6 Keys to Writing Effective Real Estate Emails (That People Will Actually Read!)

by | BiggerPockets.com

Not all emails are created equal. When writing real estate emails, you may find that plenty of correspondents, whether you’re offering a cold call, following a lead or trying to strike up a partnership, simply don’t respond to your missives. What’s the deal?

Chances are, you’re struggling to write effective emails. But what exactly makes an effective email? It’s hard to say in exact terms, but there are general rules, courtesies and suggestions when it comes to refining the art of the perfect email that we would all do well to follow.

No matter what kind of business email you’re writing, these tips may just help you hear back.

Related: 4 Tips for Creating Killer Real Estate Marketing Emails

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6 Keys to Writing Effective Business Emails

Focus on the Benefits

Ask yourself why your recipient should read, let alone respond, to your email. Particularly when reaching out to someone that you don’t have an established relationship with, the benefits matter — especially with real estate emails. Chances are, they don’t care about you yet — so what’s in it for them? Do a little bit of marketing and as soon as your reintroduce yourself and your business, focus on how your service, product or company can be beneficial to them.

Get to the Point

Even long-term correspondents might not see the need to immediately open your emails if they feel like they waste their time. Real estate emails shouldn’t be long and complicated. If you find yourself piling on lengthy explanations and details, step back and cut it.

If you can convey your message more simply, do it. Be as clear as possible, but you don’t have to be completely thorough. That’s what follow-up emails and meetings are for. Have a “hook” to draw people in without have to serve the whole enchilada up front. People are busy, and concise emails demand less time to read and less time to respond to.

Value Specificity

Being vague will get you nowhere with your emails. Be specific not only about benefits, but what you expect from the recipient. Is it a reply, a meeting, an investment, a sale or some other involvement?

Be clear about what you’re looking for, what you’re offering, and how someone interested can proceed. This is especially important for the subject line — don’t neglect the value of a clear, pointed subject line. You want to grab attention, and clear specifics are a good way to get there. Avoid generic, nondescript subject lines.

Be Personable

Being personal doesn’t mean being private. Any business email should be able to go into the company newsletter without bringing you any sense of shame. Being personable is about the small things. Use the recipient’s name in your email if you can and only if they have given you their name to begin with. Sign off with a friendly closer. Use an exclamation point (though not more than one!) to express enthusiasm. When you add a personal touch that is polite and kind, your email recipient will feel more inclined to answer because you’ve invested in them as a person.

It should be noted, though, that there’s a distinct line between being personable and brown-nosing. Don’t waste time piling on the compliments. People can sense insincerity. Also, avoid using names in your email headline if you are sending a mass email to multiple viewers. There is nothing worse than personally addressing a recipient with a non-personal email.

Convey Urgency

Do you need a response by a certain date? If you aren’t effectively conveying urgency in your emails, you may find yourself stuck with too-late responses. You can curb this by planning ahead and sending an email with reasonable lead time, yes, but you should make a point to be clear about when you need to hear back from the recipient.

This doesn’t meant you need to be aggressive about it — it could be as simple as mentioning that your real estate project is timely. There’s a certain feeling of intrusion that many of us get when emailing busy professionals, but we have to ignore it. Their earliest convenience might be too late for you. If it’s urgent, be clear and honest.

End With a Call-to-Action

Just as with any business plan, your emails should be actionable. Prompt your recipient to reply. Ask a question — do they want to meet? Call? Are they interested? This gives an easy route to a reply. It may not be the reply you want, but it’s still a reply — a call-to-action helps ensure that no one’s time is wasted.

Related: 5 Steps to Structuring the Perfect Professional Email

BONUS: Ditch Bad Formatting

You’d be surprised how many professionals ignore the importance of a well-formatted email. Your priority should be to keep your email as simple to read as possible. That means avoiding lots of colors and the usage of multiple sizes and fonts (especially Comic Sans. Never use Comic Sans). These things don’t get people’s attention — they just read as unprofessional.

I speak from experience on this point! I recently sent out an email and used a new template for it. I was rushed and moving very quickly and chose a template without really understanding how it was going to look. I also made the mistake of not sending it to myself to verify that it was sending the way I wanted it to send. Both were big mistakes! The formatting looked bad, and the type face and font were really bad, so I know all about not making this mistake. No one called me out on it, but our response rate on that particular message went way down.

What do you think the keys to writing an effective business email are?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About Author

Chris Clothier

In 2005, Chris Clothier (G+) began working with passive real estate investors and has since helped more than 1,100 investors purchase over 3,400 investment properties in Memphis, Dallas and Houston through the Memphis Invest family of companies.


  1. Terrence Arth

    Very timely post Chris. A few years ago I decided to go back to school for a number of management refresher courses and decided to try it on line. I thought it odd at the time but the very first course, mandatory I might add, was this very topic. Apparently if you are going to school online, they want you to be able to converse effectively and be able to understand the other participants. Much of it was fairly simple but in retrospect it was probably one of the more effective college classes I ever took. Some items were small things like DO NOT TYPE IN CAPITALS, it looks like you re shouting! Make sure the idea flows smoothly onto the screen because if you are a slow typer like me, your mind can be working at warp factor 9 while your fingers are are on ion drive speed. It is easy to leave out letters, words and sometimes even sentences or key thoughts. The one “thing” the instructor harped on was read, massage, reread, message again and then a final reread before hitting the send button. I can’t tell you the number of times upon the 2nd or 3rd rereading I found a glaring error that would reflect poorly on me. It’s easy to blame it on cell phone or iPad key size but its just more professional to get it right the first time. And don’t forget about the “autocorrect” curse/blessing. There have been several posts about comical mistypes that got “corrected” to something quite unintentional. Thanx for the post!

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