Real Estate Automation, Consultation, & Training

E-Mail Management



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E-mail Management

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Typically, when I ask an agent if they have e-mail, any more, they proudly say yes.  When I ask them if they have a permanent e-mail address, or a domain name, or do they use file folders in e-mail, a signature file, etc., I get a blank stare!

Folks - having e-mail just to be able to reply to someone if they send one to you, is little better than having a phone.  The power and potential time & money savings effects of e-mail are mind boggling! 

One of the services I can perform for you is to sit down with you, at your computer, in your home or ffice, and in about 2 hours, set up everything on this page for you.

Let's look at some of the possibilities:

Signature File:   Don't confuse this with signing your name.  A signature file is a way to automatically insert a miniature advertisement containing your name, address, phone numbers, fax number, e-mail address, web site address, and areas of expertise, at the end of the text in your e-mail. Following is mine:

Gary D. Hall
Real Estate Automation, Consultation, & Training
  • Polley Associates Staff Instructor for Technology
  • Regional Technology Trainer for RE/MAX of Southeastern PA & DE for 2 years
  • Realtor since 1987
Training and consulting in your office or in your home. Basic and Advanced Windows 98, or 95, File Manipulation, MS Word, MS Publisher, MS Power Point, Call Trax/All Trax, Know the Neighborhood, RE/MAX Roster Explorer, Quicken, Quickbooks, Realty Tools, Photoshare, Importing & Exporting Photos, Mail Merges from Metroscan or MLS, Expert Consultation on Online Agent/ Agent 2000/ Century 21 Power Pack/Executive Agent, SOAR MLS, AOL, Compuserve, Internet Explorer, Basic & Intermediate Internet Classes, E-mail Management, Outlook, Outlook Express, Website Consultation, Improvements for Your Web Site, Including Genstar/Homeseekers & i-Lead Websites…
If you don’t see it listed above – just ask!
Voice: 215.813.2495
Fax 617.507.0502

Note the use of "http://" in front of my web site address, and "mailto: " in front of my e-mail address.  These little additions enable people to link directly to your site, and create an automatic post of your e-mail address to their e-mail software.  As an agent, you would probably want to keep yours to 6 or 7 lines.  You can create as many different signature files as you like.

To create a signature file in Outlook:

From the main menu - click on "Tools", "Options", "Mail Format", "Signature Picker", "New", then enter the name for your signature, and follow the directions.

To create a signature file in Outlook Express:

From the main menu - click on "Tools", "Options", "Signatures", "New", and create your signature.

In addition to the above kind of information, as a licensed real estate agent, you should be including a privacy notice disclosure at the end of each business related e-mail, just like many people are doing now with their fax cover sheets.  Following is one you are welcome to use, keeping in mind that it was written by an anonymous attorney, I am NOT an attorney, and that it is NOT intended to be all-inclusive regarding your specific legal needs:

NOTICE: Please be advised that this E-mail may contain confidential and privileged information intended only for the use of the person(s) named above. Any unauthorized use of this E-mail or attached documents is strictly prohibited. Further, this NOTICE serves as a disclaimer of any liability on the part of the sender in failing to keep this information confidential. If you have received this E-mail in error, please contact Finally, the above signature is not an electronic signature but is provided only to identify the source of the above information. Nothing in this E-mail shall be construed as legal advice or as establishing an agency relationship with any recipient.

vCard:  A vCard is a "Virtual Business Card" attachment that can be used with Outlook or Outlook Express.  Filling out your name, address, contact information and any other information you wish, in your own address book is the first step.  The end result is that when you send an e-mail to someone, and you include the vCard attachment, the recipient has the option of double clicking on the v-card.  Doing so will give them the option of storing your address book information directly, and automatically into their address book. Including a signature file is fine, but temporary, while attaching a vCard permanently stores your information in their address book.  To set up your vCard in Outlook:

1)  Complete a card in your address book, with all your information in it. 
2)  Go to the top of your main menu in Outlook and - Click on "Tools", "Options", ""Signature Picker", "New", Enter a name for your signature file, Click on " Next", go down to "vCard Options", Click on the down arrow, and pick your name.  From now on, whenever you use the signature file, it will add a vCard to your e-mail.

Folders:  When you receive a letter in the "snail mail" regarding one of your listings, you file it in your listing folder right!   When you receive an e-mail regarding one of your listings, it can be filed in an e-mail folder created specifically for that listing.  That listing folder would be in a folder called "Active Listings"!  Your e-mails can be organized in file folders, just like your paper files can.  Most people, after reading an e-mail, delete it, or are you one of the people that has 443 e-mails in their "In" box?.  Many of those e-mails could be "filed" for later reference.  Later on, rather than trying to remember, "Where the heck did I file that", you can use a simple "Find" function, to find that particular e-mail, based on who sent it to you, what the subject was, what text was in the message, or a myriad of other ways.

Filtering: Also, to avoid clutter in your in-box, if you so choose, e-mails fitting your description can be automatically "filtered", meaning filed, directly into the folder that you have designated.  For instance; I receive a great many newsletters.  Using filtering, they automatically get filed in their appropriate folder.  That way, when you look in your inbox, you don't have to sift through all the newsletters and junk mail to see your important messages, such as correspondence from active buyers, sellers, and co-op agents.  Here is one everyone likes.  Using filtering, you can also direct that junk mail, or that 50th joke from Aunt Margaret in as many hours, directly to the trash bin!  That's right - automatic deletion of junk mail!

Attaching files:  Attaching files to e-mails is incredibly easy.  What people typically have a hard time doing is FINDING the file they want to attach!  A lesson on Windows Exploring will make attaching files very easy to understand, and accomplish.  A side benefit of this understanding is knowing where those files you download go, where to put them, why, and how to find them.

Blind Carbon Copy(BCC):  Have you ever received an e-mail and had to scroll through 27 pages of e-mail addresses before you actually got to the message?  No fun right!  If you want to mail to a group of people, and you don't want to make that same mistake, you need to use BCC.  That way the people receiving the message will not see any of the other e-mail addresses.  Besides being a nuisance to the receiver, you're also giving them your e-mail list - not a good idea.  

Address Book:  Another thing you want to make sure you take advantage of, is the address book in your e-mail software.  You'll have all your addresses handy, and you can create groups in it as well.  Are you snail mailing your sphere of influence regularly?  If you're not, you should be.  But why spend the money on paper, envelopes, and postage, and the time stuffing envelopes, when you could be mailing some of those people the same thing, but in e-mail!

Miscellaneous tips:  

1)  Have you ever hit "send" and then regretted it?  There is an option to have that message you created go to your "Outbox" first.  That way, you can wait until you're done all your e-mail, or just until later, and then just hit your send and receive button.  That way, if you forgot to say something, or you were just a little testy in your response to someone, it's sitting there in your outbox waiting for revisions.
2)  Another whole conversation is knowing whether or not to send a message in plain text versus HTML.  That colorful signature file I posted earlier is very nice, unless someone has e-mail that is not capable of viewing it as you keyed it.  Generally speaking, if you are sending a group e-mail, you want to send it in plain text, so everyone can read it as it was meant to appear.
3)  DO NOT send large files to someone unless you have forewarned them.  Large attachments, groups of photos, or photos in formats such as ".bmp/Bitmap" images, can take a long time to download.  The recipient may not be very happy if they are forced to wait for an unusually long time to receive an e-mail from you.

As you can see, there are a great many ways to get so much more out of e-mail. Computers don't do you much good, if all you get out of them is frustration. When I meet with you for an e-mail session, when I leave, you're done. All the above will have been accomplished. The problem could be, would you remember how to use these new tools? Not to worry. I'll leave you with colorful, detailed, easy to use, "E-mail Cheat Sheets", that I've created for just this purpose! And once you are a client, I'm only a phone call away!