If you’re writing real estate newsletters only because that’s what your competition is doing, then you’re doing it for the wrong reason. Your newsletter should support your overall marketing strategy. If it doesn’t, you could be wasting time, money, and energy.

That might seem like a daunting task at first. But don’t worry. With these five fail-safe marketing tips and five ideas for newsletter content, you’ll have all you need to create effective, compelling, and engaging newsletters.

1. Identify Your Target Audience

This is the most important step. And yet it’s the step that gets overlooked most often.

You can’t nail the bullseye if you don’t know where the target is. So before you do anything, think through the target market for your newsletters. Then establish goals. What do you want your newsletters to accomplish as they relate to your overall marketing strategy?

It might be tempting to think you’re marketing to “everyone.” But real estate marketing strategies like that tend to be unfruitful. It’s been said many times, but it bears repeating: if you try to be all things to all people, you run the risk of not being anything to anyone.

Who are you trying to stay in contact with? Who are you trying to sell homes to? Are they retirees? First-time homebuyers? People purchasing investment properties? The more specific you can get, the better.

Depending on where you are on your journey as a real estate agent, this step might take some time. But developing a solid real estate marketing strategy is always worth it.

2. Tailor Your Newsletter to Your Target Audience’s Needs

Don’t make the mistake of talking about yourself all the time. “I just sold this amazing house.” “Here’s why I’m the number one agent in the city.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion here and there. But if it ever comes close to appearing that you are all you care about, you’ve gone too far.

Your readers probably already know how great you are. That may be why they subscribed to your newsletter to begin with! Ultimately, what they’re after is the benefit. They want to know what’s in it for them.

So gear all of your content (even your own promotional plugs) toward your reader and how they can benefit. Make it a habit to ask yourself these two questions as you craft your newsletter: “So what? Who cares?” Each section of every newsletter you send should provide answers to those questions.

Let’s get even more specific. Be sure to tailor your content according to the type of lead with whom you’re communicating. There’s no better way to get people to tune you out than to send them content that doesn’t relate to their needs. Have you taken steps to ensure your seller leads are only receiving content relevant for people considering selling their homes? What about for buyers?

3. Choose the Format

Decide if you want a print or email newsletter. (Or both!)

While print newsletters might cost more than emailing, they continue to perform well year after year. With the right marketing tool, they’re easier to create and print than you might think. Everything from designing to printing to shipping your print newsletters can be taken care of in a single system like Market Leader Professional.

Print newsletters can be just as effective as email newsletters (if not more so). Why? One of the main reasons is that the reach of direct mail tends to be more focused. It has less to compete with than email.

For example, one report indicated that the average person receives over 150 emails per day, whereas the average household receives only about two pieces of mail per day. Plus, print newsletters have staying power: they can easily be passed on, left in waiting rooms, or handed out in person. The con? Direct mail is less of a trackable medium than email, limiting your ability to monitor and track progress.

Email newsletters one the other hand are less expensive and even easier to create. And emails make it much easier for you to collect all of the data you want, monitor success, and iterate your strategy. But if you’re not careful, they can look like spam or get lost in the sea of other emails your prospects get on any given day.

Can’t decide? Go back to your overall marketing strategy. If your target audience consists of retirees, for example, a printed newsletter might best. If you’re aiming for relatively young first-time buyers, maybe it’s best to go the email route.

And remember, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. It’s about what works best for your particular audience.

You may even choose to do both. Reaching out to people with two mediums increases the likelihood that you connect with them. If you call someone every day at 1 p.m. and they don’t pick up, you should try calling at a different time. The same concept applies to newsletters: If you can’t connect with email, print might work.

4. Pack Your Newsletter With Engaging Content

Whether you go with print or email, it’s always important to stand out. Your number one newsletter content priority is to keep your reader engaged. Here are some general guidelines worth following:

  • Pay special attention to the design elements and make it look appealing.
    Make it interesting and easy to read.
  • Be concise.
  • Provide relevant information about buying and selling and other related topics.
  • Provide research and insight with useful, compelling, and actionable data.
  • Include calls to action.

In other words, make it valuable.

Personalizing your newsletter will make it stand out from the crowd. So write about topics that are interesting to you or that your target market will find informative. You are trying to connect with your audience, and there’s nothing that will lose that connection faster than a boring newsletter.

Need some inspiration on content themes for your real estate newsletters? Here are five ideas to jumpstart your imagination.

Idea #1: Inform

  • Customize your newsletter for each prospect. If you know where your prospect is searching, talk about interesting things happening in that area: new shopping centers opening up, schools that performed highly on state exams, local bars and restaurants with great reviews, etc. If you have too many prospects to manage something like this, customize your content according to your top five prospects’ personalities and interests.
  • Keep your prospects up to date with trends in interest rates, home values, and neighborhood stats.
  • Most consumers will be interested in listings. Take a few listings that are extremely interesting (customized to the prospect) and post them on your newsletter with a link back to your website. This keeps them engaged with you and off unrelated websites where they’ll run into other agents vying for their attention.

Idea #2: Offer Discounts to Local Businesses

  • This is a great way to add tangible value to your newsletter. But more than that, it shows that you have a variety of local connections, which can go a long way to boost your credibility as a real estate agent.

Idea #3: Make It Warm & Relational

  • Express your personality (while always keeping it professional, of course).
  • Share pictures and personal updates.
  • Sure this is a nice idea. But it’s more than that. Adding a small relational component to your newsletter shows that you’re not just a sales shark hunting for your next closing.

Idea #4: Provide Helpful Advice

  • Position yourself as the local expert.
  • Do the work of analysis for them. Numbers, charts, and infographics are great, but always be sure to help your readers understand the data. Offer suggestions and draw conclusions.
  • Want to take your marketing strategy to the next level? Write a blog where you can share your expert opinion on trending topics in real estate and link your newsletter to it.

Idea #5: Make It Fun

  • Include games, puzzles, amusing articles, contests, recipes, or funny cartoons and videos.
  • But remember: adding a touch of entertainment to an otherwise boring newsletter isn’t “just for fun.” If it’s done well, it can be extremely useful in helping you establish a connection with your leads.

First we considered the importance of developing a real estate marketing strategy, establishing your target audience, and tailoring your newsletter to fit your readers’ needs. Then we saw five of the best newsletter ideas that will jumpstart your content creation journey. That’s a great foundation.

But if you’re looking for the best way to maximize efficiency and elevate your CRM toolkit as a real estate agent, you won’t want to miss this fifth and final marketing tip.

5. Use a Marketing Automation Tool

The best real estate marketing automation tools allow you to save time and energy on marketing to your contact database, which in turn frees you up to serve your clients.

With Market Leader Professional, for example, you’ll be able to create (and automate) effective newsletters that bring value to both you and your contacts. Plus, you’ll get a customizable website, a fully-integrated CRM, and all of the marketing automation you’ll need to take your business to the next level.

Ready to start creating effective newsletters? Get the power of an expert real estate marketing team behind you with next-level marketing automation. Learn More