Services for Real Estate Pros with Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector


This is the 3rd time this year, I have lost a friend in such a senseless way, It could have been prevented, but who would have thought something like this could ever happen to them? If they would have only been more careful, and taken steps to PREVENT such a tragedy, they would still be here today.

I am sharing this to hopefully prevent this from happening to YOU! Yes, YOU could also fall victim to such a tragedy, and all your Internet friends will then be mourning the loss of YOU.

Business Card Company You Work ForThe first friend I lost, had given me his business card, and we had numerous conversations on the Internet through emails. He was my hair stylist. The card also had his Business phone number on it. I called, he doesn't work there any more and they weren't willing to point me in the direction to where he went. His business card had the email address on it: Sean@CompanyHeWorksFor.com which of course he can no longer get the email because he DOESN'T WORK AT THAT HAIR SALON. (Rest in Peace Sean, I, your devoted customer, have NO WAY to FIND YOU and make an appointment, and be your source of income.) Lesson Learned:

DO NOT have your email address be:

Local Cable Co.No emailThe second friend I lost was really tragic, she never saw it coming, it was quick and unexpected, but I fear it was very painful. I met her through a home & garden group I belonged to. We emailed back and forth, and one day I sent her an email and it was returned stating no such address. Oh my! Where did she go? How can I find her? She had her email address through her Local Cable company, Kim@LocalCableCompany.com they went under-out of business!

This had happened to her once before and she managed to survive, when they SOLD out to another company and she had to change her email address to kim@NewLocalCableCompany.com, but luckily she had enough notice to tell everyone her new email address. (Too bad she also had the EXPENSE of Re-Printing ALL her business cards, stationery, and changing all her email addresses on her online accounts.) (Rest in Peace sweet Kim, we will never be able to share jokes, ideas, and recipes again, I can't find you.)

Sometimes if you re-locate, (move) the cable company may not provide service in your new location so you will lose your email address and have to use your new cable providers address, or worse, pay 2 cable bills to keep your email active! Lesson Learned: 

DO NOT have your email address be:

Past Due Internet BillISPThe third friend I most recently lost is really upsetting to me. She was brand new to real estate, and I had just emailed her a referral. I knew she was struggling to make ends meet, and to pay bills and buy groceries. She was BRAND NEW and starving. I sent her an email with the referral info, but the customer said she never made contact with them so they hired another agent. Turns out she couldn't pay her Internet bill and they turned off her Internet service. She could not LOG IN because her bill was unpaid. Eventually the emails were returned to sender, with "Account No Longer Active" in the memo. Lesson Learned:

DO NOT have your email address be:

Forward emailRight now, I have my emails all set up on AOL, from way back when you had to pay about $25.00 per month, I have to keep them, I don't want to reprint stationary and business cards, change all my online accounts, etc. AOL now offers FREE email addresses, but I can't have ALL of the ones I have with their FREE service, so I have to keep paying AOL. I'm eventually going to wean myself off of them, but it will take time.

What You Should Do:

Create an email account with one of the FREE email service providers, pick an established one, such as hotmail, gmail, live, etc. Several are listed, Click HERE. Create accounts with your top picks and try them out sending emails to yourself, so you can find which one you like working with the most.
OR Get your own domain name and website about YOU and have your email be: You@YourWebsite.com.

Make a list of EVERYWHERE you LOG-IN or have Internet accounts so you can change your email on them all. Update your contact info on all of them while you STILL HAVE your OLD eMail Address, because some of them require CONFIRMATION from the OLD email address to VERIFY you wish to change your address.

Send a Broadcast email from your OLD eMail Account to EVERYONE in your address book, notifying them to CHANGE YOUR eMAIL ADDRESS right away, as you don't wish to lose contact. Ask them to REPLY to the email, so you know they got the new address update.

Import your Contacts to your new email account if it has the Import feature, then send an ADDRESS CARD to all of your contacts if you also have that feature. If not, open old email account and new account in separate windows, and copy/paste your contacts.

FORWARD important MESSAGES and FILES you have in your OLD email to your NEW email. This is very IMPORTANT! Just click "forward", and send them to yourself

If there are any PHOTOS or VIDEOS in your OLD email files be sure to DOWNLOAD them and SAVE them on your computer.

KEEP BOTH eMail Addresses for a couple of months, so you can monitor your old address and get stragglers to switch over to your NEW address, you may wish to continue using both indefinitely, but make sure you have important stuff going through your NEW email, so no one has to ever MOURN LOSING YOU!


Posted by

Cheryl Dickson
970-462-5100 Wichita Falls, TX

Staff - Wichita Falls AssociationĀ  of Realtors

eMail: InspectASAP@aol.com

Retired Realtor-GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Comments (55)

Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

THANK YOU Patricia! I was wondering how I got so much action today! Wow! You have quite a following. Thanks so much for the help, I really appreciate it!

Dec 11, 2011 04:20 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Cheryl, this is excellent advice.  I too have lost a number of friends this way.  And, I did exactly what you said and put my email with Yahoo.  I have others, but they all flow into my Yahoo account, but I always tell people that my Yahoo account catches everything, so it's just easier for them to use it rather than my company specific accounts.  Good advice!

Dec 11, 2011 06:14 AM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Mike, Thank You! Funneling all mail to one account is very wise. I just recently learned how to do that. Great Tip Mike!

Corinne, OWN it! that's a very smart way to go. Get your own page, and no-one can take it away. Another great solution.

Dec 11, 2011 06:30 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

And how about having a Facebook account, another way to find people.  Sorry people don't get how important it is to keep updated with these things.  You first tale about the passing of the hair stylist is all too true with mine too! 

Dec 11, 2011 07:11 AM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Carla, Facebook has really helped folks keep in touch! It is a very valuable tool in many ways. I'm glad you brought it up.

Dec 11, 2011 07:57 AM
Ken Tracy
Coldwell Banker Residential - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005
Hi Cheryl. Nice post! I was victim to email address of company I worked for. But never again! Thanks for writing, Ken
Dec 11, 2011 08:10 AM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Ken, Thank You! I think many of us have fallen victim to change of email addresses, and just wanted to share this in hopes we can prevent others from making our same mistakes.

Dec 11, 2011 08:28 AM
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Not exactly sure why this wasn't featured..but the only guess I have is that I could come back and get another mark for my purple star!  Suggested!  Very good post although I didn't read the comments so I am sure somebody may have mentioned to not use the free e-mail accounts as they think they look unprofessional.  I for one, don't.  

I think that if you use e-mails by your company and you don't have a back up one, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Terrific post Cheryl and I certainly hope it gest featured :)!

Dec 11, 2011 10:03 AM
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

I recently switched to another company and if it wouldn't have been for AR I would not have even thought about switching over all of my emails prior to leaving. Now my email is a generic Gmail one in reference to my domain name. It makes it really easy for my clients to remember! My old company actually hasn't turned off my old email but probably anywhere else they would have! 

Dec 11, 2011 10:40 AM
Jamie R. Bell
Bell Realty Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NEP - Glastonbury, CT
Your Central CT Realtor

Cheryl~very interesting approach and I agree! Sadly I am a victim of the Jamie.Bell@companyIworkfor.com :-)  It's such a hassle otherwise but you make a very good point! Thanks for the creative approach!

Here's to a great 2012!

Dec 11, 2011 10:45 AM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Brenda, Thank You!!! The free email accounts could have that unprofessional look to some folks, but anymore we see so much of it, I think it's being much more accepted. I remember the very first email I got from a "hotmail" account! LOL! I sent it to spam folder because I thought it was from a porn site! LOL!!!
  I agree that HOSTING your own email at YOUR own web address looks like you really got it together in a very professional way, But...What if you change professions? (like I plan to) Then you have to start all over again. Cheryl@AffordableInspections won't work too well if I become a Realtor again.

Rosalie, You're very fortunate they left it on for you, that was really nice of them. I LOVE your suggestion of a gmail account REFERENCING your website.

Jamie, Thank You, and you are welcome! Best wishes for a prosperous 2012!

Dec 11, 2011 10:59 AM
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Great post Cheryl, and I couldn't agree more!  Use your name if at all possible.  Even though I don't own the domain for my last name, I was able to secure marti@kilby.com through hover.com.  I've had it for years with no plans to change :-)  Companies come and go, but none of my clients or friends will ever have trouble finding me via email!

Dec 11, 2011 12:17 PM
Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

Whoo-hooo! Wonderful post, Cheryl. We've probably all felt your pain on this one. You information is "must read."  Good luick in finding your lost friends. 

Dec 11, 2011 12:34 PM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Marti, Thank You! You scored! That's the best! You will NEVER have a problem with that email address. Everyone has offered SO MANY great ways to set up a PERMANENT email, I'm so glad I wrote this post. :)

Elva, Thank You so much, I found the hairdresser! He's ONLY doing Barbering now. Oh well! And I found my new Realtor, she gave it up...Didn't have enough bank to get started and wait for closings. Thank You, Elva.

Dec 11, 2011 12:45 PM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I have my email address through my website, but I may change it to go to gmail.  I am still thinking about whether I should change or not. 

Dec 11, 2011 03:41 PM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Evelyn, If you have your own website, and get a gmail account you can easily forward your website mail to gmail. That's why it's so popular, You ONLY have to check your mail in one place that way.

Dec 11, 2011 04:55 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Getting your own domain is so cheap everyone ought to do it first thing in this business.

Dec 12, 2011 01:16 PM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Gene, Yes, for around 10 bucks! Very simple to do.

Dec 12, 2011 05:23 PM
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

You said it so much more eloquently than I did in my post a couple of years ago.

Get your own domain and domain e-mail. Let NO ONE else control your fate, including the free ones like Yahoo or G-Mail.

Have your own, forward it where you will but have your very OWN.



Feb 04, 2012 12:46 PM
Cheryl Dickson
Retired Realtor / Retired Home Inspector - Oklahoma City, OK
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

Erby, That's the best advice! Absolutely the safest way to protect your email. I like the idea of forwarding it, instead of using the free email, I'm glad you shared that with us!

Feb 09, 2012 02:27 PM