Handwritten Notes: Three ways to mail your way to sphere success

Real Estate Technology with realtor.com®

Your sphere is your best source of business — but sometimes, repeat business or referrals slip through the cracks before you’ve had a chance to get in touch. Is it really possible to keep up-to-date with hundreds (or even thousands) of contacts in your database?

When we asked “Rainers” how they manage to get business from their sphere in this contest, several bloggers mentioned that they get out their greeting card collection or personal stationery when they truly want to make a big impact with the top prospects they know best.

Here are three examples of how you can shine using handwritten notes.


1. Save the anniversary

If you’re lucky enough to know Chesterfield, Virginia, agent Woody Edwards, then you’ve definitely never missed a wedding anniversary. Here’s how Woody helps his sphere stay in each other’s good graces:


I mail an anniversary card to arrive 3-4 days before the actual anniversary. One of the couple usually forgets that it is approaching, but it arrives in time for the present or flowers to be bought and make them look good!

I have gotten several calls from husbands, and a couple of wives, thanking me for reminding them! If they don’t call you, you have a reason to call them a couple days after the date and see what they did for their anniversary.


2. Don’t wait for a reason to send a quick “hello”

While birthdays and anniversary cards are fantastic, you don’t have to have a reason to reach out and wish your friends well. Larry and Sheila Agranoff of Long Island, New York, prove this point with a recent success story:

We now decided to send handwritten notes inside cute store-bought greeting cards. Not anything weird or too inspirational, just something that may put a smile on their face, if even for a moment. And does it work? Well, we recently received this email after sending one of these cards to a past client...

“Larry & Sheila, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to send me that adorable greeting. It made me slow down, take a deep breath and S-M-I-L-E! Although you may not know this, I really needed a little break. Thank you for thinking of me in such a clever way.”

It didn’t take much to keep in contact with this past client, and have her remember us in a way that did not seem like we were all business.


3. Show your gratitude after the sale (and beyond)

Oklahoma City agent Joe Pryor doesn’t want his past clients to feel like they were just a transaction, so he has a gratitude plan to ensure he engages with them even as the years pass. We talk a lot about building relationships in this industry, and we have to say that Joe’s approach isn’t just a way to retain business for next time, it’s the right way to treat those who have given you success.


Handwritten notes: To me, this is the biggest secret weapon in real estate. Not only do I send one immediately after closing, but I also put an action plan to write gratitude notes in an organized fashion to let them know how much they mean to me and is there anything I can do to be of assistance.

People want to be acknowledged, because so often they feel discarded after the sale. Just make sure the note is handwritten and make it personal and don’t repeat cliched phrases. Speak from your heart in the moment.


Ready to dominate your sphere?

We are so grateful to the Active Rain community. Through our contest earlier this year, we gathered up 30 amazing ways agents can engage their sphere to get more business in 2017. We compiled them all into a free PDF download, and we invite you to download it here.


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GET THE FREE PDF: How to dominate your sphere.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Ginger Harper 04/03/2017 12:55 PM
Real Estate Best Practices
top producer
handwritten notes
sphere marketing
real estate sphere
crm marketing
sphere outreach

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Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

I also write a lot of personal notes. I send birthday cards but the day before their birthiday, I also send a pre-Birthday video to let them know personally that I was thinking of them. Always get positive feedback. I also call then on the anniversary of the closing of their current home and thank then for the pleasure of helping them buy their home. 

Mar 23, 2017 07:25 PM #9
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

This is something I write about every now and then. A hand-written note  is so unusual these days that it really stands out and makes the sender memorable.

Along the same lines - when I was a broker and wrote a monthly newsletter to send by mail, I left enough room for a short note. Those short notes were personal - letting people know that they were not merely a name on a list, but someone we knew and cared about.

Mar 23, 2017 07:48 PM #10
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley

Three great examples, from 3 great Active Rain members we know and value. Thanks!

Mar 23, 2017 08:08 PM #11
Curt Hess
ExecuHome Realty - Annapolis, MD
Luxury Home Consultant, Team Leader & CEO

Agreed. Many times over. Takes just a minute or two, and the responses are overwhelmingly positive. Side tip: For those clients who've "ghosted you" use a handwritten note saying something simple like "It seems like we have lost touch, and I'm wondering if you are OK?" Shows you care about them as a PERSON and not just a business opportunity.

Mar 23, 2017 08:12 PM #12
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

You totally looking at the queen of handwritten notes! They work! My God, they work haha!

Mar 23, 2017 09:37 PM #13
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

I send hand written thank you cards for a number of reasons throughout the year, but thanks for the reminder of ways they can be used, and from people I know!!

Mar 24, 2017 07:16 AM #14
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Excellent post, I have always been a big fan of handwritten TY notes.

Mar 24, 2017 07:47 AM #15
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks, I now have 3 good reasons to keep in contact in a personal way.

Mar 24, 2017 08:56 AM #16
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

These are three good ideas and I'm inspired to think of more for personal notes as additional touches to past clients. Thanks for the post!

Mar 24, 2017 09:50 AM #17
Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Thankful for the great advice regarding using personal hand-written notes.  I send them out but not as consistently as I should.  Thanks for the reminder.

Mar 24, 2017 03:20 PM #18
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Great break down and clever way to feature 3 Rainmakers! Been writing thank you notes since I was a kid, mama made me. As a Realtor, my coach at Buffini & Company made me start up with them again, so 18 years later I write notes habitually.

Mar 25, 2017 11:02 PM #19
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this plan of action to stay top of mind with clients and prospects.  Coincidentally, I'll be doing that this weekend to ALL of my clients.  Writers cramp expected :)   Have a great weekend!

Mar 31, 2017 08:23 AM #20
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

Thanks for sharing these actual examples.  The pre-anniversary saves made me laugh.  I can't imaging forgetting my anniversary!

Apr 03, 2017 05:14 AM #21
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Sending something of value, whether it be monthly after the sale to quarterly for market reports, and a yearly real estate review, people like to be seen as more than just a number or a paycheck. Taking the time to write a little note should not be under-estimated. We get lots of junk mail and bills, I love getting cards....your clients feel the same way.

Apr 03, 2017 10:47 AM #22
Stephen Turner
TriCorner Homes (TriCorner Realty) - York, PA

Thanks for the story. While I do hand written notes, I've probably been guilty of not doing them enough. Usually only at Home settlement anniversary and Season's Greetings time. I'll work on doing it more!

Apr 03, 2017 11:03 AM #23
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Glad this is getting so much attention! You'd be surprised how rare it is that people follow up and go the extra mile.

Apr 03, 2017 01:42 PM #24
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

This is a great reminder of how a bit of effort goes a long way.  I am a fan of the handwritten note.

Apr 03, 2017 04:34 PM #25
Alice Broadway
Parker & Rankin (Ms) & Azalea Realty (AL) - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

Thanks for the tips, I am so slacking in this area.

Apr 03, 2017 05:38 PM #26
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

Writing person notes is a wonderful way to let people know how much they are appreciated.  Thank you for the great tips and I will incorporate many of them in the future! Also, it's great to see three of AR's Rainmakers featured in this post.

Apr 03, 2017 08:24 PM #27
Wan Lim
Exit Realty - Denver, CO
Associate Broker advising the Denver Metro area!

Very good ideas! I have been brainstorming some ideas to keep my repeat clients in the loop and in contact in a clever and consistant way! 

Apr 03, 2017 08:24 PM #28
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