Heaven is in the [email] details.
Email Etiquette + Winning Offer Packages – Helpful tips for Real Estate Agents and Related Industries Wanting to Earn New Business.
Offer Packages, you know we love them. They’re GLADLY part of our daily workings as a real estate agent. Without them, we’re eating top ramen daily, or perhaps having to take a second job. In our case, this is our full-time job as real estate agents in Roseville, CA. Some items mentioned, may only apply to our state (California)
I always try and think in terms of ease of where to improve my quality of life in my job and at home. I’m not perfect, but I love learning what others think is a great way to work smarter, not harder. So to help elevate the quality of our work world, I’m hoping this post can get either help you, or get you thinking in terms of how we can all help one another. Today I’m going to tackle the art of packaging an offer (in our humble opinion). 🙂
We all have our own individual business habits and personal wishes, particularly when it comes to delivering offer packages. Some wishes are merely for control, and others might be for personal preference. But what we have to differentiate with these “wishes” are, what’s a control and preference. AND what is truly interfering or creating more work for another agent. Why would we EVER want non-verbal cues, to color us, our offer AND clients – so poorly?
Did I just drain another agent’s battery with a large file being opened on the road? Did the agent have to go to the MLS to find my contact info? Did I just write from the bizhub again? DOH!
Get on board with better e-behavior. Sure items may seem small and insignificant to you, but when it happens often, it becomes a huge time suck for another when you could have eliminated that issue with just a few words and actions. So here’s my list of helpful “gems” and I probably forgot a few in assembling this list and I would love to hear your helpful-hints too …
Offer Packages – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
1. Label your email “subject line” appropriately, AND reference property name
Example: : “Offer – 1234 Main St, Roseville 95678 – Buyer Brown” So when the agent goes looking for my email, they find it easily and perhaps based on “search terms” whether by “offer” and “Property Name.” FYI, a misspelled property address, may mean a missed email for agents. Particularly for agents that receive a high-volume of emails and for those of us that look for emails based on property name. This may be your one client, but when interacting with agents with a team, or multiple clients and listings – be e-courteous. 🙂 Do not send emails with “no subject” line – it’s lazy and all I’m thinking is … “I’m going to become this agent’s babysitter for this transaction.”
Also define in the email “subject line” what it pertains to, example, “request for repairs,” “addendum #1,” etc. When scanning through emails, this helps from opening ten different emails all labeled the same. When the file is closed and you have to go back, you’ll appreciate this two second task.
Consider attachment labeling as well – so each download is known to be what it contains, whether offer, preapproval, etc, and readily references which associated property and buyer. It takes little to no effort and has a high-appreciation return.
2. File size of your email attachments
Biggest reason for being conscious of file size, may not be as obvious – if an agent wants to check the specs of an offer, and they’re on the road (mobile) – a small file size opens quickly on a phone (win). You don’t want to drain a battery for opening your large file-size offer (bad – we all lose). You don’t want to be this person. You know you have been there, opening that huge massive file waiting for it to download, and in the process it took your phone down to “battery funky town.”
It’s not excusable that you’re using your home scanner that creates large files. There are solutions out there to help, heck even an e-fax does a great job with scans and keeps files compact in size. E-fax it to yourself, relabel – and voila – compact and clean file. I know Adobe Acrobat can downsize some files, but it doesn’t always work to reduce enough – particularly if they’re locked e-signed PDFs. And for the love of pizza, do NOT send separate JPEG attachments. One file, one PDF (sometimes with “protected or locked files” you can’t do this). And there’s not one solution, but hopefully we can create less work for one another.
3. Send ONE email with all offer pieces
It’s not impossible, but it’s challenging to receive items pieced back together over three or four emails and creates opportunity for error. Accidents happen, but do your best to send over one concise package offer. When you’re juggling 10+ offers (sometimes more), it’s a set-up for trouble to piece all items over multiple emails. Eliminate the risk.
Another great tool, I encourage agents to spell out the terms of the offer in written form, contained within the actual email. This text should spell out, amount of offer, terms, if applicable, preapproval and who with, and any other details that might help formulate a decision. So that the agent knows what’s going on, without even having to open the attachments. This behavior below, is a HUGE time saver and so appreciated.
4. Did you READ … the MLS instructions?
It’s a bummer when you take the time to give the answers, but nobody is reading them. It happens to us too, but double-check there aren’t attachments on the MLS. If you’re on the road all day on appointments like Steve often is, there’s that occasional need for a call. Or if the property came on while en route, sure that call is cool and really, calls are always cool with us. But be part of the solution of good communication and doing your research. And admittedly, we have a lot to always improve on ourselves.
5. Do you have your Contact Information in your email (e-Signature)? Did you write from the email you Want to be Responded to?
We’re not wanting to be a detective solely just to call/text or write you as a buyer’s agent – or simply to confirm receipt of your offer. Make sure it’s easy to respond and call you. Write from the email you want responded to, and call from the phone you want to be called back on … this includes NOT sending emails direct from a “printer or biz hub” (office scanner/printer) where one can’t quickly respond “received” or “ask additional questions via email.”
Take the extra two minutes to forward to yourself, relabel subject lines and address, and have your e-signature with all of your contact information provided with your offer. We often receive emails from the Bizhub (office scanner / printer) with no contact information, I’m asked to confirm receipt by the buyer’s agent. This is an easy fix, and ways to avoid making it hard to hunt you down as a buyer’s agent.
Our e-signature for our iPhones
6. Be Responsible with Your Client’s Account Information
Every time a file is opened on a desktop, guess where that check or account paperwork is housed … that’s right, on the agent’s computer. This will become a larger issue once banks and groups start thinking in terms of items that are housed on any agent’s computer. Some agents request account items upfront, and with items blacked out, that’s fantastic. Always see offer instructions and send just what’s requested or needed, and still protects your client.
7. Please don’t CC your Buyer on the Email to Us
Unwanted “reply all” situations are often dangerous and not always communication your client had intended come to us. Yep, it happens – so please avoid this … I have seen everyone do this … title, agents, and lenders … no group is guilt-free. It’s a dangerous behavior that can open up unwanted doors of unintentional communication, that was meant just for your eyes only. We should not risk these unwanted and unintentional “reply-alls” situations.
Do YOU have any Gems of Advice to Share?
Comment below – you’re awesome gems to elevate our industry for everyone. **Keep it kind, as we’re hoping this is a tool of education to improve our workplace amongst agents**
The excitement of Steve O after opening a well-packaged offer
Property Questions or Showings? 916-308-2446 – Homes@RosevilleAndRocklin.com – REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom
See more informative posts at: www.RosevilleAndRocklin.com – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle
Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR
Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 – Homes@RosevilleAndRocklin.com – Coldwell Banker – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661
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