This is the third of a series on property management company email practices. We featured What’s In Your Property Management Business Emails? and Email Netiquette for Property Managers in our October and November issues. Now it’s time to take the next step and look at ALL the emails that are going around and out of your office.
Never assume that everyone will know how to send a proper email or understand what you expect when it comes to email protocol in your office. What goes out of your office in an email can be a poor image of both you and your company.
Additionally, email “abuse” in common in businesses today. This is a waste of two important company resources with excessive personal email use of company computers – time and money. Often employees are texting, sending emails, or surfing the web on company computers when they should be doing company work.
It is imperative to establish two important items for your business. Perhaps you already have them in place – if so, it can help to review once again.
- Written email /Internet policy
- Personnel email/Internet training
Written Email/Internet Policy
- Detail specific policy on when personnel can use personal email and on what devices during office hours.
- Detail specific policy regarding personnel using their personal email for business communications. If you do not address this, it can have serious consequences later.
- Detail specific policy on who can use company email for business communications. Not everyone should be communicating with all clientele unless they have the proper training, authorization, and in many cases, a license. You want to avoid violating federal law or state real estate laws.
- Detail what types of communications are appropriate and what are not.
- Detail personnel responsibilities regarding email/Internet threats.
- List the proper “netiquette” of email communications
- Require an Email/Internet Agreement Form (This month’s free form) so that when you take the second step (training), you have everyone sign this crucial document.
If you do not have manuals at this time, just put your written policy into a word processing document. Name it appropriately and save it. Detail what you will and will not accept from all personnel. Then, later when you do put your manuals in place, you can simply review and add your email/Internet policy.
Personnel Training on Email/Internet Policy
Once, you have your policy in writing, set up an office meeting with your team. You may have a policy in place already; if so, take the time to review it with everyone. Like any other area in your property management business, you have to train your team to use email properly.
- Remember, if your own email practices are poor and sloppy, clean those up first (read the October and November articles for some tips).
- Save and use poor examples of emails you have sent or received for training purposes. I am sure you will find many to use. A great source is your spam file. Copy them into your word processor so you can eliminate personal names.
- Set up repetitive text that personnel can easily copy into emails and review the reasons for the wording.
- Discuss “why” proper email communication is so important to the office bottom line. After all, good or bad business affects income and salaries. It is essential that everyone understand how it can affect his or her career and the professionalism of the company. Never underestimate the value of adding “pride” to the equation.
- Get everyone on your team involved in this process. You will gain more insight and information on what is happening in your office if you get everyone talking. They may have more ideas on what to add to the email netiquette policy or the overall email/Internet policy.
- Finally, have everyone sign the Email/Internet Agreement form immediately. They need to know it is a requirement while working for your company.
I hope you have found this article and the previous ones on email practices useful.
Jean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.