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PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: email campaigns for estate agents | Gove looks to relax property planning laws – but it is not all about newbuilds

The crucial role of email campaigns for estate agents

In a rapidly evolving property sector, digital marketing has become an indispensable tool for estate agents seeking to establish lasting connections with potential clients. Richard Combellack, Chief Product Officer at (Picture below), underscores the significance of digital marketing elements such as email marketing campaigns in the estate agency sector, shedding light on their pivotal role in nurturing leads, maintaining client relationships, and delivering impressive returns on investment.

Building lasting relationships through email marketing  Estate agents are increasingly recognising the value of long-tail marketing strategies, with email campaigns emerging as a cornerstone in their efforts. Combellack emphasises that these campaigns play a crucial role in establishing touch points with potential clients over time, resulting in lasting relationships and positive outcomes.

“Email marketing is not just about sending messages; it’s about building relationships. In the property sector, where trust and communication are paramount, email campaigns act as a bridge, allowing agents to stay top-of-mind with clients and nurture leads effectively,” says Combellack.

He notes that when executed effectively, email marketing offers one of the highest returns on investment for estate agents. It serves as a direct and personalised communication channel, allowing agents to connect with clients in a meaningful way. Combellack offers a few essential tips for estate agents looking to enhance their email marketing efforts:

Compelling content  First and foremost is creating high-quality, engaging, and targeted content that captures the attention of potential clients. A great example of this is a newsletter that provides valuable information, showcases property highlights, and offers trends or insights into the local property market. The newsletter can also include testimonials or success stories from satisfied clients to build trust and credibility. Showcasing positive experiences can help to demonstrate your expertise and the value you provide.

A key element of creating compelling content is an enticing concise subject line that encourages recipients to open the email. Avoid using all caps or spammy language that might trigger spam filters. Use high-quality images and visually appealing designs to make your emails more engaging.

Segment your email list  Not all email campaigns will be relevant to everyone, so divideyour email list based on factors like location, buyer/seller status, preferences, or previous interactions. Leverage dynamic filtering and preferencing to tailor messages to the specific needs and preferences of each individual within your client database. Targeted emails are more likely to resonate with recipients and result in higher engagement.

Personalise the emails  Use the recipient’s name in the email subject and greeting to make the message feel more personal. Again, ensure the content is relevant to them ensuring that it is tailored to match the recipient’s preferences or past interactions.

Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)  Clearly define the next steps you want recipients to take, whether it’s scheduling a viewing, contacting you, or exploring listings on your website. Make your CTA buttons stand out with compelling copy and contrasting colours.

Mobile Optimisation  Many users check their email on their smartphones, so ensure that emails are mobile-friendly and display in the right manner. Test your emails across different devices and email clients to ensure a consistent and user-friendly experience.

Regularly update your email list  Regularly clean and update your email list to remove inactive or bounced email addresses. Encourage subscribers to update their preferences to ensure they receive content relevant to their interests.

Use automation wisely  Implement automated email campaigns triggered by specific actions, such as website visits or form submissions. Drip campaigns can nurture leads over time, providing a series of valuable information.

Compliance with regulations Ensure that your email marketing complies with relevant data protection and privacy regulations, such as GDPR. Include an unsubscribe option and respect users’ preferences.

A/B Testing  Experiment with different elements in your emails, such as subject lines, content, and CTAs, using A/B testing to determine what resonates best with your audience.

“Long-tail digital marketing elements such as email marketing campaigns can be used strategically to nurture leads over time and guide potential clients through the decision-making process. By implementing the above tips, estate can create more effective and personalised email marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience, ultimately leading to increased engagement and conversions,” Combellack concludes.

Michael Gove looks to relax property planning laws, but focus shouldn’t just be on new builds

Thought Leadership by Daniel Austin, CEO and co-founder at ASK Partners

‘The UK has a widely reported and growing housing shortfall as a result of under building since the 1950s. A broken planning system and local objections have been blamed and aside from the human cost, this has become a major economic problem. It is very hard to increase growth without being able to provide homes, and the associated infrastructure, for workers in high growth sectors such as life sciences, pharma and tech.

We have recently seen a number of planning decisions referred to the Secretary of State which can delay the delivery of schemes by years and create such uncertainty that developers are reluctant to take the risk. With an election on the immediate horizon both political parties are making promises to fix the planning system, but with political agendas becoming ever more populist, the question is whether either party can come up with plans that will genuinely accelerate growth without losing them votes; which is the exact reason why central and local government should not be involved in the planning process at all as they cannot be impartial in controversial decisions which have a major impact on their electorate.

An often overlooked and relatively new aspect of the potential for housebuilding growth in the UK is adaptive reuse. This process, which involves repurposing existing structures for new functions has become a popular development strategy since the Covid pandemic, with developers actively seeking out those assets which will benefit from being re-positioned to take advantage of the shift in occupier demand, such as office to residential conversions.

These projects are easier to obtain financing for as loans can be secured against a fixed asset rather than a piece of land. Construction risks are reduced and critically in an inflationary environment, costs are also lower.  It is also a more sustainable approach, emitting less carbon than demolition or ground up development.

Crucially, it can skirt planning hurdles altogether. In some cases, conversions can be carried out under permitted development rules. One such example is an office building in Solihull which was converted into 181 apartments under permitted development and with minimal changes to the core structure of the main buildings. The project was completed on time and on budget given the lower construction risks.

Permitted development projects are not always possible but where full planning permission is required, conversions of existing buildings are far less likely to receive local objections. Locals tend to be in favour of breathing new life into unattractive disused buildings and boarded up shops to bring back a vibrancy to the local area and economy.

An example in this case is the Z Hotels group, which has acquired a number of central London sites for conversion into its now well-known compact luxury hotels. ASK recently financed the acquisition of a vacant office block in Leicester Square which the group now has planning to convert into a further hotel in its portfolio.

Furthermore, research carried out by the homeless charity, Crisis, found that there are currently 250,000 homes sitting empty and in disrepair in the UK. Not repurposing them is clearly a missed opportunity to provide genuinely affordable housing for those in need and proof that it’s not all about new builds; it just requires a change of mindset. The repurposing approach also unlocks development opportunities for small and medium sized (SME) developers.

As a specialist real estate debt provider, these are the kind of creative property developers we want to support and who can contribute to creating a resilient, sustainable, and vibrant real estate sector that aligns with the diverse needs of communities and the ever-evolving landscape of the UK.

As such, we offer bespoke lending solutions, in many cases at the pre-planning stage, based on our flexible underwriting process which enables us to evaluate projects factoring in location, underlying land value and potential.

So, whilst the planning system remains a huge hurdle in the UK, there are huge numbers of existing buildings ripe for refurbishment and conversion which just require creative strategies that align with the changing demand for the built environment to help them become the much-needed homes we require, and in a less controversial and more sustainable way.

Andrew Stanton’s PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking & News Now publications. #proptech #property #realestate #digitaltransformation #startups

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Andrew Stanton Founder & Editor of 'PROPTECH-X' where his insights, connections, analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are based on writing 1.3M words annually. Plus meeting 1,000 Proptech founders, critiquing 400 decks and having had 130 clients as CEO of 'PROPTECH-PR', a consultancy for Proptech founders seeking growth and exit strategies. He also acts as an advisory for major global real estate companies on sales, acquisitions, market positioning & operations. With 100K followers & readers, he is the 'Proptech Realestate Influencer.'