We advertise on the main national real estate websites that buyers use to look for homes. This results in a steady stream of “leads” … potential buyer clients. Although we’re happy to get clients from internet advertising, it is a small part of our business. Our goal in responding to these leads is to provide good service by answering questions, and pointing people in the right direction. We don’t give them the hard sell and try to convert them to clients.
Email addresses are usually the only contact information that we have to work with – no name and no phone number. You should see some of the strange addresses that people pick for their online presence! Here are a few of my favorites themes, with an example of each (sightly modified, and stripped of the domain).
The Nickname: This may be the most popular since it’s a true part of someone’s identity. Two of the best that I have seen come through my inbox are requests for information from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m comfortable addressing a reply to Izzy, but what do I do about Lil Holla?
The Description: Others pick an address that describes them, like Sara did with her address … email@example.com. I did not have an opportunity to confirm that the adjective is appropriate, but we’ll take her word for it. And I guess “beautifulsara” must have already been taken!
The Random: Finally, there are addresses that have no obvious context, like firstname.lastname@example.org. This one could be a nickname, but it’s not obvious. Others addresses seem like they could be references to a business. In some ways these are the most difficult of all because they create a puzzle that I want to try to solve – who are these people and why did they pick their email address?
Most of the time we never hear back from internet leads, so the mystery lives on forever. Perhaps the real conclusion here is that in today’s age of mobile technology the email address doesn’t matter all that much to some people. If you prefer text messaging, then maybe you don’t even need an email address. But on the rare occasion when you do, the name you choose to use can make a lasting impression on the recipient.
Have you come across any crazy email addresses that you can share? (Please modify them slightly and substitute the xyz.com domain before posting)