Email is NOT Dead: 4 Simple Steps to Attract Qualified Real Estate Leads

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A few short years ago, I was like you: I thought email was dead. Fast-forward to today and I can’t stop, won’t stop singing its praises.

Email is a powerful tool that puts your message and advertising in one of your customer’s most intimate, fortified locations - their inbox.

And did I mention that it’s free?

The benefits to a well-collected email list span every stage of the buyer journey. It can be used to attract the right customers in the awareness phase, assist them through the consideration phase, guide them into making a decision and delights them to post-purchase advocacy.

Today we’ll be focusing on the awareness phase of attracting those qualified leads.

In the awareness phase of email marketing, our main goal is to simply capture those coveted email addresses. That way we can spam the hell out of them! Kidding. We want those email addresses so we can begin a positive rapport with potentials customers by adding value to their lives.

The tricky part: getting people to give up those email addresses.

People can be pretty protective of their inboxes. The quest for inbox zero is real and no one enjoys opening an email full of junk mail. Signup for your newsletter? No thanks, I get at least 50 of those a day.

Every person you’re attempting to gain the attention of has only 1,440 minutes in their day. With that attention being grappled for in a hundred different directions, people simply won’t invest those valuable minutes without seeing the value.

So how do you break down a client’s barriers and get them to cough up the goods?

With a killer opt-in gift, that’s how.

An opt-in gift is some item of value you promise to your customer in exchange for their email address. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. You give me your email address and I’ll give you something you can’t find anywhere else.

What I really like about the opt-in technique is that these are qualified leads. Depending on what gift you create, you can attract buyers & sellers ready to go.

How amazing if that!?

Putting together an opt-in gift doesn’t need to be an intimidating thing. Let’s walk through the steps in creating and promoting your gift so you can start collecting qualified leads to nurture and grow.


Before you can start collecting emails, we need to figure out the whole tech part of email marketing.

Some brokers have great tools for collecting, storing, measuring and tracking leads. If you have something within your brokerage, get familiar with all the bells & whistles.

If you don’t have an email platform, not to worry. There are a handful of really great ones out there, but for the purpose of this tutorial we will focus on a tool called MailChimp.

MailChimp is a powerful automated marketing platform that let’s you collect emails, understand your customers and run campaigns. It’s one of the more intuitive email platforms to learn and it’s free for up to your first 2,000 subscribers. This is where you will collect and build your email list and put together your marketing campaign.


Next we need to decide on what sort of gift we want to create to entice our audience.

To break through our audience’s defenses, we need to offer something of value. We always want to be providing value. That’s what’s going to set us apart.

So think, what does my audience value?

Action Step: Write down the desires, frustrations & struggles your target customer faces. Create a gift focused on helping them solve that problem.

This can be anything from a first time home buying guide checklist to a city guide. We really want to get into the mind of our audience and get creative in developing content that solves their problems. The only limit is your imagination.

If you’re still left confused about what to create, it never hurts to ask. We don’t take advantage of our current audiences nearly as much as we should. Get on those social media channels or talk with trusted clients about what they enjoy hearing and what they want more of.


Time to bring your gift to life. Now that we’ve decided on what we’re gifting, we need to think on how to deliver it.

Delivery can take many forms. If we’re creating a first time buyer’s checklist for example, then a one-page checklist delivered to their email is all it takes. But if we want to go into a little more detail on the steps of the purchasing process, then an email series where a new email is dripped each day may be more appropriate.

Other gift format ideas can be:

  • Video series

  • Exclusive listing walkthrough

  • A virtual open house

  • A private event invite

  • eBooks

  • Templates

  • Trusted vendor lists


Congratulations! You’re customer bought in to your opt-in gift and gave you their email!

Now it’s time to treat that email like the gold it is. We don’t want to erase all the hard work we just did in creating an opt-in gift only to suffocate the customer into unsubscribing. The surest and quickest way for that to happen is by spamming them with daily listings. (Unless they asked for it, of course.)

No, our goal is to continue providing killer content on a regular basis. For some these means a weekly newsletter, others prefer bi-weekly. Whatever you choose to do is up to you, but focus on providing value and providing it consistently. If you decide to do a weekly newsletter on Tuesday mornings, make sure to stick to that schedule.

Email content topic ideas include:

  • Local events & concerts

  • Store & restaurant openings

  • Giveaways & coupons

  • Recipes

  • Local coupons

I find local content topics perform stronger for my clients than generic news articles and listicles.

Pro Tip: Place content of value at the top of the email and pepper in specificities about your business somewhere in the middle and throughout. Always tie it back to your business specifically at the end.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what marketing opt-in gifts do you want to see from us?

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