Do you have an email list of clients, friends and acquaintances with whom you make contact on a regular basis?
One of the most effective ways to increase sales is to build an email list and have a regular, value-oriented contact program. How profitable can an email (or even offline database) be for you?
Do the simple math: If you grew a list of 300 homeowners who, on average, own their homes for 6 years each, then 50 transactions will come from that group each and every year - not including referrals they could send you.
Question: Who will get those 60 transactions?
Answer: The agent who's made regular, welcomed contact with information they'll value and use...the agent who's demonstrated their professionalism, competence and follow-through...the agent who's built the deepest relationship.
So how do you build an email list? Same way you eat an elephant...one bite at a time. Here are 10 easy ways to get you started...
1. Design Your Site or Landing Pages Around Capturing Visitor Contact Information. First and foremost, if your site isn't designed to motivate visitors to volunteer their contact information, all other efforts will be in vain. How do you get people to give you their information? By offering them access to something of value in their eyes...something that appeals to their self-interests. You can start with a simple "sign-in" book. Or better yet, offer access to special consumer reports revealing helpful tips on buying, selling and financing. Or you could offer to send them your Free Service For Life!® newsletter each month. Or you could even create a "squeeze page" where a visitor must give you their contact information to receive their information or make a public search on MLS.
Important Note: Remember, if you don't have (at minimum) a monthly contact program - with content that's helpful and welcomed to them - chances are they'll forget about you, and your list will be worthless. There's a marketing axiom that says, "for every month that you neglect to contact your list, you lose 10% of them." Ten months of no contact, and you're starting from scratch.
2. Get The Organic SEO Basics Down. The most valuable way to drive traffic to your site (and thus capture visitor information) is by having a high ranking with your "preferred words" with major search engines. This includes focusing on your page title, meta tags, key words in your header language, 1st paragraph key words, and putting raw informational content on your site. Your site(s) and any content you create on them should be regularly submitted to the major search engines and key directories. Some agents can handle this task themselves, while others hire specialized SEO companies to do the work for them. Search your local online directories for SEO companies in your area.
3. Make Sure Your Website Address is Everywhere. Put it on your letterhead, advertising, listing signs, listing info tube flyers,stationery, listing sign-in area and around your open houses, business cards, home and personal brochures, your car sign (if you use one), the return address of every email and on everything you pass out to clients (coffee mugs, key chains, free reports, etc.).
4. Give People a REASON to Visit Your Site - If you simply put your web URL everywhere, don't be surprised if no one visits. No one acts without a self-serving reason, and no one will visit your site without a meaningful reason for doing so. Reveal the benefit of visiting your site along with your web address. Want some examples? OK, how about: "Find Your Perfect Home by Searching The MLS at [www.YourWebSite.com]. Or, "Free Home Seller Consumer Reports at [www.YourWebSite.com]. Or, "Learn 40 Ways to Get Top Dollar For Your Home at [www.YourWebSite.com]." When they get to your site, you can then capture their contact information.
5. Use a Benefit-Rich URL, or Special URL for Each Listing You Take. Benefit-rich URL's do 2 things: 1) they imply a reason why someone may want to visit, and 2) they are generally easier to remember. Want a few examples? How about: [www.HomeSellingSecrets.com], [www.BuyMoreHomeForLess.com], and [www.PreferredBuyerFinancing.com] (NOTE: These URL's are examples only). Some agents actually register their listing home address as the URL (for example, [www.123MainStreet.com]). The site is dedicated to giving specific information about the listing, but also offers special reports and MLS access once a visitor registers and provides contact info.
6. Submit Articles about Real Estate to Local Publications. What most agents don't understand is, media publications and outlets are starving for content. You're an expert in real estate, aren't you? Then it would be a snap to create simple 250 or 500 word articles about buying or selling and submit them to local publications: community magazines, newspapers and news outlets. Make sure your web site is on everything, including your author bio.
7. Place a Promotional Signature on All Your Emails. Every email you send should have signature language that drives people to your site (or, better yet, a link to your site). List out all the reasons why someone should visit your site, then craft a simple, short paragraph for your email signature. Here's sample language you could use: "Helpful Resources For Buyers and Sellers: Get Free consumer reports on buying, selling and financing, search the MLS, get a Free valuation of Your Home and More at [www.YourWebSite.com].
8. Create Reciprocal Promotions with Compatible Businesses. One of the most powerful ways to generate traffic to your site, and create a strong client surge, is to create promotions through suppliers and compatible businesses. Simply ask yourself, "what suppliers do I know who already have a strong relationship with clients who could be mine?" List those suppliers/contacts, then approach them with a proposal to promote each other's business. For example, you may find a remodeler who sends a simple email to his/her list that offers resources from your site, and vice versa. You can even create reciprocal links to each other's sites. It's very easy to do once you get started.
9. Submit Online and Offline Press Releases. Anytime the news reports a trend or event in real estate, you have an opportunity to generate huge publicity and traffic to your site. Simply tie a selection of resources at your site (such as consumer reports) as news to your press release, or write a brief article tied to the current news trend, and include your web site URL.
10. Buy a Banner or Text Ad in a Community Email Publication. More and more local publications are now offering their news and content online. And if the audience they target is the same as yours, you now have an opportunity to create targeted banner and text ads in those publications. Simply create a short banner or text ad (with a valuable offer), then have a link that terminates to your site. It's that simple.