Every listing broker is looking to find an effective way to promote their listings and keep in contact with the pool of tenants and buyers in their market. In addition to internet marketing sites such as Loopnet and CoStar, the most common approach today for most brokers is through email and social media. This article will review the steps for an effective email marketing campaign.
Brokers typically use some type of Contact Relationship Management (CRM) software. Our company uses CoStar Brokerage Applications formerly (RE Applications). Other popular alternatives include Apto, RealNex (formerly REA), ClientLook, Salesforce, and ACT. Each of these programs has features such as being web based and functionality on a mobile device. These programs also have multiple functions. The focus for this article is their use as a database of contacts.
An office with a culture of sharing information will benefit from having more thorough and current data.
Every office has their own process and procedure regarding the sharing of contacts within the office. For many years, our company has encouraged an open database. An office with a culture of sharing information will benefit from having more thorough and current data. For targeted emails, most CRM programs feed contact information into an email program such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. Some CRM programs do offer built-in email programs.
Brokers have to balance the desire to keep in touch with their clients and promote their listing versus overwhelming and sometimes annoying contacts with too many emails. The downside of sending a contact too many emails is that they either ignore or opt-out of receiving your emails.
At The Zacher Company we strive to have a targeted approach by putting all of our contacts into groups that fit the interest of each contact. For example, if we are sending information on an industrial listing we will send it to industrial space users in our database that fit the appropriate size, function, and geographic location for the listed property. The same concept applies to office, retail, land, and investment listings. It is often more beneficial to send emails to a smaller number of targeted contacts rather than a large number of general contacts.
Every database requires constant maintenance. Our office has one support person that handles all of the database maintenance. The brokers forward their contact information to this person who makes sure the data is researched and entered correctly. The burden is on the broker to understand the importance of providing current information and continually updating the database. Often, this does not come naturally to the brokers, so it is important to have a simple and consistent system. We also watch local business publications and newsletters as well as LinkedIn to track changes in our database. Frequently, the most relevant recipients of the email are contacts that have been recently added to the database, such as the growing start-up company or person newly assigned the responsibility for real estate.
Another important consideration for an effective email campaign is to have the email contain eye-catching and relevant content with links to the brochure and other property information. If the property is being recycled, it is important to highlight what has changed since the last campaign.
Finally, after the email has been distributed, the email program will provide the results with a list of who has opened the email and who clicked thru the attached information. This can be used as a follow-up tool and, in some cases, forwarded to the listing client to show the steps you are taking to promote their property.
An effective email campaign is a cost-effective way to provide more exposure to your listed properties. It is easy to be complacent and repeatedly send the same information to the same people. However, it is important to continually update the contacts who are receiving your emails and to change the look and content.
I would welcome feedback from my colleagues regarding what has worked and not worked in your experience with respect to email marketing campaigns.
About the Author:
Steven K. Zacher, SIOR, CCIM
President, Principal Broker, The Zacher Company
Fort Wayne, IN