We've seen all variations of Realtor emails:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (your own domain)
- email@example.com (belongs to the brokerage forever)
- Some still use @gmail.com or @hotmail.com!
We get asked often which is the best option, and our answer is this:
It's always best to have your own domain as the base, here's why.
Your Own Domain is Yours Forever, And a Branding Opportunity
Unless you change your name out of the blue, a domain like www.karinericson.ca belongs to Karin forever, and firstname.lastname@example.org is also hers forever.
Her full name (which is her brand) is emphasized & shown every time somebody sees her email address in an inbox, on a sign, business card, print out, and more. Front-of-mind awareness in Branding requires repeat exposure, and a dedicated domain email contributes to it.
A Brokerage Email Holds You Prisoner To It, Like it Or Not
It may seem tempting to use the email from your brokerage (Sotheby's agents often do this). If you start and end your career at Sotheby's and never have a fallout with your managing broker, good for you. Not every agent's path is as lucky or steady, however.
Nightmare Scenarios Of Not Having Your Own Email!
Worst case: An agent moved brokerages following a dispute, and the brokerage kept & stole her inbound emails. This was hard to imagine, but we've witnessed this. Instead of forwarding the agent's [firstname]@[brokerage-branch].com email, the managing broker forwarded them to a new agent in the office!
Better Case: Brokerage change & email change/forwarding - Many Realtors® change brokerages several times in their careers (better fee structure, better recognition in a region, better leadership).
Here's a short list of the extra work you face if you had been using a brokerage-provided email:
- Send out a newsletter to all of your clients asking them to update your email address in their address books.
- If you don't have a newsletter system, you'll be sending out emails manually.
- Set up an auto-responder on your old email indicating your new email address (but how long does that keep alive?)
- Set up a forwarder from your old address to your new one (if your old brokerage even allows it).
- Update all your social media profiles or online directory files that have your email address to a new one.
Even in this best case scenario, you can't guarantee all of your previous clients will properly update their address books in time. Do you want to potentially lose out on a referral/repeat transaction? We think not!
Gmail or Hotmail subconsciously says "unprofessional"
In a business where impression matters so much, our tip is to avoid using generic free emails. Imagine if a business/corporation rep sends you an email from a @yahoo.ca email. One's immediate impression is "amateur". You'd expect a gmail or hotmail address from your dog walker, not a savvy real estate pro.
How to get your own email on your own domain to lock it down forever
Brixwork recommends Google Workspaces as the best email cloud provider. If you don't have a domain yet, purchasing your own domain is the very first step.