First impressions are everything.
If you are running a business (real estate investing, real estate agency, brokerage, etc) and you are using AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Comcast, RoadRunner, SBC Global or any other “consumer” or “free” email account to communicate, you are broadcasting to the world that you are a novice, and you’re running your business out of your garage.
Using a free email account for business communication is like wearing shorts, stinking, and showing up late to a business meeting – it says I don’t care enough about my image to spend 30 minutes and a few dollars fixing myself up to be presentable.
Here is how to upgrade your image and never again lose business because of your email account:
Step 1: Register a Domain Name. You may already have a web site, if so use that domain. If not, domains are $7 per year.
Step 2: Register for Google Apps. Google will provide you with up to 50 email accounts at your domain name (email@example.com) along with document management and a host of other services – all for free. You can check your email via the web, iPhone, Outlook, Blackberry or just about any other device.
Step 3: Configure your domain to send email through Google Apps. Once you have a Google account setup, you can view instructions for how to do this for various domain registrars (Godaddy, Network Solutions, etc)
Step 4: Set your AOL/Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo/etc account to forward ALL incoming mail to your new firstname.lastname@example.org email account hosted by Google.
Step 5: Never, ever again tell the world you don’t know what you are doing by handing out an email address that isn’t professional. You won’t miss out on any email from people that have your old account because of the forwarding – but from this day forth only give out your professional email address when in a professional setting.
The entire cost of fixing this glaring hole in your image is the yearly cost of a domain name – about $7. Sound too technical? Your local neighborhood 13 year old would be happy to to help for a 6 pack of Coke!