Is technology your barrier to real estate success?
If you’re like my clients and students, you have a whole host of goals that technology could help you reach—if the overwhelm of technology didn’t make you break out in the sweats.
You're one smart cookie, so don't beat yourself up for a little technophobia. In my opinion, your anxiety is related to the nature of your job.
You don't have time for deep dives into learning and executing complex software and platforms. You're too busy fielding calls, dealing with crises, and shuffling your calendar to accommodate the constant swirl of change that is Real Estate Life™️.
Mailchimp is a great way to get over the technology hump and grow your business because it offers a suite of always-on marketing tools that play nicely together and are simple to use. These tools can help you with five key marketing tasks: connecting with your target audience, generating leads, organizing and getting to know your contacts, nurturing relationships, and following up online and in real life. Best of all, these tools work hard for you 24/7/365 while you work on everything else. Let's dive in, shall we?
Mailchimp offers one convenient location to create, buy, and track the results of your Facebook and Instagram ads.
If Facebook's Power Editor and ad builder make your eyes roll back in your head, reduce you a quivering mass of anxiety, and stop you from connecting with your target audience—Mailchimp's simple one-page ad builder is for you!
Here’s how easy it is to create social ads using Mailchimp:
Social ads require a minimum budget of $5 per day, $35 per week, $70 per two weeks, and $150 per month. You can also start and end your ad on specific dates and times.
It's super easy to design social ads using Mailchimp. You can create regular ads with a single image or carousel ads with multiple images.
Here's a snap of the content editor. So easy, right?
And here's how the items in the content editor look in ads on mobile and desktop:
It takes about 24 hours for reports to populate with your results and then they’re updated every 24 hours through the duration of your ad. So chill and step away from the computer.
When your report is ready, you’ll find a treasure trove of information about how your ad performed (image: Mailchimp):
Another handy feature in reports is the ability to view all of your ad's likes, comments, and shares. Just click "View on Facebook" or "View on Instagram" inside the report.
Landing pages are a Realtor’s BFF. These standalone web pages are designed around a single focused objective, known as a call to action (CTA). And they’re designed to convert paid traffic from Google and social ads into leads.
What I'd like for you to know about landing pages on Mailchimp is that you can:
I encounter a lot of frustrated Realtors who purchased a CRM but have never used it (mostly due to technophobia and the simple fact that most CRMs suck). And that’s a problem because what you get out of a CRM is directly proportional to what you put in it. Cue tears and Tourette's. 😭🤬
Mailchimp helps you aggregate, organize, and analyze customer data so you can get to know your clients. Yup, it's a CRM tool. And best of all, if you're already using Mailchimp, you can strike "find a CRM" from your to-do list. High fives!
When people sign up for your email list via your signup form—or you import contacts—that data is neatly stored in fields which are visible in the list view and profile pages. The usual suspects are there by default (email address, address, phone, website, etc.) but you can also create your own custom text, number, and date fields.
A basic Mailchimp account offers 30 data fields for each contact, but if you need more, you can upgrade to Mailchimp Pro and you’ll get 80 fields.
In Mailchimp, you can categorize subscribers by interest or preference. These collections of subscribers are known as groups.
You can add subscribers to groups inside Mailchimp, but groups are intended to be contact-facing—meaning that your contacts can see the groups (unless you hide them) and choose which groups they want to join.
For example, in your signup form, you can ask "How often would you like to hear from us?" And your subscribers can select "weekly, monthly, or quarterly." These subscribers are then placed into the weekly, monthly, or quarterly groups, automatically.
When subscribers are added to groups, you have the option of sending them an email or email series, automatically. This could be a welcome email to new subscribers or an email series to subscribers who indicate they are interested in buying a house.
Another easy way to organize contact information internally is with tags.
For example, you can organize your contacts by type (vendor, client, Realtor, lead) and how they were referred to you (social ads, friend, print ad, etc.).
When subscribers are tagged, you have the option of sending them an email or email series, automatically. Tagging also makes it easy to send relevant emails to your subscribers.
For example, the email about your new listing can be tailored for and sent to past clients who actively send you referrals, Realtor peers who want your listing information, and active clients who are looking for a home.
When you have your contacts organized in a meaningful way, it allows you to send the right message to the right person at the right time.
You can use segmentation—slicing and dicing your list into smaller sections—to make your marketing more relevant.
For example, instead of emailing your entire list, you can create a simple segment of buyers and email them your new listings.
You can also create complex segments in Mailchimp to target a section of your list that matches any or all of up to five specific conditions.
For example, you can send a new listing to subscribers who meet all of the following four conditions: 1) they are buyers, 2) they are interested in NE Portland neighborhoods, 3) they are interested in homes with ADU potential, and 4) they opened your last five emails.
Advanced segmentation is also available with a Mailchimp Pro subscription. It allows you to get even more granular with your segmentation (plus other bells and whistles).
According to research by NAR, the median tenure of homeownership has increased from six to nine years since 2008. Your clients will stay put in their homes nearly 50 percent longer—meaning you’ll have to wait twice as long for their repeat business.
The average buyer spends 11-27 months in their home buying journey. That means you must focus on building relationships rather than closing sales because the active search period only spans a few months.
Nurturing these relationships is critical if you want to create a pipeline of business you can depend on.
Marketing automation is defined many ways, but I love Mailchimp's take the best:
"Automations help you get things done while you get other things done."
With Mailchimp, you can easily build automated email sequences (drip and nurture campaigns), welcome new subscribers to your list, send relevant information when subscribers take a specific action, and connect different campaigns with its free automation tools.
For example, your landing page with a free "Moving to Portland" guide can automatically add subscribers to a Moving to Portland group and that triggers a series of emails about things they need to know to find their new home.
The truly amazing thing is that this entire sequence is working for you 24/7/365 while you take care of other things.
Today's newsletters are more sophisticated than the email blasts of the past. With segmentation, you can send regular dispatches to a specific section of your list.
For example, I send a weekly email newsletter to subscribers who want actionable tips, tutorials, and email marketing know-how delivered to their inbox.
Newsletters are a fantastic way to nurture relationships because they can:
If you're a blogger (and why wouldn't you be?!), you can send your blog posts via email automatically with Mailchimp's RSS-to-email tool.
Following up with leads is critical because you need to build relationships at all points in the homebuyer journey. Otherwise, your sales will be marked by hills and valleys—and so will your bank account.
Continued follow-up with leads helps you demonstrate expertise, offer guidance, and showcase tenacity. And most importantly, it provides leads a glimpse of who you are, what you believe, and why they should choose you as their Realtor.
Mailchimp makes follow up a snap with remarketing and postcards.
If you have your own website (and why wouldn't you?!) and get at least 100 visitors per month, you can recapture the attention of those visitors with Google remarketing ads.
Remarketing allows you to serve targeted ads to your past website visitors while they browse Google or its partner sites.
Using Mailchimp for Google remarketing is even easier than using it for social ads. Take a gander at Mailchimp's ad builder.
The ad channel and audience are pre-selected. Boom. So you only have to do two things:
Here's a snap of the content section of the ad builder:
And here's how the information looks in a few different ad sizes. And, by the way, the ad resizing happens automatically. One less thing to stress about!
With remarketing in your arsenal, you can do things like drive people you know to your website with an email, drive new people to your site with a social ad, and then bring them back with a remarketing ad, automatically.
How cool would it be if you could connect with your online audience (and people like them) in the real world? With Mailchimp's new postcard tool, you can print, stamp, and mail postcards for as little as .75 per card.
Like the social ads and remarketing ads builders, the postcard builder is simple (and dare I say fun?) to use. Here's what it looks like:
For best results, you need your contacts' first names, last names, and mailing addresses. But with a paid account ($10/month), Mailchimp will help you find mailing addresses for your existing contacts. (Notice above it found 16 of 33 addresses in my test account—and I only had first names, email addresses, and brokerages in the profiles. Pretty good!)
But wait! That's not all you can do. Through some serious magic, Mailchimp can:
Speaking of postcards, here's a sample of what they look like:
Mailchimp's always-on marketing tools can help you connect with your target audience, generate leads, organize your contacts, nurture relationships, and follow up online and in real life.
In other words, it creates a system that works with you to grow your business on a budget.
Why wait? Get started now, and start building tomorrow's business today. And if you need help, I'm here for ya.
Learn how email marketing can lessen your anxiety, increase your confidence, and make your business sustainable no matter what’s happening with the real estate market.