Do you have a real estate newsletter that you regularly send? If not, why not?
A newsletter is a “non-threatening” message that can keep you top of mind with past clients and your sphere of influence. By non-threatening, I mean that this is a message that’s not blatantly asking for business or even a referral. It’s just a friendly hello.
Kind of like a chat you have with someone you run into in the supermarket, it’s a reminder that you’re there, ready to help whenever they need you.
How long should it be, and what should you send?
Your real estate newsletter doesn’t need to be lengthy. One or two pages – or their equivalent in an email – is plenty. It really depends on what you have to say.
If you’re calling it a newsletter, I think it should contain a bit of news. It can be news about your market, about your community, or even about you.
Start with a short version of your market report. Then mention news that could affect that market. Is there a new housing development coming in? How about a new shopping center? Or perhaps the anchor store in an existing shopping center is about to change.
How about including a bit of (fresh) advice for home buyers/sellers/owners? Make it specific, so someone can take action on what you’ve written.
Go on to news of interest to people in the community. Did you run across a great new restaurant? Is there a celebration or festival coming up?
It can also contain articles that are just for fun. My event-themed keeping in touch letters are an example. They can stand alone or become part of a monthly or even quarterly newsletter. Check them out and see a sample here. (Scroll down)
These are an alternative way to stay in touch without sending a sales pitch. They’re for agents who don’t want to, can’t, or don’t have time to write a personal newsletter.
Since these people know you, you could also include news about yourself. If you’ve attended a convention, earned a designation ,or won an award, tell them. And, on a more personal note, you can mention things like a child getting married or heading off to college (or first grade!) – or even the fact that you’ve gotten a new puppy or completely remodeled your kitchen.
What else? When I was writing a company newsletter I always included 2 or 3 quotes – usually motivational. Every now and then someone would write or call to say thanks and tell me that it came at just the right time.
What should a real estate newsletter NOT contain?
Note: This is just my opinion – feel free to ignore it if you disagree.
I think you should skip the recipes and the health articles. And yes, I know some companies specialize in selling recipe postcards for real estate agents. I just don’t think they’re a good idea.
If someone wants a recipe, they’ll visit a recipe site. If they’re really interested in new and different recipes, they’ll subscribe to a cooking newsletter or magazine.
As for health: I expect that most in-boxes are just like mine – flooded with tips and information on staying healthy. Again, if someone wants that information, they can subscribe to any number of newsletters and magazines.
When they hear from you it should be about real estate, about your community, or about you. Or – it can just be something fun or interesting that they can share with friends.
FOLLOW UP: The information above went out in my “Thursday newsletter,” which was accidentally sent on Monday.
Since then a few agents have written asking me if I offer pre-written newsletters. The answer is no, because I think in order to qualify as valuable real estate news, it needs to be about your market, your community, and you. I can write custom newsletters – but only if you provide some input, links to events, etc.
Obviously, many disagree with me. On page 1 of a Google search, I found four companies selling pre-written real estate newsletters.
In addition, I saw several offers for templates. Zillow offers 3 free templates that offer good ideas for content. Any one of them would make a good base for your personal newsletter.
Graphic courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net