know about real estate in their community, but might also be a great source of referrals.
But beware. Hundreds of other agents use market updates for their newsletter content, so there’s a lot of competition. Plus, market updates can get pretty dry when you’re just delivering statistics.
Try delivering market updates with a takeaway that’s easier for your subscribers to digest, remember and use.
Want more subscribers? Break down your newsletter content into bite-sized previews and post a teaser on social media to drive increased awareness and signups!
Newsletters are a great way to show off your expertise by offering tips for buyers and sellers. Whether it’s a synopsis of the latest market trend or a deep dive into first-time homebuyer tips, by giving readers the information they can use, agents can let their customer-service flag fly and show they’re not just interested in making a sale.
But when your newsletter is packed with lots of great content, it’s even more important to make sure it’s optimized for mobile use.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 50% of home buyers conducted their home search on mobile devices. You probably know from your own experience that you’re using your phone more than ever. So treat your subscribers the way you want to be treated and make sure they have a great experience with your newsletter when on a mobile device.
While it’s always awesome to provide valuable info upfront, you never want to forget to remind your subscribers what it is you do for a living. Jason Farris, owner of FresYes Realty, who ranks #11 for Large Teams on the RealTrends One Thousand, learned that lesson the hard way.
In a recent sit-down for our Bosses In Action series, Jason told us how his early newsletters were full of useful information about events taking place in the community, and subscribers loved it. But when it came time to find a realtor, they looked elsewhere. Turns out, some of his subscribers didn’t even know he was an agent!
Now his newsletter, the FresYes Insider, includes featured listings to make sure subscribers know what he does. But he’s careful not to make it ALL about selling real estate. “If I load it up with real estate, I guarantee you our unsubscribe rate will go up,” Jason says.
Moral of the story? The perfect real estate newsletter is all about striking the right balance between value and organic self-promotion.
Content that provides new and unique ideas to celebrate holidays is always a fun way to engage your community (and spark a little conversation with the more passive leads in your database).
For best results, plan your newsletter at least a month ahead of time so you can be ready with fun offers, event updates, and other key details to help build excitement.
Here are some of the special days and ideas for how to celebrate them in your newsletter:
Holiday-based email newsletters are also a great opportunity to show your real estate leads who you are by including a personal message about the way you like to celebrate the holiday, or how you and your team or family did it last year.
By giving a shoutout to local businesses, agents can catch the attention of potential leads and customers, while forming valuable relationships with other business owners in the area.
It’s a fun and organic way to broaden your network while curating top-notch content for your email newsletter.
Here are some ideas for how to promote your local partners:
Using quizzes and inviting subscribers to offer their opinions in polls is another fun way to engage with passive leads with the added benefit of giving agents valuable information on their leads’ interests and preferences.
If you use Follow Up Boss, you can automatically tag incoming leads according to their quiz answers, add them to dedicated Smart Lists where you can send personalized newsletters for even higher engagement rates. (More on how to do that below! 😉)
When you use listing alerts, make sure you send them mainly to active buyers and sellers. Try segmenting even more by price and home features, and don’t forget to link back to your website.
To spice up your listing alerts, try using video, either by linking to virtual tours on your website or shooting a collage video highlighting some of the best features on your listed homes.
FresYes’s Jason Farris has mastered the art of tying listing alerts to intel gathering. For example, his newsletter might include a button to click on ‘homes with pools in Fresno’ or ‘homes in the Tower District’. He’s able to track what a reader clicks on using the Follow Up Boss Pixel, and send custom-tailored listings to those subscribers.
Realtor Stephanie Pinder uses her real estate newsletter to zero in on a key customer segment. Her market update newsletter regularly features properties in the $500K range and signals to potential prospects that Stephanie knows exactly what they’re looking for.
“In real estate, there’s almost always a major life event happening at the time of the home purchase,” says Debra Beagle, Managing Broker & Co-Owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group, the #1 RE/MAX Team in the world.
“Your client might be going through downsizing, upsizing, divorce, getting married, having a baby, etc.,” she explains. And no two ways about it, relocations can be stressful.
If you’re in a busy market for relocations, set up a real estate landing page with a valuable offer (think: The Ultimate Guide to Relocating to XYZ City) then tailor your newsletter to give your subscribers the information they need to make the move less stressful.
By sharing information on local and state permits, guidelines, and any other local “insider” knowledge, you’ll be able to establish trust from early on in the home search process.
Real estate marketing and sales always takes on a slightly different edge when it comes to the luxury market.
When you’ve got a sophisticated audience, you may want to go outside your local community to curate expert tips and perspectives from other globally-renowned companies for your newsletter, such as celebrity interior designers, big-name furniture brands and other ‘exclusive’ insights.
Paired with stellar real estate photography and aspirational articles on how to live your best life in the key areas of choice, your newsletter can help you boost name recognition with luxury prospects.
The Pearl Antonacci Group of Compass struts its stuff with the help of partners like Hearst Magazine, Veranda, and Conde Nast. What better way to showcase your lifestyle focus than by including articles about upscale living?
Featuring all homes all the time isn’t the best way to start a conversation with leads that don’t have an immediate intention to buy or sell.
To keep passive leads engaged, you’ll need to meet them where they are, so think outside the box for ideas that will catch the attention of a more general audience. And remember, dogs and kids are perennial favorites!
If you want to crush your real estate marketing, you’ll not only need a great newsletter — you’ll also need a consistent system for sending it out, engaging with subscribers, and tracking your results.
For that, Follow Up Boss has you covered.
To start, you’ll need to organize your database so you can personalize your newsletter content to focus on what’s going to interest each of your core lead segments.
In fact, some of the latest research from the previously cited Litmus survey found that more than 65% of marketers are creating a minimum of two versions of a newsletter, and about 16% are actually creating four or more versions.
If you’re after ultimate ROI on your email newsletters, this is one step you don’t want to skip!
At a minimum, you’ll want separate versions of your newsletter for buyers and sellers.
Depending on the other content you include, you might also want to create separate email lists for:
In Follow Up Boss, you can easily segment your database using tags or by creating Smart Lists for each of your lead segments.
To filter your database using tags, simply add the tag to your contact(s).
Filter your database by the chosen tag by creating a Smart List for each of your segments.
Smart Lists give you one-click access to all the contacts in a database segment like buyers, sellers, or past clients.
The beauty of real estate automation is that you can have conversations with hundreds, if not thousands, of leads all at the same time.
Once you’ve segmented your database, you can use Follow Up Boss to send batch emails up to 10,000 recipients with just a few clicks.
Like any marketing effort, it’s important to track who is viewing your newsletter and what content they’re viewing. When you send your newsletter via email using Follow Up Boss, you can see who has opened your newsletter and clicked on the links you’ve included.
You can also track those who clicked on featured listings and follow up with phone calls or by sending personalized listing information directly to them.
You can compare the open rates from one newsletter to the next to see what’s working best and use the “Last Email Activity” column on the People screen to further segment your leads based on their interests.
If you’ve got a competitive spirit (and let’s face it, what rainmaker doesn’t?) you can also compare your open and click rates to the industry average — 19.7% for opens and 1.77% for clicks, according to Mailchimp.
But don’t get too caught up in how your newsletter compares with everyone else’s. Think of it in terms of setting your personal best, and keep working to authentically build your open and click rates.
By now, it’s clear that newsletters aren’t just a way to stay in touch or sell your services as a real estate agent.
They’re a crucial part of a bigger real estate marketing and sales strategy. One that helps you keep the conversation going with leads and prospects until the time is right.
And when that time comes, it’s important to have a lead management system that helps you take the right action, right away.
Follow Up Boss gives you a platform to do exactly that by helping agents easily send customized newsletters to each of your database segments, tracking email results and website activity and empowering agents to lead better conversations with prospects.
When you’re ready to crush your real estate newsletters, try Follow Up Boss for free and find out how easy it can be.