The importance of using read receipts on your emails

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

I am always surprised when I get a message like this . . . 

I had sent the listing agent an email with questions about a listing.  I prefer email so I have a paper trail of their responses.  However, since she didn't respond to her email I left a message.  That wasn't responded to either.

I see after 195 days on the market, that listing is now "cancelled". 

At least if you use various read receipts and email tracking programs you can prove to your clients that you are not the one that dropped the ball!

Maybe with the slowdown in the real estate industry, we will thin the herd and return stronger and better as an industry. 

Comments (11)

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jim,

Deleting an email such as the one you left without reading it and leaving you response is unprofessional.  In my neck-o-the-woods, we do a lot of texting. I can't recall the last time someone didn't respond.  However, I do recall this happening.

Sep 26, 2022 06:20 PM
Jim Paulson

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® 

Texting is great, but it is so much easier to start with an email direct from the MLS.  If I text, I need to type in everything manually plus type in who I am and who I am with since there isn't an automated signature like in email.  Also, it is harder to track and search text messages a month down the road.  If you are out of cell service, you also can't set an autoresponder to text like you can for voice mail or email. (hopefully Google will figure that option soon!)

Sep 27, 2022 10:17 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

HI Jim- I have something called Mailtrack on my Gmail and it lets me know if an email has or has not been read. 

Sep 26, 2022 07:21 PM
Jim Paulson

Kathy Streib I will check into Mailtrack.  I am not sure if it would have helped in this case as the email was generated by our MLS, not via Google directly though.

Sep 27, 2022 10:20 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jim my take is the agent wants to be on both sides of the transaction.... I carry anywhere from 15-25 listings a month and I will respond to every text, email or voice mail as soon as I can because I want to close and sell the listing so I can get more but that is just me, Endre

Sep 26, 2022 09:33 PM
Jim Paulson

Endre Barath, Jr. 

This is why you are successful my friend!  I always try to respond in the format they used.  If they call, I call back.  If they email, I reply to the email, etc.

For example, I am on Zoom calls for the next two hours so I can't make calls.  If I send an email, some people call me back, but I can't take their call.  

I miss the days when we only had to check our voicemail; not it plus email (multiple accounts), texts, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn messages, etc., etc., etc. :)

Sep 27, 2022 10:24 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I despise receiving read receipts, Jim, and ignore them. I do however have a tracking program that tells me if, when, and how many times an email I sent was opened by the recipient.

Sep 27, 2022 03:51 AM
Jim Paulson

Nina Hollander, Broker I think it would be great to be able to have a program that you could query only if needed. I would hate to get a read receipt for each email I sent.  I remember back when they started doing "auto-responders" so if I used them and you did too, we would have an "auto-responder war" of each system responding to the other. 

Sep 27, 2022 10:27 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Jim Paulson hi Jim... I can just picture an auto-responder war! No thank you!

Sep 27, 2022 11:27 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I would hope that your clients would believe you without you having to show them read receipts, haha.

Sep 27, 2022 07:54 AM
Jim Paulson

Brian England, Most of my clients trust me explicitly, but one thing I know about the court system, is the more documentation I have to substantiate my side of the story, the better my case is. I believe in full disclosure with my clients.

Sep 27, 2022 10:29 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I get those a lot - sadly even from law offices. If they respond to the email, I am okay with them not confirming the read receipt.  If I do not get a response at all ... this is another thing. 

Sep 27, 2022 08:26 AM
Jim Paulson

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist I admit that I delete between 50-100 emails a day without reading them myself, but never from inquiries about my listings!  I even respond to emails and texts that I am pretty sure are spam/scammers regarding buying / selling; but I vet them pretty quickly and move on.

Sep 27, 2022 10:33 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate



Mr. Crappy Says

At LEAST Respond to Emails!





Sep 27, 2022 08:28 AM
Jim Paulson

Thanks Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist One of my pet peeves is receiving a newsletter or bulk email that you can't reply to.  Communication is designed to be a two way interaction.

Sep 27, 2022 11:38 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Jim I haven't been a fan of read receipts - ever!  As for a shifting market, I agree - The heard will be thinned yet one more time as it has many times in the past. And the good ones still stand.  And the world goes on... have a great day!

Sep 27, 2022 10:04 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jim, have never set up a read receipt on email, and sometimes I wish I did.   That agent HOPEFULLY will be out of business soon, very unprofessional.

Sep 27, 2022 11:07 AM
Jim Paulson

Joan Cox can you imagine how upset the seller might be if they found out?  I even responded to a text (probably spam/scam) this morning from an out of state number asking "Hi James it's Thor here.... Was I too late on the house? "

Sep 27, 2022 11:45 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker I think now people will start paying attention to their Realtor's education, designations, and years of experience again. They should have been all along.  I know I lost one listing earlier this year because the seller felt sorry for an agent that needed the commission more than I did. That "other agent" didn't have the marketing knowledge or budget to help sell the house so it is still for sale.

Sep 27, 2022 11:43 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jim Paulson

I do like the 'read' receipts and use them when sending an item or confirmation that it was opened and read.

Sep 30, 2022 05:33 AM