As a REALTOR®, you are perpetually busy. You’re constantly on the move, meeting with potential homebuyers and closing deals. You’re in the business of connecting with people and creating lasting business relationships. But with so much to do and so little time, how do you keep your contacts straight and organize your already crazy schedule so that you stay relevant?
I chatted with real estate agent Brandon Doyle about effective email marketing, and how having CRM software - a customer relationship management software - can keep you organized.
Doyle, who is a REALTOR® based out of Maple Grove, Minnesota, was nominated in 2014 as an Inman Most Innovative Real Estate Agent Finalist and was named as an Inman Real Estate Influencer in 2017. He is also the co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics: Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent and knows first hand the importance of effective email marketing to achieve success.
What REALTORS® are doing well… and not so well
“I’ve subscribed to plenty of agents’ email newsletters,” Doyle said in an interview with RESAAS. “There are some really great ones, and some not so great ones.”
The best emails Doyle has come across? Ones that are personal, short, and add value to the reader.
“When the email looks like they personally typed it themselves or includes a short video, it helps to build a connection. They’re also short, because people don’t have time to read super long emails! And finally, they should add value to the reader - whether it be tips and tricks or content that is pertinent to your local area.”
And the emails that fail? Ones that clearly look automated, or worse, ones that are exactly like every other agent.
“From time to time I see emails from different agents that all say exactly the same thing, so they are clearly automated,” Doyle says. “You want to find a way to differentiate yourself, instead of being like everyone else.”
While automation can be extremely useful, Doyle says timing is crucial. “Sometimes these automated messages might say ‘Hi, we haven’t talked in awhile’ or something along those lines. But if I recently had a personal conversation with a vendor or a client, and then they receive something like this the next day, it makes no sense. They’ll start to wonder ‘Wait, didn’t we just talk?’, and the whole thing will fall apart on you.”
Taking the extra step to write personalized content can help you to reap benefits in the long run. Doyle says that every time you send content, you are “training the recipients for the future”: “If they don’t open your email now and just delete it, chances are they will be deleting your emails in the future too.”
With so much riding on these emails and so many contacts to reach out to, how can you keep them all straight while you’re on-the-go?
The secret to staying top of mind with your clients? Consistent emails.
Doyle says that with online tools like a CRM, you can enhance the relationships that you already have and also have an opportunity to forge new relationships. Many times, these new relationships can lead to meetings in person, which can lead to more business down the road.
With a CRM, you can say goodbye to long, disorganized lists and databases and say hello to a manageable software that houses all of your contacts together. You can categorize your contacts based on what works well for you, and from there figure out which contacts can bring you the most value.
For Doyle, categories can be everything from friends and family, to those that you’ve networked with, to those that are most likely versus less likely to move within the next month.
Having a CRM like Contactually can help you manage your time when it comes to sending out consistent emails to clients. “Having something like Contactually to remind me to send an email helps me to stay top of mind with my clients.”
It’s all a numbers game
Figuring out how many emails to send is a matter of balance and timing. Depending on the type of relationship you have with a client, Doyle says that you can approach emails in two ways:
Doyle and his team put together newsletters that are sent to all clients. These emails are sent in a drip so that they don’t have to worry about them, but also features content that feels personal.
The opportune time to send these emails for best results are typically earlier in the week, in the morning: “You want to be the first thing they see right when they start the week, not something that they’ll forget about over the weekend.”
Outside of automation, Doyle also relies on personal interaction like personal emails, phone calls, or even in-person meetings to connect and nurture clients relationships. The type of relationship that you have with a client will determine how often you contact them. For example, you should still contact clients who you might not be super close with so as to keep top of mind for them, so reaching out to them once every 90 days may be sufficient.
Doyle says that having Contactually is extremely helpful as it reminds him to reach out to clients based on the last time he had contact with them. Doyle aims to make 5-10 personal reach outs each day in order to meet his personal gross commissionable income goals.
Other ways to nurture client relationships
There are plenty of ways to reach out to your clients to continually nurture relationships as well as keep them in the know of what your agency is up to. For Doyle and his team, here are a few things they do beyond the drip automation and personalized emails:
Monthly newsletters - “These newsletters get sent out to those who have signed up for them, and they feature more readable original content.”
Physical mailers - “Another way to get information out to clients, and it’s good to reach out to them through a different channel.”
Client appreciation event - “We hold one of these every year, and we invite clients over the phone or by email.”
Thanksgiving mailer - “This is one of the big holiday mailers that we do. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect and be appreciative, so we always send out a mailer to thank the clients we work with.”
Beyond these, Doyle says that there are plenty of other things that you can do through other mediums, like quarterly phone calls to clients. The goal is to turn these cold leads into lasting client relationships, and making the effort to reach out to them is already an excellent start.
When done correctly, email marketing is a great way to nurture client relationships. As a busy REALTOR®, having a customer relationship management tool like Contactually can help you to organize all your clients’ contact information together and remind you to reach out to them.
Of course, there is no cookie-cutter method to this, as each agent is unique. Once you determine what your goals are, you can plug them into your CRM and it will help you manage your time so that you can consistently email your clients and remain top of mind.
Ready to optimize your CRM and how you can maximize success? As a RESAAS user, you can try Contactually for FREE for 14 days! Check it out on the RESAAS Marketplace here:
Rachel Wong is the Digital Content Co-op student at RESAAS. She loves coffee and beer, writing and talking, and has been the same height for pretty much ever. Check out her RESAAS profile ›