Welcome to the first installment of our Fearless Real Estate Series! In this collection of posts, we’ll share our inside scoop on how to build out a visible, credible online presence for your real estate company.
One element of this is establishing your company and brand as a reliable and helpful source of information for brokers. An effective channel to accomplish that is an email newsletter targeted to brokers. This week, we cover tips on how to make an impactful real estate broker newsletter. Let’s get started!
Why create a broker newsletter?
A broker newsletter is more than advertising or sharing general updates about your agency. Think of it as a resource to help professionals in the real estate industry do their jobs more effectively. It can also help your company get the attention of brokers who represent tenants in your target area. Use your newsletter to share information about new listings, updates on projects and position yourself as a go-to, dependable source for brokers to lean on for information about industry trends and regional availability. A consistent, high-quality newsletter tailored to what brokers need will help ensure your real estate properties are at the forefront of brokers’ minds, amplifying your presence in this competitive industry.
Getting started with a newsletter
First: Consider your goals for a newsletter. Is your aim to educate brokers about your available properties for lease or for sale? Do you want to invite brokers to exclusive events, such as space previews or open houses? Or, do you want to offer a consistent source of local or regional residential or commercial real estate industry news? Maybe you’d like to do all of the above – just make sure you’re sharing content that’s of use and helps brokers be more effective.
Next, select an email marketing platform. We most often recommend Constant Contact and Mailchimp, which are user-friendly and allow you to easily create email templates, upload and manage recipient lists, schedule newsletters in advance and provide analytics about your email campaigns.
Once you know your “why” for the newsletter and the platform you’ll use, plan a regular cadence and stick to it, so your audience knows when to expect to hear from you. For real estate brokers, a reasonable newsletter cadence is typically once or twice a month.
With logistics in place, you can create a visually engaging template that works seamlessly on both mobile and desktop devices. Incorporate your brand guidelines into your template and include photos, graphics and easy to read calls to action. Brokers are busy and often read emails using their mobile devices – they should be able to scan quickly to get important details. Make it as easy as possible for readers to click to call, email or connect with you for further information.
Lastly, as you get ready to start sending your newsletter, we strongly encourage clients to draft the first two or three newsletters in advance rather than creating just one at a time. You’ll save yourself valuable time planning and writing by having the first few weeks or months of content developed ahead of time.
Create strategic and targeted content.
Typically, broker newsletters are a strategic communication channel that help showcase real estate companies’ available spaces to brokers who can rent them out to potential tenants. To succeed with this kind of newsletter, your company’s voice must stand out among the constant advertisements filling a broker’s inbox.
To stand out and truly engage your target audiences, put yourself in their shoes. Consider what content you would find compelling if you were a broker. Then, get even more specific.
Identify the ideal broker you’d like to work with – do they work in the commercial or residential sector? Where are they based? And which clients do they typically represent? Considering brokers’ typical clients helps you determine if they are a good fit to promote your spaces to. Think about what is relevant to brokers and the value your company has to offer around that. For example, if you’re targeting brokers who represent clients interested in the environment, you may want to design newsletter content showcasing green buildings your company has worked on and offer consistent information about your sustainability efforts in the real estate sector. Be an information source that keeps brokers updated and aids them to accomplish their own professional goals. This establishes trust and builds engagement.
When you know more about who you’re communicating to, you can map your content to brokers’ interests and needs. Identifying your audience also helps for further targeting your contact lists based on geographic region or sub-specialty in more specialized campaigns. Say you’re hoping to secure California-based tenants who are looking to expand their footprint in Washington state. You could then design a customized newsletter with content tailored to the interests of a California audience. At the same time, you could also maintain a more localized version of your newsletter for brokers in your hometown.
Next, work to build a comprehensive email list. You likely already have more contacts than you think. Check the lists of brokers you have worked with recently or those who might subscribe to other email distribution lists within your organization.
Once you’ve built your initial list, developed your newsletter content and set a distribution strategy, you’ll need to tell your network you have a newsletter for brokers to subscribe to. Consider adding a quick subscription link in your email signature, placing a prominent button on your website and promoting the newsletter through your social media channels. Later, you can use coded URLs or shortened links to see what link readers used to access or subscribe to your newsletter, which will reveal to you which forms of promotion are most effective for your target audience.
You did it. You hit send on your campaign, and your very first broker newsletter is out! Now what? After sending out your newsletter should be to determine how successful it was so you can continue to improve your content over time so your audience remains engaged.
Most email marketing platforms share performance reports through your user accounts. Be sure to track the open rate of your email campaign at regular intervals. Monitor click-through rates to see which links received the most attention. Take note of any new subscribers or unsubscribed readers.
For context, the real estate industry’s newsletter open rate averages around 19%. You can use this number as a loose benchmark for how your newsletter performs when you send it.
Once you see how your newsletter is performing, don’t be afraid to experiment. Play with your template or content, even your subject lines. You could try different image, graphic and text placement or vary your content length to see how that impacts engagement. And, continue to promote your newsletter consistently so you can expand your subscriber list over time.
If you’re seeking more advice on how to create an effective broker newsletter for your company, feel free to reach out. We’re happy to help you plan the newsletter process further and show you additional methods for expanding your audiences.
Stay tuned for our next post in the Fearey’s Fearless Real Estate Series. We’ll be covering real estate social media strategy.
Until then, and as always, stay fearless.