I talk to real estate agents about their websites and IDX just about every day. I’ve reviewed hundreds of sites and if there’s one piece of advice I could give to most agents to improve the effectiveness of their real estate blog as a lead generation tool, it would be this…
Build an email list!
The benefit of having an email list (and an autoresponder) on your real estate blog is that it provides you a quick and easy way to follow up with new prospects - automatically.
An autoresponder (a.k.a. a “Drip Campaign”) is basically a sequence of follow up emails that get delivered to your subscribers on a schedule that you decide.
For example, when someone registers to use your IDX map search, they’ve essentially expressed interest in buying a home. So in addition to sending them daily (or weekly) email updates on the latest listings to have hit the market, you might also send them a series of helpful articles that you’ve written on how to get your mortgage closed faster and on schedule, or your latest local market report, or your latest advice piece on things to avoid doing that might screw up your home purchase.
Your autoresponder is an opportunity to deliver value, make a connection, and basically lay the groundwork for making a sale.
And the best part about it is, once you set it up, it’s always working. It makes it easy for you to go about your day-to-day tasks of selling real estate and still market to new leads (“subscribers”) in the process.
The trick is to deliver a ton of useful information to keep their attention and earn their trust. Otherwise, if your emails are nothing but hype-driven copy, you’re going to lose them right away.
3 Content Ideas for An Effective Email Autoresponder:
Idea #1: Create a “Get listings by email” sign-up form for each of your neighborhood landing pages.
This one’s easy to do. If you have an IDX system, grab the RSS feed and set up an RSS to email campaign that delivers the latest listings for a particular neighborhood daily (or weekly). But take it a step further by also linking to some of your best advice posts on the buying process. Things like:
- What Documents Do You Need When Applying for a Mortgage?
- Mortgage Mistakes: What NOT To Do When Applying for a Mortgage
- 10 Ways To Guarantee A Miserable Home-Buying Experience
These are great content pieces that are full of valuable information for that first-time homebuyer. Remember, build trust before you pitch. When they see a listing they like, they’ll engage you.
Idea #2: Create a seller series.
Some people are coming to your website to search for homes while others are interested in finding out what they’re home is worth. So in addition to giving them a free comparative market analysis, why not send them a series of information-rich articles that explain everything they need to know to effectively price and sell their home for top dollar.
Again, the more useful, the better. If I’m a home seller, I want to work with the agent who really knows his stuff, knows the market, and can get me top dollar on the sale of my home. That autoresponder is your chance to show me that you really know what you’re talking about!
SPARR Properties has a great 7-day email series titled: Selling for Top Dollar In Today’s Market.
Idea #3: Get super local and create an insiders’ only weekly digest.
Basically, build your own version of weekendsherpa.com. They’re a free weekly email newsletter that gives you insiders’ recommendations on the best things to do in the area (in their case, outdoor activities in California).
It’s a simple service. Every Thursday, they send an email with hot tips on cool things to do in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. And I can totally see something like this working at the hyperlocal level – just tailor the exact same model to your specific community.
For example, I’m always looking for fun things to do outdoors. Ever since I’ve started running, I’m looking for new trails to explore, groups to run with and all kinds of weekend activities. So let’s pretend I’m an out-of-town buyer… Based on what I’ve just told you, and my interests, tell me what’s cool to do around here!
If you think weekly is too often and you’d run out of activities too soon, no problem. Make it a monthly digest instead.
Convert More Real Estate Leads With An Email Autoresponder!
You have an awesome real estate blog, you’re rockin’ a great design, and you have a killer IDX system…
The only missing element is an effective email autoresponder so you can capture each and every site visitor that’s interested in learning more about your market area, from the moment they land on your real estate blog. I’ve given you some solid content ideas for setting one up, the next step is for you to get to it!
(If you’re not sure what tools to use, or how to get started, just drop a comment below and I’ll help you out).