Is Your Real Estate Email Mobile? Choosing Between POP and IMAP3 min read
Do you need access to your email (ALL of your email) from anywhere?
Are you concerned that you are only a hard drive crash or a stolen computer away
from losing all of your email?
Are you in the dark when it comes to transferring your email from an old computer
to a new one?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to understand two
important email-related words:
-POP (Post Office Protocol)
-IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
Don’t worry about remembering exactly what they stand for. As it is with most
technology acronyms, the exact meaning doesn’t really matter. It’s the underlying
idea that is important. All you need to remember is that those two acronyms decide
where your email lives.
With POP, your email lives on YOUR computer. With IMAP, your email lives on the
computer of the company that provides your email service.
No matter which you choose to use, you will read your email in the same way.
Things will pretty much look the same from your perspective either way.
Choosing whether POP or IMAP is right for your real estate business is something
you decide based on these key things:
1. The setup of your email service provider (do they offer you a choice?).
2. Whether or not you need access to your email (all of your email) from anywhere.
3. Do you want to be responsible for the security of your email or do you want a
professional tech person to watch over it?
Provided that your email service offers IMAP mail, you will need to make your choice
between POP and IMAP when setting up the program (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.)
you use to read email.
Here is a quick rundown of the main differences between the two setups:
-simple and quick, even dial-up users can download email without too much
-most email programs default to using POP email so no extra knowledge is required
to set it up
-requires less space on your email provider’s computer (resulting in cheaper rates)
since you are constantly moving it onto your own hard drive
-your email is downloaded to and stored on your computer only, after which it is
viewable from your computer only
-the safety and security of your email depends on how well you maintain the
security of your computer and how often you backup your data
-transferring email from one program to another or from one computer to another
can be a huge headache
-email is not downloaded to your computer – all of your email is stored on the
computer of your email service provider
-email security and backups are monitored by your email provider; if your computer
meets an early death, your email will be unaffected
-your email (including all of your folders and subfolders) is accessible from any
internet connected computer
-transferring your email from one computer to another or from one email program
to another is quick and simple
-requires you to be connected to internet to read your email
-probably not a good idea for dial-up users
-takes up more space on your email provider’s computer as the amount of mail
stored there grows and grows (resulting in slightly higher rates)
Here’s the million dollar question:
How do you choose which one to use?
Just ask yourself two questions:
1. Do I need/want to view my email from any computer?
2. Do I want to ensure that I will never lose my email due to a computer crash?
If you answered “Yes” to one or both questions, you should look into IMAP. If you
answered “No” to both questions and regularly backup your email yourself, you
should probably stick with POP (that is most likely what you are using now).
Regardless of which email setup you choose, understand that as your real estate
business changes, you always have the option to change your technology setup to
support your new goals.