The Shelf Life of a Letter of Introduction

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

LetterLast spring I put together a database of out-of-state owners of property in the Plano, Frisco and McKinney areas of North Dallas.  I got a good response from the letter with several new investor clients, and a future listing from a client that decided it was best to wait a couple of more years before selling based upon his tax situation and the potential for a later deferment through a qualified 1031 Like-Kind Exchange.  I had no idea, however, that a simple introductory letter would be so long-lived.

Last week I received a call from an out-of-state owner of a home in Plano asking if I could evaluate his property for sale or lease.  I asked him a few questions about the property and his plans, and then got around to asking him how he got my name and number.  He told me that he received a letter from me and so I pulled up my spreadsheet that I use to send out and monitor expired letters.  I couldn't find his name and asked him if I had the address correct.  He then astonished me by saying that he had received my letter last spring and decided that he liked my information and credentials and saved it until a later date.  Then when his current tenants abandoned the lease, he called me to assist him in evaluating and either selling or leasing the home.

I had no idea that a simple introductory letter would have a shelf life of several days, let alone nearly an entire year.  This particular house is worth nearly $375,000.  Keep this in mind whenever you introduce yourself in a letter, postcard or similar vehicle.  You never know how long it will last.

Comments (6)

Jeff Tomas
Accounting and Tax - Rockford, IL
Accountant
Very true. The letter of introduction is very important. I have had calls off of postcards and emails almost a year after the inital contact. However, keeping your name in front of them is just as important.
Feb 12, 2007 03:50 PM
Mark Flanders
Consulting - Silverdale, WA

Steven,

This is a great article!

Congratulations, it was included in the most recent Unsung and Overlooked collection.

This should get it a little more exposure :)

 

Feb 16, 2007 11:25 PM
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

So true So true So true. Some years ago while going through an expired listing database of mine ( dumping non responders right and left ) my wife asked in a horrified voice " What are you Doing "? My reply " No response no more mail ". She then said something that made a lot of sense. " So you think that just because they are not calling you the day they receive your card that they are all done huh. "

So I stopped dumping the contacts and instead sent another round of cards to the remainder of the group. Three days later I got a call from a Lady who invited me out to list their house. They had loved my cards from the start but couldn't sell because they had been working with their lender to stall a potential foreclosure. I wonder how many potential sales I have flushed over the years ?

Feb 17, 2007 03:40 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

We have been sending some very unique postcards.  Some have top 10 lists of funny items -- others are have great graphics etc.  I am always surprised that clients have kept them for over a year and then will pull them out and call!  I think there is something to be said for the old fashioned handwritten letter or card.

Feb 17, 2007 09:08 AM
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi there,

Thanks for the great info. 

I too had a situation, on my newsletter.  I was in the store one day and bumped into a lady on my sphere list.  She said she loved the newsletters so much that she was saving them in a stack just incase she wanted to use one of the articles in the future, if she had my permission to do so.   One of my neighbors was also saving them.  Another client told me she saved hers to pass along to an out-of-state family member. So you never know!

Good work!

Feb 20, 2007 12:37 PM
Bill Exeter
Exeter 1031 Exchange Services, LLC - San Diego, CA
1031 Tax-Deferred Exchange Expert
This is a good lesson for all of us.  You just never know who will keep your contact information for future use. 
Dec 08, 2007 07:44 AM