Geeks, Camel Traders and how to tame the email monster!

By
Education & Training with Bestagents Inc.

I clearly remember when I was a kid listening to our teacher tell us how much free time we would have in the future. He said that the rapid advancing of technology was going to let us live a life of leisure because machines and computers would do all the work for us. Hmmm. Interesting theory.

Now don't get me wrong, I love working hard and looking back to see the satisfaction of a job well done, but I seem to work even longer hours than my father (and his father) mainly because 'all this technology' keeps me so busy. The main offender is email. It's an important part of my work but it seems to dive bomb my office like 'The Birds' in the Hitchcock movie.

So in my copious daily allowance of 'free time' I consulted my vast library of time saving Information (Google) to see what could be done about it. Here is what I found;

1. You firstly need to make a decision; are you going to control your email or is it going to control you? Are you the 'addict' impatiently waiting for the next email 'ding' and so desperate you will even get sucked into reading junk and clicking on the links that try to sell you everything from 'enhanced' body parts to 'free' phone downloads? Or can you make a decision to tame the monster and look at it when you want to look at it? So you chose the latter right? Nice work, I thought you might. Let's move on.

2. Turn your mail OFF and only check it a maximum of 3 times a day. Yes I know, I know, but go with me here for a moment. If the world is ending and you need to get off, someone will call you.  

Anyone who expects an immediate answer doesn't understand email etiquette and protocols. Depending on urgency, any time within the next 48 hours is totally acceptable. It will obviously be longer if say, you leave work on a Friday at lunchtime and get back Tuesday after a long weekend. I do my first check first thing, my second after lunch and my third late afternoon before I leave. The experts actually recommend only two checks and, for my health, I'm planning on cutting back to two a day!

3. If your answers can't be brief and it's something important, get on the phone. Many email messages are misunderstood because the wording wasn't just quite right. Your phone call will be faster and a better use of time. It also helps prevent the 'to and fro' thing that might last for months. 

4. Get your Spam and junk filters working to decide whom you can accept mail from and check them regularly to see if you are not getting stuff you should. You can then choose to 'accept mail from sender' and it will go to your inbox in future. If you don't know how to do this, it's worth taking the time to find out. Everybody needs a geek friend who knows how to do this. So if you don't have a geek, find one. They are actually very nice people and will always give you excellent little tips to make your brave new techno world a more enjoyable and productive place.  

5. If your friends really like you, they won't send you emails about nothing that distract you from your work, eats into your free time and (even worse) demands you pass the message on to 7 people or you'll be cursed for the next 12 moons and end up marrying a camel trader in the Western Sahara. (Camel traders are okay too, if you need a Camel, but not as handy as geeks, but I digress). The best thing to do with these messages is just let them slide (unless of course, they are very good) 

6. And finally, while we are on email, never send anything out you wouldn't be happy for the whole world to read. You never know where it might end up! Nothing is as valuable as your reputation.

Comments (4)

Winter Baserva
Seasons Realty Group of Atlanta Communities - Atlanta, GA
Realtor -Homes For Sale, Atlanta, GA

I would like to add, when you DO send something out to your family TAKE YOUR SIGNATURE OFF. I get emails from private companies of employees and they are passed around the world. Imagine if their boss got a hold of it.

Oct 06, 2008 12:36 AM
Suzanne Champion
N.J. Realty - Westerville Ohio - Columbus, OH

I will agree that geeks are very handy - I'm married to one!  Truth be told, I'm part geek myself anyway...it runs in my family.

But yes, isn't it interesting how we are busier today than ever before?  We're seeing a double whammy here though as agents - it takes so much more work to sell a property right now than it does in a strong market.

Oct 06, 2008 01:16 AM
Evelyn Panning
Property Connections Realty Inc. - Alturas, CA

Technology has made it possible for us to do even more work than before.  That means that the demands by clients and employers are higher -- I work longer and harder today than I did when I was in my 20's. ~ Evelyn

Oct 06, 2008 01:30 AM
Jennifer Esposito
JenRan Realty, LLC - Woodstock, CT

Unless my cable modem went out I would never wait 48 hours to return an e-mail.  I do not use spam blockers because I don't want to block e-mail from a potential client or another brokerage/agent.

Oct 06, 2008 02:41 AM