Technology Tuesday is a publication of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®. The first Tuesday of every month we will cover at least one technology issue in depth. If you have any questions about these or any other technology issues, please contact the free MAR Tech Helpline at 866-232-1837.
Get a Real Email Address
One way to demonstrate to clients that you are a true real estate professional is to have your own custom email address. In fact, it might make the average person feel uneasy to negotiate the largest purchase of their life by emailing “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Although you may not know where to start to get a custom email address, it’s actually quite easy.
A fast and simple way to setup a personalized domain for email is to use the free service called Google Apps for Business
. Google Apps is a suite of applications including email, calendar, and Google Docs
for word processing, spreadsheets and slideshow creation. These tools compete head-to-head on the most commonly-used features from Microsoft’s “Office” suite. The spin is that Google offers all of these services online, all the time, with the ability to share and collaborate on documents with clients and co-workers in real time. We’ll save the details of Google Docs for another time and focus on the personalized email setup.
Whether or not you own your own domain, you start at the same place: www.google.com/a
Look for the link that says “Compare to Standard Edition” and click on it. This will show you a side-by-side feature comparison of the Premium Edition and the Standard Edition of Google Apps. Make your choice based on your needs, but keep in mind you can always start with the free Standard Edition and upgrade to the paid version down the road. (Note; if you don’t already own a domain you MUST begin with the Standard Edition to register a new domain name for customized email, then upgrade if you wish.)
If you don’t yet own your own domain name: Choose the option for “I want to buy a domain name” to get started. Enter whatever domain name you want, keeping in mind this can be your website name, email address and more… be careful what you chose, and remember you may not get your first, second, even tenth choice if they are already taken. Once you chose an available domain you’ll be prompted to go through the registration process, which is just like any other online purchase.
Once completed, you’ll be prompted to setup you account email addresses. The beauty of this process is that Google does all of the email configuration for you, but you still have complete control over your domain name in case, in the future, you decide you no longer want to use Google’s services.
After this point you’re practically finished. You can login to your Gmail account
and configure your personal settings: signature, folders, contacts, etc.
If you already have your own domain name:
You can easily use Gmail to send email from your existing domain. Just sign up for Gmail’s standard free service and go to the “Settings” section, then choose “Accounts”. You’ll see a link to “Add another email address”. Follow the simple instructions to send a confirmation email to any other email address you have. Once confirmed you’ll be able to use Google’s powerful email system to send email from any other address you own. For example, the "from" name and address will be yours, such as email@example.com
, but sent from your Google account. To also receive email from your personal domain in your Gmail account you will need to create an "email forwarder". Since this process is different at each registrar (Network Solutions
, Domain Discover
, etc) you should contact your registrar's customer service for instructions.
Article written by:
Director of Technology Services
Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®