As a former NYC agent who now writes and edits for a living, I can tell you from experience that writing isn’t easy. Creating engaging, high-quality content for a real estate newsletter every week is even harder. So it’s no wonder so many agents avoid them.
That’s why today I am going to give you five easy newsletters that any agent can create in a half-hour or less each week after mastering the basics. I also include some real-world examples for inspiration and walk you through exactly how to create them. I wrap up with easy ways to create attractive templates for your newsletter.
Let’s start with the newsletter ideas:
1. Weekly Local Market Updates + Your Video Hot Take
One of the easiest and most popular newsletters you can send as an agent is the market update. After all, most people are joining your list because they’re interested in your local real estate market, right? Whether they’re “just looking” or want to buy or sell, people follow the real estate market like they follow the stock market. Since both are on fire these days, quick-hit market updates are more valuable than ever.
Of course, the problem with market updates is that what used to be “insider” market information is now everywhere. If someone even thinks about buying a home, they will be bombarded with market information on Google, Facebook, Instagram, or a million other places online. The algorithms that run these sites actually use advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to give your audience EXACTLY what they want. So there is little value in just sending them raw information.
In order to stand out in that sea of market information online, you need to give them something of actual value that an algorithm can’t: your own personal hot take that puts that information into context for them. Quick hit, one- to three-minute videos are the perfect way to do it.
Here’s a step-by-step process to producing these newsletters quickly every week:
How to Create Local Market Updates + Video Hot Take
1. Find a High Quality & Consistent Source of Market Information
The first thing you’re going to need to produce hot take market updates is a consistent source of market information, preferably in a PDF. Your brokerage might produce these kinds of updates internally, or you can look at websites like Housingwire.
2. Tease Out a Compelling Hot Take From That Information
You should always try to hit two points in your hot take videos: First, the big picture takeaway for the week, and second, four or five key pieces of data that will be useful for your list.
3. Inject Some FOMO or Desire Into Your Subject Line
Once you have your big picture summary for the week, you need to summarize it in your subject line in a way that encourages people to click. Using FOMO (fear of missing out) or building desire are both excellent ways to do it.
Bay Area agent Michael Minson does this well in the example below with a simple and compelling “Why there’s cause for optimism in our market.”
4. Record a Quick Video
Next, record a quick video of your hot take and market summary and include it in your email. You can use an app like BombBomb or LionDesk to include the video in your email, or just screenshot the video and link out to your YouTube, or, better yet, a YouTube video embedded on your blog.
5. Attach or Link Out to the Deep-Dive Market Update
If you have access to high-quality monthly or quarterly market updates from your brokerage, remember to include them in your email as an attachment, or post them to your blog and link out to them.
Example Market Update Newsletter With Video
Here is a great example of what I’m talking about from Bay Area Realtor Michael Minson. Note the FOMO in his subject line and how the hot take video is front and center with a giant play button.
2. Timely Interior Design or DIY Tips
If you think articles about paint colors or DIY tips don’t have mass appeal, think again. There are DIY videos on YouTube and TikTok with millions of views. Pinterest, which pretty much specializes in DIY and decorating content, gets 450 million page views per month. Even better, there is one audience that is drawn to DIY and decorating like moths to a flame: people who are thinking about moving.
The trick to being successful with this kind of content in your real estate newsletter is to make it timely. Instead of just sending out an article on paint colors, send out an article on the hottest new paint colors, or the best paint colors of the year in February.
How to Create Timely Interior Design or DIY Tips Newsletters
1. Find a Trendy Source for Timely Interior Design or DIY Articles
This part is easy. There are a gazillion blogs dedicated to interior design and DIY, and they’re all trying to out-trend each other. Curbed and Houzz are both great sources for these kinds of articles, but if possible, try to find a source that’s relevant to your local market. For example, Southern Living probably won’t resonate with your list if it’s filled with Brooklyn hipsters.
2. Write a Catchy Subject Line & a Single Paragraph Summary of the Article (Include Your Opinions)
Next, write a quick paragraph summarizing the article and why it’s timely and relevant to your list. Use an email template that includes buttons, and link out to the article.
Example Interior Design or DIY Tips Newsletter
Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about from New Jersey Coldwell Banker Agent Lena Pesso. Note how her subject line builds FOMO and desire, and how she works in a bright, eye-catching image into the body of the email.
3. Local Market Buying & Selling Myth Busters
They say if you want to be a successful writer, write about what you know. As an agent, there is one thing you know for sure: Most people are totally misinformed about buying and selling real estate!
That makes clearing up misconceptions about buying or selling in your local market an easy newsletter to write that will get you high open rates. The FOMO is built right in.
How to Create Local Market Buying or Selling Myth Buster Newsletters
1. Write a List of Common Misconceptions About Real Estate
Writing up a list of common misconceptions about buying and selling should be the easiest thing you do this week, this month, or probably this year. Just think of all the crazy things your friends, family, and former clients thought about real estate.
2. Provide the Right Answers & Link Out to Sources
Just being right is not enough here. Instead, correct the misconceptions and whenever possible, link out to authoritative sources to back up your answers.
Example of a Local Market Buying & Selling Myth Busters Newsletter
Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about from Sotheby’s Long Island agent, Judy Mitchell. She took this a step further and created an infographic, but you don’t need one for this to work. That said, this is also a perfect topic for a video email.
4. Highlighting a Local Charity You Support
This might feel like cheating, or worse, bragging, but at the end of the day, highlighting a local charity in your newsletter will not only get you more opens, but will actually help make the world a better place. So you’ll feel good about it, your list will feel good about it, and hopefully someone in need will get help. Hard to argue with that, right?
How to Highlight a Local Charity in Your Newsletter
1. Get Involved With a Local Charity
Well, to begin with, you’re going to have to get involved in a local charity. Don’t worry if you’re pressed for time, though. Getting involved can be as easy as clicking on the “donate” button on their website.
2. Write a Heartfelt Paragraph or Two on Why You Think They’re Important
With so many worthy charities out there, persuading someone to donate to one you care about isn’t that easy. However, “selling” that charity to your list is easy, and you will generate good will with your audience whether they donate or not.
3. Link to the Charity’s Website
Since straight-up asking for a donation can be awkward, just tell people why you’re involved in the charity and link out to their website.
Live in New York City? Here are some local charities to consider:
Example of a Charity Highlight Newsletter
Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about from The Agency Real Estate in LA:
5. Weird or Noteworthy New Listings
View this post on Instagram
Want to know a secret about The Close? Our most popular email ever linked to this silly list post of bad real estate listing photos. I don’t know why people love weird listings (maybe it’s like gawking at a car accident on the highway?), but that doesn’t matter. I know that people can’t help but click on them.
How to Create Weird or Noteworthy New Listing Newsletters
This couldn’t be easier! Just follow Instagram accounts like Zillow Gone Wild or blogs like Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos and look for funny pictures to send out to your list. Even though neither of them own the copyright to these pictures, you should always link back to them in your email. Think of all the work they put in looking for weird listing pictures!
You can also subscribe to blogs like Mansion Global to find examples of celebrity real estate listings. Local listings would be ideal of course, but listings from big name celebrities, especially eccentric ones like Shaquille O’Neal, will work just as well.
Example of a Weird or Noteworthy Listings Newsletter
I don’t have an example from an agent … YET. Consider this a free tip from your friends here at The Close who have an email list with 70,000 subscribers. 😀
How to Create Attractive Professional Newsletter Templates
Of course, getting someone to open your email is only half the battle. If they don’t take the time to read your email, then you might as well not send it. In 2021, people are more distracted than ever before, so if you want people to take two minutes out of their day to read your email, you need to make sure it looks good. After all, you’re competing with Instagram and Facebook for their attention.
Here’s a quick guide to creating attractive newsletter templates your audience will actually want to read.
Use a Professional Email Template Builder
While it may seem easy, organizing the text and images in your newsletter in a readable, attractive way is actually very difficult. In fact, there is now an entire field of graphic design called UX (user experience) design dedicated to just that. Here are two ways to create professional-looking templates for your newsletter:
Use the Template Builder in Your CRM
For most agents, using the template builder in their customer relationship manager (CRM) is probably going to be the easiest way to quickly create great-looking templates. Propertybase, for example, uses the industry-leading Salesforce CRM to power its system. That means you not only have an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop email template builder (pictured above), but can access hundreds of templates via Salesforce plugins.
If you want to access true enterprise-quality CRM software for your team, Propertybase is an excellent choice.
Use an Off-the-Shelf Template in Your Email Marketing Software
If you’re an individual agent or can’t afford an all-in-one solution like Propertybase, then you can create newsletter templates with standalone email marketing software like Constant Contact.
They have hundreds of email templates to choose from, and if you can’t find one you like, you can easily buy templates for Constant Contact from professional designers on Themeforest.
Go Easy on the Images
Since it’s so easy to create beautiful emails these days, many agents go overboard and add tons of images, GIFs, and videos to their newsletters. This can be a huge problem because they will load slowly for some users, and generally clutter up your actual message. For most agents, that message will be “I’m a talented market professional you want to hire” not “I’m someone who bombards you with pictures.”
As a rule of thumb, only use one or two images in each email. If you’re sending a video, you should make that the only image in your email. Remember, your goal is to get them to watch your video. Adding distracting images to that email will make them less likely to watch.
Use Buttons for Your Links
Some agents shy away from using buttons in their emails because they think they’re too salesly. In fact, buttons just make it easier for your readers to click on your link. First, because they’ve been “trained” to click on buttons by social media, and second because buttons are way easier to press than tiny text links on mobile.
Always Include a Play Button for Videos
Even if you’re not able to embed a video in your email, you should still include a play button. An easy way to do this is to take a quick screenshot of your YouTube video before you hit play.
Over to You
Have a great real estate newsletter that has high open rates? Let us know in the comments.