Let's face it. You're a busy person. You've got real estate clients to meet up with, homes to show, appointments to attend to and family matters to take care of. Who has time to filter through all the junk emails coming through their inbox every day? Technology is supposed to help make our lives easier. And, in many ways, it does. But it seems that, sometimes, technology can interfere with productivity. To stay focused, you need to organize and optimize your email, eliminating clutter and directing your attention to those things that matter.
Studies show that most people have an almost compulsive need to check and answer every single email that comes in at the moment it comes in. While you may think this shows that you're on top of things, it actually can be counter-productive. It takes your attention away from the tasks in front of you. Once you return to finish the project you started, your mind can take several seconds to jump back on track. When you factor that in to every time you check your email, you could lose several hours of time over the course of a month. Instead of jumping on your email several times a day, schedule two or three times throughout the day to check and answer emails.
Use your email signature to relay important information, such as your name (obviously), your company's name, your direct phone number, your website and links to your social media (such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook). WiseStamp is an email app generator that creates icons you can integrate right into your email signature. You can link the icons to your social media accounts so that anyone reading your email can access them directly with just one click.
The key to organizing your email is to reduce the amount you receive. I spoke about Unsubscribe.com, a free download that helps you reduce SPAM to your inbox, a few weeks ago. I use it and have already seen a huge reduction in my junk emails. Google Alerts are also a great way to keep track of who's saying what about your business or name. You can set it to receive alerts once a day, once a week or as they happen. It's up to you. Otherinbox allows you to set up incoming emails to be directed into specific folders, such as "shopping", "business", "clients", "buyers", "sellers", "personal", etc. That way you can tackle the most important emails now and save the rest for when you have more time.
Finally, use your email filters. Just about every email program offers some kind of filters. It may take a little time in the beginning. But, as you designate which emails are SPAM and which are actual emails you want to receive, the filters are programmed to recognize potential SPAM in future emails. This helps reduce the junk and keep the good stuff coming through.
I'm trying to reduce the clutter in my life so that I can stay focused on the important things: my family, my friends and my clients. Organizing and optimizing my email is one way to get rid of the junk. These free tools can help you as well. Please let me know if you need help organizing your real estate business so you can continue to be productive and prosperous in 2012.
Originally posted on my Real Estate Support blog here: http://real-estate-support.com/2012/02/organize-and-optimize-your-email/.