If you’re a community manager, your inbox is always full of emails from vendors, residents, the board, and more. These email management tips will help you keep your inbox under control.
This morning you checked your email, and there were 33 new messages. The board president sent a request for the minutes to their most recent meeting. Residents emailed you work order requests. A current vendor responded to an email you sent last week, and new vendors passed along quotations. There are emails with questions from new residents and community-area requests from seasoned home owners. Who do you answer first?
Your job as a property manager is already busy, and maybe you’d like a little time to watch funny cat videos in between, right?
Kidding. Right now, you’re drowning in written work orders and worried about the massive landscaping project your community is about to undertake. Email management seems like the last of your concerns, yet it’s one of the easiest ways to get control of your day-to-day tasks.
There may seem as if there’s no “end” to your emails. That landscaping project you’re overseeing has an end date. Emails, on the other hand, come at you faster than tears at a screening of Old Yeller.
These tips email management tips can help your condo / HOA management and organization be top of the line. Which will you try first?
Email management tips to get you organized, delete junk, and respond in a timely manner
1. Tackle priorities first
Not all emails are created equal. If organization is important to you, then you likely have a task priority list, and the same can be adapted to emails.
Make a list of all, or better yet, use a flagging system in your software to indicate priority messages. Respond to the most important emails right away, then work your way through the rest. You have the option to delete unnecessary messages (think sales ads and follow-up notes that don’t need a response) or add lesser-important emails to the bottom of your response list.
2. Mark to-do items as unread
This could be one of the most underutilized email features. You read an email, don’t respond right away, then promptly forget about it – or worry about remembering it.
One way to remember all important messages that you can’t respond immediately to is to keep it starred as a “new” email. Most email providers offer some version of a “mark as unread” option. If you use Gmail, for instance, it is part of the drop down menu at the top right of your email message.
Just remember that every message you mark like this will continue to fill up your inbox. Use this tip as a last resort.
3. Respond right away
One reason your email inbox seems daunting is because you have a huge log of emails that need responses. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re less likely to take action, but why are you hoarding all those messages? Take care of any emails that don’t require a lengthy or detailed response. It takes almost as much time to file them somewhere as it does to answer with a few-sentence response.
4. Set an email example
Set the example. Keep your own emails short and concise. If you don’t need a reply, say so in the email. That eliminates the recipient’s need to respond, and it keeps you from getting emails that say, “Thanks for the email, Derrick.”
5. Turn off push notifications
Do you really need a notification every time someone comments on your Facebook post? Using social media is a huge part of attracting new buyers and maintaining a community. However, if you’re logging into your social accounts regularly, there’s no need for you to be emailed of everything that happens in between. Email (or pop-up) notifications are distracting, and once you click to read the comment, you might as well plan on looking at internet cat memes for the next 20 minutes.
6. Use other communication methods
Here’s what happens if you send an email: you get four messages in response. Send only messages that need to be archived for information sake or include a number of people. If you can call a resident with a question that needs a short answer or leave a message on someone’s voicemail with a quick reminder, you’ll limit the number of emails that come back in response to your message. Email isn’t your only option for communication.
We’ve got the perfect tool to lessen the amount of emails you receive. Get work orders directly with the Evercondo app. Better yet, to eliminate easy email questions, your residents can view the Frequently Asked Questions section to find the answers. They can also download forms and view the meeting meetings without contacting you directly.
7. Forget about it
You read that right. We’re telling you to forget about your email. Constantly checking your email can eat up your entire day. Set a schedule for yourself. You’ll always be available by phone for any urgent issues, and email isn’t a medium people use when they need you urgently. So decide you’ll check emails once on the hour, and accomplish the rest of your multiple hats in between. Sandra’s message about the association meeting will still be there for you to read in an hour.
From email management tips to email management tools: Apps, add-ons, and extensions
When you manage a community, you don’t have time to resend emails that didn’t get a necessary response. No problem! Add Boomering to Gmail, Outlook, or Android, and your message will get sent again if you don’t get a reply.
Boomerang also lets you schedule emails to send in the future. In fact, it’s one of the most utilized and helpful features. If you’re working late on a Sunday night to conquer your emails, but you don’t want your residents to think you regularly respond to their messages on your downtime, you can schedule it to send during working hours.
Finally, and perhaps best of all, Boomerand features a pause button – turn your email off for an hour or two and stay focused on tackling the emails you already have.
It doesn’t matter if you are a large or small property management organization, Slack is a tremendous way to eliminate a substantial amount of interoffice emails. Of all the email management tips out there, this is the one most likely to reduce your inbox to a manageable and more efficient system.
Slack is an instant messaging software to use with your team. It allows you to set up channels for people working on specific projects, private channels for individual conversations, and a “water cooler” that anyone on your team can gather around for camaraderie. Plus, you can “save” important messages for easy access all within the system.
Remember all that unsubscribing you’re about to do? Unroll.me will make it much easier. This app scans your email and combines all of those unwanted or wanted-but-rarely-read newsletters into one folder. You get the option to unsubscribe, keep it in your inbox, or add it to the Rollup, which is a daily email digest containing all the newsletters you’ve received that day.
Chances are, you’re subscribed to way more newsletters than you think. Now you don’t have to watch them clutter up your email.
You have more than just emails to worry about. Let Evercondo help you keep better tabs on your communities. Evercondo facilitates quick and useful communication between property managers, the association board, and residents. We also enhance the living experience for residents and managers alike. Contact us for a demonstration or a free trial, and we’ll show you how we can keep your associations running smoothly.
What email management tips can you share with us? Let’s help each other out. Share your thoughts in the comments.