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Q: What piece of marketing collateral can you send just about anyone – grad student, retiree, working mother etc… – and be almost 100 percent sure they’ll open it?

A: A handwritten thank you card.

In an age of frequent emails and text messages, handwritten mail always receives special attention. Sending thank you cards to prospects, past clients and colleagues is not just polite, it’s smart marketing. A sincere note of gratitude is a powerful relationship building tool, and real estate is, after all, a relationship-driven industry.

So how to do you use thank you cards to retain your current clients and attract new ones? It’s easy. Aside from a simple greeting and sign off, you only need to write three sentences to create an effective thank you note.

1. Tell them why you are thanking them.
2. Say something specific about your experience.
3. Include a call to action for future contact.

For example:

Dear Mr. Beyer,

Thank you for choosing me as your real estate agent. I am confident we will find your dream home – complete with that picket fence we talked about! Remember, whenever you have questions, I am just a quick call, email or text message away.

Kind regards,
Seymour Sayles

Sending a handwritten, genuine thank you note will not only brighten someone’s day but will also keep you top-of-mind when it comes time for referrals or future real estate transactions. Show your contacts that you go the extra mile; make a commitment to send some real mail every week. Just 10 minutes a day can revive stale prospects and generate new business.

Wondering what professional occasions merit a thank you card? Just about any, when you’re a real estate agent or broker. This short list will get you started:

• After a listing presentation
• When you secure a new listing
• After a showing
• After the close of escrow
• On the homeowner’s one-year anniversary
• When you receive a referral
• After a client appreciation event

For thank you cards with the largest impact, choose stationery that is bespoke or locally made. Etsy has a large selection of terrific handmade stationery at a variety of price points.

Geneva Ives is the marketing writer for Point2 – a leading provider of online marketing solutions for real estate professionals including custom websites, syndication tools, prospecting utilities and more.

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