One of my mentors Pat Zaby wrote this article in his newsletter and I thought I'd share it. 


Email is definitely something that we can't do without and it is hard to imagine how the people who don't have it can even exist.  It has become a standard like regular mail except used much more often.

It's always good to reexamine our techniques and procedures to see if there is room for improvement.

Email Tips

  • Be polite; avoid slang and offensive language - not being able to see your face or hear your vocal intonations might lead a person to misinterpret your message.  We need to say what we mean and say it politely.
  • Spelling and grammar are important - in the US as most other countries, lack of proper spelling and grammar can indicate lower education which in business can translate to lack of professionalism.  Chances are that the program you're using has automatic checkers; you just have to verify that they are turned on and not ignore their recommendations.
  • Avoid all Caps - the message can be misinterpreted with emphasis to mean that you are shouting.  If you don’t want to give the impression that you are displeased, use upper and lower case letters.
  • Avoid unnecessary attachments - many times the attachment we send won't even be opened by the recipient.  Partly, because the recipient's email might block the attachment and sometimes, it isn't opened intentionally for fear that it might contain a virus.  If it is an important attachment, tell them you are going to send it in a following message and ask for confirmation after they have received it.
  • Avoid abbreviations & emoticons : ) - unless you are under 15 and your primary communication is texting, abbreviations may mean different things to different people which can obviously lead to poor communications.  If little symbols following a sentence are necessary to convey meaning, you may want to consider rewording the sentence.  XOXOX
  • Short sentences & paragraphs - email is supposed to be easy to read but long sentences and paragraphs make it difficult.  A simple rule is 10-15 words in a sentence and only two to three sentences to a paragraph.

Setting up Outlook

  • Multiple email addresses - if you have several different email addresses, you can direct them all to your Outlook program.  This will save time but more importantly, may save a transaction.  Most franchises and many companies will assign an email address to their agents and even if the agent has a preferred address with their own domain, they should receive email with these additional addresses in case someone should be using it.
  • Signature - (Tools, Options, Mail Format) an email signature contains the same information that your business card does like name, company, address, phone, email address, and website.  It should be attached on every email - originated, replied to, or forwarded.
  • HTML - (Tools, Options, Mail Format) email has different formats like text only, rich text, and HTML, Hypertext Markup Language.  The benefit of HTML is that website and email addresses automatically become hyperlinks which are convenient for users and they can insert pictures directly in the body of the message instead of sending it as an attachment which may never be opened.
  • Spelling - (Tools, Options, Spelling) verify that your spelling tools are turned on and they'll serve you well.  Even if you are using Word as your email editor and are used to the green squiggly lines indicating a misspelled word, the Spell checker will identify the questionable words prior to sending the message.
  • Preferences - (Tools, Options, Preferences)
    • Junk Email - the filters in Outlook 2007 are remarkably good and allow varying degrees from none to low or high. 
    • Calendar - I recommend that you remove the default reminder on all appointments; you can always add specific reminders to appointments when needed.
    • Calendar Options - you can identify your work days to show on your calendar but if you're like most agents, it will be seven days a week.  You can identify the first day of the week which might be Monday for you rather than the traditional Sunday; you can also specify the normal business hours of the day.
    • Contact options - Outlook 2007, check Contact linking on all forms to allow you to link one contact to another.  This was a standard feature in previous versions of Outlook.

Domain name

It seems like agents understand about the importance of obtaining your own domain name for a website but they don't understand that they can use it for their email too.

The overall objective is to have one email address that will never change for as long as you're in real estate.  That way, once a person has your email, they'll always have your email.

Regardless of whether the agent changes companies or Internet Service Providers, if they are using their domain name for their email, it will never change.  Promoting your name and business is hard enough without having to periodically promote your email address to make certain that potential clients can indeed get in touch with you.

Look at the example in the graphic that shows the agent's name as her website address but she isn't using it for her email.

If you are not comfortable making the changes that were discussed in this article, you need to find someone who can help you.  It might be an IT person in your office.  It might be a paid consultant.  It could even be just a young person who could figure it out for you.

You don't need to be able to set it up yourself as long as someone does it for you.  This is too important to leave undone.  Email can be your most valuable tool and can go a long way to helping you achieve customer satisfaction which can lead to referrals and a long career.