As a REALTOR®, you need your email to be a useful tool to propel the business – not a productivity killer.
For many businesses and entrepreneurs Gmail is both a gift and a curse. It is such a powerful communication tool, but also quite messy and time-consuming if not used well.
The solution then is to understand how to use Gmail the right way. It’s surprising how many of us don’t fully utilize the potential of modern email platforms and other tools which can make the whole email experience seamless.
Let’s see how we can effectively communicate with clients using Gmail the right way…
1. Make Communication Easy – Keep Your Inbox Organized
The most fundamental task of a real estate agent is to seek out new clients and keep in constant touch with the old clients; this leads to having to deal with several emails everyday – outreach, follow-up, etc…
Given the heavy influx of emails we receive every day, it becomes highly necessary to keep your inbox organized. That way you won’t forget to reply a client’s email, and you won’t give a delayed response because you didn’t happen to notice theirs in your long list of daily emails.
Gmail Labels are one great feature which help you keep your inbox sorted. Every time you get an email from a client, add a label with that client’s name. All the emails from this particular client will be nested together under that label, just like a folder!
Using Gmail Labels you can easily keep track of the latest mails from each client with a visual tag, and can prioritize the response. Additionally, labels make it easy for you to refer back to these emails sometime in the future.
2. Utilize Routing to Direct Emails to The Correct Teammate
Email routing is another great feature on Gmail that can help you respond better to clients. Email routing allows you to direct emails to another address the moment you receive them.
It’s an automated process – all you have to do is type in the other email address and select the type of mails you want automatically directed to them. These messages are still delivered to you, but a copy of it is also sent to the other address.
For example, if a managing broker receives a request regarding a certain geographic area, they can set email routing so that all emails and requests regarding that area are automatically re-routed to the agent in-charge of that location.
Benefits of email routing:
- You can stay in the loop if you ever want to check in,
- You can store all the routed emails in one place using filters and labels to keep your inbox organized.
- You don’t have to go through every email and manually forward them to other teammates.
3. Use Templates to Maintain Consistency in Your Responses
Imagine how unprofessional it would look if your email has no structure or format, and worse yet, it keeps varying from one response to another. This may not seem like a big deal but it can communicate a lack of consistency and professionalism to the reader.
You can either use Gmail’s very own ‘Canned Templates’ feature or set up an extension that allows you to save and use email templates.
Templates are an excellent email management tip too – if you have a set template to follow every time you respond, all you have to do is add a couple of lines to the email and the rest is already done. This can save you many precious hours over the course of a year.
Also, make sure to share email templates with your real estate team, so that no matter who responds to the client’s email, the format and structure will stay consistent.
4. Consciously Minimize the To’s, Fro’s & Length of The Thread
One of the biggest challenges of email is the long bulky email threads it ends up generating due to a lot of to’s and fro’s. This makes it hard to refer back to an important email or to keep track of the conversation and will end up overloading your inbox.
It could result in a lot of time and information loss. Here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- If an email conversation goes on for more than 5 emails it may be better to pick up the phone and resolve it.
- Use tools that have an interactive interface. For example, Hiver’s Shared Notes feature allows you to leave notes on an email – kind of like sticky notes! These notes are visible to everyone with whom you have shared it. This way every time you have a new update you don’t have to send out an email – you can just leave a note.
- Be smart about drafting an email. Double check to see if you have included all the important information required, questions you want to ask, documents you want to send etc., prior to clicking send. Many a time we forget to include something in the email and end up having to send another one.
5. Use Additional Tools That Integrate Well With Your Gmail
Find tools and extensions, that will work in tandem with your Gmail, improve your mailing experience and enhance the email platform.
For example, you can use an extension like Grammarly, to make sure that your emails are well-written and grammatically correct. The tool operates right out of your inbox, pointing out mistakes with a red underline.
You can also use tools that alert you to only specific emails (ie. from a top priority client) and not any others; this way, you can promptly respond to important prospects and customers without any delay.
Given that for a real estate agent, there is no better way to be prepared than by thoroughly knowing your client. Therefore you should use tools such as Rapportive to obtain some details about potential and current clients as you respond. This tool can be very helpful as it will help you respond with a touch of personalization.
Overall, I will say that smart use of Gmail, complemented with the right tools can help you manage email quite efficiently and communicate better with your clients and prospects – an absolute requirement to run a successful real estate business in the modern digital age.
More often than not, it’s the simple email management tricks like using labels, filters etc. that can help you boost your performance and productivity many-fold. Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of using the right tech tools that integrate with your Gmail. They will help you get through the day faster and interact better with the clients!
This has been a Dojo guest post written by Niran Ranjan Rout, Co-Founder and CEO of HiverHQ.com.
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