How to Nurture Rental Leads with Email Autoresponders
Outline Your Sequence and Define A Goal
Decide how long you want your email sequence to be and define a specific goal you want to achieve at the end of the sequence. You should have a defined singular goal for the campaign, and a goal or next step/action item for each email individually.
Your goal for the campaign might be a commitment to use your service, but the goal of the first email might be to get their phone number or verify they don’t have a criminal background.
I suggest an email sequence the first seven days, but you may prefer an email blitz over the first five days. There isn’t a wrong way. Decide how many days you want the sequence to run, and how frequently you want the emails delivered.
Identify Questions and Needs That Will Resonate With Your Audience
Your autoresponder will be more effective if you answer questions pertaining to their most concerning pain points. Make a list of the most pertinent questions new clients typically ask. The first time you speak to a lead on the phone, they probably ask the same questions over and over.
- What are the biggest concerns new clients have about the rental process?
- Do they ask you about a rebate or free move?
- Are they concerned that using your service will cause their rent to increase?
These are all good questions for identifying topics that will resonate with new leads in the first couple days of your drip campaign. After you write a list of 8-10 topics, organize them by answering the most frequently asked questions in your first couple of emails.
You can also get topic ideas by reading bad apartment reviews on Apartments.com or Yelp. A bad review is a good place to discover pain points you may not be aware of from your own interactions.
Choose Your Content Types
Choose the types of content you want to include in your emails. The content you deliver in your autoresponder will ultimately be influenced by your goals for the series. You aren't limited to words on a page.
- Videos are a great way to connect with people and break up the monotony of an email sequence. Videos create a deeper connection than written words. There are several low cost options online to create a professional video, or you could find a friend that frequently posts videos on their social media and ask them to help. Amateur videos are perfectly acceptable as long as the content is relevant and the quality of the video is clear and professional.
- Make a list of helpful guides relevant to prospects who are in different stages of the apartment search. These guides should be posted on your website and can also serve as blog posts. Any content you create to engage with prospects, you can repurpose as a blog or link in an email autoresponder.
- Create a workflow of steps through the apartment search, qualifications, application process, possible reasons for denial, and financial obligations of renting an apartment. Eliminating surprises and educating leads about what to expect is a powerful way to connect.
- Create different marketing materials for different audiences. You may have one guide for prospects moving within the city, and another guide for prospects moving from out of state.
Draft the Emails - Test and Optimize
You know how many emails need to be written, and you've prepared a list of topics that will resonate with your audience and a goal for each email in the sequence. Focus on developing a relationship instead of driving too quickly to the hard sell. Offer your prospects a couple of options to move to the next step. Most locators want to have at least one phone call with a prospect because it creates the relationship, but many people don't like talking on the phone so be patient. Don't be surprised if it's the third or fourth email sequence before they agree to a phone call.
Use your email sequence to develop the relationship instead of insisting on a phone call with the first email. Don't withhold information or delay your email sequence if you haven't spoken on the phone. You can’t expect any loyalty from an online lead when they don’t know anything about your company. You can’t expect them to perform a “big ask” too early in the relationship. Some people may consider a 10-15-minute phone conversation a big ask in the first email. Even if you prefer the phone, give them other options until they feel comfortable with a phone call.
Emails should be short, concise, and friendly. No one will read 3-4 paragraphs of information; it's too wordy. Write your paragraphs short and use plenty of line breaks and bullet points to make it easy to read. If an email is too long, break it into two separate emails instead of one long one.
Don’t waste people’s time with fluff. Start each email with something of value in the first paragraph. The nurturing process takes your prospects on a journey to build a relationship with you, your company, and how your service is going to solve their problem. You want people to want to work with your company because they connect with you, beyond the benefits that your service provides. Connecting with you will create the loyalty that gets your name written down on the paperwork.