Open up any email inbox and you might get a fright. More and more people are getting inundated, and buried, by email. Real estate agents are no different, and some may argue get the worst of it. How do you sort through the listings, the alerts, the social media updates, newsletters, spam and actual client questions? Here’s how to take back your email today, and never miss another email.
The first step is a little bit shocking and may need someone to hold your hand. Create a folder called “Archive September 2013″ in whatever email program you’re currently using. Select all the email that’s currently in your Inbox and move it to that Archive folder. Now, take a deep breath.
The next step in taking back your email is to create new folders. (The new GMail has already set up some tabs like this, which separates what it perceives as email from Social Media ["Social"] and Promotional email ["Promotions"] automatically. Choose folder names that are easy to remember. In real estate, I suggest that there should be at least a Buyers folder, a Sellers folder, a Past Clients folder, and a Business Expenses folder. Under the Buyers folder, you can create subfolders using each buyer’s name; under the Sellers folder, you can create subfolders using each listing address.
Finally, there’s the dreaded SPAM. Although people are supposed to follow the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, many people, and especially real estate agents, can get emails that they never signed up for. How to stop the deluge? One of the easiest ways is to create a Filter. Email filters tell an email program how to treat each incoming email message.
One of the quickest filters to create to help cut down spam is to create a filter for any email that contains the word “unsubscribe.” Why? Very rarely, if ever, do clients send emails to agents with the word unsubscribe. The emails most likely to contain “unsubscribe” are newsletters and other emails that are trying to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. You do not have to tell the filter to delete all those emails, in case you are afraid you might miss something important. Instead, create a folder for all Unsubscribes and have the filter bypass your inbox and move all emails with “unsubscribe” in them directly to that folder. You can also set filters for specific senders that need to bypass your inbox!
And that, basically, is how to take back your email. Not so tough, is it? The hardest part is training your brain as you train your email – learning to automatically delete, sort and file. Inbox zero may be a dream, but inbox 10 isn’t so far out of reach. Afraid you may not be able to keep it up? Perhaps you should check out a program like Sanebox or Mailstrom.
Got any questions about how to take back your email? Please email me at: email@example.com.