You could grow your real estate email list like a weed on steroids if you offer one ounce of gold for each email address and name.

This may even be a viable option in the world of high seven-figure sales, provided the free offer is relevant enough for the prospects you are targeting.

But in real estate and property sales in the usual price ranges, this endeavor would rather be “suicide by lead magnet.”

Still, the question remains how do you grow your email list for real estate like a weed.

This article will give you answers, what approach you can take, and cover… 

  • First Things First – Eyeballs & Offers
  • Offer Something of Value to Your Prospects to Grow Your Real Estate Email List (Ethical Bribes)
  • Get Eyeballs (Traffic) to Your FREE Offer
  • Best Practices for Your Real Estate Signup Form for Better Conversions
  • 11 Placement Ideas for Your Signup Forms (Online)
  • Using Real Estate Signup Forms Offline, a.k.a. The Real World
  • Your Real Estate Email List Is Growing… But That’s Not Enough (Hint: Follow-Up)
  • Additional Tactics – Some Good Ones, Others Not So Good


First Things First – Eyeballs & Offers

There is one key element you will always need to grow your email list for real estate.

Most would now say, sure, an email signup form. But, nope, that’s not it. 

Yes, it makes things easier. But the essential key element is the right offer.

If you had the perfect free offer that aligns perfectly with your prospects’ needs, wants, problems, pains, etc., the prospects would beg you to give it to them. 

They might say something like, “shut up and take my email address.”

It may even go so far as that you wouldn’t need any eyeballs and ears to make this offer known at all.

You could just mention it to one prospect, and it would get eyeballs and ears just by word of mouth.

A perfect offer like that would be you offering one ounce of gold for an email address and name.

Of course, we both know that such an offer would be suicide, and the 100% perfectly aligning offer with a conversion rate of 100% doesn’t really exist.

Therefore, a little help is needed to get the free offer in front of enough eyeballs. 

But more about the eyeballs later.

But it’s funny how the thinking often reveals the perspective of things.

How so?

Thinking first of the email signup shows that you focus on getting email addresses rather than creating a valuable (free) offer.

It’s similar to focusing on ways to make money and, by doing so, neglecting what comes before getting the money: the value exchange.

In this context, you may know one phrase Zig Ziglar once said:

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

So, thinking first of the signup is a bit like thinking first of your wallet or your bank account.

Sure, you could get the money, I mean the email addresses, by other more dubious means…

You could go out and buy a bunch of email addresses from shady providers or scrape the web and then add them to your list and spam the sh*t out of them.

This may have worked in the early 2000s, but today this method has widely jumped the shark and will get you in trouble with one of the existing regulations.

One is the CAN-SPAM Act which I already mentioned in this article

And not to mention the email marketing providers you may use.

To simplify the first things you need, we can break them into three elements…

  • A free offer that aligns with your prospects’ needs, wants, and/or problems
  • Eyeballs in the form of website traffic (online or offline) for the free offer
  • A point of conversion (signup form online or offline)

The last element is only to reduce friction.

Sure, if your offer is one ounce of gold in exchange for an email address and name, prospects would personally visit you and engrave their email address and name on a rock if necessary.

This leads me to…


Offer Something of Value to Your Prospects to Grow Your Real Estate Email List (Ethical Bribes)

In “technical terms,” the ethical bribe meaning the free offer in exchange for an email address and name, is usually called a “lead magnet.”

I already wrote an article about it here.

The lead magnet is particularly valuable to the prospects you are focusing on.

Here are 13 examples of typical lead magnets (some less applicable to the real estate industry):

  • A free service, trial, or product
  • Access to a members-only area
  • A free online course
  • A free webinar
  • A free tool
  • Participation in a contest that includes a prize
  • A free checklist
  • A free quiz or survey that solves a question or problem
  • A free guide
  • A free consultation
  • A free workshop
  • A free video tutorial
  • A free template

And only one success factor influences the chances of your growing your real estate email list with high-quality leads…

… and that is the relevance of the lead magnet to the type of prospect you target.

Offering one ounce of gold in exchange for an email and name may get you opt-ins like crazy, but only a tiny fraction of them will be qualified, serious sellers or buyers, or both.

And to be relevant, you need to know the type of real estate lead you want in your email list.

Are they unaware (ice cold), problem/need (cold), solution (warm), product (hot), or even most aware (hottest)?

Each awareness level would need a different lead magnet.

A market report about a particular neighborhood that includes special deals you use in a lead generation campaign on Facebook.

You often find cold buyer prospects (buying hasn’t come to their minds yet) on that social media platform.

Such a market report will not do as well as a free guide that teaches how tenants can reduce their annual and monthly costs and save for a down payment.

Let’s stay with Facebook and other marketing channels you can use to…


Get Eyeballs (Traffic) to Your FREE Offer

Since giving away ounces of gold isn’t a viable option (you will go broke), which otherwise could automatically cause your offer to get many eyeballs just by word of mouth, we need other means.

What are these other means?

They are the different types of real estate lead generation I already covered more in-depth in thisthisthisthis, and this article.

In short, they cover the following three basic areas of real estate lead generation:

Now, let’s get a bit more granular with the third element you need to grow your real estate email list and look at…


Best Practices for Your Real Estate Signup Form for Better Conversions

Before thoroughly testing different versions, you will not know what type of real estate signup form will give you the best conversions.

However, there is one rule of thumb you can use to increase your chances of getting decent conversions from the start.

From this rule of thumb, several other best practices can be derived.

So, the rule of thumb is this: The more friction in finding or using the best signup form, the lower your conversion rate will be.

What does friction in finding it mean?

If you don’t use some contrasting colors compared to the overall design of your website for your signup form, its visibility will be reduced.

Thus, fewer people will see it, and thus, fewer will fill it out and send it. 

So use contrasting colors for your signup form.

It also means that it is easier to miss if you hide it somewhere at the end of an article or a page.

The most important area is the area above the fold. 

This area of your website is visible to the visitor without having to scroll down.

This means you want to place your signup form ideally above the fold.

Definitely visible to a visitor would be pop-up signup forms.

But these signup forms may be pretty intrusive for some. While you may get higher conversions, the lead quality may be lower.


When I get a pop-up in my face with a lead magnet that interests me, I will feel annoyed in the back of my head for everything that follows.

So, I will justify just getting the free XYZ with the email address I use for promotional stuff and then opt out or just let the nurturing campaign emails go to this “trash email address.”

Now, what does friction in using the real estate signup form mean?

Know the crazy long forms some insurance brokers use on their websites?

You will think twice before you enter your information there. But you can almost be sure that the prospects that do and send it will be higher quality leads.

These longer signup forms are not a mistake by some old-school marketers who still watch “Golden Girls” or “Magnum” on an analog TV. 

It’s by design.

The form itself is already a filter to weed out the tire kickers.

Sure, the cost of that is the conversion rate going down. Why? Because of the intentionally created friction of the long signup form that takes ages to fill out.

However, because of the likely higher quality these leads have, the closing rate over the phone with these leads will likely be higher.

Because these signup forms are designed for prospects with a higher customer awareness level, and no unaware prospect will fill out such a form.

To reduce the friction a bit for these types of forms, you can make them multi-step signup forms, where the form fields are distributed over several pages/steps.

In turn, a short-form signup form for your real estate email list will automatically increase your lead conversion rate.

The minimum you want to ask for here is the name and the email address.

But you guessed it already… You will grow a real estate email list of more cold leads that need to be warmed up via nurturing campaigns.


11 Placement Ideas for Your Signup Forms (Online)

While you want to keep the above-mentioned best practices in mind when increasing your odds of better conversions for real estate signup forms, here are 11 placement ideas you may consider…

1) A placement in the header (remember from the previous section, this is a placement above the fold)

2) A footer placement (not as visible as the former one)

3) A signup at the end of a blog post (again, not as visible, but still likely higher quality leads since they took the time to read the article until the end)

4) On the homepage, in general

5) Pop-ups (remember, these are more intrusive, leading to lower quality leads, but likely higher conversions)

6) Scroll-triggered pop-up: just a variation of the usual time-triggered pop-up that appears after a visitor scrolls a particular percentage of a page.

7) A placement in the sidebar

8) An exit-intent signup form (you want to read my article about website exit surveys here)

9) A specific landing page with a signup form with longer or shorter sales copy. This landing page could also be used to drive targeted traffic from paid campaigns (e.g., Google Ads, Facebook Ads, IG ads, etc.)

10) A signup link in your email signature

11) Using signup forms from platforms you don’t control (e.g., Facebook lead campaigns)

But now you may still wonder how to use real estate signup forms offline, a.k.a. the real “analog” world?

This leads me to the next section of this article…


Using Real Estate Signup Forms Offline, a.k.a. The Real World

Maybe you remember when you used a particular material made of trees, and you used… what was it called?…

Yes, I think it was paper… and, of course, you also need a pen to write on it…

So, to sign someone up for a real estate email offline, you will need paper, a pen, and some sort of event, place or both of the latter to make it happen.

Sometimes, you may also be able to combine the offline world (printed paper) with the online world via a QR code.

Below, I collected five ways how you could use real estate signup forms in the real world: 

  • In-person events with signup forms (e.g., open houses, real estate conferences, etc.)
  • Using a list builder app on the above in-person events.
  • Paper signup forms you place in a physical location or store (e.g., a cross-promotion partner)
  • A QR code on business cards.
  • Having a QR code to your signup form in your direct mail and other mailers


Your Real Estate Email List Is Growing… But That’s Not Enough (Hint: Follow-Up)

Let’s say you did everything right and got email opt-ins to your list at a decent conversion rate. 

Can you just leave it like that?

I hope you don’t because you will miss out on the opportunity to establish trust with the freshly generated real estate prospects, not to mention the money you will leave on the table.

And how do you do that?

For example, you want to send relevant emails via an automated nurturing campaign.

In my article “How to Write a Killer Follow-Up Email for Real Estate,” I already covered many statistics about the benefits of following up with the real estate leads you have in your list.

One of the benefits is that it has a two times higher return than cold calling, and it can increase the response rates by 90%.


Additional Tactics – Some Good Ones, Others Not So Good

You can use additional tactics to grow your real estate email list, such as the following…

Using retargeting ads to target visitors who didn’t opt-in

Co-promoting email lists with business partners

Syncing real estate leads from other sources

When it comes to retargeting ads, they will work better when you use a dedicated landing page for your email opt-in.


Because you could only target the visitors that landed on this page but didn’t opt in.

It’s a bit like the retargeting ads you can run in e-commerce when a potential buyer abandons the checkout or shopping card.

Sure, you could run those ads to all the prospects that visited your website, but this wouldn’t be as targeted as the above.

Co-promoting email lists fall in the category of cross-promotion.

Here, you use your email list to promote the email list of a cross-promotion partner (usually another real estate-related business) and vice versa.

It will be easier if this partner also has a free offer, a.k.a. a lead magnet.

In some articles, you can find the suggestion to sync real estate leads from real estate data and contact scraping providers.

But to comply with the CAN-SPAM act, you will need to check each provider to see if the contacts you can buy have given permission to be added to third-party email lists, which yours would be in this case.

To be safe, you will need an extra step and ask them for permission.


Use A/B Testing to Optimize Your Email Signup Process

Reaching the end of this article, I will leave you with one last thing.

You want to consider the growth of your real estate email list almost a never-ending conversion rate optimization process.

If you get a 1% conversion rate, you want to think this is not the best you can do.

To improve that number, you need to do testing over longer periods.

A typical test is using A/B tests that have two versions of your opt-in form compete against each other.

You can then test many different elements, such as headlines, colors, body copy, button copy, long forms vs. short forms, etc.

The best-performing form or opt-in-landing page is usually called “control.”

If version B performs better, it becomes the new control. Then, you run another test to beat the new control and gradually improve the conversion rate.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher