It’s typically the little things that greatly impress or completely annoy. Here’s a few of my pet peeves around auto replies – tell me yours in the reactions.
p.s. The first was the inspiration for this post.
Referring to yourself in the third person
The email comes from you … why does it say “Mary Smith is out of the office until Sep 15. She will reply upon her return”. Was it set up by her admin, is she royalty … or do the voices in Mary’s head tell her to refer to herself in the third person? That’s more of a personal pet peeve, but I think it sets a pretentious tone.
Turn it off when you return
Add a note to your calendar if it helps you to remember, but turn it off the day you state you will be back. There’s nothing worse than getting an email on September 10 stating “I will be out of the office returning August 5”. August 5 … 2010?
Send one auto reply per sender
Don’t change the setting that ensures each person emailing during your absence receives only one auto reply. Unless everyone you deal with is obtuse, one auto reply is sufficient. And, don’t set it up so every person CC’d or BCC’d get’s an auto reply. It’s very annoying trying to determine why you just received an auto reply to someone you have not emailed!
“I’m too busy for you”
If you only read and reply to your email three times a day at regularly scheduled intervals and that works for you, that’s cool. But don’t tell me about it. “I only check my email at 11, 1 and 3” makes you sound pretentious (nobody is so important that I stop what I’m doing to read an email) or poorly organized (I have to stay on a schedule or I can’t get anything done). Plus, if I’m your client, or a potential client it makes me think you’re not going to be available to me.
No details necessary
Be courteous and keep it short. “I’m out of the office until September 22nd and will reply upon my return” is sufficient. I don’t need to know (or really care) that you are at your nephew’s wedding in Hawaii. (Actually, if you tell me you’re in Hawaii there’s a little piece of me that would be jealous.)
I need someone now!
If my correspondence is urgent, who can I contact? Tell me. But, don’t make me work for it “if it’s urgent, call Susan”… Susan who! What’s her email address and phone number? Include all contact info in the auto reply email.
Also, don’t give me 32 if/then contact choices based on the reason for my email.
Please don’t set up an auto reply for every email you receive thanking me for my email and telling me you will reply soon. I assumed as much. You’ve just wasted my time.
What peeves you?
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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