With Christmas coming this is the traditional time of year to send a card to your clients, prospects, and suppliers but it shouldn’t be the only time you recognize them.

One of the most cost-effective ways of marketing yourself in real estate is with a Thank You letter. Not just a simple “oh, by the way, thanks!” sent via text or email. A genuine. Appreciative. “THANK YOU!” letter – to each person who sends business your way or does business with you. Even in this digital age, word-of-mouth referrals still dominate as the most effective – and profitable, marketing tool. Make sure you do it right and reap the benefits!

In an age where is it easy to send a quick text or email, the hand-written note adds all that much more meaning. There is something special about opening that unexpected letter, and even more when a gift is included. It is a signal to your contact that you appreciate their business, and value the contribution they make to your profits.

How did you feel the last time you received that special hand-written thank you letter? You likely stopped what you were doing and acknowledged the time they put into sending it to you. And likely a moment you won’t soon forget. I have been fortunate enough to receive several of those special thank yous and I remember every one. While working in the agent referral business it was the agents who sent that special card of thanks that always got the next referral. And my personal agent, who gave me house gifts for each season on my move-in anniversary, who I will never forget and always refer to friends. The profits made from those simple gestures have paid for the gift or card many times over.

In contrast, with the agent we used to purchase our current home, while he did provide a restaurant gift card on closing, our only contact since has been the annual Christmas calendar sent in an envelope with a mailing label and an 8 ½ x 11 sheet with a typed holiday message. Hardly personal and little effort given. Will I refer business to him? Not likely. Many referral sales lost, including repeat business from me.

Consider those cards and gifts part of your marketing budget. The financial rewards will pay for them over and over again.

What gives strength to a Thank You?

  • It depends on the level of thanks. If you simply send a text or email, the recipient may recognize your efforts, but a personal hand-written thank you letter on a nice card will elevate it to another level entirely. Add a token gift and you hit a home run.
  • Take the time to be specific with your message. What was it that the contact did? If it was a client, the note could say something like – “Thank you for choosing me as your real estate agent. I appreciate the trust you put in me with such a personal and important transaction…” If it was a referral the message could be – “Thank you for referring to me. I truly appreciate your confidence in my abilities. I am excited by their enthusiasm to explore the neighbourhood and I am confident I will find that special home that works for them…”
  • It opens the door for you to specifically ask for the referral at the end – “If you found my services helpful I hope you will call me with any future plans and refer me to your friends and family. I hope you will consider adding a testimonial to my Facebook page.” (add link)
  • If your handwriting is terrible print the card on the computer but always add a hand-written note at the bottom, even if it’s messy. It is the effort and time to write by hand that increases the power.
  • Include your business card with “Thank you” written on it. It will remind them that you appreciate their business.

When to send a thank you

In real estate, there are multitudes of opportunities to say thank you. The time and effort you put into sending them will directly correlate to your success. They are the strongest tools in your marketing basket for marketing yourself in real estate. Send a note –

  • Following a listing presentation
  • Upon securing a listing or buyers agreement
  • After losing a listing or buyer
  • After meeting a prospect at an open house
  • After a purchase
  • After Closing
  • Move-in anniversary
  • A birthday
  • On a client/contact promotion
  • To the person who sends you a referral, first when the referral is made and again when the deal closes at which time a gift should be included

DON’T WAIT. The timing of the note is also key. Be sure to send it off within a day or two of the event.

What gift to send

  • The #1 priority is a hand-written card on good stationery.
  • It depends on the services provided. To a client, show that you have considered their personal circumstances. Are they renovating before they move in? A gift card for Home Depot or a nearby restaurant would be appreciated. If it’s a young couple expecting their first child, a baby toy.
  • If it’s a referral, gift cards are the perfect gesture. The denomination can vary depending on the referral or services offered, from a simple Tim Horton’s coffee to $100 gift card to a local restaurant.
  • Each season brings opportunities – flowers for the garden, an Easter basket, outdoor fall décor for curb appeal, a fresh wreath for Christmas or a new toboggan for the kids.
  • At an open house – A small dish of jelly bean packets attached to your business card – with “It’s bean nice to meet you” written in a fun script. The prospects will enjoy the snack and smile at the corny line.

Make use of a CRM system such as Realtyjuggler, Top Producer, IXACT Contact or Contactually to track your client and contact list. There you can add birthdays, move-in anniversaries and other events, which provide the perfect opportunity for that special note.

Do you send personal notes of thanks? Tell me how this has affected your business in the comments below.

I’m Diana Cape, the Real Estate Copywriter and I’ve been writing about real estate for over 25 years. I specialize in creating content for websites, social media, blogs and traditional marketing material for Canadian real estate professionals, developers and industry trades. Let me help you choose the content that will reassure your prospects that your industry know-how and skills can make their real estate dream a reality. Find out more here.