How to Effectively Reduce Spam Yet Run a Real Estate Business
I have discovered wonderful ways to effectively reduce spam yet run a Sacramento real estate business, even while cutting out the mortgage brokers and home inspectors who hound to death this Sacramento Realtor with spammy emails. Their actions, of course, now prevent any emails from reaching this busy Realtor. This means, if they are on the other side of a transaction from me, I will never hear from them, which is actually OK. I am not required nor is it essential, as a listing agent, to interact with them.
These guys think it’s perfectly acceptable to go after every listing agent, perhaps wrongly assuming that a) the listing agent will begin to use them for business, or b) the listing agent is bound to work with a buyer some day and need them. Any top listing agent already has her referral base intact, and many listing agents never work with buyers. The constant haranguing from these guys was beginning to drive me batty. Plus, you can imagine how many emails I receive every day: hundreds.
Por supuesto (of course), as real estate agents, we want to receive email and phone calls from people who want to do business with us. Many of these individuals are strangers. We don’t want to lock out potential business. Heaven forbid should an agent block a legitimate call or email. What do you do?
The first thing one can do to reduce spam is don’t put your email out there, if you can help it. And if you do, encode it or print it in such a format that robots can’t recognize it such as agent at bestsacramentorealtor.com. You won’t find my email on my Elizabeth Weintraub website. To contact me through my website, you can call or generate a form, which needs to be completed by a live individual.
The second thing is set up spam filters for email. Gmail already nicely sorts mail for you into categories, and you can specify an address to move to Promotions or vice versa. The problem with spam filters is you might lose legitimate email. To combat that problem, here is another tip.
The third thing is go to your email provider, whichever company hosts your email, and add email addresses — specifically or through a wild card designation, or even by adding complete domain names — to a blacklist. Save the blacklist. That’s an easier solution than adding addresses to a whitelist. I’ve eliminated at least 80% of my spam email. I just copy and paste the email address from the sender into the blacklist.
For my website, I require authentication for all comments so a person can’t spam at random. There are many WordPress plug-ins you can adopt to manage spam. Prefiero (I prefer) to use Disqus. Only after I approve a comment will it publish on my site.
For my phone, the first thing is to set up cloud accounts or sync for email so once an email is addressed on one device, it does not reappear on another. That’s great for vacations. Nobody wants to come back and find a bunch of emails you’ve already answered.
The next 2 easy ways to reduce spam on your phone is to ask your ISP to provide you with Caller ID (so you can see who is calling; it’s only 3 bucks a month) and second, to install a spam blocker on your phone. Check out the App Store. Me gusta (I like) the TrueCaller app but there are many available. It lets me add specific phone numbers while it also identifies and presents certain known spam callers as true spam. Whereas an agent can block the call on an iPhone directly from “recents” (click on the i and scroll to the bottom to block caller), the caller is still allowed to leave a voice mail, albeit as a blocked message, TrueCaller does not allow your phone to answer the call. At all.
And to save your sanity, it doesn’t get any better than that. Qué hora es? (What time is it?) Time to reduce spam.