This post was inspired by something I saw the other day. I was driving around town with a friend of mine, discussing housing developments and checking out some real estate in a the north end of London. As we were driving around the neighborhood, I noticed one home for sale in particular. My friend, a civil engineer who specializes in residential, pointed out this home had been on the market for quite some time.
I took a look at the sign and noticed something peculiar about it. It was a slick sign in a high-end neighborhood. The home was pretty spectacular. By all measures, this home should have sold long ago. Why was it still on the market? Well, there was something a bit off about this realtor’s sign.
They had all the relevant info. Slick headshots of the realtors, looking snappy and successful. A website for more information. A 1-800 number to call. Then I saw it.
An email address that ended in @rogers.ca.
Wait. These are professionals, right? They’re selling homes worth $400,000 and up. Their email address was a personal e-mail address provided by their Internet Service Provider.
It was after this that I realized one of the reasons this home hadn’t sold: their e-mail address was throwing off their entire message. Their @rogers.com e-mail address is like spending a thousand dollars on a beautifully tailored suit and pairing it with a cheap pair of Reebok running shoes. Everything on their sign communicated they were professionals, and their e-mail address suggested exactly the opposite.
This happens frequently with small businesses. They try to set up a basic online presence, but don’t set up a business email with their domain name. If you are a business owner, and your primary source of income is from your business, you need a professional email address. This small step will separate you from the hobbyists and help cement your reputation as a professional.
Join me next time when I go into more detail about how to get a professional email address up and running, and more importantly, how to avoid the pitfalls of free and cheap email hosting.
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