It's a real shame that most real estate agents and brokers spend marketing money for web sites, only to drive away their future commissions by poor real estate email practices. We actually encourage third party lead aggregators to sell us back our own leads by allowing them to more quickly serve the internet prospect's inquiries than we do.
Learn what you should NOT be doing as far as email practices and you'll reap commission rewards down the road.
1. Don't Use the Generic "I'm Too Busy" AutoresponderWe've all gotten them. The email that pops into our inbox right after we've sent one. It says something like: "Thanks for your email. It's very important to me, but I can't answer right now. I'll get back to you as soon as possible."
The person on the other end knows they're important. They don't need you to tell them that. They also know that this is a canned email and they just have to delete it. That alone tells them you really don't consider them that important. Tricky wording like "I was on my way out, but...." only works once. Once they email you again, they know the score.
2. Don't Write a Book - Email is a Concise MediumAnswer the prospect's questions, don't add in a big sales pitch about yourself. If they ask for detailed information, then they expect to get a lot of text or an attachment. If they just asked a question, making them weed through your resume to find the answer isn't going to make them want to deal with you again.
3. Don't Delay Checking Your Email and Answering InquiriesEmail and the internet have created an "immediate response" monster. Whether we like it or not, the internet real estate shopper is expecting some kind of meaningful response to an inquiry in a very short time.
They also begin their research by inquiring of a number of agents and web sites. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a client say "You got the business because you were the first and only response to my email." If you truly are busy and "on the way out", it's OK to answer with a quick email that says so and tells them you'll get back to them with the XYZ property info quickly. Then do it.
4. Don't Ignore the Prospect Who is Early in the ProcessThe internet has allowed the real estate shopper to begin their property research much earlier and for a longer period without any sales pressure and anonymously. Many of them start a year or more early. One successful broker with all his business from a web site cites eight months average from first email exchange to a buyer contract.
The good news is that it's not that difficult to keep them happy during this period. Just answer their emails and send them information. A good drip email campaign is a help.