Professionals Don't Need Drips

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

A few years ago I wrote a blog called "Professionals Don't Need Scripts" where I pontificated on my strongly held opinion that someone who is an expert in their field (or even reasonably competent) should not have to (or want to) rely on scripts when interacting with clients or potential clients. 

So today, a mere 2.25 years later, I'd like to expand upon that notion with a discussion of the emailed script, aka "drip emails."

Let's start with a definition of "drip emails." A Drip Email Campaign (for the purposes of this blog anyway) is a pre-written series of emails that you send to someone you have met or had a conversation with about real estate. In all likelihood, you can "personalize" the emails with the person's name ("Dear Matilda,"), but otherwise, the emails go out automatically with the exact same message to each recipient. 

So, let's say, you visit with a homeowner about selling their home. The conversation goes well, but the homeowner isn't quite ready to make a decision. You head back to the office, knowing you will need to stay in touch with the homeowner so they don't forget you when they are ready to sell. You add them to your "Seller Nurture Campaign" drip mail which will send them two emails per week until they list with you, list with someone else or die. And you promptly forget about them and move onto other prospects. 

But your emails go out so that the potential seller doesn't forget about you! Twice a week, they hear from "you" with reminders about how important it is to hire a Realtor (the RIGHT one of course!), helpful tips about preparing their home for market and the like. 

"So what's wrong with that, Jennifer? Aren't we s'posed to follow-up?"

Absolutely! At least, if you want a chance at inspiring that seller to want to be YOUR seller once they're ready. BUT...

Remember the definition of "drip" - a pre-written message or series of messages (crafted by you or purchased from a marketing company) that go out automatically without any personalization other than the salutation. 


Let's say I'm considering selling my home sometime in the next six months, and therefore in the market to find a real estate agent to represent me. I meet with an agent and we have a productive meeting. I like her, but I haven't committed to her yet. It's still early in the process, but I'm looking forward to hearing from her with her thoughts on our home and updates on the State of the Market. 

Do I hear from her? You bet! Every three days I get a "Dear Jennifer and Bruce" email with a fancy banner and signature block... and a canned message that has nothing at all to do with our home or situation. 

Let me pause for a moment (as I see I'm coming up on 500 words already), and ask YOU... if YOU were the potential seller, would you be impressed that this agent took the ... ahem... "time" to put you on an automated email campaign? 


Click here to read some further thoughts on the matter... 




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Comments (58)

Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn it's just top of the mind awareness. No DRIP campaign should be just emails. That's not the right drip!

The drip is a combination of different touches we make with clients - and that includes lot more than just series of emails. Like phone call, personal note, pop-by and face-2-face, too!

Oct 05, 2015 02:07 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I don't read canned stuff that comes to me, and I won't send it either. On one platform, I do use some canned emails but always review and change before I send so they are appropriate for the person I'm mailing. However on every other platform, it's just me typing a personal note.

Oct 05, 2015 08:13 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Many of you raise a good point about emails not being reliably read the way they used to be (perhaps much like voicemail isn't always listened to). So it occurs to me that we need to be even more careful not to send material to our people that will train them to DELETE it (or unsubscribe) without being read. You may not get a second chance! 

Oct 05, 2015 09:45 PM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

If I have something of value that pertains to the client specifically - an article or market report, for instance - I will take the time to send it with my own thoughts or just a note saying I read this and thought of you.  Otherwise, follow up is by phone. And you know how I hate the phone! There are times when emails are just the lazy way out. 

Oct 05, 2015 11:11 PM
Sheila Cashin

Great information as always, I have gotten great ideas from you and your books on how to stay in touch and they work.. Not a bug oriducer but most of my clients are referals and I figure I must be doing something righ,, NOT Drip Mail

Oct 05, 2015 11:11 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

No script! I can buy a canned response. I want the real you

Oct 06, 2015 12:20 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

It depends on what is sent. I would send staging tips, etc & something that they could actually go thru & use. If they are getting ready to sell but the timing is not right yet, how to get ready tips are great.

In fact you can even send them over to Pinterest now for great ideas. Your staging board of course.

Oct 06, 2015 12:21 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I do not follow the drip stuff...I believe in personalized and customized.  While many emails may sound the same I write each one for specific reasons. 

Oct 06, 2015 12:27 AM
Sally Lawrence
Advantage Real Estate - Tehachapi, CA
Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR®

Interesting topic.  I agree in general that drip campaigns are misused, but check out this blog to see how they can be beneficial.  Might just be a different take on this subject for some.

Oct 06, 2015 12:36 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Sally - the link doesn't take me to a blog... can you check it? 

Oct 06, 2015 01:05 AM
Sally Lawrence

So sorry, Jennifer, appparently my internet was so bad yesterday it didn't actually publish.  Please try again

Oct 07, 2015 01:39 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Here is a timely blog written by a friend of mine called "Respect the Inbox"! 

Oct 06, 2015 01:09 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Jennifer, I feel the drip campaigns you describe here are spam. It’s what agents do because that is what they are told they need to do.  Getting back to basics and forming relationships with people that build trust is what agents need to do. But, that takes time … and most agents … well … let’s leave it at that.

Oct 06, 2015 02:02 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Professionals understand and know the differences between spam and DRIP marketing. Your illustration IMO is used by ignorant sales people, certainly not by professionals.

Professionals use personalized DRIP scripts at preplanned intervals depending on the time-line of their prospect and usually inserts some useful or informative information about their interests uncovered in the initial visit. The followup DRIP is friendly and informative and doesn't include any sales hype or call to action.

Pros don't sell, they inquire, qualify, inform and consult, after which, the prospect says yes, I want to own, no, not ever or the timing isn't right to own today but in 3 months, 6 months, a year or whatever. 

Oct 06, 2015 02:32 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

PErsonally I do not like drip emails.  I don't like to receive them (from retail stores, etc) or from lenders, etc.  So I don't send them to prospects. I would prefer to just write a personal note or send a personal email -- that works for me.

Oct 06, 2015 07:53 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Nope, I would not be impressed at all! It is the relationship that will seal the deal, not the drip campaign.

Oct 06, 2015 11:40 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn  I do not believe in drip campaigns . Seal the deal with a real relationship . Pick up the phone and communicate . Perhaps take the client to lunch ..don't be a drip  it is close to harassing someone

Oct 06, 2015 02:21 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Here is the follow-up!

Oct 06, 2015 10:20 PM
Robert Schott & Paula Hemani
TeamConnect Realty - Orlando, FL
Your Link to Real Estate

Nice read Jennifer,  I use a drip email but tweak it to fit specific buyer parameters. 

Oct 06, 2015 11:58 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Oct 08, 2015 09:59 PM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Over the years our brokerage companies have offered drip campaigns, but I've never made use of them. I like the idea that something goes out automatically, but I get what you are saying about the canned message. We need to find a happy medium!

Aug 29, 2016 03:09 AM