How to write a handwritten note to receive a REFERRAL!

Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The technology has advanced so much that we are always on emails, blackberry, laptop, computer, palm pilot. We communicate behind a computer screen... These days the practice of using handwritten notes to convey information to others seem so ancient and long ago!

Not that I am old fashion or anything, because I am the one that you can probably reach me within 2 minutes once you sent me an email... But I am a true believer in handwritten notes...Especially in this day and age, it can often mean the difference in standing out from the crowd, especially given its rarity these days.

Last year (2008) I thought I should try to write a handwritten note every week to a past client, a friend, an aquaintenace that I met at an networking party or social gathering, or anyone that you think may be able to connect you with a buyer or seller. And guess what? 40% of my deals have came from those handwritten note, and it is only logical to step it up few notches this year!

here are some helpful tips to write a handwritten note:

  • You do not have to write to everyone in your database. For me, I wrote to past clients that I connected with, someone that I felt comfortable with, someone that I can maybe go to lunch or coffee with, someone that I can befriends with.
  • Set a goal: 2008 was one card per week for me, but maybe it can be one card per month for you. If you set a goal, set a realistic one, this way you will not have any excuses not to follow through.
  • Write from the heart: Remember, it is a handwritten note, so it is all about personal touches, I always start the sentences with "Hi... I have been thinking about you, how have you been? how is your family? "
  • Keep it brief: Again, this is a personal NOTE, so do not write an essay, you want someone to actually read your note and not think it is a book. If it is a card, I would only write on one side, not the entire bi-fold.
  • Sign off with maybe a telephone call the following week, or email contact, or lunch/coffee date. It is always important to ask for meeting or more connection at the end of the card.
  • AND, I always enclose 2 business cards (sometimes more) in the note. One card for them to keep, one for them to give out.

I don't know about you, but I always open up those handwritten cards, and envelopes first, perhaps this is why I have always receive a phone call, or an email or two once the card is sent out!

Give it a try, I am sure you will be surprised!

Posted by



Eileen Hsu 許雅嵐 (email: EHSU(@)

Our team specialize in Manhattan New York Condominiums, townhouses, and condops.

We are condominium residents ourselves so we understand the Manhattan New York condominium community. We also enjoy all Manhattan neighborhoods, especially Upper West Side, Lincoln Square, Midtown East, Murray Hill, Financial District, Chelsea, Fifth Avenue, Greenwich Village, Nolita and etc just to name a few. If you or you know someone that may be interested in selling, buying or leasing their Manhattan New York condo, call us today (917)837-8869 or (646)644-6929 and we can discuss your specific Real Estate goals.

Manhattan New York Condo Specialists or Chinese Speaking Real Estate Agent



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Sonny Kwan
Quantum Group Commercial - Residential - Lease Seattle, WA - Mercer Island, WA

One card a week sounds like a plan I can deal with. with all that I'm doing to be on track in Real estate, I need to be back into my game and now that Thach has reviewed he is back into selling Residential real estate, we need to ramp it up.

Jan 28, 2009 01:40 PM #5
Mike Manns
B4 U Close Home Inspections - Jackson, TN
Jackson Madison Co. Home Inspector

Great plan what make it so great is noboby else does it any more and when they get it like WOW. It's sad that no one has time anymore.

Jan 29, 2009 07:06 AM #6
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That's a really good idea and I'm going to try it - one card a month, at least.  Thanks!

Jan 30, 2009 06:31 PM #7
Cindy Hartpence
Edisto Real Estate Company - Edisto Beach, SC

Such great advice.I often have open houses. I always handwrite a note within two weeks of my open houses to each person that comes in. I have received so many nice emails in response. It's personal and heartfelt. We all like a personal touch iin this fast age of technology.

Have a great day!


Feb 01, 2009 12:54 PM #8
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

This is a wonderful reminder.  I have been reading articles and tearing about pages that catch my eye for someone. I write a little note on the page and send it off.   Sending two cards is a great idea!

Feb 02, 2009 12:21 AM #9
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Eileen, I can see why Sheldon mentioned this post in his" Week in Review"this morning- very good ideas, that I can use! Thank you Eileen!

Feb 02, 2009 12:38 AM #10
Pat Tasker
Shorewest Realtors - Germantown, WI
Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI)

Yes, this is a lost art....I love paper, cards etc, so I really try to continue this art....And if you send me referrals, I include a box of Frango Mints with that thank you card!

Feb 02, 2009 01:31 AM #11
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Eileen, Writing is a lost art.  I write my notes when I'm waiting for clients.  They love notes and yes, they must come from the heart.  Great advice here!

Feb 02, 2009 01:36 AM #12
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Eileen - this is a great suggestion and I like the idea of not sending it to everyone in your database, then it really is overwhelming. One card per month or per week seems reasonable, and congrats on receving the referrals from this.

Feb 02, 2009 02:01 AM #13
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Great suggestion!  I believe most people find it easier to just send an email, but I like your idea. plan to try it.

Feb 02, 2009 02:14 AM #14
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

Eileen, I love the handwritten note! I am doing one a day this year so far and hope to increase it!

Feb 02, 2009 02:54 AM #15
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate

We always write a handwritten note to clients who have recently bought or sold, but this is a great way to reconnect to those you may not have heard from in awhile :)

Feb 02, 2009 03:12 AM #16
Gina Zimmerman
North Eastern Group Realty - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Real Estate

Beautiful stationery, beautiful sentiments are always welcomed.  Whether they lead to any business is secondary.  It is indeed the right thing to do:-)  Thanks for the reminder.  Gina

Feb 02, 2009 09:34 AM #17
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Eileen -- In this new-age of marketing, where it seems like ideas come to the scene on an hourly basis, it's interesting to see a very solid idea that works, as it's easy to understand why and how good it feels to actually receive a hand written note.  Great idea and thanks for the tip!

Feb 02, 2009 11:32 AM #18
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

What a nice idea and one card a week is something I can handle.  I send them out to those I've stopped by and tried to solicit a listing from but just doing it to keep in touch with past clients is a great idea!

Feb 02, 2009 12:46 PM #19
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Hello Everyone. Thank you very much for stopping by. Thanks Sheldon for giving me the shout out...!!! Handwritten note is very effective in reaching your best VIP clients, it pays in so many ways more than you think.  A Thank you note is fine, but a 'JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU' Card is more powerful than e-mail marketing or farming!

Feb 02, 2009 02:18 PM #20
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Good advice, I have just bought a fresh supply of cards and postage stamps and I am going to get started writing!  Good luck to you!

Feb 04, 2009 06:43 AM #21
Zilkia Olmeda-Martins
RE/MAX North - San Antonio - San Antonio, TX
GRI, Realtor, San Antonio Texas Luxury Homes

I always send handwritten cards, not just at closing, but also after the first face to face appointment with a new client. 

Feb 05, 2009 11:13 AM #22
Jessica Wallace
Coldwell Banker - Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz Realtor (831) 419-9345

I send handwritten notes but I am going to ramp it up this year, thanks for the reminder.

Feb 11, 2009 08:33 AM #23
Girl Girl
Galloway, NJ

Wow! 40% of your business from these vip note-receivers?  That is truly motivational! 

I guess now I just need to start getting physical addresses (I am SO an email junkie...probably a good habit to break now and then). 

Thanks for backing up your tip with some numbers - it's so helpful when trying to sort through the ten million marketing ideas out there and define your business strategy.

Here's to your continued success!


Feb 12, 2009 04:33 AM #24
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