What is a business email account?

Simply put, a business email account is used with a custom domain name versus a personal email account such as “sally.smith@gmail.com.” An example is “john.smith@abccompany.com.”

Business email accounts are typically set up for one or more members of an organization or company, all with email addresses that end with the company domain name after the “@” symbol.

Business email accounts typically come with additional features not found in a personal email, such as secure network file storage and calendars.

Email hosting companies provide business email accounts for a fee. These accounts can come with technical support when paid for as part of a hosting plan.

It’s an industry “best practice” to use a business email address for your real estate business.

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Where do you get a business email account?

Any one of thousands of national and local companies can provide you with business email hosting services.

Your email hosting service may be “cloud-based” or locally hosted.

Many professionals get their email addresses and hosting services from the same provider that registers their domain name.

The most popular choices for real estate professionals are:

Local information technology (IT) service providers may also offer locally-hosted business email, desktop support, web development, and domain registration.

What to look for when choosing a business email provider?

Today, cloud-based email hosting is the norm in real estate versus local companies. This is mainly due to the low cost of services, security, and built-in features offered by larger providers.

Cost - Some providers offer free business email, but there’s usually a catch. Business email has become a commodity, so prices are low for full-featured offerings on a per-email address basis. Paying more than $6-$12 per email address is not typical, nor is it needed in most cases.

Ease-of-Use - Easy setup and host-provided administration come standard with most cloud-based email offerings today. Still, it’s essential to pay attention to the ease of integration with desktop email clients, mobile phones, and other mobile devices you are in the habit of using and learning how easy it is for you to do most administrative tasks yourself with a given provider.

Security - It’s important to ensure your email provider takes security seriously. In addition to offering only HTTPS/SSL email transmission, it’s good to also look for a hosting provider with robust anti-malware, and anti-phishing capabilities since things like wire fraud are commonplace now in the real estate industry.

Backup & Recovery - Most prominent service providers offer built-in features for backing up and recovering email accounts and content. If you choose a local provider, confirm their policies and procedures since maintaining records is a vital concern for real estate professionals.

Our Recommendations:

Google Workspaces has overtaken Microsoft Exchange as the predominant small-business email hosting.

Both offer comparable pricing, ease of use, security, and backup/recovery options. Still, the right choice for you should depend on your technology and your comfort level with technology in general.

Both offerings work well on Apple Mac computers and Windows machines, but Google is the preferred choice for Mac users.

Microsoft Outlook has been the de facto standard in email clients for Windows users who want the “feel” of a complete application installed on their computers or are already used to Outlook.

Google business email work well with newer versions of the Windows operating system and Outlook clients. Still, you may need some extra technical tweaking for Google mail to work with older email client versions.

Overall, we recommend using Google Workspaces for its ease of use without any technical support and for its compatibility with the other vital Google services you need to do great digital marketing.

Google Workspaces email is also more straightforward to use on the web and mobile devices.

The built-in Google Drive for secure, networked storage and the accessibility of Google Docs and Sheets is also becoming a standard in most small businesses' workplaces due to the Microsoft Office licensing costs.

If you are used to working with Microsoft Outlook, we recommend using Microsoft 365 since it integrates seamlessly with the mail client you’re already using.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

You can get started quickly with either Google Workspaces or Microsoft 365 by following the links below:

Microsoft 365 Sign-up

Google Workspaces Sign-up