What’s the difference between speaking and being heard?
Having the attention of others.
We all know how hard it is to fight for the attention of our market.
And as marketing efforts take on new channels, the background noise we need to speak over only gets louder.
Thankfully, there are still tried-and-true ways to remain top of mind for your market.
Newsletters are a great example of engaging, useful content that can consistently resonate with your client base.
How can you maximize your newsletter's effectiveness?
We’ll look at ten incredible ideas for real estate newsletters that you can steal for your real estate business. We’ll also make sure you have what you need to immediately put them to work.
But first, let’s see why newsletters can be so effective.
Why are real estate newsletters effective?
With so many new ways of getting in front of an audience, many are surprised that newsletters are still around—which is a testament to how effective they are.
One of the secrets behind newsletters’ staying power is their engagement.
The fact is that we will always want useful, up-to-date information about subjects that are important to us. This is exactly what newsletters can deliver for your real estate market.
And what better way to engage with your market than content that’s conveniently delivered in their inbox or mailed to them?
It’s no wonder, then, that newsletters continue to help real estate agents connect with their audience. The right strategy needs to be in place, however, for real estate newsletters to be effective.
The best newsletter strategy
A tool needs to be used the right way to be effective. Otherwise, it can do harm.
Newsletters are no different; use them poorly and you’ll lose contacts from your email list. Use them the right way and you’ll remain top of mind for your market and get more leads. How do you make sure you use them properly?
Take a look at six steps for the most effective real estate newsletters:
1. Establish your goals
This is perhaps the most important question you need to answer during this entire process: What do I want my readers to do?
A clear answer will help you decide what you should focus on.
Here are a few examples of goals that a newsletter can accomplish:
- Build your awareness and authority as the top agent in your market
- Drive traffic to your website
- Remain top of mind for past and future clients
- Advertise and build interest in your listings
A well-executed newsletter can accomplish all of these goals and more.
The point isn’t to only have one goal; rather, it’s to know what you are aiming for. That way, you can see if your newsletter is working or if it needs to change.
2. Select the best distribution method
Many make the mistake of choosing content first, distribution second.
This is backwards. Why?
Because you need to first choose where your audience is already most engaged. From there, you can decide how to write your content and what to include.
Content varies depending on the medium. This is true for all marketing efforts: Social media, blogs, and newsletters.
Fortunately, there are only two basic options to choose from to distribute your newsletter: Digital or print. The content you can include may vary greatly between these two. Let’s examine the advantages that each one will provide to help you make the best decision.
While printed newsletters don’t have as many advantages as their digital counterpart, they still have clear benefits. These include:
- Impact. Nothing matches the effect of being able to hold something in your hands, compared to just viewing it on a screen.
In fact, Neuroscience Marketing revealed a study that showed print advertising had a superior effect on readers compared to digital ads. It showed that printed advertisements were more memorable in comparison to digital ones.
- Emotional power. The same study mentioned above also noted an increased emotional impact. The study noted physical ads caused greater activity in areas of the brain associated with value and desire.
- Motivating power. Another study showed that reading something physical has also been shown to motivate readers to action better than digital ads.
Notice that it’s “digital” and not just “email.” That's because digital newsletters aren’t technically limited to only email. You can post sections or the entire newsletter on your website, share it on your blog, or promote it on your social channels.
A digital newsletter can be:
- Versatile. A digital newsletter is only limited by your imagination. They can feature photos, videos, interactive content, links, quizzes, etc.
- Easy to Use/Automate. Use a CRM to automatically send out a monthly or weekly newsletter that’s personalized with the recipient’s name. Use templates for easy, fast creation that matches your brand.
- Trackable. You can measure performance metrics such as open rates, engagement, and links clicked to monitor their ROI.
- Customizable. Serve different areas or demographics of your market with their own unique content. Send different newsletters that feature information that is relevant to a specific location.
- Storable/reusable. Create an archive on your website of past newsletters that contain volumes of valuable information. Doing so also increases your authority as a long-standing expert for your area.
Reusing some of your most powerful newsletters with new leads can also let you recycle valuable content that’s proven to work.
- Inexpensive. In comparison with the cost of postage, digital newsletters are extremely affordable. Aside from the cost of software or other content creation costs, they are free to distribute.
- Easy to reshare. Chances are that your audience also knows a family or friend in need of the information you have to share. Digital newsletters can easily be forwarded in an email, linked to, sent via online messaging, etc.
3. Decide how often to send it
By now, your real estate newsletter strategy is beginning to take shape. Now it’s time to start planning how often it will need to be shared, and how much to include.
No matter how often you decide to send your newsletter, make sure to do so consistently. No matter what you choose to include, newsletters are a great way to stay top-of-mind. However, sharing them sporadically will negate this benefit.
If you’re just starting to publish them, a quarterly newsletter may be a good way to start the process. It won’t be too overwhelming to prepare every three months, allowing you to create and refine your content and the processes surrounding it.
Once you’re up and running, you may choose the industry standard of sharing them monthly.
Many send newsletters via email on Fridays. They reason that this gives your email a better chance of being read compared with other days, since less email is sent over the weekend. However, studies have shown that emails sent on Tuesdays have the greatest chance of being opened.
Finally, you can plot out your schedule for the year: What content to include and when, all based on what interests your market at different times of year.
4. Speak to your audience
Whatever content you decide to include in your newsletter, make sure it’s personal. The last thing people want sent to them is overly-formal, generic content that doesn’t touch on their interests in real estate. Or worse yet, one that’s packed with “salesy” content that puts them off.
Instead, make sure to address not only what you’re including, but also why you’re including it because you’re trying to help them. In order to do so, use an informal, entertaining, educational tone of voice.
Remember, this is content that you’re sharing to create and maintain a connection with your audience. That means asking yourself a key question with each newsletter: “If I were in my audience’s shoes, would I want to read it?” Doing so will help you share the sort of content that your audience is eager to read every time they receive it.
5. Monitor performance
Finally, be patient. Almost all marketing efforts take time to produce results. However, it’s important to make sure that what you’re sending out is actually working. How can you be sure?
Digital newsletter engagement is much easier to monitor than print. Email software will allow you to measure a number of metrics with each newsletter sent.
Take note of how many:
- Opened your email
- Unsubscribe/opt out/report the email as spam
- Clicked on links
- Responded to CTAs
- Engaged with any embedded media, such as video views
It’s important to note, though, there are some ways you can still monitor the performance of print newsletters. For example, were any newsletters returned? If so, update your contact list to not waste future resources on that contact. Did any leads mention specific content from your newsletter in conversation? If they did, make sure to note what it was and why it worked.
The 10 best real estate newsletter ideas
Wanting to know what others are doing is an inherent human trait. It influences diverse industries, from fashion to technology. Covering trends that relate to real estate is a great idea for a newsletter since there’s always something new in the real estate world.
Some real estate trends you can share in your newsletter:
- Buyer demographics for an area, which can be of interest to sellers
- Lending trends that can help new homebuyers
- Styles of homes that are selling or are becoming more available
- Cities experiencing growth or change
- Home decorating styles that are becoming en vogue
- Selling features such as virtual tours, drone footage, or video marketing
These are just some trends in the real estate industry that you can include in your newsletter. Which ones you choose often depends on your target audience: Whether those are first-time buyers, future vacation homeowners, potential sellers, etc.
When a listing alert is used right, they not only advertise your inventory—they also build relationships with your future clients. In order to do so, don’t emphasize the sale; rather, focus on the needs and wants of the client. For example, instead of focusing on the price or acreage, focus on the space for kids to play or to entertain friends.
With listing alert newsletters, you can create a sense of urgency in the minds of the readers, increasing open rates as well as CTRs to your website.
Humans naturally have a strong sense of community, and we often take pride in where we’re from.
By simply listing 10 or so of the best events, restaurants, parks, or things to do, you can tap into the power of community by positioning your brand as a local friend who’s ready to help them enjoy their local area even more.
These work great to keep you top of mind with many different audiences: From potential buyers and new homeowners who want someone local to show them around to long-time residents who like being surprised with something new.
Both buyers and sellers are interested in DIY advice. The buyer might be looking at a place that needs work, or they want to hone their skills in case something happens. Sellers likely need to make a few improvements in order to list their home with confidence.
“How-to” newsletters can interest both buyers and sellers. Content might include:
- Home renovation tips
- Advice on choosing and working with contractors
- How to handle basic home maintenance
- Advice on getting a home ready for pets or children
Don’t feel that you need to be an expert with a saw or nail gun; rather, by simply curating these tips from other sources and sharing them, you can build your authority as the go-to source of help for all things home-related.
If you’re wanting to increase engagement (as well as gain invaluable insights into your clients), then quizzes are your answer.
Content that promotes active engagement and interaction has been shown to improve conversions almost 100% more than passive content. They challenge us, create curiosity, and promote self expression.
Here are some ideas for a quiz newsletter:
- “This or that” style quizzes that contrast two styles of homes
- Buyer quizzes that challenge would-be buyers to see if they know as much as they think they do
- Seller quizzes that create curiosity about how much properties are worth
In order to maximize market insights from quizzes, use lead-segmentation software that stores the reader’s answers. From there, you can segment your lead into specific groups, enabling you to tailor your outreach in a personalized way that’s more enticing to them.
We come to trust reliable sources of information. That trust, in turn, leads to increased authority. This is why educational newsletters can be so effective.
Distill longer-form content from your website such as blogs, guides, or eBooks down into a simple newsletter. Break it down into key takeaways while leaving some things out that will create an appetite for learning more. That way, you can both repurpose existing content while driving traffic to your website.
The real estate industry is constantly changing, whether that be finance, housing, government policy, etc. Consumers need help understanding how it will affect their real estate decisions.
For example, maybe your prospect wants to know what federal programs exist to assist homebuyers, and how to apply for them. Or what foreclosure and short sale market conditions mean for a seller.
There is no limit to the amount of news content you can continue to share. That means you can position yourself as a go-to source of information with a newsletter that focuses on what real estate news means for them.
Since studies show that 83% of homebuyers view their home as an investment, it’s easy to see why value reports will be an easy win for in-demand newsletter content.
You can share a wide variety of reports that will appeal to homebuyers. For example:
- Foreclosure or short sale market reports
- Mortgage rates
- Housing affordability studies
- Government programs or initiatives for buyers
- Local real estate reports
- Income tax information
Sellers, on the other hand, may be more interested in these topics:
- Home sale, price, and value reports
- Unemployment, job creation, and income reports
- Real estate price forecasts
Having someone give expert advice will grab the attention of everyone interested in real estate, but especially first-time buyers who may feel overwhelmed at everything they need to learn.
Sharing tips like these will prove to be content that gets read:
- Saving tips for first-time buyers
- Education on qualifying for loans
- Advice on homeowner’s insurance for your market
- Buying vs renting cost analysis
- Homeowner tax breaks and incentives
- Refinancing tips or advice
Helping both buyers and sellers feel confident is an invaluable way for you to cement trust in your services. Lists do just that by outlining everything they need to know to accomplish a certain task.
Consider including these lists in your newsletter that will be:
- What most homeowners wish they knew before they bought
- What banks will need from you to approve your loan application
- What things to consider to know if a location is right for your family
- What buyers are looking for in a home
- Common mistakes to watch out for while hiring a moving company
- Things you need to know to move across the country
Keeping your real estate audience engaged doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. By combining the right strategy with these irresistible newsletter ideas, you can consistently share content that moves readers to turn to you when they’re ready to take the next step in their home buying or selling journey.