Mail Server – this is basically the ‘souped up’ computer in your office or at your brokerage’s hosting company which handles all the incoming and outgoing mail for all the people in your company. It’s sort of like having a receptionist with a PHD handling your email. Today’s mail servers have very sophisticated abilities to screen spam emails from ‘legitimate’ emails.
It’s certainly not necessary to use your brokerage’s mail server for sending or receiving single emails. Your brokerage’s technical person may have configured the company’s email server to have a high sensitivity towards spam email. In other words, the email server may be blocking a lot of emails you’d benefit from receiving such as emails from companies who service real estate professionals.
So to ensure you’re not getting a lot of useful emails from these companies blocked along with emails from clients and prospects it’s best to setup your own domain name (eg. jackjones.com) so you can control which emails are delivered and which are blocked. It’s also very beneficial from a branding standpoint to do things this way. Today, more than ever in this business, YOU are the brand – not your company. Few people today are going with a real estate professional because of the company they work for. They’re going with you because of what they can offer and deliver. So it’s important to distinguish yourself and your branding in any way possible.
Mark As Read/Unread – this is another useful feature for keeping track of your emails and your priorities. With any email you receive (regardless of whether you’ve opened it or not) you can update its status so it’s indicated as ‘Read’ or ‘Unread’ in your inbox. You might want to mark an important message you want to follow up with later as ‘Unread’. You can then sort all the emails in your inbox that have been unread to know which one(s) you want to address next. You may accidentally click on an email you don’t have time to read right now but want to read later. So marking it as unread so you remember to read it when you have time.
Opt-In/Opt-Out – this is short for ‘optioned in’. It’s a clear indication of explicit consent from someone for you to take a specific action. In this case we’re obviously talking about permission to send them real estate information and solicitations through email. Conversely, opt-out is where a person has indicated they want to stop receiving any and all information from you.