You get home from work, and on your way in you pick up the mail. You leaf through and see a bill, a bill, a flier, a bill … Ooh, a handwritten envelope! You immediately want to open it to see who sent this lovely piece of mail to you.

Why did you react this way?

In today’s tech-filled, 24/7 access, multitasking world, people have lost the simple touch of realism. It’s easy to fire an email out, text someone or send them a Facebook message … but a handwritten note takes time, energy, thought and money.

You finally open it up, and it’s from a business associate with a great quote and an “I was thinking of you …” message.

How does this make you feel? What do you do next?

Maybe you’ll sign on to Facebook and publicly thank them for their kindness, or email them a response. Maybe you’ll even (I’ll say it) pick up the phone and actually speak to them!

All because someone took two to three minutes to think of you.

Now put yourself in the shoes of the sender. Imagine the response from your own clients, business associates and colleagues. It’s an incredibly simple yet inherently strong way to build trust and invite your network to contact you today.

Here are three steps that will make the handwritten note work for you. Make it as easy as possible to complete and you’ll find that you’ll be able to add this to your referral network strategy to build strength in your business.

1. Get your people ready!

Your database is the No. 1 most valuable tool you have, and it should always be ready for any new idea. Ready means that, at a minimum, you have updated and correct information for: first name, last name, phone number, email address, street address, city and postal code.

Spend the time to fill in all the gaps so that you have a solid, usable database.

Everyone you know should be in your database, too — not just clients, but also potential clients, family, friends, business contacts, vendors you trust, etc.

Feed that baby until it’s full, fat and happy!

2. Stock up and prepare

There are two options here. You can either head over to the card store and buy boxes of great cards, stamps, envelopes, or you can create “branded” cards via an online option (VistaPrint, for example).

Either way, get enough cards so that everyone in your database can receive two handwritten notes from you each year. You could use one of those as a holiday option.

Prepare ahead of time by putting a stamp on a bunch of the envelopes; even take the time to address them all for the month if you’d like. (Writing the address on the envelope helps alert the recipient that there’s something special inside.)

3. Send these gems on their journey!

Break your database into monthly groups so that you don’t overwhelm yourself and try to mail a note to everyone at once. If you have a database of 150 people, then you’re sending 15 cards a month for 10 months (if you are also sending a separate holiday card).

If you were really prepared, you could even get them all ready at the beginning of the year, grab an accordion file broken down by month and put 15 handwritten and signed cards in each pocket. All you need to do then is grab that month’s batch and drop it in the mailbox!

How easy is that to manage? Super easy!

Are you doing this already? If so, how are you managing it?

Amanda Ross is a licensed broker who started RealtyBoost.CA in 2013, where she works with brokerages and agents to build great businesses and create strategies for future growth.

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