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Archive for real estate email

Is Your Email Address Selling You Short?

Email Addresses for Realtors®

Do you know that your email address can help you – or hurt you? We have so many choices regarding how and where to create email accounts, but when you are in business you have to follow some key strategies. Here are some ways to make sure your email address is an asset, and not a liability.

Don’t Use the Wrong @ Ending

Is your email address still based on your email provider? If you are using an @hotmail.com, @msn.com, @aol.com (yes, there are some), @yahoo.com, @comcast.net, or anything along that line, change it today!

As a professional, you want your email address to be @yourcompany.com. That’s it. Anything else makes you look like an amateur, and that’s definitely not the image you want when helping people with the biggest purchase of their lives!

In addition, if you use @gmail.com or @yahoo.com, changes made to the law in 2016 mean that few of your emails will be delivered to customers. You need a proper email service provider for marketing.

Do Use an Email Service Provider

Most personal email accounts, including those you get from your internet provider, include anti-marketing provisions in the fine print. In plain English, this means that you cannot use a personal account to send bulk email.

If you don’t already have an email service provider like MailChimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft, or a similar system, it’s essential to set that up right away. We use Infusionsoft and love it – we highly recommend it to anyone who needs highly customizable email marketing!

Do Use a Professional Email Name

Fortunately, most people know that using some form of their real name is the best way to create a business email address. However, there are those who are still using silly nicknames, childhood jokes, misspellings, or other inappropriate email addresses.

It’s also important not to use spammy sounding email addresses, like AwesomeRealtor@company.com or WeSellHomes@company.net. Keep it simple and make it easy for your recipients to know who they are receiving an email from. Use your name as the first portion of your email address.

Finally, don’t include anyone else in your email address. RonandSally@provider.com should be avoided, even for personal use. Since Realtors® market to their circle of influence regularly, even personal email accounts should be professional.

The Right Email Address Helps Boost Your Marketing

Your email address can make the difference between someone working with you and not. If you seem sloppy, amateur, or lazy due to your email address, you’ll lose business and struggle to communicate professionally.

However, the right email address can build your brand. If people see your company’s name each time they interact with you, you are creating awareness and name recognition. When it comes time to choose a real estate agent or give a referral, they won’t have to struggle to remember your real name or the agency you work for. It will be right there, in your email address!

Does your email address or overall marketing need a refresh? Whether you need new business cards or other print marketing, we are here for you. Contact Printerbees today!

Avoiding Real Estate Email Scams

Real Estate Email Scam

As business owners, real estate agents have a lot of their professional information online. It’s easy to find, and unfortunately, that means it’s easy to abuse.

Sometimes you can’t stop someone from using your professional information in a wrong way, but you can help report the issue and avoid falling victim to scams using other Realtors’® professional information.

An Iowa Realtor®, Wendy Dietz, has been dealing with a nightmare email scam for over a year. A scammer created fake email addresses under her name and has been emailing other real estate agents claiming to have customers interested in their listings. Those who were responded were sent an attachment or Google Drive link that had a virus.

What to Do If You’re Used in a Scam

Unfortunately, for this type of email scam, there’s nothing that the user can do to prevent their name from being misused. However, there are steps you can take to keep your real email account secure and avoid having your legitimate contacts stolen.

Some steps that can help secure your email include:

  • Keep your eyes open. Make sure nothing in your email, including junk mail and your sent folder, looks unusual.
  • Use virus software and keylogging blockers all the time. Yes, occasionally they block something that isn’t a problem, but it’s well worth it for all the actual hacks that are also blocked.
  • Don’t send confidential information via email.
  • Use strong passwords and don’t do business on unsecured or public wi-fi.
  • Most of all, if your identity is stolen in this way, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), FBI, and local authorities.

When you take steps to keep your email and private information secure, you’re less likely to have someone break into your real email account. The other scam relies on fake email addresses, which others can be on the lookout for.

Avoid Being Taken By a Scam

On the other side, there’s a lot more a recipient can do to avoid being fooled by a scam. It’s also vital to report scam emails to your broker, your email provider, and the person who’s identity has been stolen.

To avoid being fooled by a scam email:

  • Pay attention to the from email address. In the case of Wendy Dietz, the from email address did not match any of her actual contact information. That’s a clear giveaway that the email is not from her.
  • Notice grammar mistakes. Often scammers are not native English speakers and the text of an email will give away that it’s not from the supposed sender. In Wendy’s case, the email being sent was one single run-on sentence, asking recipients for help in their “area of expert.” If it doesn’t sound like it’s from a professional, it’s probably not.
  • Never open links or attachments for information unless you know for sure it’s legitimate. If you have any doubt, call the sender to verify that the attachment is real and safe.
  • Report scam emails by clicking on your email providers “Report spam” or “Report phishing” button. Enough reports can get a scammers IP address blocked.

It’s hard to prevent scam emails from being sent, but it’s much easier to detect them and avoid falling for the trap. By taking these steps, you’re less likely to be victimized.

It’s an unfortunate reality that the internet gives us both opportunities and dangers. If someone can steal money or information using fake emails, they will try to do it. Do your best to secure your real email account, and as a recipient be careful what you open and respond to. Together, we can keep each other safe.

What to Send: Real Estate Email Marketing

Real Estate Email Marketing - What to Send

You’ve probably heard that you need to have an email list to effectively market your real estate business. However, if you’re like many Realtors®, you have very little idea what to actually send out.

Fortunately, we can help. There are three kinds of emails that can help create engagement with your email list, building your relationship with each lead and helping them be receptive to your offers.

Consider putting at least one of these email types out to your list on a regular basis, and see how much your open rates and engagement improve!

Newsletters

Newsletters can get a bad rap because sometimes they’re thrown together and don’t have much in the way of quality content. Make sure your newsletter breaks the stereotype.

Consider sharing the following valuable information in your e-newsletter:

  • Latest posts from your blog
  • A valuable informative paragraph or article if you don’t have a blog
  • Information about new events, businesses, or developments in your target neighborhood
  • One or two useful or informative articles from another website, linked
  • Information about new listings or recent sales you’ve achieved
  • Customer testimonials
  • Pictures from your target neighborhood, or pictures of beautiful homes in the area
  • Something just for fun – a puzzle or comic

One great resource for finding information about your target neighborhood is a locally-focused website, for instance, one maintained by the city or a local association. They often announce the opening of new businesses or local events.

Digests

A digest is less comprehensive than a newsletter and requires less original content. Usually, a digest is full of quick-hit, easy-to-digest information. You might consider:

  • Links to a local neighborhood association’s announcement or news
  • Link to updated neighborhood assessment information
  • Links to your own blog posts
  • Links to your listings
  • NAR news reports or updates

Promotional Emails

You want to communicate relevant information, but you also want to promote what you do. You can do this in a way that doesn’t come across as salesy or pushy. Here are some ideas for promotional emails:

  • Regular market updates and recent listings
  • Offering a report about the market conditions in your target neighborhood, with an invitation to call you for a free assessment of their home
  • Running contests that create awareness about your business, create referrals, and drive traffic to social media and your website

Of course, when doing promotions be sure that you’re following the rules of your brokerage and the state real estate association.

What Will You Do?

These three types of emails will give you a good start on how to reach out to your list via email. As with all marketing, being consistent is vital. So what will you do? Share in the comments – I’d love to know!

If you’re ready to update your print marketing to complement your email outreach, we’re here to help. Check out our marketing postcards, business cards, and more!

Your Email Address Is Making Me Crazy!

Realtor email address . Realtor vanity nameI just glanced down at a business card sitting on my desk that belongs to a friend of mine and I wondered two things:

1) Why didn’t she order her business cards from PrinterBees?  This is a long-time friend and I can’t help but think how the quality would have been much better and the cost, likely much less.
2) Why does her email end with @sbcglobal.net??? Why??? Why?? Why!  It makes me crazy when I think of the risk to her business.

The PrinterBees part allows me to take a closer look at our marketing efforts. I clearly haven’t done an effective job of marketing to her because if I had, she would have either ordered business cards from PrinterBees or possibly dropped me a line as to why she didn’t, such as… “I have to use the in-house printing company…, I totally forgot you print! or the worst case scenario, I used “you bees” before and you suck (Oh NO!!!)”  Either way, the marketing was lacking and I will need to take a much closer look at my personal communication with my sphere of influence, see where there is an opportunity for change. Thankfully there’s always room for improvement.

It was the email part made me crazy! Please hear me Realtors®!!!! Do not allow the success of your business to be in the hands of an internet service provider that could go out of business or change hands tomorrow. Home internet access accounts don’t provide much in a way of guarantees with anything considered critical, these type of home accounts are not intended for business-use, therefore not mission critical.  When you build a business, a brand and a reputation with an email address that belongs to someone else, you’re building on quicksand.   I learned this first hand when I had an @home.net email address, which was changed to an @comcast.net address without my permission when Comcast bought @Home and it “totally sucked”!  I was so aggravated and completely powerless, I had built many business relationships and contacts with that email address and it negatively impacted my business.  I had no recourse because I agreed not to use the account for business when I signed up. (Ahhh..the fine print!)

Realtors® are in the business of long-term relationship building.  Many relationships are built over time and have a high level of trust based stability, consistency and longevity.  Having the same phone, fax and email address will go a long way in a profession where the opportunity to provide your services as a Realtor® happens only once every 3-7 years, on average.

In this digital age your email address is essential to people staying in contact with you, in many cases it’s the ONLY way people may know how to contact you.

Think about this….How will it impact my friend’s business if @sbcglobal.net goes away with or without warning? Her business card says heremail@sbcglobal.net and she’s given away thousands of them, not to mention all of the marketing materials she’s produced over the years.  What if she decides to relocate to an area where they don’t offer SBC Global as a service?  When I lived in California, I had Comcast as my provider, thankfully I didn’t use my @comcast.net email account like my husband who used it as his primary email address. When we moved to Arizona where Comcast doesn’t offer service, he no longer had access to that account and many people lost contact with him as a result.

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I have a friend who retired from one of the big real estate companies we all know by name after many… many… many years of service.  She had used the corporate email address a good portion of her career and she used it exclusively.   Still very active in real estate, but not as an agent, the company cut her email off because she was no longer an active agent for their company.  It’s reasonable from a corporate standpoint (potential liability and such), but completely unreasonable at the same time from her perspective and there wasn’t anything she could do because it’s their domain, therefore their property.  Her email address is their property.

Protect yourself and your business by owning your own domain. Make sure to read the article “How to avoid domain name disasters”, you’ll be glad you did before you buy that domain.

Always use an email address, fax number and phone number on your real estate marketing materials you own, that you set up personally and personally paid for. He or she with the log in and password is the owner in the eyes of the Internet, so make sure you register for these services yourself.  Treat the purchase of your domain name as you would the purchase of an important piece of property, because that’s exactly what it is when you build a business on it.  We use and recommend NameCheap for purchasing our domains, they have great pricing, great service and it really is hassle free, I’m a fan of hassle free.
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