In this post we’re going to discuss how to create a custom email for rental properties. This is helpful for any landlord or property manager because it helps you look legitimate and separates your personal and work email.
Introduction of “Tori vs. Harry”
This is part one, of an ongoing series, that will examine how to find good tenants through the lens of Aesop’s story of “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
In that famous story, the Hare mocks the Tortoise for being slow until the Tortoise becomes upset and challenges the Hare to a race.
The Hare is much faster and speeds out to such a lead that a mid-race nap ensues. While napping the Tortoise methodically moves forward and wins the race.
In our version of the story we will follow two landlords as they go through the process of finding a renter. The Hare will be played by “Harry” and the Tortoise will be played by “Tori.”
You may find an urge to follow Harry’s quick process but you’ll see as the results unfold why Tori knows how to best run this race.
Throughout this series we will examine step-for-step how Tori and Harry go through their process.
Any text written in italics is a question that the reader (you) might be wondering. Think of it as your internal dialogue that says the things you might be thinking.
Sounds complicated. Hopefully this isn’t going to be confusing.
See it’s working already!
We promise to make the process of finding a good tenant as simple and easy to follow along as possible.
Tori’s philosophy is that if you’re going to do something, do it right.
She’s building her systems with the intentions of scaling her business and she will share tools that might not be a perfect fit if you’re only planning on owning a couple rentals.
Harry’s philosophy is to take the fastest and easiest approach possible.
At certain times throughout this series you may find yourself borrowing from either character depending on your situation.
There is no perfect tenant, perfect landlord, or prefect screening process.
The goal is to show you all the options available so you can find the perfect blend for your tenant screening process.
Chapter 1: Create A Custom Email For Your Rental Properties
How do you want to communicate with your future tenant?
Do you want them to text you for simple things and only call you for emergencies?
Do you want them to call your cell, home phone, or business phone?
How do you respond to non-emergency calls in the middle of the night?
Tori is in this for the long haul and she knows that the methods of communication used early in the tenant screening process will create habits (good or bad) for her and the eventual tenant.
She doesn’t want her personal information available so she goes through a couple steps to create a layer of privacy between her and her future applicants.
She creates an email specific to her rental business.
There are few reasons Tori wants to do this:
- She doesn’t want to share her personal email
- She wants to create a clean inbox for tracking tenant communications
- She wants to appear more professional
There are a couple of ways to do this.
Option 1 – Create an “@gmail.com” account
The easiest route is to create a free gmail account using this link.
This is very simple and will at least give you the option to have an email such as “email@example.com”
If given the choice, why not create a custom email that gives a higher sense of legitimacy?
Option 2- Create A Custom Email Handle
Tori is planning on building her rental portfolio and wants to establish the best practices now. She doesn’t want her email handle to have “@gmail.com” at the end of it.
She decides she wants her email to be firstname.lastname@example.org so that it matches her LLC’s name.
The way to do this is to purchase a domain at a site such as GoDaddy and then create a Google Apps account.
A Google Apps account is currently $5 a month (or $50 a year if you pay up front) but is worth it for the privacy and ability to grow with her business.
It’s pretty easy to setup the website and custom email but there are a few steps involved. I thought it would be easiest to just create a video to show you how.
Resources Mention In The Video
Harry’s Approach To A Custom Email
Harry was too lazy to do any of this. He’s enjoying his first margarita on the beach while Tori “wastes” her time. Occasionally he mocks her by sending a text of his hand holding his fresh drink. She doesn’t reply because she’s got work to do.
Why does Tori go through all of this effort? It seems like it’s just a more professional looking email address is all?
Tori is looking to scale and someday may even have others working for her. When that happens she wants to be able to have all emails under the same domain that can communicate cleanly using shared calendars, apps, and voice services provided by Google. If she takes the time now, she can put good habits in place today so scaling becomes easier in the future.
Tori is also going to be dealing with screening applicants in the future.
One of the dangers of tenant screening comes in the form of discrimination claims. These typically happen when an applicant is denied a rental and is angry and feels discriminated against. If taken to court the fines can cost tens of thousands of dollars for first time offenders.
In our next chapter of “Tori vs. Harry” we will share how you can help defend Fair Housing claims and setup automations to rental requests.