Real Estate Marketing 101 – Building an Email List

What’s your top driver of real estate business leads? Is it your brand, office or experience?

Actually, it’s none of those. It may come as a surprise to less-seasoned real estate veterans, but your number one business driver is the people you already know. As a result, a strong database of individuals you can tap into when selling a property is your best friend.

Here’s what you need to know about building that database and converting more leads.

So, What Exactly is a Database?

Good question. Your database is a list of current and past clients, prospects, referral partners, and anyone else who could list with you, buy from you, or help you to move your business forward.

Your contacts are probably everywhere. In fact, right now, you’ve probably got a good number of them sat in your smartphone. That counts as a database as well.

Now, on its own, a database isn’t worth much. What makes it invaluable to you as a real estate professional is the relationship you have with it. What we mean by this is you can’t just leave your database to stagnate – you need to nurture it and keep it alive and kicking.

Your Challenge as a Marketer

If you can’t commit to building that database, you’re going to get trapped in the next lead cycle, chaining yourself to cold calling and desperately grasping at referrals.

By nurturing your database, you’ll be able to generate a consistent, predictable volume of business in the long-term, and that’s definitely something you want.

Check Up on Your Database Health

Right this moment, how healthy is your database? Ask yourself these questions to find out:
  • Does everyone know who you are and understand how you can help them?
  • Do you get repeat business from your past clients?
  • Do you get referrals from those past clients?
  • Is it common for your prospects to choose someone else over you?
  • Do you get a consistent supply of testimonials?

Common Reasons Agent Databases Fail

The majority of agents fail because of 1 of these 2 reasons:
  1. They don’t take the time to export all of their contacts into one database. This results in sporadic communication and a reduction of brand awareness.
  2. They have a consistent database, but inconsistent communication means people forget about them, choosing other agents who can add more value.

Choosing Relationship Marketing or Transactional Marketing

Your choice of marketing approach boils down to 2 common tactics:

Relationship marketing

Prospects who’ve engaged with you online, like opening links in emails or requesting valuations from your website, should receive a more targeted email campaign with offers directly related to what they’ve expressed an interest in.

Transactional Marketing

Contacts that have just been added to your database receive a series of automated emails, known as a drip campaign. The aim of this is to work out whether your leads are in the buying or selling process.

While both of these have their advantages, relationship marketing brings home a higher return on investment than transactional marketing, and that’s the key for any successful growth strategy.

Getting Started with Email Marketing

1) Group together your contacts

In this database, you’ll have a list of literally everyone you’ve ever done business with or communicated with. If you’ve already got this database segmented, great, but if not, don’t worry about it just now.

2) Get those contacts into your CRM system

You need to get your contacts loaded into professional email marketing software, because this will mean any communications you’ll send them can be CAN-SPAM compliant. Which service you pick is up to you.

Once you’ve uploaded your lists, comb through them and manually unsubscribe anyone you don’t want to be sending communications to. You can either do this in the system one by one, or if you’ve got a list, you can upload it as a .csv file in most email marketing applications and unsubscribe them in bulk.

3) Jog their memory with a reconnect message

Send out an email to your entire list, reminding them who you are, what you do, and letting them know that you’re in the market to help more people who have common questions about real estate.

You aren’t selling anyone anything. This is content marketing, where you’re offering advice as opposed to directly driving a sale.