Updated October 2, 2023
Even under the best of circumstances, it’s tough to create real estate newsletters that are worth reading. I’ve seen many tired templates crammed with blocks of text that make my eyes water and fuzzy images taken with a “shoot first, think about framing and lighting later” mentality. I’ve also come across examples where the cardinal rule of marketing—provide value—was ignored.
Slapping together a newsletter is easy, but to create a real estate newsletter for clients that actually generates positive results and doesn’t just come across as an annoying solicitation takes some work, attention to detail, and a good amount of time—which makes automated real estate newsletters an agent’s best friend. (More on that later.)
But for now, I’m here to make creating real estate newsletters a little easier by taking you through some of the most important things you need to know, including:
- Why every agent should send a real estate marketing newsletter
- What an engaging real estate newsletter can be [with ideas and examples]
- The elements of an exceptionally good real estate newsletter
- Your options for done-for-you real estate email newsletter services and DIY templates
Why every agent should send a real estate marketing newsletter
There are at least four good reasons why you should be sending a newsletter to the people in your sphere.
1. Newsletters will drive traffic to your website
The people who regularly receive your email newsletter may not regularly visit your website. But if you include links to your website or to your social media accounts with the promise of something valuable, such as a lead magnet or delicious holiday recipes, you’re going to get some clicks.
From there, the math is easy: The more people you have visiting your site, the more opportunities you collect, the more leads you can add to your drip campaigns, and the more potential new clients you earn.
2. Newsletters will boost your engagement rate
Email engagement rates unequivocally rank higher than the rates of many other marketing channels, especially social media.
In September 2023, Moosend compiled email statistics from three reputable sources—Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, and MailerLite—to develop its table of email marketing metrics by industry. They report that the real estate industry, on average, experienced a:
- 29% open rate
- 01% click through rate
- 24% unsubscribe rate
- 36% bounce rate
When you consider that recipients of your newsletter have opted in to receive your email, that they actually want to hear from you, their engagement rate is likely to be higher.
3. Newsletter gives you a way to personalize your marketing
Today’s consumers want what they want, when they want it, and how they want it—and they’ll do business with those who can provide the level of personalization they demand. It’s why segmenting your email list in meaningful ways is one of the best things you can do for your marketing.
The good news is, with the range of personalization software options available, such as pop-up forms and personalization tokens, there’s no reason why you can’t create a real estate marketing newsletter that accommodates the interests, needs, and preferences of your recipients. Additionally, email marketing services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot, and others have continued to augment their capabilities to make it easy to create and send more personalized email newsletters.
But, as the good people at Marketo (a marketing software automation company) point out, “Personalization isn’t just about fancy software[;] it’s about providing relevant content.”
4. Newsletters consistently keep you and your services top of mind
Staying top of mind is perhaps the best reason for sending a newsletter.
In addition to driving traffic to your website, boosting engagement, and enabling you to personalize your message, a newsletter gives you an economical, pressure-free, organic way to stay in touch and remain in front of your sphere.
You’ve probably heard this before, but real estate is a contact sport and, for many agents, real estate newsletters are the go-to choice for staying in touch and remaining consistently in front of their sphere.
The industry’s top-earning agents are those who understand that staying in contact with the people in their database and building relationships with them is at the heart of their success. In between those once-a-decade sales, they look for a multitude of ways, including the use of newsletters, to urge their clients and prospective clients to keep them top of mind when friends, family, and colleagues ask, “Do you know a good real estate agent?”
According to NAR’s 2023 Member Profile, the typical Realtor® earned 27% of their business from repeat clients and customers, and 24% through referrals from past clients and customers—the people with whom they have consistently remained in touch, building and nurturing relationships over long periods.
Furthermore, agents who excel at building client relationships earn more than those who do not. (Sort of makes keeping in touch a no-brainer.)
When done well, a real estate newsletter for clients is one of the best email marketing tactics for building loyal, long-term, referral-generating relationships because they are an ideal means for consistently delivering value in ways that encourage recipients to know, like, and trust you.
Real estate newsletter ideas [with examples]
As you might guess, the various types of content you can include in your newsletter are only limited by your imagination. Still, the real estate newsletter content you select will provide different types of value for your clients and, ultimately, for you.
You want to make sure that all your content, regardless of its type, is useful, meaning it educates, entertains, or endears. (Content that educates and entertains is self-explanatory, content that endears you to your sphere promotes goodwill.)
Real estate newsletter topics that are useful and highly specific are one option, but in terms of these types of newsletters generating leads, it’s a bit like playing the lottery—your recipients have to need that specific information exactly when they need it for them to act on it.
An example would be a real estate farming newsletter that only features listings. Its value is restricted to those recipients looking to purchase a home or who are possibly thinking of selling and want to see what homes in the area are going for.
Another example would be a real estate monthly newsletter that highlights how-to articles. If it’s a high-quality newsletter, your recipients might hang onto these, but then your active buyers and sellers don’t get the information they could use when they most need it.
Of course, you can’t include in a single newsletter everything that could be valuable to your entire database, but as I discuss above, and if you have the time and funds, you might consider using personalization software. Assuming you have several articles in your library, you could switch out one for another when sending your newsletter to specific recipients. For example, Bill and Suzi who want to sell their house can read about “How Curb Appeal Can Increase What You’ll Get for Your Home” 🌻, while Dave and Nancy who want to buy a home can discover “Valuable Tips for How to Win a Bidding War” 💰, and newlyweds Sara and Mary can find “What Not to Do When Buying Your First Home” 🏡.
If you opt not to go the route of using personalization software, you can still make educated guesses about what might appeal to most of the people in your audience. This suggests a newsletter with a variety of topics or, if you’re really ambitious, a variety of newsletters each addressing a limited topic.
I would vote for the former—a high-quality newsletter that offers a variety of valuable information, not all of which is dedicated to real estate. Such a newsletter may well include content that hits all three Es—it educates, entertains, and endears.
Real estate newsletter ideas that educate
- A featured listing of the week or a weekly market update. (You could link out to an article with a deeper dive.)
- A how-to article about DIY home repair. (Link to a video showing yourself completing the repair—smashed thumbs and all!)
- Key terms real estate buyers and sellers need to know.
- The renovations that produce the highest ROIs.
- Local businesses that specialize in “X” type of repair or service. (Partner up with different businesses for different issues of your newsletter.)
Real estate newsletter ideas that entertain
- A crossword with a theme relevant to real estate or other type of puzzle. (Search “free crossword puzzle generator.”)
- Before and after photos. (Invite recipients to send you their photos!)
- Where in the world is [insert your name]. (For a video newsletter, record yourself at a locally popular, new, or historic site.)
- Highlights of upcoming local events.
Real estate newsletter ideas that endear
- A story about your team volunteering at a local charity.
- A photo display of a pet adoption event you sponsored.
- An appeal for the community to participate in a cleanup event. (This idea offers an easy segue to talk about property values and curb appeal.)
- A display of images taken at a local parade.
The elements of an exceptionally good real estate newsletter
In addition to having your name, logo, business contact, social media handle, and well-written content, outstanding email newsletters will also have several additional qualities.
Enticing subject lines
In his book Ogilvy on Advertising,(#ad) David Ogilvy writes:
On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
Think about your email subject line as the headline of your email newsletter. Work on your subject line until it is urgent, unique, ultra-specific, and useful. (If you can meet three of these criteria, you’re doing great). Your subject has to earn enough of your recipients’ attention and sufficiently entice them to click.
The same goes for the headlines you use in your newsletter. You want to write headlines that give your recipients a good reason to read what you’ve written. A great way to start is to draft headlines that answer questions beginning with who, what, when, where, why, and how. Some simple examples are:
- “How Appraisers Determine a Home’s Market Value”
- “When Is the Best Time to List My Home?”
- “Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home ‘As Is'”
Don’t call your newsletter a “newsletter.” Instead, to win some attention, incorporate some version of the problem you hope to solve for your recipients into the name of your newsletter.
I’m going to borrow from a blog I wrote about direct mail real estate marketing to share some real estate newsletter title ideas that illustrate what you might strive for in your title:
- Jane Doe’s Local Real Estate Review for Homeowners and Homebuyers is a title that would catch the eye of a specific type of client.
- Equally good would be, John Smith’s Guide to Oceanview Properties in the Northwest.
- A third title (because three is better than two) that suggests a problem-solving real estate newsletter could be a listing newsletter titled Mary Jones Presents Rockland County’s Sneak Peek of the Week.
These titles provide your name to keep you top-of-mind, specify a location (make sure the location includes the zip codes to which you are mailing), and define who you are best equipped to help.
An appealing layout
There should be lots of white space—no long, solid blocks of text to make your recipients cringe. Use some copyrighting tips like keeping sentences and paragraphs short and using bullets. And insert headings that indicate the relationships among ideas.
High-quality, eye-catching images
It’s not that people don’t like to read. It’s that they don’t have much time to enjoy it. Pictures are worth a thousand words for a reason. You can partner with a professional photographer, take your own pictures (look here for some helpful tips), or use images from the internet (provided you follow copyright rules).
Responsive design makes sure that your email looks equally good on a mobile phone or tablet as it does on a desktop computer. The easiest way to achieve responsive design is to use an email marketing automation service or a newsletter service.
A call to action
What is the point of writing content, publishing it, and sending it to your prospects if you don’t tell your prospects what to do when they’ve finished reading it? Be sure to include a crystal-clear call to action (CTA). Whether it’s Visit my website, Call me now, Share this with a friend (make sure you include social sharing buttons), or something else, you’re missing the point if you don’t include a CTA.
Real estate email newsletter services and templates from real estate newsletter companies
Whether you choose to use a newsletter service that does everything for you or a template from a newsletter company, include these considerations when making your decision:
Time: Do you have the time and other resources (including the skills) to write, design, create, target, mail, and collect, interpret, and analyze the data that will tell you how your newsletter is performing and what adjustments you might need to make?
If you’re a highly successful agent, probably not. You’re busy helping clients.
Quality: By subscribing to your newsletter, your list of recipients has invited you into their inboxes. Given the amount of emails we all receive, that’s a high honor and, in exchange, they’re going to want something of quality and value. Well-worn templates that look like every other agents’ templates won’t cut it, and they won’t stand out.
Remember that your newsletter is a statement about your professionalism and the quality of the service you’ll deliver.
Cost: In a world where you get what you pay for, do you want to go cheap, or do you want to make a lasting impression?
Marketing that pays off is not an expense; it’s an investment in your business. One issue that brings you one sale will likely pay for your newsletter several times over.
In making your decision, here are a few full-service companies and others that offer templates you might compare:
Real estate email newsletter services
Real estate newsletter templates
Your next steps
You’ve just read a ton of information about real estate newsletters, and, at this point, you know you need a newsletter—it’s another highly effective way to be consistently in front of your audience. The only real decision left to make is do you do the work yourself, or do you let someone else do it for you?
If it were my money and time, I’d suggest you let someone else do the work for you—someone with the expertise and the tools.
You have choices for newsletter services, but if you give me a minute, I’d like to suggest you try ours.
We’ve been in the business of marketing for real estate agents for more than 20 years, and we have an entire suite of marketing products—including top-notch real estate email newsletters—you owe it to yourself to check out.
Recipients view our fully automated Local Events email newsletter as a gift from you. One of four digital marketing tools that make up our Digital Marketing Platform, we brand it to your business with your photo and contact information, reminding recipients of the value you provide.
Every biweekly issue features top-quality events local to your area as well as virtual events from across the country. We handpick the events, build the emails, and deliver them to your recipients every two weeks—which leaves you free to run your business!
Remember that top producers get most of their business from referrals because they consistently nurture the people in their databases. They understand that they can’t always be talking about real estate and that they need ways to build relationships that don’t involve selling. And they realize that the most effective way to stay top of mind is to be omnipresent, which requires a multitude of marketing tools—including newsletters.
Whether you choose to give us a shot or you go with another company, you’ll improve your outreach and your lead generation with a high-quality, well-written newsletter.