What Makes A Good Newsletter? Your Thoughts??

By
Real Estate Agent with Key Properties of the Hudson Valley NYS DRE #40BO1055114
https://activerain.com/droplet/4nDs

Putting together a GOOD Newsletter requires some thought!

Both email and snailmail newsletters could be of great value when done properly.

 

Newsletters are one aspect of marketing that I have not been involved with up until now. I know that creating a drip campaign can help keep an agent keep in touch with clients or reach out to others that could be future clients. It is an excuse to write an email or even snailmail to make contact. It can be difficult sometimes to find a reason without looking like you are hounding a potential buyer or seller when they are not ready. It is a great thing to stay in front of as many potential buyers or sellers so that when they are ready they can directly reach out to the right person.... me.

I know that a good newsletter is hard to come by and writing all new articles would be way too time consuming. How to find proper content and put it all together is up for discussion. My impression would be to have a variety of topics that are not ALL about real estate. Tips on caring for a home, decorating and even a seasonal recipe along with a new restaurant review might be a good idea. 

So ActiveRainers, I am asking what works for you in a newsletter. Any great success and failures? 

I would love to know what tips you might offer on the subject. I've just begun putting something together and figuring out the details will be forthcoming. I would love some great suggestions, and who better to ask than the ActiveRain pro's!!

published by: Janis Borgueta Key Properties of the Hudson Valley in Newburgh NY. Her blog is about living, working and Real Estate in The Hudson Valley. Information here is a community service to the public.  Please subscribe to this blog. When you are looking to buy a new home, Search the MLS for New Homes in Newburgh NY.
You can contact Janis at (845)-527-7115 or find her on Google+
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Rainmaker
747,596
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

Mine are about the current market, I have a paragraph for Buyers and a paragraph for Sellers. Its one page, signed in ink. All Envelopes are HAND ADDRESSED, NO labels.

Sep 21, 2014 10:52 PM #17
Rainmaker
878,258
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Great info!! Thanks to all that commented here. Debbie Gartner looks like you have a winner. While your style is a bit different since you are not the realtor it looks like your viewers would appreciate the info.

Andrew Mooers a very thoughtful comment! I love the concept of the lists. That sounds like a great thing to feature. It may even prove to be a great snailmail newsletter too. 

To me the purpose is to stay in front of people so that when they are ready to either buy, sell or refer they remember me and how to find me. People need a reminder or two. Providing something useful without bombarding them with real estate boring market reports would make sense. 

I'm going to be putting something together soon and will share when I do. More importantly, after sharing I'll let you know any success or failures I see. 

Sep 21, 2014 10:59 PM #18
Ambassador
1,672,165
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Mine goes to my investors only. I feel it is my job to keep them up on market conditions and not just real estate values, but also economics and demographics that can inform them. I also like to use guest articles from people like CPAs to inform them about changes in law or in accounting for passive income. I believe in gratitude marketing and I find that more sales come from this than posting the buy of the month. 

Sep 21, 2014 11:05 PM #19
Rainer
255,116
Geoff ONeill
John L. Scott Medford - Medford, OR

About once a month, I put together one.  It's tough to come up with unique ideas, although once in a while the good ones pop up.  Most people just delete them if they think you didn't write them.

Sep 22, 2014 12:24 AM #20
Rainer
92,254
Deb McNeill
Flying M Team Small World Realty Fort Worth, Tx - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Christine in #9 is right on. Newsletters only do well when they get sent out.

I've found my phone rings more the day or two after my snail mail newsletter hits mailboxes. No one ever says hey I got your newsletter so I'm calling...but it's obvious to everyone in my office that is exactly what happened.

Find a consistant rhythm for sending whether it's email or snail mail. Once a month may be too much...twice a year may be too few. Find what works for you. Build a template so all you have to do is drop in content.

Now...I'm off to go write for my current newsletter....

 

Sep 22, 2014 01:19 AM #22
Rainmaker
191,858
Christa Ross
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes

I send a newsletter 2-4 times a year, I don't have a set schedule because I don't use a service. I put my newsletter together myself everytime and I include my review of the market, local events that are coming up in our area that I think are interesting, a few stories I write myself that usually are not specifically about buying or selling real estate, they are about improvements to your home, energy efficiency and active lifestyle information. I usually fill in with something from RE/MAX International and something from the REALTOR content resource. It is quite time consuming, but almost always results in new business, and since I do it myself it has my voice, I feel it is an authentic reflection of me and my business and that it very important to me. Too many of the services are just spam and I don't think they are worth sending out, maybe even do more harm than good in my opinion.

Sep 22, 2014 01:23 AM #23
Rainer
4,963
Wendy Marshall
Tempe, AZ

Janis, I'm just starting my own newsletter as well. I've learned that clients want useful information, but they also want to know about me - what I like, how I'm involved. Those shared personal connections strengthen our business relationships. Current market information and other helpful tips remind my clients that, when they're ready, I'm the agent to contact. Good luck! Sounds like you're on the right track.

Sep 22, 2014 01:27 AM #24
Rainmaker
456,647
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

I snailmail mine to my past clients and email it to prospective clients. Mine includes, in every issues:

* A featured property (I DO sell real estate and my sellers like to see their home featured)

* A seasonal tip  (this month it is a check list for Fall)

*A mortgage moment (I have a lender write a QUICK tip, no more than 75 words)

*Calendar of upcoming events (we all are looking for something to do)

*What's Happening at the RVA Home Team (I talk about our PB drive, our new dog being our Mascot, new services I may be offering...I keep this very informal. Sometimes I talk about my kids)

I put ONE line that says, "Referrals are the backbone to our business - Thank you!"

That's it. Clean and simple!

Sep 22, 2014 02:36 AM #25
Rainmaker
844,849
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Janis -- A mix of real estate, stats, blog posts, household tips and tricks  .... even a recipe will appeal to a broad readership where the reader will find 'something' of interest. Not too long, though!  Make it visually easy to read and not too overwhelming. Good luck!

Sep 22, 2014 02:44 AM #26
Rainmaker
424,027
Catherine Ulrey
Keller Williams Capital City - Salem, OR
Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist

We had been sending one for 3 years, through Sharper Agent via email.  It was sent monthly, and because of the equine niche, not only did it include horse properties for sale, but it had a local equine business, someone's trail adventures, tips from trainers, etc.  It took a lot of time for my assistant to put it together, but  it was worth it.

Sep 22, 2014 03:16 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,101,406
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Janis - I send out a e-newsletter the first week of every month.  I go back through my last month's blog posts and pick the market reports first, then anything else that seems of value or is interesting. I might occasionally link to an outside article.  

For me, it's important how it looks when it arrives in the inbox.  Are the photos scaled properly, is the title catching, is everything balanced. Then it goes out.

Sep 22, 2014 03:17 AM #28
Rainmaker
822,386
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

I've found that our monthly newsletter to our tenants is usually only read by about half of them so we've tried to make it easier to get the information we need to tell them.  We use big graphics, have the most important content in the beginning and don't make the newsletter too long.  We find that works pretty well.  

Sep 22, 2014 03:58 AM #29
Rainmaker
406,688
Randy Mitchelson,APR
Marketing Coach & Homeland Heroes Home Loans - Bonita Springs, FL
First Impressions are made at First Click

I do not enjoy receiving canned newsletters that just slap the head shot and name of the sender at the top. The feedback I have received from my readers is that a) they actually learn something from what I write and b) I put complicated topics into bite size morsals that are more easily digestible. 

Sep 22, 2014 04:52 AM #30
Rainmaker
654,523
Christine O'Shea
Christine E O'Shea Broker-Associate - Naples, FL

I use mail chimp and email blast my farm, community, etc.  We can track the opens and are above the industry standards.  Some great points in the comments above most of all Andrew's!

Sep 22, 2014 05:08 AM #31
Rainmaker
2,029,104
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Janis - I have had a newsletter since I started my business in 2009.  At that time I used generic articles from an affiliate source.  I did not write them.  As I started blogging on my web site I highlighted a theme on my monthly newsletter and used two of my blogs starting on the newsletter with click through for more going to my web site blog.  I do it once a month and it is always educational.  Hope this helps.

Sep 22, 2014 05:21 AM #32
Rainer
26,051
220 Marketing
220 Group LLC - San Diego, CA
Real Estate/Mortgage Marketing

Newsletters are great, they keep you "top of mind". The whole point of them is to get people to read them and forward them to their family and friends. Interesting content/funny stories/videos, etc. Anything that has already gone viral is also a good idea. Think about what YOU/your friends/your family would want to read and pass along! Thanks for sharing :)

Sep 22, 2014 06:57 AM #33
Rainmaker
90,993
Mary Weiss
Zillow Group Mortgages - Seattle, WA
Trainer & Content Manager

I agree with a lot of what others have mentioned here. Since I'm a youngun myself (AKA a millennial), I can tell you that I'm more likely to read something that is short and is more of an infographic than a big block of text. Think Instagram pictures linked together in one small visually appealing set-up. If it can take me less than 30 seconds to read, I'll be likely to keep reading them if I find them interesting. 

 

Make it personal! Instead of talking about the market (which is fine in small doses) talk about some achievements and milestones you and/or your team have made--community service, big sales, awards, etc. Reminders and/or community events. Anything community-related. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to Google to find a list of local events only to be disappointed that I missed out on some really neat things.  

Sep 22, 2014 07:09 AM #34
Ambassador
4,302,460
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Janis Borgueta Stats. local information, events and of course, your information should they need to get in touch with a Realtor(r).

Sep 22, 2014 01:28 PM #35
Ambassador
4,444,894
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Good question Janis, I have not had a successful newsletter, but even though I am a voracious reader it is not often that one of the dozens of newsletters that hit my desk or my email every day gets read. 

We live in a fast paced world with drastic OVERLOAD in the reading department.  I do have one guy, Brian Tracy who sends out a few emails every week with one article, not a link to an article, but an article in each of these emails that is just about the amount that I can read before the next distraction. And his articles do get read fairly often.  Those who throw a full newsletter often get set aside for when I have more time and are eventually forgotten.

Sep 23, 2014 06:34 AM #36
Rainmaker
304,200
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

Just starting to think about putting this together. Your post and the comments have given me some great ideas.  thanks!

Dec 12, 2014 11:20 PM #37
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Janis Borgueta

LIC RE Salesperson
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