I did a rough study on real estate agents in Colorado Springs to see how many of them have what I call, “Non-Branded” email addresses. Around 60% of them have these type of email addresses. These email addresses are like the following.
(I'll use my name as an example):
(or even perhaps)
Do you have an email address that resembles any of these? I consider the “branded” section primarily the part after the @ symbol. Notice the common theme above… None of these email addresses have my business' brand on them; they have Yahoo's or Comcast's or the brokerage you hang your real estate license under's brand. So, here are 3.5 reasons why having a branded email address to your own business may be a good idea.
① People will see you as having a more legitimate business with a branded email.
More and more people are looking for legitimate real estate agents. They want experts, they want people who have some longevity in the business, they want agents who provide a real value to them. We've all heard the statement, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” Well, help that first impression out by having an email address that is branded to your business. For example, with people in my generation (who happen to be in the demographic of the median age of a homebuyer), when we see a gmail, yahoo, comcast, etc type email address, we don't think legitimate. It makes us think that this real estate agent is out of date and not relevant. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean you and your business are actually out of date or are not relevant, it's just that your marketing is telling us that.
② You will have full control over your email address no matter what happens to your business in the future.
I have a few points on this one.
❶ So, you're at XYZ Brokerage and they are the most awesome brokerage in the world. They set you up with YourName@XYZBrokerage.com for an email address. You use it as your primary business email address and plaster it all over your marketing materials. You were so appreciative of them setting it up for you, but then something happens. 3 years later, XYZ brokerage isn't a good fit for you anymore and you want to move to ABC brokerage. Guess who has control over that YourName@XYZBrokerage.com email address? Yes…you guessed it. Your old brokerage does and not you! Remember that this is your business so make sure it is your email address.
❷ You have an email address tied to your internet service provider (i.e. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, tucker@pcis
ys.net). You do the same thing as before and use it as your primary business email address and plaster it all over your marketing materials. What happens if you want to switch to a different internet service provider, they go out of business or they merge with another company? You could very well lose your primary business email address. If anyone tries to to email you at that address, you won't get it.
❸ If you're looking to retire in the next 5 or so years, how does not having a brand affect your ability to be able to sell your business. If you wanted to sell your real estate business to me and I saw yahoo for a primary email address, I would think twice about buying it.
③ With every email you send out, you let people know where to find more of your valuable and relevant content.
Most of us have websites and, generally speaking, the purpose of having them is to get people to go there. When you see my email address, email@example.com, you are also seeing my domain name, TuckerWannamaker.com. At this point, if someone goes to TuckerWannamaker.com, it automatically forwards to SpringsRealEstateNetwork.com, which is my main website. I can change that at any time by applying a website to TuckerWannamaker.com or I can forward it to any other website out there. So, the idea here is that with every email I send out, every time someone sees my email address on a flyer or business card, they see how to get to my website.
③.❺ It is completely free to have your own branded email address.
Yes I said free… If you own a domain name, even if there is no website attached to the domain, you can have a branded email address for free. Also, getting a branded email address can be a “gateway” for you to become more efficient with your business through some great services available to you on the internet. My favorite way to do this is through Google Apps. If you'd like to learn more about Google Apps and the other services I just referred to, then come to my next Cloud Computing for REALTORS® class series with PPAR or contact me if you would like to learn how you can bring these and other technology classes to you and to your brokerage.
Having a branded email address is not going to make or break you as a real estate agent in Colorado Springs, but it does help in the fight to have a stronger brand and better marketing. With a younger and more tech savvy audience of potential prospects out there, this will give you at least one checkmark in the legitimacy box and may just prompt these prospects to learn more about you by checking out the website you just indirectly showed them through your new email address!
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