Direct mail marketing is anything but an old-school artifact. It remains a key performer in any marketing strategy, especially when you consider that the U.S. Postal Service reports people of all ages enjoy regularly receiving and opening mail. And as more businesses transition their marketing efforts heavily to digital formats, your print marketing faces a lot less competition.
When marketing your brand and real estate services, you need to care for the audience’s initial question, which is “What’s in it for me?”
It’s a fair question. Why should a potential home buyer or seller enlist you? Maybe you have a lot of experience, or perhaps you have a track record of being fast. That’s all well and good, but it’s important to keep in mind the realtor-client relationship relies heavily on trust.
That’s where integrating a printed newsletter into your regular direct mail efforts can have a powerful impact — on reputation, lead generation, overall long-term branding, and more.
Purchasing or selling a home is one of the biggest financial moves a person can make in his or her lifetime, so a realtor’s claims to past successes (that a recipient can’t validate first hand) won’t necessarily push the needle in your favor.
That’s why relationship marketing is critical for real estate professionals in particular. And because the purpose of a newsletter is to deliver relevant content to recipients — at zero cost to them — it stands a good chance of getting noticed, held onto, and even shared.
Relationship marketing (which is the heart and soul of a newsletter) focuses on customer loyalty and long-term engagement. Plus, newsletter marketing is beneficial to both the real estate professional and their intended recipient.
So what is in it for them? Your recipients receive valuable content on a regular basis, free of charge. And if done correctly, the newsletter is engaging, helpful, and leaves them with a positive impression of your brand. It also keeps you top-of-mind (perhaps while they’re referencing your spring cleaning checklist, or trying out a recipe you featured).
And in return, newsletters allow you to entertain and educate, and most importantly — connect. A regular newsletter marketing strategy will build prospects’ trust and confidence in you and establish you as an industry leader in your area.
Increase Brand Visibility
A fundamental component for any real estate professional’s success is visibility. Visibility is what gets you in front of clients and prospects at the right time — i.e. when they’re looking to buy or sell a home, or talking to someone who is. It’s what helps you gain referrals, and visibility allows you to stand out in a highly competitive market.
Regularly distributed newsletters provide real estate professionals a valuable opportunity to stay visible throughout clients’ buying cycles, especially if they come to expect receiving your regular touch-point. This kind of exposure to a community supplies you with continuous visibility while promoting your business and services in a subtle, unique way.
Create Your Newsletter
So you understand the why and are sold on producing a newsletter, but what about the how? The good news is your newsletter can be exactly what you want it to be. You decide on the length, the ratio of pictures to content, and can modify it as often as you see fit.
Remember that newsletters are not meant to be a hard-hitting sales pitch. The purpose is to establish your expertise, and softly position your services and offerings within the content. Doing so displays you’re on their side and are able to be a reliable go-to person for any real estate need.
The content you develop should be digestible and well organized. In other words, don’t fill two pages with a deep-dive into the refinancing process, or intertwine spring cleaning with weatherizing a home for winter. Be sure to educate and inform your consumers at a level and pace they can follow, without overwhelming them. Be cognizant of their location, needs, and pain points. Focus on the issues and topics that mean the most to who you’re targeting.
Here are a some topics you potentially could cover in your own newsletter:
- Guides to home maintenance and renovations
- Industry updates — after all, you’re the expert!
- Interview pieces with people and prominent figures in their community
- Relevant tax information for local homeowners
- Tips for saving for a home purchase
- Renting vs. buying
- Home insurance advice
- Tax breaks and incentives for homeowners
- Local, community events
Think of your current sphere of contacts — what are topics that would interest them? What questions and concerns did your past clients have? In your experience, what information do you know first-hand as a real estate professional that would be beneficial to others?
Remember, if you create your own newsletter, it will be a time commitment to research, write, design, and distribute (because having a smart list is absolutely critical).
Of course, you don’t have to tackle your newsletter alone. You can easily engage freelance resources in the form of writers and designers, or even consider distributing a professionally developed newsletter from a reliable source so you free up more of your time to focus on buying and selling properties.
If you’re looking to dive into newsletter marketing, be certain you’re strategic with the creation, production, and distribution. Working with a reputable third-party to ensure your marketing lands in the right hands can boost your brand to the next level. Ultimately, a well-done newsletter could be your secret acquisition and retention weapon.
Karly Short is responsible for copy writing, editing and content marketing efforts at Xpressdocs. She is the co-author and content developer of the smartDIGS product, a pre-written newsletter geared toward homebuyers and sellers. Prior to Xpressdocs, Karly held positions in the financial services, technology, and education industries.