From this issue of Connections magazine here are my top 10 technology pet peeves:
10) Outdated Websites:
Static, brochure sites don’t cut it anymore. Your site has to be simple, easy-to-use, and current. Adding a blog is en easy way to add new content daily.
9) Not Posting to Your Blog Consistently:
See above. You don’t have to write something every day but, you do have to create a schedule and stick to it. Post new content at least 3 times a week.
8) Inappropriate Use of the High Priority (!) e-mail Designation:
I know someone who marks every one of her e-mails as high priority. Just like the boy that cried wolf, I no longer believe her. If you’re sending something of high priority; send it and follow-up with a phone call. Better yet, ask the recipient to confirm their receipt of the email.
7) Not Using Your Domain Name in Your e-mail Address:
When you own your own domain name (e.g. BettyKincaid.com) your e-mail address becomes You@YourName.com. I can’t tell you how many business cards I’ve seen that have a branded domain (BuyNow.com) and a rinky dink free email address like BettyK234@aol.com. By not using your domain as your email, you’re missing out on an opportunity to brand yourself again (Betty@BuyNow.com). Tech Savvy clients, as well as other agents, will give you a pass for fear you can’t deliver electronically.
Contact the company that hosts your domain to find out how to run your email through your domain account.
6) Not Owning Your Own Domain Name:
I know your broker has a web presence and, while that’s great for your broker, it’s not helping you much. It costs about $300 per year (if that) to register a domain name and host your site. This is a small investment in creating long term brand recognition.
One tip: Always use your name if it’s available. It’s the easiest for clients to remember and, while your market (GolfCourseHomes.com) or your area (LasVegasRealEstate.com) might change, your name probably won’t.
5) Using Your e-mail Address (Betty@BettyKincaid.com) Instead of Your Name (Betty Kincaid) on Outgoing e-mail:
If you’re unsure what your outgoing e-mail looks like, send yourself an e-mail. When it appears in your inbox does it show your name or your e-mail address? In this day and age, using your e-mail address instead of your name means your e-mail will go to the spam filter/quarantine. It also looks unprofessional and, once again, you lose an opportunity to market your brand.
4) Not Responding to e-mails:
Do you answer your phone?
Why don’t you answer your e-mail?
If you’re unwilling or unable to check and respond to your e-mail within 2 hours, than hire someone to do it for you; or get rid of it. You do more harm by not responding than by not having an e-mail address at all.
3) Publishing an Incorrect e-mail Address:
When your e-mail changes, you have to print new cards, signs, ads, etc. Better yet, if you own your own domain name (#6) you will never have to change your e-mail address again. If you change e-mail providers you just notify your host to redirect your mail to your new address.
2) Using Yahoo, hotmail, or AOL for Your Business e-mail:
This reflects a lack of professionalism. When I first began to work in real estate, my broker told me I should always dress at my customers level or just a step above but, never below. The same is true for technology. You need to be able to meet the client at their level or, one step above. I know there are still many people on AOL but, there are more and more people connecting via high speed cable, T-1 and DSL lines. For complete flexibility and professionalism you should be using these as well.
1) Inappropriate Cell Phone Usage:
I love my cell phone just as much as you do; I’m also pressed for time; I work in my car and on the road but, and this is a big but, I never talk business in a public venue. Leaving aside privacy issues, it’s just common courtesy. I remain in my car and finish a conversation before going into the grocery store. I turn my phone off when I go to a movie or to dinner. And, I never answer my phone in the bathroom. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone followed the same guidelines?
There you have it, my personal technology pet peeves. Let’s all remember that technology is here to make our lives easier and more productive. When it creates stress or frustration, in us or the people around us, it’s time to change.