Thou Shalt not use AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo etc. for business

By
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

email on phone hotmailI am doing a little experiment.  The experiment is about how the general public sees emails sent from a real estate agent depending on how they choose to receive their email:

Yahoo

Google's gmail

Those posts are about consumers choice of email.  In the comments on my Yahoo post and my Google gmail post about how consumers see their email from their agent based on their choice of email  all some ActiveRain members  seem to want to talk about is other real estate agents who use  ______ (fill in the blank with  Yahoo, gmail, hotmail, AOL email)  how unprofessional those agents are. I gotta problem with that.  I always have.  Looking down on other real estate agents because of their choice of email seems so silly to me.  So trivial...  so small.  Where does that come from?

Where did you learn to distinguish "unprofessional" from "professionals"  based on choice of email ?

Did you learn to dislike other agents using AOL, Yahoo, etc from your brokerage?  Other real estate agents?  A real estate class?  Your real estate board or mls?  or somewhere else?

Where did you learn:  "Thou Shalt not use AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo etc for business"?

Perhaps because I have a friend who uses his AOL email for real estate business, I am defensive.  My friend is in the real estate business.  He is very successful.

"so and so doesn't use professional email..."

I learned in the ePRO certification classes that it was WRONG to use AOL, Hotmail,  Yahoo, etc. for business. I was not using AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo for business.  I had a Yahoo account for personal email...  but I had a company email address.   If InternetCrusade's ePRO course  had a 10 commandments about real estate technology it would have said

"Thou Shalt not use AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo etc for business"

I think I got my ePRO certification before Google introduced gmail.  gmail is so cool, I wonder sometimes if Internet Crusade or RealTown the vendor who was doing the e-PRO certification when I got my training changed as time went on to teach

"Thou Shalt not use AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo etc. for business but gmail is cool"  ??? 

I use my company email most of the time for business but I love gmail...

Internet Crusade sells email to real estate agents.  I always felt like that was part of the reason they said

"Thou Shalt not use AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo etc"

I think Internet Crusade also told me NOT to use my companies email too, that by using an email with the domain, HERRealtors.com or RealLiving.com I was branding the company not me.   They could sell me the solution for that.

"so and so  doesn't use professional email..."

Internet Crusade was the second company NAR hired to bring members up to speed on technology... it was the new and improved program... I wonder if the first company that did the ePRO cert said:

"Thou Shalt not use AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo etc"

Or if at that time there were not as many brokerages offering email. Or companies offering "professional" email on your own domain.  Times change NAR is moving onto a third ePRO vendor... email is so 1999... maybe they are not even going to bother teaching what not to do with email....

Image credit thanks to Digetpedia for allowing the use of their phone photo   licensed with a Creative Commons license that allows commercial use.

 

 

 

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This post provided by Maureen McCabe HER Realtors*

Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

HER Realtors  Maureen McCabe

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email: MaureenatMaureenMcCabe.com  at = @

*Real Living HER

Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.

 


 

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Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Dean that makes you seem small to me... Like you need a reason to diminish an individual because of the system of communication they are comfortable with or have available to them. 

Wallace early 90s?  I was originally on Prodigy... I have no idea what my email was...  but those were the days.

Pamela I dutifully use my company email... but I supplement heavily with gmail.  ActiveRain goes to gmail. Most online things go to gmail.  

I try to use the business email.   I love gmail.

Sep 24, 2010 08:01 AM #4
Rainmaker
355,443
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
RE/MAX N.O. Properties - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans and Surrounding Suburbs Real Estate

Way back when AOL stripped down any emails we sent to consumers, they were sent to junk, and the size of the email was very limited which Yahoo and others didn't do.  Some of this thinking goes back and gives an impression of not being too internet savvy or you wouldn't use AOL.  Part of the other reasons regarding Yahoo, AOL et al is that they advertise on their email programs and used to be that our clients would get our emails with targeted ads from other agents.  Gmail is great however because they allow larger attachments and don't advertise on gmail which would make it a better business tool.

Sep 24, 2010 08:17 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,740,569
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors - Austin, TX
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale

Good morning Maureen,

Good topic. There is a perception that is fostered out there that business email is different from personal..just like on Face Book..there is the professional side and then the personal for family and friends. Hey in today's world what ever works best for you out there use it! It's like my mother always told me never to wear white shoes before Memorial Day and after Labor Day..I told my daughter the same thing..today its a thing of the past..especially if you live in the South!

Sep 24, 2010 08:52 AM #6
Rainmaker
107,367
Sun City Grand Homes & Real Estate Surprise Arizona Homes
Long Realty West Valley - Surprise, AZ
Arizona Retirement Community real estate

Maureen.  Who cares what email we use?  Just like, who cares what other people think.  It's about what works best for you.  Let the clients decide whether they want to work with us or not based on how we perform and treat them.  Last I checked we're all out of high school.  Great post.

Sep 24, 2010 09:18 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Miriam wrote: "Way back when AOL stripped down any emails we sent to consumers, they were sent to junk, and the size of the email was very limited" that would be more about the consumers choice of what email to use than the agents choice of using AOL, wouldn't it?  It can be frustrating depending on their choice. Consumers are going to use what works for them.

"Part of the other reasons regarding Yahoo, AOL et al is that they advertise on their email programs and used to be that our clients would get our emails with targeted ads from other agents."  Not sure in the past but at least now that is if the consumer uses Yahoo, Gmail (AOL, hotmail??) not if the agent uses Yahoo and Gmail to send.

That is part of the experiment... I sent myself at my office (company) email  the same three addreses I have been using from the Yahoo account and the gmail account.  It arrives in my company email without ads or links:

from my gmail to me at my realliving email account

No links ... you can see that.  No ads anywhere in the email, you are going to have to take my word on that.  No ads stripped out by my email, either from what I see... just a  lot of white space and three addresses.

Yahoo and gmail users have the ads or links when they read their email.  That's what the experiment was about. How a consumer sees the email.

Miriam wrote:  "don't advertise on gmail which would make it a better business tool."  as far as sending?  I don't see ads on the email I sent from Yahoo either.  If I read it on Yahoo or gmail I see the ads.  If I sent to from one gmail to another gmail account... the consumerr would see ads wouldn't they?  Based on their choice of email NOT mine.

Dorie I am so glad I live in the north.  I have a hard time with white shoes...   I think Google is making gmail real hard to resist. 

Josee (sorry I do not know how to do the accent...) thanks for the comment.

 

Sep 24, 2010 03:24 PM #8
Rainmaker
179,180
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Wow, I must be really bad, I have a ATT.net (which is yahoo) and a gmail account.  But I'm busy.

Sep 24, 2010 03:25 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I wonder if we judge home inspectors on what email they use Jack... I think we just judge one another.  Or are taught we ought to...

Sep 24, 2010 04:33 PM #10
Rainmaker
179,180
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

You might be right on the taught thing.  I was told I needed a dot com email to be professional.  Never had a customer tell me I was unprofessional and that's who counts.

 

Sep 24, 2010 06:30 PM #11
Rainer
175,528
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

I may have posted this on one of those other threads but I'm going to do it again anyway because I love it so much and it expresses so well what I've found to be true:  http://theoatmeal.com/comics/email_address

Call me a judgemental snob, but I do think more of the professionalism (or maybe just the technical capabilities) of someone who has their own domain vs. someone who uses aol. I like to work with a younger, tech savvy, crowd. I would no more use aol than I would wear a gold colored C21 jacket.

For the record, I'm the biggest fan of gmail there ever was. I have my own domain(s) that are run through gmail. It doesn't have to be either/or.  There are plenty of people who don't care what email address you use, but there are some who will. Why not use an address that impresses (or at least doesn't turn off) the people who do care?

For the record, my mother use to use aol and would have printed out an email to bring to my house. She uses gmail now =)

Sep 24, 2010 09:49 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Jack your wife is an agent.  She's got a Real Living address though...

Sep 25, 2010 08:20 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Julia I have seen the Oatmeal cartoon.  It's funny.  Would I rub it in the face of a local broker who uses AOL for their business email?  Nah.  Would some people?  I am sure some would. 

You judgemental snob, Julia!  You asked for it.  Last night when I read your comment  I wanted to call you obnoxious too, but it does not matter what I think of you.   I get it that you are proud of your technical prowess, it borders on comical.  Some of it.   Not as funny as the Oatmeal cartoon but funny in a different  way.

"I have my own domain(s) that are run through gmail."  What a coincidence me too!  I just never thought it was anything to brag about...

Transparency?

Sep 25, 2010 11:00 AM #14
Rainmaker
338,689
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

I've never had a client or customer say anything about what email provider I use.

Branded corporate email is fine, but Gmail is a great place to archive and organize an exchange of conversations between agent and client.

Sep 25, 2010 11:33 AM #15
Rainmaker
171,839
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

I've gotten email from members here on AR and other professionals Maureen and it didn't cross my mind they were unprofessional because it happened to be from a gmail account or any other type of free mail service. Any goof can buy a domain.

My clients 99% of the time contact me through free email, I don't judge them any differently.

Sep 25, 2010 11:39 AM #16
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Eric... I love Gmail.  I have wondered about how safe confidential info is on free email so I try not to use it for conversations between agent (me)  and client.   I wish our brokerage email was the paid gmail... but I am sure there is a size limit there... because of $. 

I love the huge storage of gmail.

I know security of email is important and I wondered if anyone would bring that up here.  I know years ago that was something we spouted about why we were "better than."

Cynthia just between you and me (and anyone else reading this)  I was trained* to be a tech snob but I don't see it serving a purpose in 2010... or 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005....  maybe earlier?  Maybe not.   I have ActiveRain being a snobby place thrown in my face just about every week.  I think of ActiveRain being such a great place for people to learn and so non judgemental but an agent who used to be in my office who was a member (I think still is kinda) kept using ActiveRain as a cudgel to beat people for not keeping up.

* not so much by my company... because they are or were way ahead in our market in technology but more I think because of training... or hanging out with people who are / were excited by technology.

Sep 25, 2010 12:17 PM #17
Rainer
96,615
Fred Pickard
Fred Pickard Innovations Realty Inc - Hershey, PA
Hershey, PA

I use a couple of domain based email addresses that I run through verizon.net or gmail. I know all of the arguments about using email to brand yourself and they probably have some validity when dealing with some consumers.

Since Realtors© like to compare themselves to doctors, attorneys and other professionals, what would you think if your doctor emailed your test results through a yahoo email address or your attorney sent you a legal form through hotmail? Or you accountant emails address was sexynumbers@aol.com?

A lot of what we do in personal marketing is perception by the reader.

 

 

Sep 25, 2010 12:58 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I had to look to see if I had doctors or attorneys email addresses.

Attorneys one SBCGlobal.net email address and a Yahoo address. Most on my list I have fax and phone but no email.   I do find a link to the one local attorney who advertises online a lot, branding himself.

Physicians I know personally Yahoo.com and gmail are these the addresses they use with their clients? Perhaps not. Perhaps they are all about branding there.

Sep 25, 2010 06:22 PM #19
Rainmaker
61,481
Teresa Cooper
Home Solution Real Estate Services - North Charleston, SC
SC Lowcountry - Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley

Maureen - interesting read.  I don't mind so much the @gmail.com or the @yahoo.com, but the ones that make me think twice are the "cutesy" names"

 

"DoinTheCharleston@whatever.com"

"AgentOnTheBeach@whatever.com"

"CrazyAboutHorses@whatever.com"

"ILoveBugs@whatever.com"

 

Yeah.  Makes me think twice - or even three times. . .

 

 

Nov 02, 2010 11:35 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I don't see that as much anymore...

Nov 02, 2010 03:53 PM #21
Rainer
51,139
M. Lynn Delatte
Developers Realty - Broadview Heights, OH

I have a company email as well as gmail and yahoo accounts.  Almost all my professional email goes to the gmail account because that is the easiest one to manage.  The yahoo account is for family and friends.

I think things have changed and people are much more open to gmail addresses.  

Oct 23, 2012 02:01 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,396,111
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Thanks Lynn.  Maybe someday it will be looked down on to have your business account on associated with gmail but there are so many other things to use on Google, you have to have an account.   There was a time that AOL was cool, I was on Prodigy... I thought AOL was cooler.

Our company got an overhaul a few months ago and is better but I am still using gmail.

Oct 23, 2012 02:37 PM #23
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