How many emails do you get every day? 5? 10? 50? If you’re a real estate agent in today’s online world, chances are you’re getting stacks of electronic mail every hour. You’re inbox is probably packed to the brim with buyers emailing you about homes, sellers asking inquiring about their listing, lenders sharing client information and so much more.
Being the owner of an overcrowded inbox isn’t just unproductive, it can actually be bad for your health. A recent study by the University of California, Irvine found that workers with constant email access had quicker, “high alert” heart rates than workers without access to email. The test subjects who didn’t have email access reported feeling less stressed and better to able focus on tasks.
Of course, you can’t get rid of your email outright, but you can keep it at bay by organizing your inbox. When you access your email, you should only see messages that require immediate action on your part – sort of like a digital to-do list.
So how can you shrink both your inbox and your stress levels? We’ve got two easy inbox tips and two free tools that will help you manage the constant influx of emails generated by the 24/7 real estate industry.
2 Steps to a Less Intimidating Inbox
Sort your inbox quickly by putting the following strategy in place. First, delete the obviously unnecessary emails. Are there emails you’d like to read later that don’t require a response, like newsletters or reports? Create a folder with a title like “Read Later” and move these emails out of your inbox immediately.
Next, go down the list and tackle any email you can reply to in two minutes or less, no matter the level of urgency. Better to deal with minor concerns now and get emails out of the way than to leave them lurking in your inbox until later.
Finally, use your sorting filter to flip your inbox so the oldest emails appear at the top. Working backwards ensures that you respond to emails that you have accidently let slide to the bottom of the pile.
Instead of checking your email every two seconds – a habit that can distract you from the work at hand – set aside specific times for email. Maybe you like to read your email first thing in the morning, check it before lunch and again before the end of the day. Maybe you’d rather tackle the bulk of it in the late afternoon. Whatever the case, picking times that work for you and sticking to a schedule will help structure your day and decrease your stress.
2 Free Tools for Inbox Management
Archive your old emails for later reference elegantly – and for free – with Evernote. If storage and organization concerns are part of your inbox woes, Evernote will help sort things out. Forward emails you want to keep to your dedicated Evernote email address to place them in any of your cloud-based Evernote notebooks for storage. You can also send tweets, webpages and other content there, making it easy to create property or client-based folders you can access at any time, from almost any Internet-enabled device. It’s a great solution for all that “already read but gotta keep” stuff that’s jamming up your email.
NudgeMail is a free service that ‘nudges’ you with the emails you want, when you want them. How does this work? Simply create a new email or forward any email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put the time or date you want the email to appear back in your inbox as the subject line, e.g. September 28, 2013. NudgeMail then stores your email and send it back to you at the exact time you want it.
For example, if you received an email about a special event happening next month that you don’t want to forget about, you can forward the email to NudgeMail to have the information appear in your inbox closer to the event date. This is an easy way to get those emails out of your inbox that don’t need to be dealt with immediately or to send yourself a reminder at a crucial time. There is no fee or subscription required.
How many emails do you get every day? Tell us below!