September 7, 2021

Simple Gmail strategies for realtors: Master your inbox today

Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

While texting is emerging as a more common method of communication, Email is still the most common form of business communication and a critical medium to master as a real estate agent. With all of the critical, time-sensitive communications that take place in real estate, it’s essential to stay organized and to respond and follow up on all important messages. 

If you’re a gmail user, there are tons of little things you can do to create better organization and even automate it. Follow these simple tips and tricks to change your relationship with email today and master everything from daily communication to transaction management.

Embrace labels

Labels can be used to create a custom folder system within your inbox. The key to this entire strategy is getting your labeling systems in place. Having this granular organization of your inbox creates a system where your conversations have their proper place, making them easy to find and process and helping you stay in compliance with record keeping laws.

Here’s a handy way to use labels for organizing your transaction related communication

Step 1: Create a label (this is really a folder) for the current year. If you do a high volume of transactions, you may want to create a label for each month as well. This will help you locate emails and files in the future. Don’t be shy - here’s no limit to the number of email folders you can create in your inbox.

Step 2: Create a new label for each new transaction using the property address (nested under the appropriate year and closing month (if applicable).

Create a “waiting” folder

You’ve sent or replied to an important message, but you’re now at the mercy of the recipient to respond to you with confirmation or additional information.  Maybe it’s a confirmed showing, or perhaps it’s about a transaction deadline. A waiting folder is a great way to keep tabs on these messages and check back in periodically. Apply the waiting tag to the message and make a point to check your waiting folder daily. Once the message has been dealt with, simply remove the waiting tag.  

Gmail label creation

Creating a Gmail label for real estate transaction management

Setup smart filters

By creating email filters your incoming emails can be sorted, labeled or marked for you according to your set criteria.

Filters will reassure you never miss your bills or important emails from a specific recipient. They can also be used to automatically group emails for a specific transaction using keywords or subject lines. You can consider filters as your personal assistant that does some pre-organizing for you, allowing you to focus on more pressing tasks.

Tip: Setup a filter for each new listing or transaction to organize every email into a folder for easy access and compliance using the street address as your filter. Open an email that wasn’t filtered? No problem. Just manually apply the tag and it will get into the right folder.

Tip: Setup a learning or news folder and associated filter for incoming emails from your favorite newsletters.  For instance, setup a filter to send all incoming emails from inman news and housing wire to your learning folder to minimize distractions in your day.

How to create an automated  Gmail filter for a real estate transaction

Use the snooze

We’ve all opened an email while attempting to multitask and left it marked as read, only later forgetting to respond.  The key to avoiding this common mistake is to have a proactive way of handling incoming emails.  Open an email and don’t have time to respond - no problem - hit snooze and decide when you want to respond to it. When it’s time to respond, that message will be back at the top of your inbox reminding you to reply.

One click snooze

Snoozing an email in Gmail

Create tasks

If you receive an email that requires you to complete a task, (such as completing a buyer inspection response) you can create that task directly from the email. By clicking on the task button above the email message you can add a to-do for yourself and associate a deadline.

Adding a task from an email in Gmail.

Forward texts

Have a text you need to track for compliance reasons or just want to keep better track of all types of communication in one place. You can actually forward text messages to your email inbox.

1. Tap and hold the message you want to forward. 

2. Choose "More ..." from the pop-up.

3. Select all messages in the thread you want to include. 

4. Click the right-facing arrow (forward arrow) in the lower right. 

5. Type your email address in the "To" field on top and send the message.

Effectively managing your email inbox can go a long way towards making you a more efficient real estate pro overall. With the help of tips in this article, you are well on your way towards changing your relationship with your inbox.

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