Before showing you how to generate real estate leads with cold email, be sure to save our guides on cold calling, text message marketing, direct mail marketing, social media marketing, and using ringless voicemails.
Additionally, here are 25 lead generation ideas for real estate.
Now, let’s dive into how to generate real estate leads with cold email…
As a real estate professional, you’re always looking for new ways to generate leads. You’ve tried cold calling before – it works, but it’s very time-consuming.
Have you heard of cold email?
Cold email is a method of lead generation that can help you generate leads quickly and affordably. It can also enable you to save time and scale your lead generation efforts.
Sounds interesting? Keep on reading to find out what cold email is, why you should use it, and how generate real estate leads with cold email.
What is cold email
A cold email is an email sent to a potential client while having no previous relationship with them. It’s the email version of a cold call, with the main difference being that cold email campaigns can be automated and scaled much more easily.
Why you should use cold email to generate real estate leads
There’s plenty of reasons why real estate professionals should consider using cold email to generate leads.
Cold email allows you to:
- Save time – Most email campaigns don’t need a lot of maintenance once they’re set up. Using cold email to generate leads can help real estate professionals save so much time compared to other methods of lead generation.
- Generate leads affordably – Email marketing is the most cost-effective type of marketing in existence, generating $44 for every dollar spent. Cold email, in particular, is a very affordable way to generate leads.
- Reach prospects on any device – People read emails on their smartphone, their desktop and laptop computers, as well as their tablets. Cold email allows you to reach prospects regardless of what type of device they use.
- Scale lead generation – Perhaps the most important advantage cold email has tooffer is its scalability. Once you set up a cold email campaign, it takes the same amount of time and effort to send it to 10 or 10,000 people, which makes cold email a great way to scale your lead generation efforts.
The legality of cold email
Cold emailing is legal if you follow a few rules outlined by the CAN-SPAM Act:
- Don’t use misleading information – Avoid using inaccurate or misleading sender information in the From, To, and Reply-To fields. Make sure to use an email address and a domain that belong to your business.
- State that the email is an advertisement – It’s crucial that you disclose that your email is essentially an ad. There are many ways you can do this, but you absolutely must do it.
- Include a physical address – According to the CAN-SPAM Act, all emails you send must include your business’ physical address.
- Allow recipients to unsubscribe – You need to give recipients a way to opt out of receiving your emails. Once they opt out, you need to honor their request within ten days.
Learn more about cold email legalities, spam laws, etc.
How to generate real estate leads with cold email
To start generating real estate leads with cold email, you’ll need to make sure toproperly set up your email account, craft an email sequence, and decide on asending schedule.
Set up your email account
As we’ve mentioned already, you’ll need to send cold emails from an email addressrelated to your business.
Apart from that, you’ll need to make sure to find a reputable email service provider, authenticate your email address, and warm up your email account before starting your cold email campaign.
Use the right email service provider
If you want to achieve a high deliverability rate with your cold email campaign, it’s crucial that the email address you use hasn’t been used for spamming in the past.
Since spam filters use an email address’ IP address to determine this, your emails might get flagged as spam if someone else ran spam campaigns using your email service provider.
You can check your email server’s reputation with a tool like MXToolBox.
In general, you should avoid free email service providers since these are often used for spam. Find a reputable provider that prides itself on not allowing spammers to use its service.
Authenticate your email address
Before trying to send emails from your email address, you’ll need to authenticate it by setting up the following records:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – This record lets email servers understand thatyou’re authorized to send emails from your domain.
- Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) – Used to prevent email spoofing by adding adigital signature to each email you send.
- Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting andConformance (DMARC) – An email authentication protocol that prevents domains being used for email spoofing. It works as an extension of SPF and DKIM.
SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records help email servers and spam filters understand who youare and allow you to develop a good sender reputation.
Warm up your email address
If you try to send hundreds of emails from your email address on day one, you’ll get flagged by spam filters instantly. This is why you need to warm up your email address by starting out with just a few emails, and then slowly increasing your send rate every week.
Here’s a cold email warm-up schedule you can use:
- Week 1: 10 to 20 emails per day
- Week 2: 20 to 40 emails per day
- Week 3: 40 to 80 emails per day
- Week 4: 80 to 100 emails per day
Craft an email sequence
Once you’ve set up your email address, the next step is to create an email sequence that you’ll be sending out to potential clients.
Your cold email sequence should consist of an initial outreach email and at least two follow-up emails.
The initial outreach email
The initial email is the most important one in the sequence, so you should spendmost of your time perfecting it.
Decide on a goal for your email and then design your entire email copy around achieving that goal. Every part of your email should be carefully crafted to maximize your response rate.
This includes the subject line, the From field, the first sentence, the rest of the email body, and the call-to-action (CTA).
I always recommend closing the email with a question? For example, “Have you considered selling this property?“
The goal of any cold email is simply a conversation, NOT a sales.
I repeat, you simply want to start a conversation.
I wrote more about this in a piece for the Huffington Post years back if you’re interested.
You do not want to ask them for “15 minutes” of their time, or to hop on a call. Those are big asks. But a quick reply to a question? Much easier.
Use an attention-grabbing subject line
Most of your prospects will be making a decision on whether to open your email or not based on the subject line. This makes it crucial that you pay special attention to the subject line and make sure that it’s perfect.
Since you’ll be competing with dozens of different emails in your recipients’ inboxes, you need to make it compelling enough so that prospects can’t resist opening your email.
According to research, subject lines that are between 61 and 70 characters in length get the most opens, so you should try to keep your subject line somewhere in that range, but feel free to test.
Additionally, you can further improve your open rate by personalizing the subject line. Emails that have a personalized subject line get 50% more opens compared to emails with generic subject lines.
You can personalize your email’s subject line by including the prospect’s name, location, or any other relevant information you have available.
Let recipients know who you are
Your email’s From field needs to clearly state who you are and instill trust so that recipients will feel comfortable opening your email and potentially replying to your message.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the From field. Research has shown that as much as 43% of people decide to mark emails as spam based on the From field.
The From field of your email needs to show recipients that you’re a real person and a legitimate real estate professional, and not an automated software or a scammer. You can use your name, the name of your company, or both here.
Once you decide on what name you’re going to use in the From field, make sure not to change it too often. Changing sender information frequently is a red flag for most email service providers and spam filters.
Prepare a personalized opening line
The opening line is the most important line of your entire email. If you get it right, the prospect will read your entire email and act on your call-to-action.
If you get it wrong, the prospect will simply stop reading your email and send it to the Trash folder straight away. Worse yet, they’ll see it in their email preview pane and decide not to even open the email.
Personalization is a great way to grab people’s attention. Apart from getting better openrates, personalized emails also experience higher click-through rates and improved conversion rates.
79% of consumers state that they won’t engage with a marketing email if it’s not personalized to their specific interests and needs. This makes personalization essential for an effective cold email campaign.
Do some research on your prospect and include a personal detail in your email so that they’ll know that you’ve done your homework before reaching out to them.
To be clear, we’re not saying that you should spy on your prospects’ social media pages, and mention their kids in the email. That’s just creepy.
Research what kind of property they’re looking to buy or sell, the area the property is located in, the average selling price for property in that area, etc. Use this information to show prospects that you know what you’re talking about, and that you can help them achieve their goals.
Keep it short, add value, and avoid spam trigger words
Every email you send needs to provide prospects with some kind of value. Use the email to explain how you can solve the prospect’s specific problem and let them know about the benefits of working with you.
Most people won’t be in the mood to read a long email from a complete stranger. Try to keep your email fairly short. Aim for around four to five sentences.
Additionally, try not to use words such as free or cash in your email to minimize the chances of triggering spam filters.
End with a clear call-to-action
You should end your email with a clear call-to-action that lets prospects know exactly what they need to do next. If you want them to call you back or schedule a time for a call, make sure that your call-to-action explains exactly how they can do that.
You should also make it as easy as possible for prospects to complete your desired action. Such as…
“Just respond to this email and let me know if you’d consider selling this property.”
This will make it extremely easy for prospects to reply to your email.
Finally, remember to use a single call-to-action as to not confuse your prospects.
I even recommend using a P.S. to further strengthen and repeat the CTA. Perhaps, in a different way. For example:
“P.S. I am SUPER interested in purchasing a home in this area, so I’m hoping you’re open to selling! If not, you can reply and let me know and I won’t follow up about it 🙂 “
The follow-up email(s)
If you don’t get a reply from a prospect, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not interested. Perhaps they’re busy, or they just forgot to reply.
You should always send one or two follow-up emails to give prospects another chanceto connect with you. In fact, sending just a single follow-up email can help you increase your reply rate by 22%.
Make your follow-up emails fairly short. Send the first follow-up two to three days after your initial outreach email. If you opt for sending a second follow-up email, give the prospect a bit more space and wait seven to ten days before following up one more time.
Make sure that you reference your previous interaction with the prospect in casethey forgot about your initial email.
Most importantly, don’t follow-up with prospects by simply saying that you wanted to “follow up” or “touch base”. That’s a lazy way to follow up, and it will rarely get you any responses.
Every follow-up email you send should provide the prospect with new information. Avoid repeating what you said in your initial outreach email when sending follow-ups.
Use the follow-up email to showcase your credibility, to let prospects know that you understand and empathize with them, or simply to make them smile.
Persistence is important when following up since it can take as much as nine or more followups to close a deal.
After the first couple of emails, you should start to really spread out your follow-ups. You may send 3 emails in the first 5 to 7 days, then once a week for a couple of messages, then even go monthly after that.
Of course, if a prospect shows interest by sending a response, keep following up until they give you a Yes or a No. At this point, you should be mixing in other forms of communication as well.
Remember to test your emails
It’s a good idea to test your emails with tools such as Mail-Tester and IsNotSpam toensure that you’re following email marketing best practices.
These tools will check your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, analyze the body of your email, as well as check your email server’s IP address against popular email blacklists to let you know if you’ll be able to get your emails delivered at a decent rate.
Determine your sending schedule
Once you’ve set up your email account and created an email sequence, it’s time to determine a sending schedule for your email campaign.
The best time to send emails will depend on your specific audience. However, it’s been shown that email engagement rates are highest on Tuesdays (especially at 10 AM and 8 PM), so you can use that as a starting point until you gather enough data to optimize your send times further.
Split-test your emails
Apart from testing different send times, you’ll also want to split-test different subject lines, email copy, and CTAs to be able to create a high-performing email campaign.
The metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on when split-testing include:
- Open rate – The percentage of prospects that have opened one ofyour emails. A low open rate usually signifies that you’re using a less thanoptimal subject line.
- Click-through rate – Shows how many people have clicked on a link withinyour email.
- Reply rate – As the name implies, the reply rate indicates thepercentage of prospects that have replied to your email
- Bounce rate – There’s a number of reasons why emails don’t getdelivered (e.g., DNS failure, attempting to message a non-existent emailaddress, etc.) Bounce rate shows you the percentage of your emails that neverreached the recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate is a red flag for most spamfilters. It can usually be fixed by cleaning your email list regularly.
- Spam complaint rate – Denotes the percentage of recipients that have markedyour email as spam. The spam complaint rate has an influence on your senderreputation, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it and make sure that it doesn’tget too high.
Real estate cold email templates
While you’ll need to craft email copy that will work for your specific audience, that doesn’t mean that you have to start from scratch.
Here are two of our favorite real estate cold email templates that you can use and tweak to fit your needs.
Site note: These are for realtors (vs investors or wholesalers).
Expired listing cold email template
Hello [Prospect’s Name],
I noticed your listing for [Property Address] recently expired.
I’ve sold a number of houses in [Property Area] in an average of [Number] days for [X%] over asking price.
I already have several ideas on how to better position your property, and I’d love to hear what you think.
Are you open to re-listing?
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) cold email template
Hello [Prospect’s Name],
The market is heating up, and buyers are interested in your neighborhood. This is great news for you because inventory is low and demand is high.
Are you interested in discussing the possibility of listing your home?
I have some competitive research data I’d like to share with you. I have a feeling you’ll be surprised at just how much we could list your home for.
Are you open to re-listing?
Generate real estate leads with cold email
Cold emailing involves reaching out to potential clients with whom you’ve had no previous contact.
It’s one of the best ways to generate real estate leads because it’s very affordable, it saves time, and allows you to scale your lead generation and reach prospects on any device.
It’s a perfectly legal way of generating leads – if you abide by a few common sense rules.
To stay on the right side of the law when cold emailing, remember to include your business’ physical address in the email (ideally in the signature to keep it personal) and make sure not to use misleading information.
You’ll also need to provide recipients with a way to unsubscribe from your emails and then honor their request if they decide to opt out. Typically, you can ask them to reply to your email letting you know you’re not interested.
To get started with cold email, you’ll first need to set up your email account properly. This will involve choosing a reputable email service provider, setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, and warming up your email address.
Once you’ve prepared the email account you’re going to use for your cold email campaign, you’ll need to craft your cold email sequence. In most cases, you should use one initial outreach email and at least two follow-up emails in your sequence.
When writing your cold outreach email, make sure to use an attention-grabbing subject line and let recipients know who you are.
You should also take advantage of personalization to improve your campaign’s engagement rate.
Keep your emails short and avoid using spam trigger words such as cash and free.
End your email with a call to action that lets prospects know what they need to do next.
Remember to test emails with tools such as Mail-Tester and IsNotSpam before starting your campaign.
If a prospect shows interest by replying to your initial email, keep following up until you get a clear Yes or No.
After creating your email sequence, decide on a sending schedule for your campaign.
Split test different send times to find the one that provides you with the best results. You should also split-test other parts of your campaign, including subject lines, email copy, and CTAs.
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