Email Responses

Our friend RiverCityGal gave me some great feedback recently via Twitter. One of her biggest complaints searching for apartments was email replies. When she would email asking specific questions about a community she would get a response directing her to their website and no answer to the question she had asked.  After all these years of email, I took for granted the fact that we might have our email etiquette perfected by now.  Obviously, I was wrong.

Here are a few quick Do’s and Don’ts…

Do:  Respond personally to email inquiries immediately.  Keep them short and related to the specific questions.

Don’t:  Have an automatic response message that says you will respond within 24 hours.  Just answer the email as soon as you can.  Auto response is just a way of automatically saying you don’t care. 

Do:  Start a conversation.   Ask questions in your email responses.  You will be surprised how much information you can get before they tour.  It’s a lot easier sometimes to get people to “chat” via email than it is on the phone.  Especially if they are at work.

Don’t:  Be afraid to answer questions that you know might disqualify them from renting at your community.  An example would be if they mention they have two dogs and a cat and your pet policy only allows one pet.  Don’t waste their time or yours.

Do:  Have nice photos on your computer to attach to emails.  If it is winter have a beautiful summer pool shot to send.  Have a few pictures of your most popular amenities.  Just make sure they are low resolution and won’t eat up their inbox.  Not everyone remembers which property they are looking at and a friendly photo reminder might help.

Don’t:  Direct prospects to your website instead of answering their questions.  RiverCityGal and myself find it very annoying.

Do:  Check for grammar and spelling errors.

Do:  Ask them when they would be free to stop by for a tour and to fill out an application, just as you would on the phone.  They may not call you ever!

Don’t:  Empty your junk email before checking for email inquiries.  They sneak in there sometimes!

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