Whether you have taken the plunge and become a full-time investor, or currently use your evenings and weekends to acquire and manage properties, as an active investor you are likely to be a busy person. If you’re a veteran investor, you may have the luxury of a little more free time by now, but in any case most of us get a lot of email on a daily basis.
With increasing quantities of email, it is helpful to have a system which is capable of separating important messages and making sure those get your attention first. On Monday, Google announced they would be rolling out Gmail Priority Inbox for all mail users this week. As a big fan of Gmail, this caught my attention and I immediately began to think about how this would make life easier for myself and other investors.
How Gmail Priority Inbox Works
If you haven’t heard about this new feature, the following video from Google does a pretty good job of explaining how it’ll work:
In short, unread messages deemed important will show up in a separate section at the top of your inbox. You can add or remove the important tag from messages, and over time Google’s algorithm will do a better job of predicting which messages it should and shouldn’t display as important. You can also use filters, one of Gmail’s best perks, to adjust which messages end up getting priority.
Taking Advantage of Gmail Priority Inbox as an Investor
This feature hasn’t been activated on my account yet, but here are a few ways I imagine this new addition will be useful:
1. Prioritize messages from your Real Estate Investment Team
As a real estate investor you probably have key contacts such as Realtors, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, laywers, property managers, or handymen who you do business with on a regular basis. If you don’t, check out my series on Building Your Real Estate Investment Team to learn more about assembling a great team of competent professionals to support you.
By setting up filters to prioritize emails from these people, you can ensure they’ll get your attention first. If you want to see that commitment letter from the bank as soon as it arrives, or get updates from your property manager right away, all you need to do is add a filter to prioritize email from these people by email address.
2. Prioritize responses to your marketing
If you have a rental ad up to fill a vacancy, advertise rent-to-own opportunities, or get the attention of motivated vendors, chances are they can contact you by email. You can use the same approach to prioritize these responses so they get your attention first.
In this case you can filter by keyword to make sure these messages get the priority they deserve. Choose a keyword or phrase which is unique to your advertising campaign in order to avoid falsely classifying messages as important. When a new prospect replies, their message will make it to the top of your inbox and you can respond quickly.
3. Use filters and labels to clear inbox clutter
If you receive regular marketing, newsletters or blog feeds to your email inbox that are not time sensitive, you can save some energy by having these skip your Inbox and go straight into another folder. Filter by address or topic to sort these recurring emails into folders which you can review when you have the time. By automatically labeling and archiving these items, you can keep your inbox clear making it easy to pick out the important items which need your attention.
How Will You Use Priority Inbox?
This topic brings a few questions to mind:
- Which email provider do you use, and why?
- Do you think Gmail’s Priority Inbox will help you be more productive?
- What sort of emails will you give priority to?
Keep an eye out for Priority Inbox in your Gmail account, and let me know how you plan to use this great new feature by adding your comment below.
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