There's little doubt that the U.S. real estate market is undergoing a profound transformation. After several years of freewheeling lending practices and unsurpassed increases in home valuations, the real estate market is undergoing a major correction. Home values are dropping in many areas around the country, and some homeowners are facing an impending uptick in their adjustable rate mortgage payments, placing them in an untenable position.
In short, it's a volatile market. Lenders are tightening the criteria for mortgages, and the window for subprime lending is closing. Some homeowners who are holding subprime mortgages are facing foreclosures, while others are trying to sell their homes before they find themselves in a negative equity situation. As a result, real estate professionals, investors, and home sellers are scrambling to gain an edge in a competitive marketplace.
Real Estate & Mortgage Marketing
Long gone are the days when traditional methods of real estate marketing are sufficient to move properties. A sign on the lawn, a Multiple Listing Service listing, and an open house still have their place, but they comprise only one facet of an effective real estate marketing campaign.
Just as in most other areas of business, the Internet is playing a crucial role in real estate. Online listings of homes for rent, homes for sale, and foreclosures draw an increasing number of buyers and investors. Photographs and video are increasingly being used to whet the appetites of potential buyers. Still, online listings and multimedia presentations are relatively passive forms of marketing in this competitive era. Those who are on the cutting edge are utilizing the Internet to their best advantage, and taking strategies from the playbooks of those in other fields.
Email Marketing as a "Push" Strategy
If drawing potential real estate buyers to an online listing is a "pull" strategy, then real estate email marketing is a "push" strategy - one that makes sense in today's marketplace. After all, retailers and e-tailers use email marketing to their best advantage. Email inboxes are stuffed with large and small business emails alike. It makes sense that real estate email marketing can also be effective, in that it delivers information about agents, developers, sellers, and their respective properties directly into the hands of interested potential buyers.
Email Marketing is Easier than it Seems
At first blush, real estate email marketing may seem out of reach for many people. After all, their expertise is in real estate and they may not be very tech savvy. On the contrary, there are online real estate services that make email marketing a cakewalk for virtually anyone.
When looking for an online email marketing service, choose one that can help you create emails, manage your contact lists, and obtain tracking reports. Essentially, you should be able to send your first email marketing piece in less than an hour. The best services have "wizards" that allow you to, for example, put together email newsletters using a Web interface and on a single screen. Templates and click-and-drag functionality allow you to easily arrange text, upload photos, and instantly see what your recipients will see when they receive your email.
Once you've sent your emails or newsletters, the service should enable you to track the results, telling you how many emails you sent, how many bounced back, how many people opened the email, how many clicked on the links, and how many forwarded it on to others.
There's little doubt that real estate email marketing is a cutting edge tool that helps push your message into the inboxes of potential buyers. And in today's competitive environment, it's an advantage you can't afford to be without.
Where Does Video Fit In?
Whether you're shooting your own, or licensing content, or both, video makes email marketing dramatically more effective. Click-thru rates, conversion rates, read rates - everything goes up with a video.
The Fast Forward Stories service has email marketing integration built in - putting that little thumbnail image in the email and linking to the video just takes a click. These platforms are supported - check with us, others are being added regularly:
Accrisoft, Awebe, Blue Hornet, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, Dotmailer, Email Contact, Emailvision, Emma, GetResponse, HubSpot, iContact, Infusionsoft, Lyris, MadMimi, MailChimp, Marketo, Pardot, Sendible, Vertical Response and WhatCounts