Crafting Real Estate Email Subject Lines

Businesswoman,Hand,Working,With,Laptop,Computer,,Tablet,And,Smart,PhoneHave you ever thought about what gets you to open a marketing email? 

Maybe not, but the person who is writing the subject line has put a lot of energy into figuring out how to get you to stop scrolling through, emptying out your inbox, and peak your interest.

Today we’re going to talk solely about subject lines. Without a good one, you might as well not even write the email. So, what does it take to make a good one? 

Let’s break it down, but first…

Why are subject lines important?

How many emails do you think you get a day? I know if I don’t stay on top hundreds can stack up quickly, and of course start just swiping to clear them out. 

It takes a fraction of a second for me to decide whether or not something is of interest or not. 

So if you have a solid subject line your open rates will likely increase significantly.

Check out these stats from

  • “64% of recipients decide to open or delete emails based on subject lines (Source: HubSpot)”
  • “33% of users choose to open emails because of catchy subject lines (Source: HubSpot)”
  • “A subject line alone is enough to entice 47% of email recipients to open the email. (Source: Zippia)”
  • “69% of email recipients will report spam based on the email subject line (Source: Zippia)”

If your open rates are high, you stand a great chance of your email being read, which is what leads to higher conversion rates. That’s the main goal here. 

Also, your subject lines start to create trust with your clients, especially if they are introduction emails. The more you personalize  them the more you set a tone for your brand and company that will lead to increased open rates. 

The anatomy of a good subject line

Businesswoman,Using,Laptop,,Contact,Us,Connection,ConceptRight off the bat there are some tricks or rather full proof techniques to incorporate into your subject lines that will catch an eye. 

If you are able to insert your clients’ names into the subject line you will likely illicit a pause in scrolling. 

  • “Including the email recipient’s first name in the subject line can increase the open rates by 13 to 28%.” (

Studies have found that different regions of the brain are activated when people hear their own names:

“Brain regions were identified that were activated when hearing one’s own name relative to hearing the names of others.” 

Not only are you simply getting your client’s attention, you are personalizing your email right from the start immediately establishing a relationship. 

AgentAdvice Tip: Looking for ways to spice up the body of your email? Check out these ideas for email marketing content.

On top of that if you can incorporate “you” language into your marketing you will be showing that your interests are about them. You clients are who you are thinking of and will be the focus. 

  • “Personalized promotional emails have 29% higher open rates (Experian).” (

Using their name, “you” language, and keeping it personal… allows for a casual tone. 

Causal is key. More formal language is off putting for most people, it sounds weird, and can send your email right to the spam folder, especially if it sounds like a robot wrote it.

Along those lines, avoid capital letters. You don’t want your subject lines looking like a title. That erases personalization. You also don’t want all caps, it looks like you’re yelling at someone – it often triggers spam too. 

For the actual content you want to create some curiosity. There are some studies that show asking a question will increase the open rates, which is an excellent way to create some curiosity. 

  • “10% higher open rates are received for emails that have a question in their subject lines (Yesware).” (

Man,Analysis,Business,Accounting,On,LaptopI’ve seen a lot of companies use emojis in their subject line, and there is data that supports using emojis. For me, it doesn’t really align with my brand as an agent. So I don’t, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t:

  • “56% of businesses that use emojis in the subject lines of their emails enjoy increased open rates (Zippia).” (

Which goes to say use the tools that work for you, and make sure you staying aligned with your voice as a business too. I tend to be more data driven and use numbers in my subject lines, which also works:

  • “Emails that have subject lines bearing numbers in them enjoy 57% higher open rates (Zippia).” (

Word count is something to be aware of when you are constructing your subject lines. Short, sweet, and simple is best. I aim for around 5 words typically.

  • “Those email subject lines that had a character limit not exceeding 10 received the highest open rate of 58%. The second highest open rate is 42%, received by subject lines of 50 to 59-character length (Informz).” (

And of course, last but not least, FOMO. If you can, you want to try to create a sense of urgency in your subject lines, which has a higher chance in your email increasing in conversion rates. BUT, and this is big for me… don’t over do it. 

You don’t want to look like a fool and ruin your reputation if you say, “this is gonna be gone tomorrow!” and then see the property sit for the next six months. Not a good look. This is especially important to nail in follow-up emails when you are looking for a clear answer from clients. 

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t worry, you don’t have to get all of these things in every line, every time. Start with getting familiar with what works for your audience by focusing on one thing at a time. 

Maybe start with incorporating names into your subjects first, make note of any results, and then go from there! Here’s a few ways you can get started…

Actual examples of subject lines I would use

Email,Marketing,Concept,,Person,Reading,E-mail,On,Smartphone,,Receive,NewThis is pretty straight forward, but makes a big impact. Using your client’s name. It can get tricky if you are batching in larger groups, but it is still possible depending on what email marketing system you have. 

Example #1: Bill, found your new home!

Simple enough? Now let’s add some numbers.

Example #2: Marie, interest rates dropped 5.2%!

I would make sure to add in the first sentence of your email or in the preview text the personalization so you tie in why this should matter to her immediately upon viewing: your chances of getting a great loan for your next home is now. I’d love to help you get started!

Example #3: Rob, your dream home listed!

Now we’ve got the name, the “you” language, and we’ve created a bit of urgency paired with curiosity. I’d lead into some FOMO in the body of this email to get the ball rolling – but again not too much. 

The key to all email marketing is staying genuine and authentic.

Starting to get the hang of it? You’ve got the tools now to start some amazing email campaigns. Find your voice and start connecting with your clients! And once you’ve got it down to a science, read this guide on how to use email blasts effectively


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About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 6/3/2024