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User's Guide

I. Introduction
II. My Preferences/Search
III. My Signature & Logos
IV. Send a Message
V. Track Your Message
V. Resend Your Message
VII. Filtering Your Messages into separate Folders
VIII. Using Outlook® to Automatically Forward Responses to an Assistant

I. Introduction

Exchange Mail is a web-based email service that allows you to communicate information about your available properties to other members and even gives you the unique ability to send and receive specific property needs. While it is a highly utilized system that sees upwards of 100 messages a day, it allows you to receive as many or as few of these as you like based on your specific interests. Outlook users can also download rules to filter Exchange Mail messages into separate folders (for details see section V "Filtering your Messages into Separate Outlook Folders"). Attachments will be linked in the body of the email and stored to a database, so you don't have to worry about those taking up large chunks of space in your inbox. If you prefer, you may also choose to view your messages on the web. All messages will be saved in a searchable repository for 90 days. This feature allows you to search for a specific property type and find all emails matching the search criteria.

Exchange Mail is a service provided exclusively to REALTOR® members of the Atlanta Commercial Board.

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II. My Preferences/Search

In order to control the emails that you receive, you need to set up your preferences. To do this choose "My Preferences/Search" from the navigation menu on the left side of the screen. This will bring you to the main search page where you can click the "Create a Preference/Search" button to set up your preferences. You will see a page where you can select many different factors that will define which emails you will receive. To start receiving emails based on your search, simply name and save your search on the last page to add it to your preferences. You may update or delete this search or add another any time you like. You can find further details at the top of each page and by holding your pointer over the point at these to find helpful information.

The new search setup gives you the added flexibility of creating multiple saved searches, giving you the ability to do such things as the following:

  • You could have one search for "Client X's downtown office needs", another for "Client Y's East Atlanta retail needs", and another for "Industrial properties in West Atlanta". Not looking for Client Y at the moment? Turn off emails regarding these properties. Done working with him completely? Delete that search.
  • Another possibility: create separate searches for your "Needs" and "Haves" if your criteria for each differs.
  • Traveling or don't want all these messages coming to your email? Traveling or don't want all these messages coming to your email? Check the "Vacation mode" box at the bottom. You can still use the magnifying glass next to each search to view those results on-line.

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III. My Signature, My Logos, & My vCard

Go to My Profile in order to set up your Signature, Logo, or vCard. Follow the instructions on each page to add your logo to the template or to your text based email, as well as add a personalized signature.

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IV. Send a Message

This option will take you through the steps of creating and sending your message. Instructions are provided on the top of each page and point at these to find helpful information can be found to the left to answer any specific questions. As there are various different ways to create a message based on your type of message and choices, the best way to understand this process is to go through it and to use these help bubbles as needed. Simply fill out the requested information and select from the various options regarding how you would like to create your message. Nothing will be sent until you press the "Send this Message" button, so you can explore all you like. Note that there is no need to concern yourself with where your message is going; simply describe your listing or need to us and we'll make sure it gets to all interested parties.

Note: you should receive a copy of every message that you send regardless of whether you are signed up for that specific category.

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V. Track a Message

Track how many people have viewed your message by going to "Create a Preference/Search" and then "Search for My Messages". Select the message you would like to view by clicking on the . At the bottom of the page you will see the following statistics:

  • Emailed to: This value shows you the total number of people this message was sent to.
  • Total Email Views: This value shows you the total number of times your message has been opened.
  • Unique Email Views: This value shows you how many individuals opened your message.
  • Matching Searches: This value shows you the total number of possible matches that have been posted on Exchange Mail over the last 90 days.

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VI. Resend a Message

To keep you from being flooded with repeat messages, messages on the same property can be sent no more than once every two weeks. You can keep track of messages you've sent by viewing them under the "My Messages/Listings" button on the "My Preferences/Search" page. Once two weeks have passed and a message is available to be resent, a green arrow will appear next to the message. To resend a message, simply click this arrow. This will restore all of your previous selections and input information but also take you through the steps again so you can make any changes or updates that are necessary.

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VII. Filtering your Exchange Mail into Separate Folders

Using Outlook® (see bottom of this section for web or other email service):

Note: These instructions were prepared using Outlook version 2010. Other versions of Outlook have similar functionality but the instructions will vary slightly from version to version.

In just a few minutes you can easily create separate folders where Exchange Mail messages will be deposited so you can keep your Inbox clutter-free and view Exchange Mail messages at your own convenience. They will even be subdivided into separate Needs and Haves folders. We have already created the rules for you, so all that you have to do is follow these steps which will walk you through the process of downloading the rules, importing them into Outlook, and then creating the necessary folders.

  1. Downloading the Exchange Mail rules
    1. Click here and "Save" the rules to your desktop.
  2. Importing the rules into Outlook
    1. On the Home Ribbon select "Rules> Manage Rules & Alerts" from your the main Outlook window menu.
    2. If you have a previous set of Exchange Mail rules delete them now.
    3. Click the "Options" button in the upper right.
    4. Choose "Import Rules".
    5. Locate the "xmail_rules" file you downloaded on your desktop.
    6. Choose "Open" and then click "OK".

    You should now see a set of rules for each folder (you may need to scroll to the bottom of the list if you have many other rules).

  3. Creating/Directing to folders
    1. With the first rule ("Ex Mail Haves") selected in grey in the top box, you will see an explanation in the bottom box with the bottom line saying "Move it to the Ex Mail Haves folder". Click on the "Ex Mail Haves Folder" link (which is blue and underlined).
    2. Choose "new…" and create a folder called "Ex Mail Haves" and in the bottom section choose whichever folder you would like it to appear under (if you are not sure choose your inbox).
    3. Repeat this step to create the "Needs" folder.

    Setup is now complete! You can select the folder your Exchange Mail messages are currently in and choose "Run Rules Now" to move all Exchange Mail to these folders, but note that if you have a very large number of messages this process may take several minutes or more.

    *Note: Once you have successfully imported the rules you can deleted them from your desktop.

Using Another Email Service:
Some email services have the ability to apply filters as well, although few allow you to enter multiple criteria as Outlook does. The "from" address will always be "email@commercialboardexchange.com", so if you have the ability to create a filter you can tell it to place all emails with that sender address into a separate folder. You can also tell it to place messages with "ACBR Have:" and "ACBR Need:" in the subject into separate folders to mirror the Outlook setup above, but realize that unless you can require that that subject and sender criteria are both met for the same message, responses to your messages will be mixed in with the other messages (since they contain "ACBR: _____" in their subject).

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VIII. Using Outlook® to Automatically Forward Responses to an Assistant

Note: These instructions were prepared using Outlook version 2010. Other versions of Outlook have similar functionality but the instructions will vary slightly from version to version.

To forward responses to an assistant:  On the Home ribbon click on "Rules>Manage Rules & Alerts". Click 'new rule' then select 'from blank rule'. Check "with specific words in subject" and define those specific words as "RE: ACBR Have" and "RE: ACBR Need:". Then hit 'next' and choose "Forward it to people or distribution list" or, if you do not want it to come into your inbox at all, "redirect to people or distribution list". Enter your assistant's email, click 'finish', and you are done.

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