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6 ways to instantly make your emails look more professional

If you want your email to actually get read, impress the recipient, and convert, here are some quick tips to get ‘er done.

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email productivity zone

Real estate professional are salespeople—not necessarily writers or detail people. As a rule, a real estate agent is highly gifted at putting together a transaction and knows the subtle nuances of dealing with people. That same person is not so focused on the minutiae associated with everyday tasks, such as email. However, as real estate professionals, we spend a pretty significant chunk of the day sending text messages and emails.

Instantly Improve Your Email Messages

There are so many things that need to be attended to in real estate, and many of those details are handled through email. So, it seems like it would be pretty important to make your emails work for you (not against you)… wouldn’t it?

Here are six ways to make your emails instantly look more professional:

  1. Fix your signature line. Your signature line does not need to include every one of the awards you won since you graduated from sixth grade. It only needs to include the information that the recipient needs in order to get in touch with you. (This means that you do not need to repeat your email address in your signature line, since the recipient already knows your email address.) If you are interested in professional and branded signature lines and don’t know how to create one yourself, consider Wisestamp or Email Signature Rescue. And, don’t forget to create a professional signature line across all of your devices.
  2. Get rid of your high school email address. Were you partyguru on AOL or surfbabe at Yahoo? It’s time to get professional folks. Create an email address that speaks to you as a professional—not as a partying babe. Then, edit your email settings on those retired accounts so that any emails from old friends will be forwarded automatically to your new email address.
  3. Consider a custom domain. Perhaps you already own a custom domain, or maybe you are considering purchasing one. Now may be the time. Companies such as Godaddy (and even Google) sell domains cheap. Once you you’re your domain name, you can create an email address associated with that domain.
  4. Turn off auto responders. When turned on, the auto or vacation responder sends an automated email to everyone who sends an email message to your account. For real estate professionals, these seem to be a bad idea. First off, if you are on vacation, you probably do not want to announce it to every prospect, vendor, affiliate, buyer, or seller who sends you an email. Instead, if you are not going to be able to check email for a significant period of time, consider alerting appropriate parties as to how they can get in touch with you in an emergency.
  5. Don’t cc everyone and his mother. If at all possible, stay away from the “reply all” I’ve seen group invites to events that include hundreds of people. Someone responds saying that they cannot go because junior has the flu, and now hundreds of people are hearing that junior has the flu. This is absolutely not necessary, and often very annoying. Only include the necessary recipients when sending a response.
  6. Use applicable subject lines. This will not only be useful to you in the future but it is also useful to the recipient. Say that your broker emails you about your commission check and the subject line is “Commission Check.” In your response, you realize that you want to ask her about a potential land listing. When you hit reply, edit your subject line to say “potential land listing.” Months from the date of the email when you need to search for the response, it will be a lot easier to find if you have altered the subject line. Plus, it only takes about two seconds to do.

Consider doing any or all of these things to not only make your emails more efficient, but also to send a more clean, polished, and professional message to any prospective client that comes your way.

Melissa is an in-demand business success speaker and author, as well as a real estate broker with thousands of short sale transactions under her belt. She leverages her experience as a short sale insider to motivate thousands of business professionals to plan their careers better, execute more effectively on their plan, and earn more because of it.

Real Estate Technology

Your office could benefit from a more open floor plan

(TECHNOLOGY NEWS) Science proves that open floor plans are more conducive to office productivity, but will it work for everyone?

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open office

If you walk into a tech startup, nine times out of ten you’ll find an open seating/bull-pen style seating. Whereas traditional work environments are divided up into departments with individual offices and cubicles, open office floor plans put all employees in the same room. Studies have shown that cubicles don’t increase productivity. As a matter of fact, people are more productive when they are sitting close together, but can see each other.

Pros of openness

Some of the advantages of an open office floor plan are obvious. These kinds of offices are economical because you can fit more people and more desks in less space, and because it is more efficient to heat, cool, and light one large room than several small rooms.

Open office plans also facilitate communication between managers and their employees, and between departments.

Rather than taking the stairs or hiking down the hall to collaborate with another person, you can simply holler across the room.

Cons of openness

Unfortunately, all of that hollering can sometimes be pretty distracting. A University of Sydney study found that half of workers in open offices say that the most frustrating part of their workplace is the “lack of sound privacy.”

Open offices are not only noisy, but are also less secure, since everyone can overhear one another.

Employees may get peeved if they can’t concentrate because of all the noise around them, or can’t make a phone call without being overheard.

Dr. Who inspired solution

A startup called Framery Acoustics offers a solution.

They create soundproof phone booths and meeting pods designed to complement open office floor plans.

One of the founders, who previously worked in an open office, complained that his boss talked too loudly on his cellphone. His boss replied, “Well, get me a phone booth.” Thus, Framery Acoustics was born.

Simple solutions

Framery Acoustics is just one company that offers a product suited to appease open office dissenters. Framery Acoustics isn’t ready to give up on openness and neither should you. So, when it comes time to return to your office (if you haven’t already), look for ways to make your office more flexible. Whether it is by providing a quiet capsule for private meetings and phone calls or just having a designated section for meeting, the solution is out there.

Compromising allows you to reap the benefits of an open office plan, while still ensuring that you and your officemates have privacy and quiet when it is needed.

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Real Estate Technology

3D printed homes are now gaining traction outside of the US and China

(TECHNOLOGY) Other countries are now using 3d printing to build homes to underscore their infrastructure. This shows the viability of the technology!

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3D printing

Recently, we reported that Lennar was using 3D printing to build homes in Austin. In 2014, the BBC reported that China was printing up to 10 homes a day at the low cost of $5000 per home. This trend is making strides in the real estate market, even though there’s still a long way to go. In a move that should give the industry confidence in 3D printing, Indonesia’s Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry announced that they are using concrete 3D printing to build homes in rural areas. Eventually, plans are in the works to construct schools.

Using 3D printing to build an infrastructure

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country. As with most countries, housing expenses are climbing in both urban and rural areas. According to Habitat for Humanity, 11.3% of the population lives below the poverty line. For comparison, in September, the U.S. Census Bureau released information that the U.S poverty rate increased to 11.4%, one percentage point over the same time in 2020. Affordable housing is a problem in Indonesia.

“This technology really helps us, so we can build faster, more accurately, and with precision,’ explains Kusumastuti, Indonesia’s Director General of Human Settlements.” The PUPR reports that 3D printing reduces waste and improves construction quality. Considering that up to 70% of housing is built by individuals, not private developers or the government, using 3D printing under the PUPR Ministry is an upgrade in a country that deals with many types of economic disasters, due to its climate.

3D printing’s potential for real estate

As 3D printing is used in more construction projects, not only in the U.S. and China, it’s hoped that the real estate industry embraces the technology. Indonesia isn’t the only country that is trying out 3D printing. 14Trees constructed a school in Malawi using this method already, with the project taking around 18 hours. The company is undertaking more projects in Africa using this technology and more companies are building houses using 3D printing in the United States. It will be exciting to watch how this plays out in the various markets.

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Real Estate Technology

Why everyone and their mother own spy machines (aka smart speakers)

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) Regardless of privacy issues with them, what does information about smart speakers, ownership, and usage tell us about future trends?

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smart speakers scare me

I don’t trust smart speakers, but even I can (begrudgingly) admit why they might be convenient. With just a simple wake word, I would be able to do anything from inquire about the weather or turn down my own music from across the room. And the thing is, plenty of people have bought into this sort of sales pitch. In fact, the worldwide revenue of smart speakers more than doubled between 2017 and 2018. And it’s projected that by 2022, the total revenue from smart speakers will reach almost $30 billion.

With over 25% of adults in the United States owning at least one smart speaker, it’s worth figuring out how we’re using this new tech…and how it could be used against us.

First things first: Despite the horror stories we hear about voice-command shopping – like when a pet parrot figured out how to make purchases on Alexa – people aren’t really using their smart speakers to buy things. In fact, in the list of top ten uses for a smart speaker, making a purchase is at the bottom.

Before you breathe a sigh of relief, though, it’s worth knowing where advertisements might crop up in more subtle places.

Sure, people aren’t using their smart speakers to make many purchases, but they’re still using the speakers for other things – primarily asking questions and getting updates on things like weather and traffic. And I get it, why scroll through the internet looking for an answer that Alexa might be able to pull up for you instantly?

That said, it also provides marketers with a great opportunity to advertise to you in a way that feels conversational. Imagine asking about a wait time for a popular restaurant. If the wait is too long, it creates the perfect opportunity for Alexa to suggest UberEats as an alternative (promotion paid for by UberEats, of course).

Don’t get me wrong, this is already happening when you search Google on your phone or computer. Search for a tire company, for instance, and the competitors are sure to appear in your results. But as more and more consumers start turning their attention to smart speakers, it’s worth being aware that they won’t be the only ones.

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