Real Estate Newsletters

printed-real-estate-newslettersMarketing gurus of real estate marketing are always debating which type of marketing materials is the most effective way to reach target audience: paid online ads, social media, real estate newsletters, flyers and marketing postcards, email newsletters, interactive website or such a relic as cold-calling? There is no short answer – and in reality you probably will need to use a combination of several of these marketing methods in order to reach your selected target audience. They all work for different types of clientele, accomplish multitude of marketing goals and deliver your message that is most suitable for the media you have chosen for a specific campaign.

Let’s compare real estate newsletters, one of the most traditional tools of real estate agents, to other marketing materials and determine strong sides and shortcomings. Any newsletter needs content and it can be time-consuming to write it yourself. So many real estate agents opt for a professional real estate newsletters company that provides relevant materials month after month with zero effort from agents after initial setup. Though it seems like an efficient use of your time (concentrate on selling while leaving marketing to professionals) the pitfall in such arrangement may be newsletters content that is not relevant for your particular market.

As we all know, real estate is local and while national statistics may paint an average picture, you need market update specific to your area. Taking this into consideration, the best real estate newsletters can be the ones that allow you to customize content with graphs, statistics, sales and even featured listings. It gives your clients an impression that you are a competent specialist who knows the market and your newsletters give them news they can use. Don’t overdue the message: newsletter should be interesting to read, provide some general interest information and even recipes. If you push ‘list, sell, buy, move, refinance’ too hard it will distant and irritate your clients, even those who are ready to make a move.

On the other hand, strategic log-time newsletter campaign will make you a friendly neighborhood specialist who is there on a consistent basis. In that case, you are likely to be their first choice when they are ready to buy, sell or refinance. That is why most successful Realtors include in their newsletters neighborhood classified ads, information about neighborhood garage sales that they’ve sponsored, team sporting events, birth announcements, boys & girls scout announcements, pet photo contests and even funny cartoons and real estate humor.

Your real estate newsletters need to have that delicate balance of helpful information and fun facts that helps build-up community ties and make you a trusted advisor in the process.

Though mailing newsletters may seem as a wise choice, hand-delivering them to your targeted neighborhood will most likely help you establish friendly relationships that will pay tri-fold over the years. Even if you are busy handling transactions and prefer to mail your newsletters, leave some to hand-deliver and rotate these areas. You can even start an exercise club for stay-at-home moms and hire them to be your helpers in delivering your real estate newsletters to their neighbors and friends or hire responsible teenagers to make extra money – their parents will be thankful!

Most of the real estate newsletters companies that you see on the market offer four-page full color publications that are expensive to print and mail. Keep in mind that some of your environmentally-conscious consumers may object to such use of our natural resources. So always provide an option to read your newsletter on line (via QR code printed on the back or sent via email) and give your clients clear instructions how to opt-out of paper version of your real estate newsletters. Pick companies that are using recycled materials for printing and encourage your clients to recycle and reuse—and in doing so pass your newsletters to their friends and family. Remember that your main goal is to keep your face in front of your clients, not fill up their paper recycle bin. For this purpose, smaller real estate newsletters – the size of a large folded greeting card can be an answer. It is cheaper to produce and mail but may be more efficient in delivering your message. You want your professional information and marketing pitch to be delivered instantly, without an extra effort of unfolding a lengthy publication, that requires time your clients may not have at the end of the busy day.

That’s why real estate newsletters for clients may be not as efficient as calendars, magnets or notepads—they have a short shelf life unless you occasionally provide information that is worth to be cut out and put on the refrigerator for future reference, along with your phone number. Most seasoned real estate agents rotate marketing materials they use: calendars in December, notepads with a hand-written personal message for Thanksgiving, postcards for the 4th of July and marketing newsletters full of useful information the rest of the year.

The other valid point to consider is that though you should be on the edge of technology with iPad, smart phone and interactive weblog, your older clients (the ones that have the equity in their homes) may not be and would prefer to read professionally designed printed real estate newsletters for clients that are easier on their eyes. Thinking about your clients’ preferences and preferred media for your targeted audience is always a winning strategy when evaluating real estate marketing ideas and is worth a separate discussion.

To summarize comparison of real estate newsletters to the variety of other marketing materials:

  • Real estate newsletters for clients need fresh content for each new issue while designing postcards or picking from available templates for a relevant message is less time-consuming (postcards need just 1 – 2 photos, logo and a headline).
  • Printing and mailing a full-color a newsletter on a quality paper is expensive so cost-efficient alternatives may be worth considering.
  • Real estate newsletters are mailed folded with content and featured listings hidden inside while postcard is always “open” and delivers the message instantly. Pick newsletter design that utilizes the best of a postcard.
  • Only a few people have time to read articles inside your newsletters. Postcards have much shorter but “to the point” message that reaches clients right away.
  • Provide options of the delivery of your real estate newsletters such as e-newsletter and web blog.
  • Real estate newsletters cost more to mail comparing to postcards – be creative and involve your community to help you deliver your message while building professional ties with your clientele.

Real Estate Newsletter Content And Ideas

If you are really passionate about writing your own content then consider creating something that will provide solutions to some of the common homeowners’ problems in your farm.
For example, if your real estate farm is in the region with humid climate, then you may know that many of home owners have a mold problem.

  • Do a research and find out the best ways to deal with this problem.
  • Find out if there are inexpensive ways like ozone shocking device, for example, to prevent mold or destroy it without hiring a contractor.
  • Write a detailed article on that subject and post it on your website but not include absolutely all information on the subject.
  • In addition to that compile a comparison list of local companies that deal with mold problems.
  • For this you may get a subscription for and make 3-4 calls to companies from Yellow Pages.
  • Make a PDF ebook with ALL information on the subject, your comparison chart and offer it as a FREE download in exchange for email address and opting-in for your future emails.

Now, order a custom real estate newsletter where you will feature a short version of the article on dealing with mold problems. In 1-2 places of this short version of the article and at the very end of it post links to the full web version of the same article with the words like “For a comparison list of local specialists with quality ratings go to:”
Provide QR code for people to go there without typing web link.
Once clients will go to your website page to read the article they will be compelled to download a free ebook.

In this case you will gain a few things:

  • Client’s email address;
  • A visitor to your website (Search Engines will notice that);
  • A chance that some visitors will bookmark your web page;
  • A chance that some homeowners will share this link with friends, neighbors and relatives;
  • Clients will remember your name if this information is genuinely helpful;
  • Your “neighborhood expert” status will improve;
  • You may get leads;

Of course, you should not limit your real estate newsletter content to the subjects that deal only with home problems.
Besides that you may offer fun and educational articles on remodeling, gardening, or buying vacation properties etc.
By following the exact steps mentioned above some top real estate producers in 2-3 years build solid expert reputation and huge email lists in completely new farms.

The secret ingredient in this real estate marketing method is CUSTOM newsletter connected with the content on your website.
The biggest mistake that most the real estate agents do is going with cheaper generic versions where the only customizable area is the basic agent’s contact information.

This is why you hear from a great number of these agents that newsletters don’t work.

Of course, they don’t!
All of them go straight to the trash.
They have no relevancy to the problems and interests of local communities.
They are not designed to be working closely with your website for collecting emails, providing value to local residents and establishing agent’s reputation as a local expert!
They lack personal touch and are printed in full color on glossy paper which is associated with junk mail.

On the other hand many marketing experts regard custom real estate marketing newsletters and other custom materials as the only way to stand out of the crowd and establishing yourself as a local real estate expert.

During the last 10 years focus of Real Estate farming has changed dramatically from just getting direct leads and referrals from your printed marketing materials to engaging in different ways and levels of interaction with potential clients benefiting both sides.

Don’t be trapped in the old ways of marketing; don’t spend thousands of dollars on billboards or marketing specialists guaranteeing top search engine positions for your website!

The answer is rather simple and it is in front of you – follow Real estate market leaders, learn from their experience and replicate their systems!

Please, follow this link to get more information about customizable real estate newsletters for clients.

Please, don’t forget though that this is up to you what kind of content your newsletter will provide for your clients. Try to identify the most common needs and problems in your farm.

If you are too busy and don’t have time to create real estate newsletter with custom content relevant to your local farm, you may hire professional writers on several freelance websites like textbroker, elance of fiverr who will research those subjects and write articles and ebooks.

Examples of real estate newsletter content:

  • Local Just Listed and Just Sold properties.
  • Every home owner needs a reliable and affordable handyman.
  • Find out several businesses in your farm and write about their services.
  • Do the same about local plumbers (with AngiesList’s rating).
  • Do the same about local air conditioner and heating specialists.
  • Do the same about gardeners and lawn services.
  • Do the same about local babysitters.
  • Do the same about remodeling contractors etc.
  • Write about the most affordable and exotic places for vacation.
  • Write about unusual and unique homes.
  • Write about the best places to buy the second home.

Almost all of the above, besides Just Listed and Just Sold listings, requires research, time and effort.
Remember that if you’d like to take advantage of collecting email addresses from new clients, then work on your website and ebooks first!

How To Customize Your Real Estate Newsletter

Let’s say that you are using a downloadable or email real estate newsletter program that provides you with all the content you could ever need. It provides you will interesting articles, facts, clip art, photos, etc. Should you spend time customizing it? How much customization should you do? These questions are up to you to answer. Experts agree that an effective newsletter speaks to the needs of its audience. So you should first identify what your target reader wants. One of the main advantages of a customization newsletters is that you have full control of its content. You can customize your real estate newsletter content as much as you want or as little. So how can you make you real estate farming newsletters more effective? Below is a summary of proven techniques to help you choose the right amount and type customization to maximize the return on your marketing efforts.

Customizing articles in your marketing newsletter

Let’s say, you just came across some interesting information that you want to share with your clients. For example, a new law or regulation has just passed and would significantly influence their lives or investments or their is a new program for first-time home buyers. Share it! Put in on the front page with a personal note from you, highlighting the most important parts of it. Explain the benefits or significant features in your own clear and concise words so your clients are not lost in the professional jargon and legalese. Make it interesting, relevant and short. At the end of your article, add a sentence that you are available to them to answer any questions or provide further information. By doing this in your marketing newsletter you will establish yourself as an approachable real estate expert and your future clients will look forward to your service!

When you are in charge of your content, you can decide what will be most beneficial for your readers. You can make last minute changes before your newsletter goes to print, if you have to. The goal is to provide readers with valuable information that they will be looking forward to receiving. You will not be saturating them with solicitations that will be ineffectual and eventually irritating. It is always a good idea to ask for feedback and suggestions on possible topics. Anything that promotes a conversation with your clients is a positive thing.

As we all know, every market is unique. What is true on a national and county level may not be the case anymore in your local market. That’s why an extra benefit of a downloadable newsletter is that every article, even the standard ones in the newsletter, can be tweaked to fit a certain market or reflect local conditions. You can agree with the whole subject but a sentence or two would need to be rewritten or personalized and you can easily do that. Or you can delete the whole paragraph that doesn’t apply and replace it with a local Market Trends graph to illustrate your point. You benefit from using existing content (that saves you time on preparing your real estate newsletter) while having an opportunity to add a personal touch—the best of both worlds. It makes every marketing newsletter unique to specific niche and oriented to the needs of your clients. They will appreciate it and value your expertise!

Adding listings to your real estate newsletter

Interesting articles and fun facts in your newsletter is a start but you should consider adding featured homes as well. Time and time again, we see through our clients’ that this simple change makes a huge difference in the overall growth of their business . With downloadable or email newsletter you can advertise featured home on any page – just delete existing content and add your listing. If you decide to devote a whole page to your featured home, use the best shots to emphasize the most attractive and unique characteristics of the home. It is nice to provide some information, but don’t get carried away writing an essay – list bedrooms and bathrooms, the most interesting features of the home, and price. Make your clients call you by omitting the address. Sometimes homes sell before you are able to advertise them in your real estate newsletter – take advantage of that and put big SOLD across the picture. Prospective clients like to see what is selling and for how much in their neighborhood, even if they are not ready to put their home on the market yet.

If you are just getting started in the business and don’t have your own listings to advertise, ask your broker for permission to feature company listings or cooperate with a listing agent offering free publicity to his/her unique listing in your newsletter. It makes your publication relevant to your target community and provides something that everyone will be interested in. Nice photo, big caption JUST LISTED or JUST SOLD, your contact information, in case anyone is interested in seeing it, will bring you more business if used consistently, than lengthy Comparative Market Analysis that will put regular readers to sleep. Think of traditional Just Sold real estate farming postcards – they still are one of the most effective marketing materials and they do bring results!

Some top producers have been using these real estate newsletter ideas successfully for years – always having 2-3 listings on the back page of the newsletter that clients will see first when they check their mail. Even if your readers don’t open your marketing newsletter, the picture with caption will be worth a 1,000 words. And definitely every marketing dollar that you spend on it.

Take High Quality and Professional Photographs of your Listings! Every expert agrees that this makes a HUGE difference. Use only high resolution images in your newsletters. Digital photography is widely available and there is no excuse for using low-resolution, out of focus, small (optimized for web) or crooked photos with MLS logos when you can spend just a few minutes for a high quality shot. If you don’t have time or the necessary skills, hire a professional to take photos of your new listing Do it after the property is properly staged. A few hundred dollars will be well spent and pay off with a quick sale, happy clients, and a few referrals down the road.

Advertising local businesses and restaurants in your real estate newsletter

Another great way to get your clients involved is to offer free advertising to your neighborhood professionals and small businesses. Everybody is looking for more business and free advertising, so offer your clients free classified ads in your real estate newsletter and you will quickly gain some supporters on the other side of the fence. Babysitters, pet-sitters, dog-walkers, tax-preparers, daycare providers – all of them will thank you for giving them space to advertise and will be your advocates in the community. By doing this, you also provide a service to your neighborhood. People are often looking for local businesses for their daily needs. Call or email them for updates or advertised specials before printing ads in your monthly newsletter and ask for referrals of other advertisers in your community.

You may also approach:

  • local restaurants,
  • pizzerias,
  • coffee shops,
  • hair salons,
  • spa services

and offer to print their coupons in your real estate newsletter.

You will not only extend your professional network and gain a few referrals in the process, but also make your marketing newsletter a valuable piece of paper worth saving and carrying around for a weekend outing or a morning coffee. You can help a new business get noticed and gain popularity in the neighborhood. Your service will not be easily forgotten.

Team up with other professionals

We have seen several successful tandems over the years when real estate and mortgage professionals team up to create a newsletter. It also works well when real estate agents dedicate a certain portion of the newsletter to mortgage ads or interest rates updates from fellow loan officers. You can share the expense while providing clients with additional services. Other professionals worth approaching are insurance agents, tax advisers, financial planners, and local handymen. It also makes your real estate newsletter more versatile and professional by providing valuable expert opinions on related topics and keeps clients informed about special promotions and programs. It would be wise to consult with advertising professionals regarding any additional disclaimers you would need to print in your newsletter.

Print neighborhood updates, garage sales’ announcements, neighborhood watch notices

Organize a community garage sale at least once a year and print announcements in your newsletter as to when, where and how neighbors can participate. It takes several months to prepare for it properly and a fair amount of time on your part but can potentially become a significant boost to your business. Start with announcing the garage sale 2-3 month prior to the set sate so people can plan ahead and start organizing their stuff. Advertise it again 1 month before it happens and provide a form for sellers to register for it so you can direct signs to their yard and put up balloons and other festive atmospherics. By doing so, you’ll get to personally know more people in your target neighborhood. Don’t forget to send a reminder 1 week before the garage sale! It can be a small postcard or flyer. Putting an ad in a local community paper will also help make the event a success. On the day of event, put out signs and balloons early in the morning and drive around to greet people, offer coffee and fresh pastries. A nice touch would be to rent an ice cream truck for the kids later in the day and local charity pick up service to gather unsold items for donation the day after garage sale. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and put a nice article about this event in your next newsletter. Those who didn’t participate may consider it for next year if you properly highlight the fun and benefits of garage sale you’ve just sponsored.

Never refuse an opportunity to advertise a block-wide BBQ, 4th of July celebration or print special neighborhood announcements in your newsletter. Pitch in on any efforts to find lost dogs and cats. People should think of you first when they need to put up an announcement.

Creating opportunities to meet people and collaborate on something of value in your target community will pay off in the long run. Not to mention you might have fun while you are doing it. Bringing people together in real ways will benefit everyone involved. When you meet people, don’t immediately try to tell them about your newsletter. It won’t hurt to have a few copies with you at all times to give away but you should always be listening first. Ask how can you help the community you are serving and if you have some helpful information, don’t hesitate to share it. This method builds a solid network of supporters that will bring you more business and community recognition over many years This is your main goal when preparing and distributing your real estate newsletter.