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The Most Powerful Tool in Cyberspace Today is---

Is it the World Wide Web? Is it Home Pages? Is it Search Engines? Maybe it's News Groups-- Your getting warmer. Open the envelope-- TaDa-------

In my taped interviews with the Real Estate Cyberspace Society CyberMasters our members have heard them all agree that the most powerful tool in Cyberspace today is----E-mail!

We've talked about E-mail strategies in this column before but today I'd like to share a few thoughts about the awesome power of today's E-mail software.

E-mail is becoming critical to today's real estate professionals as it allows us to create instant communications with customers and colleagues. It allows us to get our message out to dozens-hundreds -even thousands at the push of a button. More and more real estate pros are relying heavily on E-mail for lead generation and transaction communication logistics.

All of the online services (Compuserve, AOL, etc.) come with E-mail capabilities with varying degrees of sophistication. Usually these E-mail helpers are rather basic when compared to Software designed specifically for managing E-mail directly on the Internet.

The most widely used E-mail management software today is a program called Eudora . This software has been distributed in a "lite" (fewer features than the full blown version known as "Eudora Pro") over the past year or two bundled with Internet browsers such as Netscape.

Eudora Pro (Street price about $ 59 ) is a powerful program and yet it is simple to use for first timers. Not only does this software make it easy to compose and send a simple E-mail message, it incorporates many highly sophisticated features that can turn you into a one person marketing army! Let's look at a few of the things Eudora Pro does for you-- ( and to a certain degree many of the other E-mail programs do also):

Customizable Address Book: Stores all your E-mail addresses along with street, phone, fax and other information. Addresses your mail to one or thousands at the touch of a button.

Message Filtering: Filtering does some pretty miraculous things-- . You can easily set Eudora Pro up to file incoming messages by content, addressee or any number of other self selected parameters. You can set up your filters to automatically forward specified types of messages to other locations, to send an automated reply-or to color code specified types of messages in your summary box. You can even set it up to play a special tune or other audible notice when that offer you've been waiting for comes in!

Multiple Signatures and Message Templates: You can easily set up several different "letterheads" plus custom replies which you can select from when creating mail or responding to a message. I like that because I hate to type---

Spelling Checker: I like this feature-it's a great one for those of us who were at recess when they taught spelling (and have no desire to go back to class).

Text Formatting: This feature allows us to send out messages with big BOLD-even colored text. We can even easily type urls (Internet Web page addresses) right into our messages so the recipient can simply click on it and go zipping directly to our Web page (or any page we want to get them to-easily-with no effort on their part).

This is just a quick overview of Eudora Pro (and many other E-mail management systems). There are dozens of other features to make our communications and networking lives more productive.

The E-mail features highlighted here are easy to learn to use. As with most software there is an easy way -and a hard way to quickly master it's use. The hard way is to install the software and stubbornly try to use it without reference to the nice little book that comes with it--- the users manual (or on line help).

I usually:

  1. start up new software and move around it for 30 minutes or so to see how intuitive it is and then,
  2. I simply open the users manual and walk through the important features with the program running.
Do this and you'll be up and running using The Most Powerful Tool in Cyberspace Today!