Email address strategies that work

Real Estate Agent with Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) DB-17066

Email addresses are typically not something a lot of us give enough time creating.  Too often, we "Accept" a default email address or just use one we have used forever.

You already know all the sayings about first impressions and dress for success; yet have you ever considered what type of first impression your email address makes?

Many Realtors are control freaks, yet surprisingly, they don't take control of their email address!f  I hope to show you the reasons to change this!

Here are just some of the email addresses I have used:


I am a lot more strategic these days about my selection of email addresses.  I hope you can learn from some of my mistakes so you can control your online image better.

The first mistake I made was just using my name at my Internet Service Provider (ISP).  When the parent company quit offering email service, my email address ceased to exist!

The second mistake I made was being too tied to my company.  I used to think this was perfect since my email address said not only who I was, but where I was.  I was a die hard company man.  The day I left Coldwell Banker, my email died.  When I went to RE/MAX, I thought that was the "be all end all" company for me, so I repeated that mistake. Even for those of you that think you will never change companies like some of my friends, you may still loose your email if your Broker sells their company or merges with another company through no fault of your own!

My third mistake was using the email from a vendor.  I thought using was a cool email address since it wasn't tied to my Brokerage and I planned on always being a Top Producer so I thought I was covered again.  As their fees kept increasing and their service didn't appear to keep up, I dropped them and lost that email too.

One of my favorite email addresses I have ever created is  I have had that for about eight years now and have checked it only once!  It is a perfect address for those online trials that require a valid email address.

I created accounts at both Hotmail and Gmail and use them for different reasons.  The was primarily used for my new construction side of my business.  The was tied more to my Brokerage emails.  I have these pushed to Outlook so that I can use the additional functionality of that program and even had them pushed to my PDA.  What happens when Google (or someone else comes along) and takes over Hotmail?  I will loose that address yet again!

The solution to these problems is to buy your own domain that you control.  The best solution is to buy "".  You will see that I don't because someone beat me to that over ten years ago.  If you are just starting your real estate career, I suggest having a "real estate nickname" that you can use to help differentiate your Real Estate life and communications with your personal life.  In hind sight, I should have been James in real estate and Jim in my personal life.  My friend Jack goes by John at work so he can differentiate why someone is calling.  This can also help with having two social networking accounts so your alter ego can come out privately.

I bought the domain so I can personally control and direct the emails associated with it.  As I grow my company, I can use position based email addresses so as I grow and expand my company, I can just reassign their email and never loose the continuity of the position.

When one of my employees goes on vacation or gets promoted, we can just re-route that email instead of giving access to personal email accounts.  

If you need to buy your own domain, let me know since I am also a Pro Reseller for



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Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I think I do own my name, but never use it. I'll have to look at that once again. I just wish it was catchier. My daughter's friends call me JoMama. What do you think of that?  (JK!!)

Feb 15, 2010 11:14 AM #95
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This is good stuff Jim. I never gave it much thought because I do not move around much. And I do like Go Daddy.

Feb 15, 2010 02:15 PM #96
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador

Here's the reference:

"3. For use as a domain name or e-mail address on the Internet the term REALTOR® does not need to be separated from the member's name or firm name with punctuation. For example, both and would be correct uses of the term as a part of domain names and jdoe* and are both correct uses of the term as part of an e-mail address."

It appears that would be an acceptable domain name as long as I remain a member of NAR.  On the other hand, or would violate NAR trademark usage rules.


Feb 15, 2010 04:03 PM #97
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Because I write marketing copy for a number of real estate professionals, I see a lot of email addresses, and am always amazed when people who own their own domains don't use an email address associated with that domain.

To my way of thinking, an address that is you@yourowndomain appears to be more "permanent" and professional than you@gmail or you@yahoo. Those addresses always look to me like someone who is hiding or who doesn't plan to be around for long. I know that's silly, but that's how it hits me. I do have a gmail account, but forget to go check it. I mainly use it like you use your cableone address.

Feb 15, 2010 07:15 PM #98
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Jim - A really useful post.  I have one of those famous names so could not get my own  But I did get my name with "RE" added after it - trying to keep it as short as possible.

Feb 15, 2010 09:57 PM #99
Trish O'Connor

In place of these beginnings,, what about trishsells@, asktrish@ and trishhelps@

Sorry, I am stumped for a support change.

Thanks again for the post.  I have made many notes from the discussions.

Feb 16, 2010 03:19 AM #100
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Boy, you have made alot of blunders! I recently decided to keep the ReMax mail out of everything so that I would always have control after they had some system problems.  Now they are all mine.  GoDaddy offers the service so cheaply, why not just do it.

Feb 16, 2010 06:53 AM #101
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

#82 = Nick, Google has made it easy to convert since they love the ad revenue from their free email accounts.

#85 = Gene, I am not sure what you meant by not including your full name in your email.  I understood your comment to imply including it is a disincentive to people contacting you.  Please explain in greater details.  Your last name is a bit unique so would be hard for most to spell so Gene@ is probably best.

#87 = Brian, I was not aware that some companies wouldn't allow emails to names like Sales@, info@., I wonder why that matters to them?

#90 = Dana, you made me think about a major email crash regardless if it is Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail or private domains.  I would probably be nice to be able to have a backup plan (maybe doing a partial conversion is possible to a Gmail account or import into Outlook so you can switch at will if (or should I say when) your primary one crashes.

#91 = Renee, Thanks.  I was going to suggest you also buy but I checked and it is already taken.

#92 = Ben, great suggestions on buying variations on the domains.  Do you have any idea how to check if a server is blacklisted prior to committing?  BTW, I hope you have met my brother (John Paulson) or his son (Jessie Paulson) in the Seattle area via successful closings!  They are with RE/MAX.

#95 = Joetta, I must admit personally I wouldn't use "JoMoma" but then again I wouldn't have invested in the Pet Rock fad either.  It could prove to be a unique niche, but I would do that totally separate in case it didn't work.  My brother in Kennewick, Washington used to have "Insurance Guy" as his Job Title and his clients loved it.  Corporate had a different opinion!  Therefore, him and a partner started their own company and now he is on a cruise in Mexico somewhere as I type this.

#96 = Wayne, I think you might have had a better reply to #95.  Who would have selected "Go Daddy" as a name and yet their company kicks mine in sales volume!  Joetta, I thought of your new slogan "If you got a real estate question, just ask JoMoma"!

#97 = Tom, thanks for taking the time to pull and post the link and summary!

#98 = Marta, Maybe the solution is to just prepare packages with domains and Realtor based emails and forward them to peoples current providers.  I can have them set up that way in just few minutes and could charge $20 for the service on top of buying the domain name and hosting.  I think that will be tonights late night project!

#99 = Margaret, I was curious why your company name has an extra "e" in their name.  I thought it was a typo, but evidently not.

#100 = Trish, thanks for being my 100th post!  Yes, you could use different emails in your website and marketing so you can track which one triggered their responses.

#101 = Lyn, yes I have made my share of mistakes in 19 years as a Realtor; however if I take just the ones I admitted to here in this post divided by 19 years it doesn't look as bad (grin).  I remember going to a seminar probably 17 years ago and they instructor said "If only they knew how little I know"!  Part of being a Realtor is helping our profession, so I have no problem pointing out what I have learned the hard way so others don't have to!

Thanks to all of you for sharing your input so far!


Feb 16, 2010 12:04 PM #102
Nicole Donaghy
Re/Max Purpose Driven - Lexington, SC
Helping Families Home in Lexington and Columbia

This is great insight into our email addresses.  I will certainly give it some thought, but I did have enough foresight to never advertise my "company" email address.  I've been through 3 companies, now, and I never thought I would leave any of them!  Your friend Jack/John freaks me out a little -- I had a buyer client once who did the same thing!

Feb 17, 2010 01:15 AM #103
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

#104 = Nicole, I finally figured out how to deal with Jack/John; I just call him by his last name since is both a friend and a business associate so I cover both bases.  He may get mad at me for messing with his system though (grin).  I should have used what I learned at my wedding in my real estate marketing (people that call me Jimmy are friends from my childhood; people that call me James really don't know me; and people that called me Jim even though my invitations said James, were my friends.

Feb 17, 2010 02:14 AM #104
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

I wouldn't ever use a brokerage server for my emails, no way! I currently use gmail, but I like the idea of using one or more of my domains for email. I just have several websites though for different areas up here, so it would mean different sets of business cards.

Feb 18, 2010 03:29 AM #105
Dawn Coulter
Key Partners Realty, LLC - Bloomsburg, PA
Helping clients say "Hello" to a "Good-Buy"....

I'm  so confused!

I have 2 different email addresses thru my brokerage. I have "thought" lightly about getting my own domain name, but I'm not sure how to convert my emails over & not get customers/clients confused over how to reach me.

Dazed & confused....


Feb 21, 2010 11:22 AM #106
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

Dawn, you can gradually convert them over.  Typically, you can just forward them to your new account and put an autoresponder on your emails that your new address is ...

Think of it like your clients doing a change of address notice to their friends and family.

Feb 21, 2010 11:50 AM #107
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

I have the same problem with because it is way too common.  I was able to get and, but .com was taken way long ago.  I bet that guy gets sooooooooo tired of getting my e-mails, because I have people all the time telling me they sent it to 

Feb 22, 2010 11:03 PM #108
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

You said it, Jim.

We have different e-mail addresses, but our main one is for me, and my hubby is

We have to use every space and every moment to promote ourselves.

Exhausting sometimes but essential all the time.

Feb 24, 2010 10:46 AM #109
Gary Pike
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers - Powder Springs, GA

I like your post and it is great to read all the responses.  I have my own domain name as and as long as stay a member of the NAR I can continue to use it.  Once I leave that affiliation I must stop using it as it will be a trademark infringement.

However, I also use a gmail account since they have some pretty nice features that seem to just get better all the time, ie Docs.  While some may say it is unprofessional to use a gmail email account if they keep expanding what their system will do I will continue to push forward using it.  It is also very doubtful that Google will go away anytime soon, which I can't say about my Brokers in this environment.

Feb 27, 2010 02:26 AM #110
dell gx620

I really liked your blog quite informative and interesting facts and figures you have discussed on your blog even the comments are very fruitful and helpful in enhancing the knowledge regarding the topic.

Mar 25, 2011 11:26 PM #111
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

@Matt, there is another Jim Paulson that is a Realtor and we talk about getting each others data on occaision.  On Facebook I had a lot of fun "friending" other Jim Paulson's around the country.  I have fun with some of them that have distinctly different heritage and skin tones than myself with our comments about family.  

@Beverly, I guess you better not get a divorce or plan on buying "" LOL

@Gary, Great point on the use of the word Realtor in your email.

@Dell, thanks!

Jun 02, 2011 04:04 AM #112
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Using your domain, and cloaked POP of your earlier live emails works best in MHO. It reinforces who you are when the domain is in the email. Build your brand for life outside the associations with Country 22, Megamax or whoever, whichever real estate camp fires you drift in and out of along the dusty trail.

Mar 20, 2015 08:28 PM #113
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

Andrew Mooers I will have to look into that.  

Mar 23, 2015 11:53 PM #114
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