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Is Your E-Mail Address in Your E-Mail Signature? Stop It

By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine

RMag_At_MidYear1Nobu Hata, sales associate with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, has a message for everyone who has their e-mail address in their e-mail signature: You’re not giving anyone added value.

Your correspondents are already going to know your e-mail address – either they contacted you or you contacted them. Try switching it out with something they can use, said Hata during the Joint Marketing & Member Information Services Forum at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo today in Washington, D.C. Link to your Web site, blog, and social networks, or, as Hata does, link to local market statistics your potential clients could use to educate themselves.

“Consumers like people who point them to good stuff,” said panelist Bill Lublin, CEO of Social Media Marketing Institute and Century 21 Advantage Gold in Philadelphia.

Hata takes advantage of The 200+, the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®’ local real estate resource for market stats, to blog, tweet, and share info any way he can with his friends and followers. “What we have to do as REALTORS® is communicate the information so that your analysis of that data comes out,” said Hata. “Your clients need to know your opinions about this stuff. Do you agree or disagree with these statistics, and what do you think they mean for your clients? Let them know that.”

Moderator Adorna Carroll, broker-owner and vice president of Realty3 Carroll & Agostini, pointed out that even when the data isn’t in your clients’ favor, “You have to say it like it is — otherwise you’ll lose credibility. You can be positive and proactive even with negative information.”

A great place to start communicating your market analysis is on your blog. Don’t let your site sit static. Content drives visitors, improves SEO, and generates more online interactions.

Don’t think you have time to blog? There are resources all around that will help you create quick yet insightful content.

All real estate practitioners write a comparative market analysis (CMA) for their clients – try repurposing some of that information for your blog post, said Hata. How about everyday questions you answer for clients – you know those long e-mails you type out? Copy and paste that info into a blog post, Lublin suggested (removing any personal client info, of course).

Carroll is on REALTOR.org everyday pulling resources that she can communicate back to clients, such as toolkits and customer handouts.

“It’s my job as a REALTOR® to give my consumers information they can’t Google,” said Hata. “In my market, I have to be that way.”

HouseLogic’s REALTOR® Content Resource has the main purpose of providing content that members can reuse, share, post, or add to e-newsletters. It’s always being updated with articles on topics buyers and sellers care about. Plus, your dues pay for it, so why not take advantage of it, said Hata.

Other technological gems from panelists to try for your business:

Follr.me or About.me: Online social business card sites where you can point people to your Facebook, Twitter, Web site, blog, etc.

Hootsuite: Desktop application that allows you to manage all your social media channels.

Goo.gl: Google’s free QR code maker.

CardMunch: App that lets you take pictures of business cards and organize them in your phone.

Crowdbooster: Analyzes your Twitter feed and tells you when it’s the best time to tweet.

Photosynth: A app that merges photos to create a single 360-panorama — Hata said he’ll tweet 360-degree photos or videos right before the open house, which he’s had great response from.

Dropbox: Crazy-easy way to share files – images, video files, documents, anything!

Camscanner: Free app that takes multiple pictures of any document, creates pdf files, and asks where you want to e-mail them.

Quixey.com: A new app search engine that asks you what you want to do and pulls up apps that will do it in various mobile platforms (still in beta).

MailChimp: Hook your blog RSS feed to MailChimp, and it will format your posts to use in your e-newsletters. Free up to 200 e-mail contacts.

Erica Christoffer

Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing writer and editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at echristoffer@realtors.org.

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Comments
  1. Bad advice, imo. Always include your email address in your signature. Business best practice:

    Name
    Email
    Phone
    Company Name
    Company Address
    Office Phone
    Office Fax
    Website 1
    Website 2
    Website 3

    Use the same font throughout. Do not use different colors.

    Also – MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 email contacts, not 200.

  2. I agree with Dave…it’s important to have all your contact info in one spot that’s easy to copy and paste to their attorney, lender or better yet – referral!

  3. This was one of the best sessions at the NAR Midyear meeting. It was both informational and interactive. Great ideas were shared by panelists and attendees.

  4. Put down everything! I have people send me emails all the time & then when I have to actually call them in an emergency I can’t find their number. That’s a basic part of business now. Just like your business card should have your email & website on it. Repeat everything in a concise way.

    Loose the stupid HTML moving signature IMHO.

  5. Jamie Reece

    I agree that is is bad advice as well.

    I get plenty of forwarded emails everyday, where the email of the originating author may not be included in the header. The only way to find the author’s email is to look at their signature.

    I certainly hope my clients are forwarding my emails, and when they do I want to make sure that contacting me is easy. Including an email address is just part of doing that…

  6. Gloria Strohm

    Nobu is very short sighted to think that email is only between the two people corresponding. Email has a much longer life. People do this snazzy thing called forwarding! When I’ve sent along an informative email, my clients have this uncanny ability and desire to forward it on to their friends and family. Having my email address in the signature allows folks not to have to hunt for it in the forwarding address line. I have, in fact, received emails from referrals this way. Imagine that.

    Mr. Hata argues we should instead provide something they can use. Curious, I researched Mr. Hata. I wanted to know the man behind this advice. On his “About Me” page the first line says he’s a “tattooed instructor.” How, exactly, does that add value for clients? He doesn’t say if the tattoos are of the current interest rate or of his available listings. A list of his negotiating triumphs would be a good idea if he’s taking suggestions.

    He doesn’t say what he is an instructor of. Then again, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he did say in the same “About Me,” page that he is a former Alaskan Golfer with occasional hints of brilliance. Can someone please explain, what exactly is the difference between an Alaskan Golfer and a Minneapolis Golfer?!!

    Take a note from Bill Lublin’s quote, “Consumers like people who point them to good stuff.” … like email addresses… so they can contact you…

  7. I agree, it is very important to have your email address in your signature. Especially when you love referrals. Often my clients forward my email and delete the page break that would show my email address.

    If I weren’t to include it in my email signature, those potential future clients would have to hunt my email address down rather than just clicking on it.

    Todd

  8. This CONTRADICTS what the e-Pro course teaches us!

  9. Rosa Terrazas

    Hi, I agree that you should give out your email address. I want to throw something out there that can be exciting, new and produce results!!!

    In an effort to get your seller’s home sold would you consider doing a “Buy this house for $350 promotion! You would sell chances or raffle tickets each for $350. Sales could reach $175,000 cash on sales of 500 tickets! Would this be legal?

    Realtor “Thinking out of the Box”

  10. I see where most of the other commenters are coming from but I think folks are missing the writer’s point. He’s basically saying to replace the email address with something more valuable like a website or a blog where the consumer can get other useful information including your email address. Why clutter up your email signature with your email address?

  11. I also think it is very important to keep your e-mail address in your signture as the signature is often used to pull the person’s contact data into a contacts data base making a V Card etc. So the e-mail address should be right there with the rest of the contact information in my opinion.
    I don’t believe that takes away from your ability to still give something of value as well. I liked the apps that are listed in the article.

  12. I am so glad I wasn’t the only one who felt like the email needs to be part of the signature.

  13. I agree this is bad advise. Like Todd, my emails are forwarded many times which can make it cumbersome to locate for some recipients. Why would you even suggest that? Are you out of room? You can put informational content AND your contact info! This is basic stuff! Sorry Nobu.

  14. I agree that the email should be included. After a forward the email will not show up.

  15. Including basic contact info is good. However, some agents go overboard with self-promoting advertising in EVERY message. When writing a frequent correspondent (such as your Broker-in-Charge), drop the billboard–for two reasons. It makes a message thread difficult to read or print because of its length, and if your billboard includes an image, the message will appear to have an attachment when viewed in the inbox summary. (When reviewing old messages to find the one which had a document attached, this will drive your correspondents NUTS!)
    One other tip: You appear MUCH MORE PROFESSIONAL if your subject line reflects the content of the message. Don’t hit “REPLY” to a previous message without reviewing whether the old subject line still is relevant. I frequently receive E-Mail containing important information, with an out-dated subject line.

  16. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t have an email address and helpful information in the signature line of your email. I personally include a link to the required Information About Brokerage Services.

  17. I try not to include my email address in my online advertising on certain websites due to spam, but I definately think it is a benefit to have it on the emails that I send. It’s so true about how your email can get lost as soon as its forwarded from one person to the next.

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