I attended the Inman Connect event in San Francisco. If you have any interest in real estate technology, this is the conference for you. There so many great insights that it is a struggle to grab one thing. My take away this year was not just that email matters. It was something more specific than that. Anyone not actively accumulating opted in email list and properly marketing to them is failing to build a sustainable business. In other world, Email is the unsung hero of business growth.
What We Have Learned About Email
The last few weeks I have heard from many people that email is a waste of time. These comments include: “I only put them on my list once I have made contact” or, “I don’t’ want all these names creating noise in my CRM” and my favorite, “My company does some emailing for me, so I am good.” The underlying issue is that managing data is hard and noise is hard to deal with if your system isn’t capable of it. Historically, the most valuable data (and easiest to capture) is that of the deals you have closed. However, you are leaving a bunch of money on the table if you don’t obsess over the size of your list on a daily basis.
Why Email Matters
Joe Garcia of Spain Real Estate (@Joe_Garc) told us that email use is up 106% in B2C marketing from 2015 – 2017. That means CMO’s are dedicating massive resources to email. According to @MailChimp, open rates in the real estate industry are about 20%. Click rates are around 2%. That means that for every 2000 emails you send 400 people see your message and 40 people click. If you convert at the standard referral rates of 15%, that is 6 deals per email.
Results may vary, and the quality of your message, quality of your list and the marketing you do to support the message are all tremendously important. The key thing to remember is the average American has a housing related event every five years, and most MLO’s and Realtors aren’t great at staying top of mind. So, that lead that you didn’t convert this month will need a real estate pro or will have someone to refer. Why not be there when they do?
What To Do About It
1) Be a Great Email List Builder. No lead left behind applies here. Every time you come in contact with someone, get them on your list. Every golf tournament business card, every lead generated, every opportunity to connect with someone is a chance to build your list. Going out and buying a list is an expensive and complicated game, so concentrate on the folks you influence. List building should be an obsession of yours.
2) Pick the Right Tools. You have to have somewhere to put this stuff and a way to send the e-mails. If you are not a data ninja, keep it simple. Google Contacts synchronized with MailChimp is an easy, inexpensive CRM and email engine that exists. Another tool I use every day is Scannable linked to Evernote for capturing business cards. A business card takes about 5 seconds to convert to a fully usable contact in Gmail which then syncs with MailChimp. For less than $50 per month, this trio will handle 100% of your input, data management, and email duties. The world is changing, and it is beautiful!
3) Send The Right Stuff: This is the area in which I have the most room for growth. What I know is that you need a great headline, compelling content, and a call to action on every e-mail. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple! Telling a story about clients you helped works like a charm. The call to action needs to be clear and low friction. Meaning, “Click For Your Free Instant Download Market Update” is better than “Call Today”.
Most mortgage and real estate pros need to take email more seriously. Build your list, assemble your tools and start sending the right stuff. I assure you that the ROI is incredible.