I recently had a real estate deal where I felt the communication was opportunistic to say the least. I started thinking about all types of communication and what would be the proper form/type of communication for different occasions. I don't exactly think that everything we do is "Time is of the essence" but it seems as if most things are relatively important and should be responded with in a timely manner.
1. Using all caps when sending or replying to an email..... To me this is an easy way to get misinterpreted quickly. Why is she yelling at me?? Your mind starts zooming all over the place thinking of well it's not like I was late with the deposit check, it's her fault for not calling me back the other day, so on and so fourth. There is really no way to determine what emotion someone is just typing the email with, and of course caps lock doesn't help anyone. :)
2. Response time.... When someone sends an email and the title is "Counter Offer", "Addendum", or "Urgent, need a copy of their pay-stub", chances are that this requires your attention and should be read and responded to quickly. Even if it's not possible for you to do the required work soon, a response is better then no response, this way I at least know you saw it and are going to be getting back with me. Instead time may pass and we'll think your not interested and move on..
3. Forwards - These are about as annoying as they can get anyway. All these ridiculous emails that if you don't forward this to ten people your going to have a really really bad day.... I don't participate and it seems like my days have been just fine! Or could it be the email god just hasn't caught up with me on his busy schedule..? If you do forward something to someone please change the title. after responding several times and of course asking different questions, The 10th time probably isn't the same topic. Also make sure that the people your sending the email to is supposed to get it. These email can have several people in them replying and if I got an email from a reply-all or forward saying "I wish he would hurry up, I'm so tired of dealing with this guy", it's probably not going to go over to well with my next email being in all caps...
4. Professional Username - I have only had one of these in my dealings and hopefully they go away. This agent's email address was something like "ladylove###". I couldn't believe this was the email on her cards as well as the email she really wanted info sent to. Now while this is all just my opinion, I do think that we should have email addresses with our name or company name somewhere in them. This way people don't have to guess who the email is from. There was an article done about the different domain names and what you could assume about the person based on their email address. I thought it was interesting and true. Of course the @aol and @hotmail ranked on the lower portion of this email. This is also true when applying for a job. All of these websites ask for your email. I can't count the number of the times I've looked over an email and saw Stoner420, Partygurl69, and all kinds of others. While what you do in your spare time is great, I probably don't want to know in these cases....
5. Signatures - This is a great place to put all of your contact information. I have my cell phone number, my website and my companies website. This makes it easy to get in contact with me in some way, shape or form. You can even put the facebook, twitter and Myspace logos at the bottom so they take someone to your page when they click on them. If someone misplaced your contact info, they can pull up an email that most people have saved and grab it again.
6. Attachments - In this day and age we're doing everything over email. "You need that contract, sure no problem, I'll email it over to you." We get it and of course we can't read it, the numbers that we need were cut off and if I have to resend if then of course it gets worse. Every now and then please send yourself and email and see just how other people receive it. You may just find out that what your sending may as well be scratch paper for me to write notes on...
7. Spell-check - Lastly of course is the one thing that takes us all forever to do.... Hit that button that says "ABC" with the check mark by it. Emails are sometimes used as confirmation that something was received and cant even be used in court for numerous other issues. Do you really want your email printed and read in a manner that makes someone seem like an idiot? It takes a second to proof read an email and make sure that what your saying is what you mean.
This is all I have on this portion of communication, although I feel as if this is just a small portion of what we should expect from emails. Communication is key to a lot in our business and we have to ensure that we do our part to make things go as easy and smooth as possible.