Why Every Real Estate Agent Should Use an Automated Nurture Sequence (And How to Build One)

You know you need to stay in touch with all of your leads.

Any sales 101 course will tell you to follow up often, consistently, and without hesitation. But still…

…you hesitate.

After all, you don’t have time to send hundreds of emails or make hundreds of phone calls every day. Sure, it would be good for your business, your conversion rate, and your revenue generation… but it’s just not realistic.

You’re plenty busy doing house showings, managing open houses, meeting with buyers and sellers, and clarifying contractual agreements.

The last thing you need is another tedious task to add to your high-piled plate.

Fortunately, you can reap the benefits of following up without actually following up.

Let me explain.

What is an automated nurture sequence for real estate agents?

A nurture sequence — sometimes called a “drip sequence” — is a series of emails which send over a period of time to new subscribers on your email list. The goal is to stay in touch with your new leads and build an ongoing relationship with them where they learn to trust your expertise and advice.

Typically, the longer that you stay in touch with your leads, the more free value you provide, and the more that they trust you, the better chance that they’re going to work with you sometime down the road (maybe not today, but one year from now? Two years from now?

Click here to learn about the power of planting and harvesting for leads vs. hunting for your leads)

Across the board, nurture sequences are wicked powerful. Here are some stats to get your mind whirring.

  • Lead nurturing emails get at least 4 times the response rate of mass email broadcasts.
  • The open rate for drip sequences is 80% higher than single campaigns.
  • The click-through rate for drip sequences is 3 times higher than single broadcasts.

You will, of course, need an ESP — Email Service Provider — like Mailchimp, for example, to collect email subscribers and schedule your nurture sequence. But many ESPs have a free version or are relatively inexpensive depending on the number of subscribers you have.

In our opinion, with the potential conversion power of a nurture sequence, paying for an ESP is definitely worth your money.

Mailchimp is one of our personal favorites.

Note: You can also create a text message nurture sequence instead of or in addition to your email sequence. Consider a tool like SimpleTexting to create an automated text-message nurture sequence.

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How To Craft a High-Converting Nurture Sequence

You now know why a nurture sequence is so great for your business — it follows up with your leads automatically — but how do you build a high-converting sequence… even if you’re not all that great of a sales copywriter?

Here are the 5 steps.

Step #1: Consider Segmenting Your List

Having one nurture sequence is far better than having no nurture sequence. But having multiple nurture sequences that deliver situation-specific or interest-based content to each of your leads is even more effective.

For that reason, you might consider segmenting your email list based on different situations…

  • First-time homebuyers
  • Home sellers
  • Big-budget buyers

Those are just a few examples. The segmentations you choose should be dependent on the answer to two simple questions.

First, what kind of buyers or sellers need to be nurtured differently? For example, buyers with a $10mm budget will probably need to be nurtured very differently than low-budget first-time home buyers.

And second, can you easily collect that information with a secondary sign-up form? You can’t, for example, segment your email list based on whether people are dog-lovers or not because that data would be difficult to collect on your website.

But you could probably ask questions about budget, whether this is the person’s first home or not, and even what kind of home specifically, the lead is looking for (river-side, suburbs, apartment, etc).

So long as the groupings you’ve decided on, need to be treated differently and the corresponding data is easy to collect, you can create segmentations.

If you’re a Carrot member, you can easily connect your website’s opt-in form and data collection to your ESP. Then, you just need to specify which website form answers will be placed in which segmentation.

Step #2: Decide On Your Sending Cadence

How long are you going to send emails for? And how often are you going to send emails?

The answer to those questions depends, to start, on your preference and what you think is the best for your business and, in the long run, what you find works best. The more emails you send and the longer you use a drip sequence, the more you’re going to learn what works well and what falls flat.

But! We do have some recommendations to get you off the ground. ;-)

We recommend sending one email every day for the first three days, then one email every week for the remainder of the first and second month, then one email every other week for the third month to the end of the sixth month. Once the sequence ends, you’ll stay in touch via your monthly newsletter (see Step #5).

All in all, that’s 15 emails for each sequence you create (assuming that you have multiple segmentations). If that’s too much work, then just start with 7 or 8 emails and slowly build up.

Remember, having some sort of nurture sequence is better than having no nurture sequence at all.

Note: If you’re creating multiple nurture sequences for different segmentations, remember that there will probably be some overlap between the sequences. That is, you probably don’t have to write a brand new sequence for each segmentation — keep what still fits for the specific segmentation and adjust the rest.

Step #3: Set Expectations

The first email in each of your drip sequences should do two things. It should welcome the lead to your email list and set realistic expectations for what they can expect you to send them.

Something simple like this will do the trick…

“Hey again! Since you’re looking to buy your first house, I wanted to add you to my email list for first time home buyers! I’ll be sending you updates every so often on the market for first time home buyers. Get in touch with me if you have any questions!”

Just let them know that you’re going to be sending them some emails and providing them with some free value. This will ensure they’re not caught off guard when you start emailing them and it will build some anticipation, encouraging them to actually look at your future emails.

Step #4: Decide What To Say In Your Emails

You’re probably thinking… But what am I going to say in all of these emails?

That’s a great question.

There are 3 types of emails that you should add to your nurture sequence.

  1. The Value-Add — The free value email should make up the bulk of your nurture sequence. Teach buyers how to negotiate a better price, teach sellers how to sell faster and for more money, teach buyers and sellers about what they should look for in a real estate agent. The more value you provide, the more people will perceive you as an expert and the higher the chance they’ll work with you down the road.
  2. The Story-Teller — People love a good story. If you can’t think of any practical advice to offer, then tell a funny, inspiring, or meaningful story about your experience as a real estate agent. This is a great way to build long-lasting relationships with your leads and make yourself seem more approachable.
  3. The 9-Word Email — Every 90 days, we recommend sending a 9-word email that says something to the effect of “Are you still looking to buy your first home?”, adapted, of course, for whichever segmentation you’re sending to. Here’s an article describing the amazing impact of the 9-word email.

At the end of each email in your sequence, put a “P.S.” that says something like, “Are you still interested in buying your dream home? Give me a call!”

Oh, and one more thing. If you hate writing and prefer making videos, great! Send videos to your list instead of written content — it might even perform better.

Step #5: Maintain a Monthly Newsletter

And lastly, maintain a monthly newsletter where you send out market updates and general advice to your entire list — the people who are currently in a nurture sequence and the ones who aren’t. This will allow you to stay in monthly contact with people who have finished your nurture sequence.

Which is good — you never know where your next referral is going to come from.

Conclusion

You need to follow up with your leads to fulfill your business’ potential…

…but you’re busy enough as it is.

Fortunately, you can build a nurture sequence using the steps outlined above to close more transactions, forge stronger community relationships, and establish your market expertise… all without lifting a finger (once your nurture sequence is finished).

So get to it. And hit us in the comments if you have any questions.

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