When email took over from fax, not many complaints were heard. 20 years on from its inception, email has maintained its market presence as an efficient means of business conversation.
It has, however, begun to hold some professionals back in their day-to-day duties. Communication is a key part of any real estate agent’s job, but are emails holding you back from speaking with your clients? Follow these simple steps to cut down on the time you spend actioning emails.
1. Set an email time each day – and live by it
In the age of the smartphone, it’s far too easy to fall into the trap of spending all day, every day checking your emails. Without realising it, this might be impacting the level of service you provide to other clients.
Set up a time each day for contacting people and responding to emails in your inbox and stick to it. By doing this, you’ll save yourself from getting distracted by the endless stream of communications you’re no doubt receiving.
2. Create a system for responding to emails
When you’re wading through your inbox, try starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top. Whilst doing this, identify any queries or tasks that you can handle on the spot and action them. Any emails that require more work are best circled back to later on.
To make sure you don’t lose track of emails you’ve read, mark them as unread and categorise them with colour-coding. This way, when you circle-back, you’ll immediately know what type of task needs completing.
3. Refine your email subscriptions
Although not all newsletter emails are spam, it’s worth unsubscribing from the ones that you never read.
By spending half an hour of your time doing this, you’ll see a noticeable drop in the amount of emails hitting your inbox.
Another way to cut down is by reducing the amount of office emails that you receive. Speak with members of your management team to discuss setting up a social media feed for any work-related matters. Not only will it declutter your inbox, it’ll also help to build your internal culture and communication.
4. Turn off social media notifications
Although nice to know at the start, social media notifications start to become frustrating fairly quickly. When you’re constantly connected to your networks via smartphones anyway, is it really necessary to get an email every time you gain a new Twitter follower?
There’s no doubt that social media plays an important role in any real estate agency’s business, but constant email notifications aren’t always necessary. Turn these off in your social media networks’ settings to reduce your inbox load.
5. Cut back on words
No matter how much what you have to say matters, the people on the other end of your email are just as busy as you. Considering that they’re likely to skim-read your email for key information, cut back on the content and summarise the key points.
Make your point clear in the subject line so your recipient knows what you’re after immediately. Not only will this help you to save time sending emails, it’ll likely also speed up the response time you get.
6) Have a good old-fashioned meeting
When everyone in your agency has such mixed priorities, it can take days to get an adequate response.
Instead of sending endless reminder emails and forwarding previous chains over and over, try setting up a meeting. Although emails can work sometimes, there’s nothing better than getting everyone in a room face-to-face.