Real Estate Prospecting - Turning Cheese into Soul - Newsletters

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Next up on the list of ways to turn Prospecting Cheese into Soul... the ever-popular Newletter! If you've missed the first two installments, you can catch them here:

Turning Cheese into Soul  Cheesehead
FSBO's & Expireds 

I probably have enough opinions on the topic of Newsletters to fill up half a dozen blogs... and I may just do that. But we have to start somewhere, so let's start, um, here.

We real estate agents love our newsletters, don't we? I wonder how many companies out there are capitalizing on our affection for the newsletter? Encouraging us to "build relationships" via our newsletter... to stay in touch with our friends via our newsletters... to promote ourselves and our wonderfulness via our newsletter?

I'm on a lot of newsletter distribution lists from agents around the country. Some are... well, let's just say that some are better (less-cheesy) than others. Most are clearly purchased "as is" and distributed at the touch of a button (or click of a mouse). Some display a little bit of customization, such as a spot to write a "personal" note and feature a listing or two. A few appear to be 100% created from scratch.

What are the typical topics covered in a real estate agent's newsletter? Lessee... home improvement tips, gardening ideas, recipes, market stats, Just Listed and Just Sold announcements, mortgage news... sorry... but YAWWWWWWWN. Not only does every real estate newsletter seem to follow the same pattern, but half the time, the information is so boilerplate as to not even apply to the local market! Even the fully customized newsletters, while more relevant to the audience, still tend to look, sound and feel like templates.

So let's step back a bit.

What's the real purpose of your newsletter? Is it to...

  • Educate your audience on the average Days on Market or Price per Square Foot in your area?
  • Impress the reader by displaying your new listings or bragging about your recent closings?
  • Ensure your friends know how important it is to winterize their sprinkler systems?
  • Share your gardening expertise, even though the monthly "tip" is clearly from a different climate?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, I'll encourage you to think about your answer.

Isn't the ultimate goal of a newsletter to make your audience like you? And remember you?

We can debate all day about what exactly "like" means, but in general, I believe the point of a newsletter is that the person who receives it thinks a little more highly of the person who sent it than they did before it was sent. Which naturally leads to them being just a little more likely to remember that person than they were the day before.

So, what, in a newsletter, might inspire that reaction? Or conversely, what might be the kiss of death?

More next time...

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Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate


I am looking forward to hearing what agents have to say.  I don't like cookie cutter, and need to put more time in to our website, etc. to make sure those aren't as cookie cutter.  Orginal strong newsletters are the way to go in my opinion if you are going to do them.

Dec 02, 2009 01:51 AM #1
Roy Giordano - Top Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Central, Marlboro, Manalapan, Freehold, Old Bridge NJ - Marlboro, NJ
Top Agent Marlboro NJ, Marlboro/Manalapan Homes

Hi Jennifer,

Interesting blog. Unfortunately my news letters sound just like the ones you're describing.

Looking forward to your next blog, maybe you can shine a little more light on the subject.

Thanks for posting.


Dec 02, 2009 01:53 AM #2
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Roy - most do, but once you realize they do, you almost can't help but change them! And yes, it can be done fairly efficiently. Stay tuned!

Heather - I've always hated cookie-cutter, even though most agents and trainers say "It's better than nothing!" I disagree....

Dec 02, 2009 02:03 AM #3
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

What are you talking about, everyone loves my guacamole dip recipe!  Actually I haven't sent any out in years, please redirect me.  Thanks Jenneifer, I'm enjoying this.  

Dec 02, 2009 03:13 AM #4
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I too, would love to hear your thoughts about what should be in the newsletter.  My firm sends one out monthly (one to homeowernes, and one to buyers/sellers) that looks good to me but is somewhat boilerplate.  No recipes, at least!

Dec 02, 2009 03:34 AM #5
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

Hi, Jennifer. I live in an equestrian community and most of my listings are horse properties. I volunteered to do the newsletter for the trail association because it seemed like (and is!) a good way to make my name familiar to homeowners here, and for people interested in the area who read the newsletter on the association's website. Not quite the same thing but I'm sure it gives me a leg up (so to speak).

If they're informative and fun to read, people love newsletters so I quite agree, it's a wonderful tool.

Dec 02, 2009 04:53 AM #6
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

I wish all my agents would read your posts. They are full of advice. But on the other hand when i talk about one of your ideas at a sales meeting before I tell them where I read about it, they look at me like I am so smart. Thanks for the post

Dec 02, 2009 05:04 AM #7
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

Can't wait for the next one, Jennifer.  I love to write and would like to put that to good use.  No fromage, I hope!  One of the things that I like most about what you have to say is that it is so common-sensical...and your success in business with a common-sensical, non-boiler plate approach sort of reassures me that I can be different in my "sales" approach, do things my own way, keep my soul intact and yet be successful too. Thank you! -- Tanya in Montreal

Dec 02, 2009 05:10 AM #8
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR

Thank you Jennifer for cutting through the proverbial limburger.

 I just can't see myself doing the same tired things that so many folks are doing (not that I am so creative, sad to say). If everyone is doing it one way...there needs to be a new way or at least a way with individuality, because standing apart from the herd is usually a good thing (especially upwind)....keep the hints coming, please!!

Dec 02, 2009 05:23 AM #9
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Bill - the thing is... some of the "tired old things" aren't necessarily bad in themselves, they're just done badly... We don't need to reinvent the wheel - just make it roll better.

Tanya - I always love your notes!!! Cause you usually agree with me ;-] - and so nicely, I might add. From what I've seen of your writing, you totally GET it. I'd trust you to write my newsletter any day. Keep up the good work.

Charlie - feel free to take the credit.

Leslie - sounds like a good move on your part. Perfect!

Margaret - Never quite understood the appeal of recipes - unless it's TRULY YOUR recipe and it fits the season or situation...

Kevin - See above... if it's YOUR recipe... go for it!!!

Dec 02, 2009 07:09 AM #10
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I recently listened to a fella talk about how to do a great newsletter.  He suggested including in it what you considered to be the best deal on the market,......and the worst.

I am looking forward to your newsletter ideas!

Dec 02, 2009 08:39 AM #11
Marian Pierre-Louis
Fieldstone Historic Research - Medway, MA
Metrowest Boston

I am not doing a newsletter currently but I've been seriously thinking about starting one.  I've been wracking my brain over just what is the most relevant content that people would want to read.  At least I know exactly what it isn't now. LOL   -Marian

Dec 02, 2009 11:56 AM #12
Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS
Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA and Copperhill TN - Murphy, NC
Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA

Very refreshing post. I've not even wanted to do a newsletter, but this really has got me thinking in a new direction about it and what it doesn't have to be!

Dec 02, 2009 01:33 PM #13
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

I have always felt that anything you put your name on shoud be a value added piece. Not canned crap, but some thing of true value.  It can be some thing fun and it can be professional.  but it needs to be from you. and sound like you.  and I agree it is so they like you, remember you and also see you as your go to guy/gal in the market.

Dec 03, 2009 02:38 AM #15
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Jennifer,

You cut to the chase quickly and I agree with your advice. Value to the client is what the reader is looking for..if it's not there..delete!!!

Dec 05, 2009 12:07 AM #16
The Niche Agent
The Niche Agent
Your Niche Is Our Niche

Speaking of "Newsletters", check out the awesome interview I did with Linda Schneider of Fast Newsletters on The Niche Agent. We talk about the most important things you should know when creating a newsletter, the value it can bring and why they are a simple yet effective strategy to grow your business.

May 28, 2014 10:14 AM #17
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