I did not grow up in New York City. That meant two things when I was first starting out as a real estate broker. I got lost. A lot (I couldn’t afford a smartphone and the layout of the Village is crazy) and I didn’t know anyone.

As you know a company’s Rolodex is the lifeblood of the business, and I had to work extra hard to make connections. I really sucked at meeting people at first, so email was huge for me. I sent thousands of emails before I figured out how to craft a good one, and here are four ways to do it:

SHOW VALUE: These tips are in no particular order – accept that this is THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE. Why should the person you’re emailing connect with you? Show quickly, efficiently and concisely how you can provide value. Include this in your subject heading and in the beginning of your email.

CONNECT: Understand that busy people might get thousands of emails a day. My inbox is insane. Reference an interaction or conversation to remind the person who you are. It could be as simple as, “I enjoyed our conversation about Labradoodles in line at Starbucks yesterday.” Or, “I’m writing because I loved your latest blog post.” A quick compliment always works – but make sure you’re sincere. You have a personality! Use it. Remember — you’re not sending a mass email!

BE CLEAR: Get to the point. . . FAST. No one (especially a busy person) wants to read through three rambling paragraphs before they get to your ask/point. That’s how a message ends up in the trash. Less is more with email. Take the time to craft a clean, well-executed, concise email.

ADD URGENCY: If you’re writing to someone you want to meet or do business with, sprinkle a dash or urgency in your message. Be respectful – but suggest a specific time frame for meeting or talking. Don’t leave it open ended. Say, “I’d love to schedule a call with you next Tuesday or Thursday, which one is best for you?”

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER:

Dear Ryan:

I loved what you said in your recent vlog about doing your hardest task of the day first. Now I make an effort to clear my inbox every morning before my day gets crazy.

I’m finishing up my last semester of college at NYU where I am studying marketing. I’ve held positions at a Snapchat and was previously an intern at NBC, where I worked on social media and influencer marketing. I believe I could add a lot of value to your media group, especially your recently launched Vlog.

Do you have time for a call next Monday or Wednesday to discuss this further?

Thank you so much for your time,

Hopeful Intern

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My inbox gets flooded – daily. People are in touch with me about listings, I’m always going back and forth with clients and team members, and lots of people reach out for advice or because they have a business proposition. The emails that I read and respond to first are ones that follow the structure I’ve just outlined.

They demonstrate value, make a connection, are easy to read and show some moxie by suggesting a time to meet. Meeting new people – every day is crucial to a company’s success, and email is an easy and FREE way to do this. Free!

Do any of you have tips to share? What works for you? What makes you want to read someone’s email? I’d love to hear your feedback below.

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