Over the past two months, I have been writing tons of content here on BiggerPockets about real estate marketing. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free The #1 subject that I’ve talked about over the past month or so has been setting up a real estate website and what needs to be included to dominate your local market. Well, there are hundreds of things that your website needs to include, but last week I kept it simple and listed the 14 pages I feel all real estate websites should have. I also touched on page SEO optimization, which is key if you want to target all sorts of people who are doing searches online. These are just a few of the most important things websites should include if they are to be found by everyday users online. If you want to dominate your local market, then I would encourage you to incorporate these pages into your site and get them optimized for local searches. Related: The Simple Website Fix That’ll Transform Your Real Estate Business To delve a little deeper, today I want to talk about the biggest money mistake I’m seeing from those real estate people who have websites already. Over the years, I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve looked at — from static sites back in the day to over-glamorized websites with tons Flash — that make this mistake. So coming into this industry, I wanted to help people who have websites that are not fully in what I call “working mode.” Most of them have the normal elements that make them a functional website. Pictures, videos and content are the base for all of the real estate websites that I’m asked to look at each and everyday. When you get past all of that, though, you start to feel that something is missing. You look around the site page by page wondering if this missing thing will appear. What you finally realize is that a lot of sites lack this all-important element. What I’m talking about is an opt-in box. What’s the Big Deal? If you go and ask anyone who has worked online for a long time, no matter the industry, what they wish they’d done in the early stages of their website, they will often tell you that they wish they’d collected names and emails with an auto responder aka “opt-in box.” Plus, like I said, if you have been online for a while, then you will have heard people say that “the money is in the list.” You know that even though this has been beaten to death, I’m still willing to say it because it’s 100% right. Boy, I can’t even tell you how much more effective email marketing is compared to any other form of marketing. Just the conversion rate alone trumps social media for the simple fact that having that personal touch equals more engagement. Unfortunately, there are tons of people out there not utilizing the power of email marketing to gather leads or educating themselves on just how useful this avenue of finding prospects can be. Related: The 16 Elements of a Highly Effective Real Estate Website The power of email marketing is to get people in the door by adding them to your list and then sending them useful content that they can use to help them buy or sell a piece of property. Most real estate websites are not using their method, and if they are, then their email marketing newsletters are all about… We Buy Houses We Buy Houses We Buy Houses I say this because I did some research about a month ago and signed up for ten random real estate-type websites from the wholesaler, lease-option guy, and buy-and-hold expert to the average person who flips houses. I opted-in to see what type of emails I would get from filling out the forms on their websites. What I received was numerous requests asking me to sell my property to them, which is 100% due to the fact that, just like us, they are simply trying to buy property to grow their businesses. You see, all of that is good and dandy — until I started to get the emails almost everyday asking if I’m I still interested in selling my property. First, I would like to say that this is not at all a bad thing because sometimes you really have to push the subject with property owners. The issue is that if you’re going to do that, then by all means go about it really hard at first, and then only hit them up no more than twice a month. If you go about being too pushy, your overzealousness will turn people off — and likely force them to drop out of your list. Now, you will have lost a potential lead because of the fact that you were too aggressive with your marketing. Doing it in this matter will lose you so much money, it’s not even funny. Instead, you will need to start trying to communicate with the buyers and sellers on your list in a more friendly fashion. The Magic Potion What I do is simply give people the experience I would appreciate having if I were to approach my website in reference to both opt-in form and communication going forward. One thing I’ve done since the very beginning of having a website is to treat my readers, subscribers and leads as though I’m their teacher. At this point, maybe you’re asking yourself, “Why in the world of real estate would I be willing to call myself a teacher?” The answer is because when people teach, other people who are interested in that subject will listen. I can’t tell you how many people I know in this industry, as well as in other niches, who work off the teaching method to grow their businesses. Their goal is to completely educate their leads so that those people will know how to take action if need be. What I would do if I were you is go out and write 50 pieces of content on buying and selling property. Each piece of content needs to be at least 1,000 words long, expelling all of your knowledge about this subject. You might be saying, “Antonio, you’re crazy, man. How in the world would I be able to right 50 1,000 word pieces of content?” Well, the simple way to explain it is to just write 1,000 words a day until you’ve reached that magic number. So if you’re diligent and stick to the task, then it should take you about a month and a half to finish this process. Believe me, it’s very easy to do; take it from a guy who writes over 1,000 words regularly. At the end of the process, you should have 25 pieces of content to target each subject (buying and selling). Next, you will need to load the content into your email marketing software and drop feed it to your leads at about two pieces of content per week. Doing this will give your campaign a higher open rate (mine is around 50%, and believe me, I’m working on making that higher). People will love you for educating them on how to buy or sell a piece of property. You’re not being pushy whatsoever, which allows people to trust you more and most importantly, will make them want to do business with you. Doing this will make you even more money in the long run because you become the teacher — not the used car salesman. Does your website include an opt-in box? What kind of information do you send your leads? Leave me a comment below!