Make Powerful Client Connections With Effective Email Marketing

By Kyle Malnati, CEO and Employing Broker, Calibrate Real Estate

Growth, progress, and disruption are exponential in today’s commercial real estate industry, leaving many successful agents wondering how their business might change in the Information Age. New technology is developed so quickly it can be hard to know which Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the best for us and if social media platforms can be powerful business tools.

A lot of this change is good. Contracts are written faster, can be signed electronically, and are actually legible (remember trying to read a faxed version?) – all without even sitting with our client. The business world moves at a rapid pace and real estate is no different.

According to NAR’s 2017 Commercial Member Profile the median age of NAR’s commercial members is 60, 73% are male, and 68% have a bachelors’ degree or higher. Many of our members can recall using word processors to write letters and carrying change to make phone calls from a pay phone. Because I am a Millennial with 14 years of brokerage experience, I am often asked to share successful marketing strategies from a more “youthful perspective” with my older, less tech-savvy counterparts.

My first piece of advice is to dispel the myth that real estate is no longer a relationship business. Even though the internet, email, and social media allow you to communicate, they do not connect you with your clients. Talking ‘kneecap-to-kneecap’ in a conference room and hammering out details over the telephone are still the most effective ways to negotiate a deal. The foundation of your business is people serving people so it’s vital to view technology as a tool and not as the center of your business. As long as you focus on taking care of people, you will continue to have a successful career.

Let’s talk about using tech tools to amplify your real estate business. My first tip is to pick one method to market yourself: email marketing.

Strategies and messages that were effective many years ago can still work today, but you should deliver them differently. Email marketing is efficient, inexpensive, and measurable. Gone are the days of spending thousands of dollars on a mailing campaign and wondering who received it. You should still produce postcards and newsletters, but do so digitally. 

Proof of this concept was tested by my company recently. We created a survey for our own clients and found that email marketing was still their preferred way of gathering information over Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. 

My second tip is to avoid chasing after change, which should be a relief to you. If you look at recent innovations and figure out what hasn’t changed, you’ll realize one consistent central theme: your client wants to be assured that you are the expert who can help them. Make sure you are addressing client need in any marketing and communication plans.
 

My Top 5 Types of Email Marketing Campaigns:

  1. Geographical farming of newsletters
  2. Just Listed and SOLD digital card/flyer
  3. Video interviews of clients
  4. Market Statistics
  5. Collection of links to relevant articles

Commercial real estate brokers are interested in results, right? My third tip is to effectively execute your email marketing campaigns using four simple steps designed to deliver optimal outcomes.

Step 1:
Pick a broadcast email distribution company. A few examples are: MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Vertical Response.

Step 2:
File email addresses from your CRM database into a spreadsheet that can be uploaded to your email provider’s system. You will want to upload this same list for every marketing campaign category you use. Here’s why: you will lose email followers that unsubscribe every time you send an email. Some of your clients won’t want market statistics while they will want new listings from you.

Step 3:
Start sending emails and do it regularly within your campaign categories. You should be emailing once or twice a week to get reliable statistics.

Step 4:
Review the statistics after you’ve sent about a dozen emails. You will start to notice behavioral patterns. Use this data to improve your next batch of emails. I track ‘Open Rate,’ ‘Click Through,’ and ‘Subscribers with Most Opens.’ You read that last sentence correctly. Your email platform keeps track of who interacted with your email the most, what they clicked, and what time they clicked it! 

Now it’s time to go “old-school” with my fourth tip and foster that relationship. Pick up the phone and call the subscribers with the most opens. 
Commercial real estate thrives on relationships, after all, and email marketing is a powerful way to deepen your connections. Remember, clients want to hear from us when we make deals happen, so use email campaigns to keep yourself essential to the consumer throughout every transaction.

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