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:
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?