Will your real estate newsletter be powerful or powerless?
First, why should you use a real estate newsletter?
Because it is a non-threatening, soft sell method of reminding people that you’re there and that you’re willing to answer their questions – or help them list and sell property. It helps you maintain “top of mind awareness” with people who might otherwise be lost to a competitor.
Whether it will be powerful or powerless all depends on the content.
I’m not a fan of pre-written newsletters, distributed by your franchise or purchased from a service and sent out with no personal information. Perhaps a few people read them, but they’re nothing to look forward to. In my opinion, because they’re usually filled with “old news,” all they really are is a reminder that you exist.
Consider your own reactions to the mail. Which pieces do you actually read? The ones that repeat what you’ve seen before or the ones with fresh, relevant content?
Who should receive your newsletter?
Send your real estate newsletter to past customers and your sphere of influence. These are all people who will either do business with you again in the future or refer others to you. But ONLY if you stay in touch.
In addition, if you serve a particular geographic area or niche, you can expand your list and use it as a prospecting tool in addition to your prospecting letters.
When you’re just starting out and your list is small, leave room to write a personal note on newsletters you’re sending in the postal mail. It doesn’t have to be long, just something that shows you were thinking of them specifically.
What should you put in a real estate newsletter?
Here’s a short list of suggestions:
- News about the local real estate industry. A market update is always a good choice, but also include news about developments that affect your territory. Mention new city/county/state regulations or new subdivisions about to break ground.
- If national real estate news and your local news don’t match – talk about it.
- News about a non-profit that you support – perhaps an event coming up or a success story.
- A few good quotes that reflect your own attitude.
- Your own thoughts about life. I used to sometimes write a column such as “20 things I love about Autumn” or “The best thing about January.”
- Seasonal tips – like reminders of things to include in your tax deductions or fun things to do on the 4th of July.
- Something personal, but not too personal! News about a class reunion you’ll attend soon or a child going off to college, or that new puppy. Just a little something to remind people about “who you really are.”
- A brief reminder that you’re there to help, any time they need you.
- While your sales message should take up only a small part of your newsletter, this is also a good place to brag a little about your market share or your low days on the market.When I owned a real estate agency and wrote a monthly newsletter, I often included a pie chart showing our share of the market. Of course I only did that because it was impressive!
Use postal mail to send your real estate newsletter.
I firmly believe in newsletters sent in the postal mail – and was gratified to read that marketing guru Dan Kennedy agrees. He says that when your prospects open their mailbox and find something from you they can hold in their hands, it has much more impact than an email – or a link in an email to go read a newsletter online.
For one thing, you can take your cup of coffee and go sit on the deck to relax and read a newsletter. A computer screen doesn’t offer that opportunity for comfort. And if you’ve included good information, your newsletter will hang around to be passed to friends or family. That means they’ll see it and think of you a few more times before it hits the round file.
It turns out that millennials love to receive postal mail.
In fact, according to this article, millennials are the generation that interacts with postal mail the most.
So if you’ve been thinking you must use only email and text messaging to reach them, think again!
E-mail is better than no mail…
While postal mail will be more widely read, if you’re trying to promote your business on a non-existent budget, sending your newsletter via e-mail is better than not sending it at all.
How can you produce a real estate newsletter?
When I did it, I used Publisher to write it, then took it to Staples to have it printed and folded. I left one panel for the address, so we didn’t need envelopes – only a bit of tape on each to hold it shut in the mail.
We used bulk rate postage, so did have to do some sorting before going to the post office. The funny part was that the price depended upon who was working in the post office that day. They didn’t seem to have any set protocol. (This IS a small town, you know.) We did have to purchase a bulk rate stamp, which was printed on the newsletter itself.
You might find a service that would plug in your copy and do the rest for you.
How often should you send your newsletter?
I think monthly is best, but if the budget won’t allow for that, shoot for quarterly. You might even consider using postal mail quarterly and filling in with e-mail the other months.
Whatever you do, don’t let those people forget you…
Whether you write a real estate newsletter, send seasonal postcards, or use something like my Event-themed keeping in touch letters, the important thing is never to let them forget you.
Studies show that while about 80% of people say they would use the same agent again, only about 12% actually do. And why is that? Because the agents didn’t stay in touch. They let people forget them, so that the next time they needed an agent, they responded to someone new who had been communicating.
Image courtesy of Ben Schonewille at FreeDigitalPhotos.net