"Forward" with extreme caution..

Real Estate Agent with Las Cruces Homes and Land

An excellent piece of advice and major warning from Alan May.  I rarely use my phone for email - I only use it to access and check messages. If I need to send something out, I prefer to use my laptop where I have a better understanding of things. Plus, if I need documents or other information, chances are it isn't going to be on my phone.

Word of Warning: Be Very Careful!!!!

Original content by Alan May

I recently received an email.  It was from the listing agent, on a deal that we had just inked.  Signed by both sides, and we had requested their attorney information.

The email read:

        "Our attorney is John Smith, 847.123.4567,
         and fax is 847.234.5678."

        forwarded via my delicious new i-phone.

Pretty innocuous, right?  Very quick, very efficient... it's nice that she was able to forward me the e-mail from out in the field, 'cause otherwise we might have had to wait until she returned to her office later in the day.

But the e-mail wasn't over.. there was more at the bottom.  I scrolled down and found what appeared to be further communication between the listing agent and her seller:

       "They're requesting our attorney information...
        please forward the name and contact information of your attorney. 
        It's nice that we got this under contract before Monday,
        when we were going to reduce an additional $5,000, isn't it?"
        forwarded via my delicious new i-phone.

Yikes!  Fortunately, this isn't any important information... we negotiated an excellent price on this home, and the $5,000 reduction wouldn't have impacted us at all.  But this is private communication between the seller and the listing agent that wasn't intended for our eyes.  In fact there was a trail of e-mails going back and forth that discussed other personal information... the number of showings they'd had, and some of the feedback they'd received, when they were going to be doing Open Houses... quite a history.

Please, be very, very careful when "forwarding" an e-mail off your i-phone, blackberry, palm, or other mobile... or in fact ANY forwarded e-mail... if you don't understand how it works.  It's a potential time-bomb that could blow-up in your face. You could accidentally be divulging proprietary information that could damage your client's position, and could find yourselves in some serious hot water.

If you're concerned, (and you should be) and you're not sure if you're forwarding EVERYTHING... just begin a fresh e-mail... That's the safest method.

(253  -31)

tick, tick, tick, tick...


ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate


Do not copy the content of this blog, without first contacting the author for permission.  Reblogging is allowed. All other use is strictly prohibited without express permission from me. This blog is tag-resistant... Do not tag me, I don't participate in tagging, no MeMe's don't even think about it

Comments (7)

Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Emmary,  I missed the original post but totally agree.  Until you really know how to use some of our fancy gadgets it is best to just not try it.  Have a terrific weekend.

Aug 05, 2011 05:19 AM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Great re-post good information. The biggest mistake I see in emailing is the reply all button. I try never to  use it. Have a great weekend.

Aug 05, 2011 05:19 AM
Peggy Wilson
University Lending Group - Ann Arbor Township, MI
Michigan Mortgage Pro

Yikes!  I think we've all done some bone head things like that.  My silly phone changes my spelling to very interesting things sometimes and i hit the send button without noticing!  That's great advice, Emmary!

Aug 05, 2011 05:23 AM
Pat Champion
John Roberts Realty - Eustis, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

I totally agree with you I usually start fresh because protecting your customer is always the best choice.

Aug 05, 2011 05:25 AM
Emmary Simpson
Las Cruces Homes and Land - Las Cruces, NM
Serving Las Cruces, NM

Bill - Gadgets are great but when we don't understand how to use them, they can be dangerous! Have a great weekend, too!

Alan & Michele - I got out of the habit a loooong time ago of using the reply all button!  There's just too much that could go wrong!

Peggy - Ugh! Autocorrect!

Pat - I prefer to start a new email because it makes it easier to find when I need it. If it's a back and forth on the same topic, then, I'll keep the string going up to a point of maybe 5 or 6 replies. After that, fresh email.


Aug 05, 2011 06:18 AM
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage,NMLS ID 6666 - Sacramento, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

Wow!  Great advice that everyone needs to understand.  This applies to any email as there is usually a "string" of previous email's back and forth between the parties.  I always take a quick look and delete any previous conversations unless I am using them to support my primary email.

Aug 05, 2011 07:05 PM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

To err is human but to really screw up you need a computer

Aug 06, 2011 04:46 AM