As a realtor, email correspondence is a major aspect of your job. We spend about a quarter of our work hours reading and responding to emails. More people are observing professional emailing etiquette so they are less forgiving of others that don’t follow email etiquette at work.
This is why it is important to know the unwritten rules of email correspondence. Read on for 10 email etiquette rules you should follow when communicating with your clients and colleagues.
1. Make Proper Use of the Subject Line
People decide whether to read an email based on the subject line. Ensure that every email you send out has a subject line. The subject line should also be very clear and straight to the point.
Sample subject lines could be things like “Action points from the marketing workshop” or “Location change for company launch”. Sending out an email with a blank subject can make you look unprofessional.
2. Use a Professional Email Address
Always use your company provided email for professional email correspondence. If you are self-employed and don’t have a professional email then get a professional one from Gmail or Outlook. If you own an Apple computer, you can also look for the best email app for mac.
Your email address should only have your name and company name. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org. For business email etiquette you should stay away from immature sounding email addresses.
3. Know When To CC and BCC
It can be a bit frustrating for leaders to be CC’d on emails that they have nothing to do with. Some employees like copying their manager or CEO on emails to show that they are working. This ends up cluttering the manager’s email inbox and distracts them from their actual work.
Copying other people on emails that don’t concern them is an email etiquette rule you don’t want to break. So only include relevant people in your emails.
4. Know When To Use “Reply All”
In general, it is professional to include everyone on an email chain in any response you make. The email creator had their reason for including all the emails contained in the message. So responding to only a select few may appear rude.
Additionally, you may lose some input from relevant people if you reply to only a select few. But if you want to clarify something that only involves one person it is acceptable to only respond to them. Other people in the email chain may get annoyed by a message that has nothing to do with them.
It also isn’t proper email etiquette to criticize others over email. Most things on the internet aren’t truly confidential. Hitting the reply-all button and proceeding to badmouth someone could be career suicide if that person is copied on the email.
5. Have a Professional Signature
All outgoing emails should have a professional signature with your name, contact details, and logo. Sometimes people may want to call you or send you a package and the first place they will check for your contacts is your email signature. It can be frustrating trying to find a professional contact’s phone number if they don’t have it on their signature.
6. Be Professional
Our culture is becoming more relaxed and you can see this in our writing. Many of us interact on first-name basis with our bosses and clients and rarely use salutations like “sir” or “miss”. But we still need to keep our email correspondence professional.
For example, we should use a proper greeting like “hello”, “good afternoon” or “dear” when starting an email. We should also end emails with parting words such as “best regards”, “sincerely”, etc.
We should avoid using colloquial words like “yo” or “hey guys” in a professional setting (unless this is the dynamic of your relationship). Also, try not to use nicknames in an email and stick to the recipient’s first or last names.
7. Stick to Classic Fonts and Punctuation
Another email etiquette rule is to stick to classic fonts such as ‘Times New Roman’ and ‘Arial’. You should also use font size 12 or 14 and the color black. Writing in newer fonts, larger or smaller sizes and different colors may make your email harder to read.
Another email fail that some people still commit is writing emails in all caps. This makes you seem like you are shouting and it may anger some of your recipients.
The same goes for using exclamation points. They emphasize a point so only use them when necessary or you will come across as a control freak.
8. Leave Out Tasteless Humor and Sarcasm
Tacky humor and sarcasm are best-conveyed face-to-face when the other person can read your facial expressions. It is very easy to misunderstand someone trying to be humorous or sarcastic via email. On top of this unless you know someone you may end up offending them.
Some things we find funny may not be funny to other people. For professional emails, it is best to be direct and get straight to the point.
9. Understand Cultural Contexts
When sending out emails to international clients and colleagues consider their cultural context. For example, someone from India may be very formal and prefer to address their seniors as “Sir” and “Madam”.
Americans are more informal and can address each other by their first names. Once you understand the culture of your recipient you can tailor your email communications to their preference.
10. Check for Grammatical Errors
We’ve all experienced the embarrassment of sending out an incomplete or unedited email. To prevent this always proofread your writing to check for any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Make sure the tone is also as it should be. Once you are happy with the email message you can type the email address it is going to. Double-check that it is the correct recipient on the address box, then send it out.
You can also use modern plug-ins and software like Grammarly.
Use These Email Correspondence Tips
Appropriate email correspondence is a big part of our professional lives and can make or break our business image. Use these rules to ensure that your emails portray you as the professional realtor you are.
For more real estate business tips, read the rest of our blog.