The world of communication has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell first invented the telephone. I’m sure it would blow his mind if he could see all the uses we’ve come up with for telephones in the last few decades let alone the rise of internet and wireless based communication!
Email, the number one way that people communicate using the internet, has become an important means of correspondence partly because it’s quick, easy and informal. As reported in the 2008 Use of Technology Survey from CAR, over 90% of California Realtors® use email today so it’s also fairly universal.
Here are ten tips for effective email communication:
- Write a meaningful subject line. Recipients decide whether to open and read emails based on the subject line so it needs to be clear and meaningful.
- Keep the message focused and readable. Try to stay with one subject. Use numbered or bulleted points to make each element of your message clear.
- Avoid sending large attachments if possible. If you’re sending pictures of properties try reducing the size of these files using image processing software.
- Identify yourself clearly. When contacting someone for the first time be sure to mention your name, occupation, and any other identification information early in the email. If you are following up on a face-to-face contact, drop a casual hint that will help them remember you.
- Be kind — don’t send angry emails. Go ahead and get your anger out in writing but never hit “send” when you’re angry! Take a break, cool off, re-focus and try again.
- Proofread. Mistrakes make pour impreshions!!
- Don’t assume privacy. Emails are commonly shared and forwarded.
- Distinguish between formal and informal situations. Feel free to use smiley faces 🙂 or other emoticons with your friends but keep business formal.
- Respond Promptly. Be courteous, professional and available via email. Even if you’re too busy to respond fully to an email, at least send a note acknowledging that you will reply shortly.
- Send to the Right Contact. We’ve all made the mistake of sending emails to the wrong contact (that’s what I like to think anyway). Especially when using Microsoft Outlook you need to make sure that the name entered in the “To” field is the name of the person you intend to send the email to. Outlook is notorious for “auto-filling” fields based on the entry of only a character or two.
Got some email tips you’d like to share? How about an embarrasing story or positive email experience? Feel free to post a comment and share it with the group!
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About David Goldstein — David Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.