Ecommunication is KeyEverybody uses email. Not too many years ago, email was such a new phenomenon that only the most “advanced” companies used it. Now, it’s one of the most frequently used forms of communication, replacing hard written letters in many instances. For businesses, it’s an invaluable way of tracking and documenting conversations.

With smart phones, we can send and receive emails anywhere: on a plane, at home or on vacation in Bermuda (although I truly hope if you’re on vacation, you can totally unplug). The information we need to receive and convey is literally at our fingertips.

But with the hundreds of emails some people get in a day, how do you keep up with messages?

Our company makes the most of auto responders. Have you ever placed an online order, only to have an email confirmation arrive in your email’s inbox seconds after you hit the “confirm payment” button? This is because companies use auto responders. It’s a great way to confirm receipt of an email, acknowledge a concern and just keep the lines of communication open.

You can set up your system to either send one single auto responder or several email responses at specific intervals. Multiple messages help keep your name on the top of the list and your message fresh. This is the cheapest virtual assistant you will ever hire, because it performs this critical task 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And never complains about working on holidays.

As your business grows, imagine the emails you’re going to get. From realtors, from buyers, from sellers. Then there are financial institutions and other investors. The list is endless, and as you grow your network, these communications are really going to pile up if you don’t get some sort of help.

We generally set up auto responders in multiple intervals. First, there is an immediate response. The second may be in a week and the next ones every month for 12 months.

Here’s part of an auto responder we use for realtors:

Dear “realtors name here”,
I enjoyed talking to you about the property.
As we discussed, we buy houses and pay cash and can close very fast. We look for the low-end properties that are listed for $25,000 or less. We can’t pay a lot for them however we do not need any inspection or appraisal and we are usually ready to close before the bank or seller is. All we have to do is to get the seller to accept our offer. Once we purchase a property we usually sell it will seller financing to a first time homebuyer or investor who will fix it up and rent it out.

The second email goes out about a week later. This is the first paragraph:

Dear “realtors name here”,
We spoke about a week ago and I just wanted to follow up to see if you had any more properties that we need to make an offer on today.

The third email reminds the realtor that you spoke a couple weeks before and asks if they have any properties that you can make an offer on that very day. Later in the email, it discusses “problem properties” and states that although your business can’t pay a lot for them, you don’t require an inspection or appraisal and can close very fast.

As you can see, we use this as tool to keep our name and our request fresh in realtors’ minds. Don’t forget, they are going in a million different directions, too, so this is a friendly reminder of who you are and what service you provide.

We also use auto responders for first time home buyers. These potential buyers might have called us about a house that we already sold. Maybe we already qualified them as a potential buyer but were still looking for a house for their needs. Auto responders are a great way to touch base with buyers to make sure they don’t go shopping around for someone else.

This is an excerpt the first email we use to this client:

Dear “tenant/buyer name here”,
I enjoyed talking to you about helping you to become a homeowner. I wish you the best in being able to realize the American dream! Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you.
As I may have mentioned, we have special programs to help people become homeowners. We have “First Time Home Buyers” programs, “Down Payment Assistance” programs, “Closing Cost Assistance” programs, “Lease Option” programs, “Rent to Own” programs and “Seller Financing” programs. The best part is the fact that the monthly payments are usually less than you would pay to rent the same house!

Here’s part of another follow-up auto responder we use:

Dear “tenant/buyer name here”,
We spoke a couple of weeks ago and have been corresponding by email about your journey into home ownership. How are things going? Have you checked with us for our current inventory of homes that qualify for our special funding programs? You can visit our website or contact us direct at the office number below.

Even though it’s an automatically generated email, it’s designed to show that we have their best interests at heart. We ask how their home search is going and remind them of the programs that we offer.

A third way we utilize auto responders is for investors. Every time an investor contacts you, you should add them to your database and set up an auto responder that goes directly to them.

Here’s a selection from our first investor based auto responder:

Dear “investor’s name here”,
I enjoyed talking to you about investing in real estate and look forward to working with you in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you whether buying or selling.
As I mentioned we buy houses. We pay cash and can close in about a week if that best suits you. Please keep me in mind if you get a good wholesale deal that you need to sell fast.

As you can see, auto responders have become an integral part of our email communication. However, if your communication gets blocked by a spam blocker, it isn’t going to do you any good. Here are some keywords to avoid: “free”, “$$”, “money back”, “cards accepted”, “extra income”, “100% satisfied”… you can see the pattern. The spam blocker that keeps these types of emails out of your inbox, is also going to keep your emails out of other people’s inboxes as well.

When used properly, auto responders can generate a lot of traffic and help keep your business on a steady growth pattern. They may take an hour or so to set up, but once they’re set, you’re good to go.