As a real estate technology trainer and coach, I have the privilege of receiving a lot of e-mail from other real estate colleagues. One item I always take time to read is the “e-mail signatures.” It astonishes me the number of real estate agents who have either no e-mail signature or a poorly crafted one at that. Think about this: Each and every time you send a piece of correspondence out via e-mail (not to mention other letters, flyers, postcards, etc.) you are in essence sending out a resume about your product to other potential customers, clients and folks who could refer business to you. Each and every piece of correspondence you generate is a “marketing piece” about you and your business! E-mail is no exception.
In this article, I want to share with you what I feel are the five biggest mistakes I witness real estate agents make with their e-mail signatures.
First, be brief! E-mail is designed to be a quick and easy method of communication, and lengthy e-mails are discouraged by most e-mail experts. That being said, the same is true about your e-mail signature. Don’t list each and every accomplishment you have achieved over the last twenty years, or try to name every committee assignment or group you have chaired or co-chaired since the inception of your real estate career. Some may snicker, but recently I received an e-mail from a lady in one of my classes who had an e-mail signature that was a full page in length. It was great to see all of her accomplishments, but it made the e-mail look cluttered. In fact, I was almost worried that I had a five minute read ahead of me. Again, e-mail is designed to be brief, and your e-mail signature should be appealing and reflect a positive image. Three to four lines with important information. We will discuss later in this article is enough.
Second, have some kind of e-mail signature: As to the flip side of lengthy e-mail signatures, the opposite is true for many more real estate agents who write me regularly. Have something listed as an e-mail signature! In a recent online GRI class I teach in Missouri, at least half of the class who initially responded to my first e-mail request had no signature at all. Their e-mails basically read, “Thanks, …. Tim. To make matters worse, Tim, (name concealed to protect the innocent) had some type of strange e-mail address, such as tim043221@AOL.com. What? Needless to say my first order of business during this GRI course was to help the students learn the importance of a good e-mail signature as well as having a branded e-mail address.
Third, No hyper-links: One of the great features of utilizing an effective e-mail signature is to understand and learning to use a hyper-link. In our first mistake, using too much information, or in my example of a student who listed every committee she had served for her local and state REALTOR® Associations, she could have set up a separate page on her Web site with her list of qualifications and accomplishments, and then simply added a “hyper-link” from her e-mail signature to this Web page. This actually serves two-fold for the agent and the e-mail signature. First, it cleans up your signature so that it becomes brief, non-cluttered, and more eye appealing. Second, with the right caption, i.e. – “Check Out John’s Real Estate Resume,” you can help drive traffic to your Web site. In fact, if you have the ability to update and change your Web site, have a featured home box with a photo and copy of one of your listings on this page. If you’re using your e-mail signature to drive consumers to your resume page, then use your resume page to showcase properties you have for-sale. Other examples to use hyper-links for would include links to videos, photo galleries of properties you have for-sale, LinkedIn profile, Facebook Business page or some type of landing page that has a call to action, such as signing up for your mailing list, free report, etc. Hyper-Linking can pay big dividends through your e-mail signature if crafted correctly.
Fourth, Failing to promote your brand or logo: The Fourth biggest mistake real estate agents make is neglecting to promote their company brand or logo with their e-mail signature. A good e-mail signature should utilize the company branding when at all possible. Unfortunately, many real estate brokers and managers let this one issue slide, and in doing so, lose out on thousands of eye-balls seeing a consistent and positive message about their brand, logo and company. I’m a firm believer that if at all possible, real estate brokerages should try to develop an e-mail signature that will be consistent and help promote the company’s identity. Many real estate offices have figured this out and are doing an excellent job in using their agent’s company e-mails to promote and increase Web traffic to their company web site with a uniform and consistent e-mail signature requirement. Remember, there is power in synergy, and when everyone in the firm is on the same page and promoting the logo and brand in the same fashion, positive results will occur.
Fifth, Only Having one signature: Finally, many real estate agents only rely on “one” e-mail signature to use with their real estate business. In most e-mail client software programs such as Microsoft’s Outlook, you can have multiple e-mail signatures to use. You might consider having one standard e-mail signature, but another that is tailored for buyers. Yet another e-mail signature could be focused for out of town referrals, while still another signature with a link to a particular price reduction on a good buy is used when communicating to other real estate agents in your area. You can get as creative as you like with multiple e-mail signatures, and to change a signature within your e-mail program is usually just a couple of clicks away. If you would like to have more than one e-mail signature, think about the types of e-mails you handle daily, and which tasks you repeat regularly. Take those common tasks and or ideas and develop e-mail signatures that could be used to help you save time and or promote your services to that market niche.
So the next time you get ready to send and e-mail, as yourself how your e-mail signature looks. If it needs changed, now is the time to do so! For more great ideas on technology and how to save more time, be profitable and have fun, attend my session at the upcoming Convention.
John D. Mayfield – ABR, e-Pro, CRB, GRI Best Selling Author | Broker | International Speaker