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Introducing HomeActions

July 03 2014

According to NAR, while 86% of consumers are happy with their agent, only 23% hire them again. Staying in touch after the sale is the best way to ensure your clients don't forget you. There are many ways to accomplish this--periodic phone calls, social media--but email is one of the most simple and affordable.

There's a catch, though--the effectiveness of email depends entirely on how you execute it. Send out messages that are irrelevant, spammy, or too frequent and you risk driving your clients away. So what's the best approach to email marketing? Today, we're going to look at one solution and how they tackle the challenge of on-target messaging.

According to HomeActions, "fluff" is the enemy of email that gets results. Fluff includes articles like "How to Pack" or "How to Increase Your Curb Appeal." Surprised? Then consider your audience. They're homeowners, sure, but the vast majority of them are not in the process of moving. That's the reason articles like these fall flat for the majority of your database.

HomeActions' approach is to offer content that's useful to your contacts now. Their automated, twice-monthly email newsletter includes topics like taxes, home improvements, renovations, repairs, home insurance, energy conservation, how-to videos, ask the expert, community living, and more--all designed to position you as a homeowner's advocate.

Let's take a closer look at how all of this comes together behind the scenes.

The Basics

HomeActions' premise is simple: every two weeks, they send out six professionally written articles to your database of contacts. The newsletter is branded to you and provides your contact info, as well as links to your website and social media profiles. The entire process is automated--once you've added your contacts and branding info, the newsletter will go out on a regular schedule with no extra input necessary from you.

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For agents who would like to add more of a personal touch, the HomeActions system lets you replace up to three articles with content of your own. This could be anything--a blog post, RPR report, YouTube video, or an article highlighting a listing or a new sale.

Agents can customize their newsletters as many times as they want, up until 24 hours before deployment. Beyond articles, agents can also add banners and images to their email. Any changes made past the 24-hour deadline, though, are pushed into the next newsletter.

All of this is accomplished via a simple, visually-oriented interface. From HomeActions' back panel, agents can customize their newsletters, add contacts, manage images, send test emails, change their layout, and more.

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Most importantly, though, agents can measure the success of their newsletters with built-in tracking features. There are multiple reports available that, together, provide a total snapshot of everything that's happening with your newsletter. The Link Activity report below, for example, shows how many times an item was clicked on and by whom. Agents can use this as a way to identify soft leads and initiate more personal contact with a consumer.

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Advanced Features

HomeActions positions you as a homeownership expert via newsletter articles, but they offer extra features to position you as a "local expert," too.

Trigger content. This is another way to identify warm leads. Users can select up to four "trigger" articles in each newsletter. These articles specifically target prospects who are in the market to buy a home with topics like, "How to Qualify for a Mortgage." When a consumer reads a trigger article, the agent gets an email alert notifying them of their new warm lead.

Content Library. For agents serving a niche market, this new HomeActions feature lets them select content that serves their needs. All articles are professionally written and target specific niches, like luxury or vacation.

Commercial and Mortgage versions. HomeActions recently expanded their newsletter offerings beyond residential real estate. Now, mortgage and commercial agents can use all the features of the system with content created for their particular markets.

Neighborhood widget. Most consumers are going to start researching properties on major portal sites like Trulia and months before they contact you. The concept behind the Neighborhood widget is to encourage them to do their research on your turf--within your HomeActions newsletter.

The widget offers 150 different data points for a particular area you serve, including demographics, schools, transportation, median home prices, and more. Areas are searchable by name or zip code. The widget prominently features your contact info in case consumers have a question.

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Custom Events Calendar. If the Neighborhood widget offers the serious data, then the Events Calendar emphasizes the fun. The Custom Events Calendar is a zip code driven list of local events that offers information on upcoming sporting events, concerts, festivals, and more. Like many things in HomeActions, the Calendar is automated, but agents have the option of adding events that aren't included.

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Organize-IT. Need help building your database? A lot of agents do. To maximize your reach, this service helps you upload contacts and mine your email and other locations to build your newsletter distribution list. HomeActions doesn't limit the number of contacts you can have, so this is one way to make sure your list is as robust as possible.

Speaking of contacts, all contacts on your list are exclusive to you. This means that other agents using HomeActions can't subscribe ANY of your contacts to their list. Once they're in your database, they're yours (unless they unsubscribe). Leverage Organize-IT to claim your prospects before others do!

Training and Support

HomeActions offers multiple ways to get your newsletter up and running. The company will help users create their database, upload existing contact lists, add new members, add custom content, analyze metrics, and more.

Support and training options are available in the following formats:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Email
  • Online knowledge base
  • In-person workshop sessions

Next Steps