Special offer

First Impressions With No Regrets

Managing Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker Realty VA #0225181914

"No regerts".

(Yes- this was the subject line!)

In the past two days, I've received emails with misspellings in the subject line. One of them immediately brought to mind a meme I've seen on social media of a man with a neck tattoo that says NO RAGRETS. I assumed the email would be a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fact the word regret was spelled wrong. 


While the article did focus on what agents wish they had done sooner in their careers, it had nothing to do with bad tattoos or the importance of using a good spellcheck program.

The second email's subject line read, "Are you looking to sharpen you listing skills?" An editing program may not have caught this one (you instead of your), which begs the question, "didn't anyone read this before hitting send?" 

We only get one chance to make a positive first impression. There is nothing worse than sending an email with incorrect information because once it's been sent and seen, that first impression is already made. Even if a follow-up is sent immediately, the proverbial damage is done. 

Email is impersonal. Text doesn't convey tone or emotion, so  the impression formed is from the content, making grammar, spelling, and punctuation incredibly important. If email is a blind date, a poorly written message with errors is scuffed shoes, messy hair, and food stuck between their front teeth. It may not matter how nice or attentive the person is that first impression may lead to a snap decision about who they really are. An apparent lack of attention to the small details can lead to a wrong impression, even if the important things like knowledge, experience, and professionalism is above reproach.

To provide the very best written impression possible, follow a few best practices to ensure you have no regrets.

  • Use a grammar and spellcheck program, but you still must read the suggestions. They can still be taken out of context or make incorrect changes.
  • Take advantage of the growing popularity of AI writing programs. You will still want to ensure it is properly written and spelled correctly.
  • Have a colleague or family member proofread for you.
  • Check, double-check, and triple-check before publishing, posting, or hitting send. 

While no one is perfect, taking a couple of extra steps to ensure your text is will go a long way to creating the best first impression possible.

Posted by

Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Branch Vice President

Coldwell Banker Realty

Woodbridge, VA


You know that joke, "My mind is like my web browser. 19 tabs are open, 3 are frozen and I have no idea where the music is coming from"? - yeah, that's me. So many thoughts and ideas I need a place to write them down since no one will give me my own reality tv show. I am passionately addicted to helping others achieve success. I'm out to change the world one happy person at a time by sharing my knowledge, my heart, and my sense of humor each and every day.

Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Hopefully the person with the tattoo still feels the same way...

First impressions are so tough to overcome, whether they be good or bad.  mdm

May 24, 2023 01:18 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I'd be demanding a refund on the ink...

And you are correct! Whether we like it or not, a first impression sticks. Thank you for commenting!

May 24, 2023 02:02 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello - Ooops!

May 24, 2023 05:41 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I totally agree! Back when I was dating, if I had received an email with misspelled words and/or bad grammar, I'd probably have written that dude off.

May 25, 2023 06:00 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Yes, I hate to admit I looked at this, too!


May 25, 2023 12:33 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Chrissi- I wish that you would send this to the news media as well.  I find so many with poor grammar that I stop reading. 

May 25, 2023 07:07 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I suspect reliance on programs meant to catch this over people proofreading has led to that increase. I see errors all the time, everywhere.

May 28, 2023 08:32 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

May 27, 2023 06:10 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much! I appreciate it

May 28, 2023 03:31 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I started reading the post and thought - wait - that's misspelled!  and then I realized..... I am glad Kathy shared this.

May 28, 2023 05:12 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I did a double take myself! Thank you for checking it out!


May 30, 2023 05:10 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Chrissi. I am pretty good at proofreading the product of others. Unfortunately, not always good at proofreading my own product, not to mention my poor typing abilities. Enjoy your day.

May 28, 2023 05:34 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I am not above errors either!

Have a great day!


May 30, 2023 05:11 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Yes taking the time to review before you hit the send button. Scientific research suggests if a word begins and ends with the same letters though the letters in between are in error, the reader will read the correct word instead of the word listed.

May 28, 2023 06:29 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

that's very interesting! 


May 30, 2023 12:50 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Chrissi Chapman Topoleski 

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. Its so important to take the time to review whatever you are writing before you send! First impressions are everything...you have one time to illicit that positive response!

May 28, 2023 06:40 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I appreciate the response!

May 30, 2023 12:50 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I often find that what I am thinking and what I am typing are not the same. If I do not proof read what I have written, many errors would be sent.

May 28, 2023 09:51 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I do the same thing!

May 28, 2023 03:30 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

This a great post on this topic. Spell-checking is important before you hit that publish button.

May 28, 2023 03:29 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much, and I agree!


May 31, 2023 09:42 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent post!  As you state, that first impression is easily distorted due to bad grammar, punctuation, etc.  The reader is left with an impression and it can be the wrong impression.  

May 29, 2023 03:09 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

First impressions can be tough to overcome for sure. 

May 31, 2023 09:42 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I feel like there are those types of people that are so authentic, they can only be in one way. Do you know what I mean?

May 29, 2023 10:42 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I tend to write the way I speak, so my personality and authenticity is stamped on everything... even though I have to make adjustments before publishing and sending. We can still be authentic but present ourselves in the best light. Not sure if that is what you mean?

May 31, 2023 09:44 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I really enjoyed reading this, and it is so true.

May 30, 2023 07:28 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you for reading and commenting.

May 31, 2023 09:44 AM