HomeActions Rolls Out Hometown Small Business Showcase to Howard Hanna Agents

The COVID-19 crisis has been tough on the economy–and particularly on small businesses. Now Howard Hanna agents can lead the way in supporting local businesses via a new collaboration with real estate newsletter platform HomeActions.

HomeActions‘ new Hometown Small Business Showcase feature lets Howard Hanna agents easily highlight a changing list of local businesses in their bi-weekly email newsletters.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy,” says Albert Clark, President of HomeActions. “They create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive innovation and competitiveness. From the corner hardware store to a trendy new restaurant, we need to re-engage with our local family-owned businesses and help them recover.”

How It Works

To get started, Howard Hanna agents simply add the ‘Community Spotlight’ template in their HomeActions dashboard. From there, they can input a phone number, website, and description of each business they want to highlight. Agents can also email the data to the HomeActions support team and the staff will create the article for them.

Here are two real-world examples of what these articles look like:

Of the businesses he highlights, Howard Hanna agent Tom Kundmueller says, “These are my ‘faves’ — places that I visit frequently. Our small businesses need our patronage now more than ever as they are recovering.”

HomeActions delivers 6 million newsletters on behalf of real estate agents to consumers every month. Nearly 500 Howard Hanna agents subscribe to the platform, averaging 440 contacts per agent. Learn more at homeactions.net.

3 Things To Help Generate More New Opportunities

If you’d like your real estate email marketing to start bringing in more new opportunities, you’ll need to turn your messages into attention-getting emails full of click-worthy content.

Here are three quick tips to help you dazzle new prospects and keep existing clients enthralled.

1. Improve Your Subject Line

Before you can generate a lead, you’ll need to get readers to open your emails. The email subject line is your opportunity to make a good first impression in the inbox. Leverage it properly, and you’ll entice more readers to act on your messages.

Your email subject line should clearly address the needs of your readers in concise language. It should also convey the importance of your message.

Here are some subject line tips to encourage readership:

  • Explain the actual contents of your email newsletter (don’t pull a bait and switch with deceptive teasers)
  • Create a sense of urgency using deadlines, dates and actionable words
  • Use a personalization field to include your readers’ first names
  • Pull the title of a timely article or important update in your email newsletter and duplicate it as your email subject line
  • Ask questions and let readers know your newsletter provides the answer
  • Appeal to your valued readers by including phrasing that makes them feel exclusive, important, or as if they are part of a VIP inner-circle
  • Mention a numbered series of items that will be covered in your email, such as “5 Quick Tips” or “3 Ways to Improve”
  • On occasion, use seasonal themes and other fun subject lines to avoid a sense of stale repetition

Your subject line should always clearly represent what readers can actually expect to find in your email newsletter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different subject line formats and tones. Watch your open rates to see which approaches are working the best for your messaging.

2. Send Click-worthy Content

Everything you include in your email marketing should have a subtle tie-in to your services. If you want your email marketing to resonate with your target audience, you’ll also need to offer content tailored to their needs and interests.

It can be challenging to strike a balance between communicating your value as a real estate agent while also offering insights to your readers. To accomplish this, consider your client success stories. Why did a recent client need your services? How did your services solve their problem? Were there any note-worthy takeaways from the experience? Answer these questions in an email article, and you’ll have the kind of click-worthy content that converts into new opportunities.

3. Don’t Let New Opportunities Go Cold

Once you have your prospects clicking on content, be sure to reach out to those who have shown interest in your articles. There are a few simple ways you can connect with warm prospects generated through your email marketing:

  1. Send a one-on-one follow-up email
  2. Review prospect click activity to gain insight into probable needs, and then give them a call to determine their level of interest in utilizing relevant services
  3. Enter the reader into a targeted email nurturing campaign that mirrors the topic of the article they initially clicked

When you reach out to any warm prospect, be sure to thank them for their interest in your email newsletter. This conversation-opener will help your prospects make a connection between the follow-up activity and the article they read.

One-on-one follow up emails can be used to set up a short meeting. You can leverage these meetings to explore the prospect’s level of interest in buying or selling a home.

You can also send a message to seek out fresh information from the prospect. Ask them if they read the article in order to achieve a particular goal and if you might be able to help them reach that goal.

Nurturing campaigns can also be used to continue nurturing prospects who seem to be “tire-kicking.” Make sure your follow-up communications are as professional as your email newsletter. These messages will continue to build a positive impression of your brand. They will be seen as the digital voice of your company. Even if your prospect doesn’t convert to a new client today, they may choose you at some point in the future.

Continue testing new subject lines and fresh content to keep readers interested in your communications. Follow-through is essential to the success of your marketing. Make sure you implement strategies to track, respond and manage engagement generated by your email newsletter.

CLICK HERE to learn more about lead generation with HomeActions™.

3 Ways to Become the GO TO Agent in Your Neighborhood without Leaving Your House!

HomeActions™ President, Albert Clark, co-hosted a “Coffee Chat” with RETechnology to discuss strategies that will benefit agents as the business of real estate process becomes increasingly virtual.

As originally posted on RETechnologyCLICK HERE for the original article.

We’re all trying to figure out what our next normal looks like. The truth is that there are solid business disciplines that have always worked and may even work BETTER as the real estate sales process becomes more virtual.

Albert Clark of HomeActions joined me on a Coffee Chat last week to teach us how to support your clients with insightful and unique homeownership information and market data to become THE go-to agent in your neighborhood.

Here are three key takeaways for you:

1. A clean database is the basis for effective marketing

Without a consolidated, up-to-date and, ideally, even segmented database, it is really difficult to succeed at online marketing. Now is the time to look at all of the places you have customer and prospect information and consolidate it into one list on an Excel spreadsheet as a start. Then it can be uploaded into your client relationship management system and into direct marketing and social media solutions.

2. The days of ME, ME, ME advertising are OVER

If your advertising campaigns focus on all the ways that you are amazing and nothing about how you can help your clients, you’re wasting your money. Instead, share your insights about how the market is doing, political issues regarding homeownership, mortgage news, and the best ways to maximize the value of your home. You are not relevant. Period.

3. Consistency is key

You can be the best agent in the world and deliver amazing service during a transaction—but if you don’t stay top of mind, you are not likely to get the referral or the next listing. You need to find disciplined and, ideally, automated ways to contact your sphere at least every two weeks with information that MATTERS to them.

Watch the recording below to learn more:

If you would like to learn more about HomeActions, you can contact Albert Clark at aclark@HomesActions.net.

HomeActions is also working to help agents thrive as the real estate process becomes more virtual. Catch our next webinar session to learn more about the benefits of HomeActions. 

We’re Helping You Stay Connected During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the wake of shelter-in-place measures to stop the coronavirus, our team is here to help our clients leverage informative content and timely digital communications.

Here is what some of our clients had to say about us…

“Thank you and your team for all you do to help us and our clients especially with pertinent communications during the COVID-19 pandemic!”

Michele E.

“Thank you for your reminders about the available coronavirus-related content and all of your ongoing help. I’ve been very pleased with my decision to move over to your company.”

A Client

“Thank you for the reminder and all of your ongoing help. I’ve been very pleased with my decision to move over to your company. Stay healthy and safe!”

Del R.


“I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know what a great support team you have. With current events happening, we have issued two OnTarget [single message] launches in the past week, and we expect to launch more in the coming weeks. [Your support team] did a wonderful job allowing us to quickly get important information out to our clients. The OnTarget feature is amazing, and we will definitely be utilizing it more often as things develop regarding the changes in business practices due to COVID-19. It gives me great peace of mind knowing your support team is there to help out with these emergency short notice launches. You have a great team!”

Cheri G.

“Thank you so much for suggesting your service to us. Seriously, if we were using Checkpoint I would be going insane today. The best decision we have made as a firm. I appreciate you being persistent with me and showing me the way. No one sees value in the newsletter until they have to use it in times like this. I’m very thankful for your honesty and a truly great product. We have recently sent seven targeted emails and the people that we have reached are about four times more than the clients we sent it to as they share it. Our phones have been off the hook for the last two weeks, partly because of the content. Truly if we didn’t have the IN service we would have never been able to reach out to them in the first place.”

Alba H.


Want to hear more from our satisfied clients?

CLICK HERE to see what other HomeActions clients had to say about our service.

Your Guide To A Cleaner Marketing Database

Marketing database maintenance can be a chore, but taking the time to tidy up is vital.

Deliverability is determined by algorithms using a wide variety of signals to determine if an email list gets through. When your subscribers open your emails, click through on email content or have some other positive responses to your messages, this helps your deliverability.

If readers simply delete your emails without opening them or mark them as spam, they are sending negative signals that can hurt your deliverability.

Here is your guide to help you keep a squeaky-clean marketing database and improve your deliverability.

Suppress Or Fix Bad Email Addresses In Your Marketing Database

A bad email is marked as such by ISPs because it has one of the following errors:

Bad Format – A format error could indicate that an email address is missing a period, contains a misspelling, or has other incorrect or duplicated characters in the email address. This type of error could simply be a typo that needs to be fixed. When the format error is obvious, like a double period, this can be corrected by making a small adjustment to the email address in your subscriber record.

Bad Domain – Sometimes domain names are changed, merged with other companies or simply deleted. When this happens, it renders the domain portion of your email (or everything after the @ sign) ineffective. Watch out for company name changes, mergers, email service provider domain name changes and other domain name issues in order to avoid bad domain issues in your database.

Bad Account – When an employee leaves a company, their email often becomes invalid after a certain period of time. For example jsmith@abccompany.net may have retired. In the case of professional office environments, staff emails might be forwarded to a third party for a period of time before they are rendered invalid. When this occurs, there are often autoresponder emails sent out asking you to delete or update a former employee’s contact information. Pay attention to these autoresponder messages and take action to update information in order to avoid bad account issues.

On occasion, it will be impossible to tell why an email was marked as bad. If you have attempted to remedy format, domain and account issues, and the email is still being marked as a bad email, it is time to suppress the contact record to ensure that future messages are not launched to the bad email address. Some platforms will automatically suppress bad emails for you.

Remove Generic Email Addresses 

When an email address is publicly available, it is able to be harvested by unethical list sellers. Because of this, generic email addresses are often heavily policed for spam. Unless you absolutely know that the person or people behind a generic email address expressly consent to receiving your messages, you should remove any of the following generic emails from your account:

  • accounts@
  • admin@
  • billing@
  • billings@
  • contact@
  • help@
  • info@
  • inquiries@
  • manager@
  • sales@
  • subscribe@
  • support@
  • webmaster@
  • welcome@

Additionally, generic emails often have low open rates and low engagement, which also negatively impacts your deliverability.

Remove Inactive Subscribers

To keep up to date with email deliverability best practices, we consult with some of the top delivery and anti-spam engineers from major mailbox providers, as well as senders that are like our company, in order to coordinate better ways to get wanted emails to the readers.

One of the most important email marketing best practice trends we identified is to track user engagement and remove inactive subscribers. Engagement means that your readers have opened, read and/or clicked a link in your email. The major mailbox providers such as Gmail, AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo all track how long a message is open and whether the links within it were clicked. They take note if a message was deleted without opening it. They also detect when messages are sent to accounts that no longer check email at all.

Clean Up Dead Weight

A common suggestion for cleaning an email list is to remove all disengaged or inactive subscribers. What this means is that you will be determining all the people who have not opened or clicked on one of your emails in a given period of time and simply removing them from your list.

Why Does This Help?

You may feel like it stings a bit to remove members from a list that you’ve worked hard to grow, but if they are sitting in your marketing database in an inactive or disengaged status, they are actually hurting your sending reputation. A bad sending reputation means you’ll be less likely to be successfully delivered to those who really want to hear from you.

Improve Your Reach

If there is no engagement for a large portion of your list, then it is more likely that your marketing emails will not reach a majority of your audience. To increase the chances of reaching inboxes and not getting filtered out, take steps to remove all list members who are not engaged.

Take a Tiered Approach

You can begin removing people in waves. First, remove those who have not clicked or opened in the past year. Then change your email strategies to see whether you can boost engagement among your existing members. When you see open and click rates improving, take some time to do a second purge of all those who have still not engaged within the past six months. You may also repeat this process as a last step, and look at all those who have not engaged within a three-month period as your final purge.

Purging long-term inactive subscribers also means you’re much less likely to end up in a spam trap. An extremely inactive list with long-term disengaged members can be “gravestoned” by ISPs. This means that ISPs will flag your messages as irrelevant or meaningless to your subscribers, thus negatively impacting your deliverability.

“Healing” Your Deliverability

Even though this process will cause the number of active list members in your database to go down, you will receive the benefit of better delivery rates among those recipients who enjoy your messages. When you view your metrics and reporting, you may notice that the number of opens and clicks will remain steady, but since fewer inactive email addresses are on your list, the open and click rate percentages will gradually increase as mailbox providers begin to recognize your improved sending reputation.

Over time, this process will result in more emails getting into the inboxes of your recipients, producing higher traction and engagement with fewer complaints and filtering issues. When the mailbox providers detect the higher percentage of recipients reading and clicking on links, they will tend to give those messages more favorable treatment by keeping them out of the spam folder. The absolute numbers of clicks and opens will likely go up as well, based on experience from testing this strategy with our existing customers.



Do you need help organizing your marketing database? We’ve got you covered.

CLICK HERE for more info about how HomeActions can help build your marketing database.

Top 10 Real Estate Articles of 2019

Check out our list of the top 10 real estate articles of 2020

Top Article #1

6 Landscaping Ideas to Avoid Like the Plague

Don’t ruin your yard with bad landscaping. Make sure to avoid these landscaping blunders. Check out these valuable tips on making sure your grounds are up to Downton Abbey standards.

Number of Click-Throughs: 28,273

Top Article #2

6 Home Design Concepts That Stand the Test of Time

You want to add items to your home that you won’t have to replace once the trend has died out. Since redecorating is such a hassle and expensive, you should add pieces to your home that you know will stand the test of time.

Number of Click-Throughs: 14,762

Top Article #3

6 Kitchen Renovation Trends

Is your kitchen the welcoming and inviting heart of your home? Or do you feel it needs an upgrade? If you need some renovation ideas, check out these current kitchen trends that will make over your space.

Number of Click-Throughs: 14,722

Top Article #4

Are You Making Any of These 5 Organizing Mistakes?

You might think you’re doing the right things to keep your home organized, but there are some bad habits that many people fall victim to that will keep your house from ever being clutter-free. Learn about five organization mistakes you could be making.

Number of Click-Throughs: 13,978

Top Article #5

Where to Splurge and Where to Save on Home Improvements

It’s hard to know where your dollars are best spent when it comes to improving your home. There are even conflicting opinions out there about what upgrades offer the best ROI.

Number of Click-Throughs: 12,803

Top Article #6

How to Marie Kondo Your Kitchen

You may have heard of the Marie Kondo method for organizing, and we’re here to tell you that it works. Learn how you can make simple changes to your kitchen that will fill the space with joy.

Number of Click-Throughs: 12,653

Top Article #7

5 Smart Home Upgrades Worth the Money

Do you think adding smart technology to your house would be worth the money? It may give you the house of the future, today!

Number of Click-Throughs: 12,032

Top Article #8

The Quickest Ways to Upgrade Your Bathroom

Your bathroom should be a place of peace and relaxation, but if the space has outdated features, it can make it hard to unwind. Here is the quickest ways to upgrade your bathroom.

Number of Click-Throughs: 10,004

Top Article #9

The Myth of the 20% Down Payment

Conventional wisdom holds that you should put down 20% to buy a house. But this is not always necessary, or even wise.

Number of Click-Throughs: 9,501

Top Article #10

Simplify and Downsize in Your House

You don’t have to sell your home and move into a postage stamp-sized house to take advantage of the downsizing trend. There are easier ways to “go small.”

Number of Click-Throughs: 9,472

As in past years, home improvement dominated the list, with just one financial story.

Want to hear more about our newsletter content? CLICK HERE to check out article samples and learn more about the content you recieve when using HomeActions.