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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