How much time do you spend on spam every day?
As the resident geek in the office, I’m constantly asked by my fellow agents: “How can I get rid of all this junk e-mail?!” From shady business propositions to uhh… equipment enhancers, there is no shortage of spam out there.
As REALTORS®, we want to promote ourselves as much as possible. This includes publishing our e-mail addresses in as many places as possible. It’s no surprise, then, that we get a large volume of unsolicited messages. Spammers use ‘crawlers’ or ‘robots’ – automated programs to crawl the web and harvest unsuspecting e-mail addresses to sell or use. Some people mask their addresses as images, or in a cryptic format to fool the spam bots. For example, I could write my address as tim ([AT]) selling sooke dot ca. A regular internet user would probably be able to reconstruct it into a real address. However, a casual user [and potential client] might actually enter that into their e-mail program when contacting you – and frustration would ensue, possibly causing them to move on to another agent.
So what is the solution? Since I switched to Gmail, Google‘s free web-based e-mail system, I’ve only had a handful of these messages, due to Google’s spam-fighting technology. Even more frustrating for our profession, which is extremely time-sensitive, is when well-meaning spam filters block messages that were actually meant to get through – the dreaded ‘false positive.’ When prospective clients are e-mailing 20 or 30 agents, it’s often the first to respond that gets the business. Why disadvantage yourself with misdirected e-mails? This is only one of many features of Gmail that make it great, which I will post about in a separate post. Click here to read about other Gmail topics I’ve posted about in the past.
But how does it work? Check out this video from the Gmail Anti-Spam Squad: