Correspondence is an art, not a science, but these tips will help make your handwritten notes, thank-you’s and videos easier to create.

For many real estate agents and brokers, automation is the name of the game for effective and efficient communication. Drip campaigns, pre-drafted emails, and letter templates are frequently used to ensure prompt outreach while maintaining busy schedules.

However, reaching out to clients doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Creating consistent formulas for your most common communications can help you streamline the process of writing while keeping the spontaneity and charm of an effective handwritten note.

Isn’t formulaic writing bad?

Many of us remember English teachers who drilled into our heads the so-called fact that “formulaic writing” is the mark of a weak writer. However, in reality, most writing follows some formula, whether it’s a sonnet or an academic essay or even a personal note.

If you don’t like the word “formula,” replace it with “structure” or “pattern.” How ever you phrase it, defining the elements you’ll include in your note and formulating a logical pattern for those elements makes your writing faster and easier to create — and easier for the reader to understand.

For those who don’t send written notes — either due to procrastination, a shortage of time or simple dread of the writing process — we’ve also included great tips for video communication that is both personal and efficient.

Reasons to write a note

Although we often think of handwritten notes as the finishing follow-up to a transaction, they are truly welcome anytime.

Here are some of the best reasons to write a note, along with examples to help you craft them quickly and effectively.

Thank you for your business

Of course, this is the thank-you note that you probably are already writing. It’s the one that you send after the closing to thank your client for working with you.

In it, you’ll want to offer some personal memory or observation to let them know that you genuinely valued your time with them.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: What you are thankful for
  • Sentence 2: Something personal from the process
  • Sentence 3: How it made you feel and what you would like to do in the future
  • Sentence 4: A friendly signoff

Dear Doris and Fred,

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you on the purchase of your beautiful new home. I know that Susan will love her room and that big backyard. It was my pleasure to assist you, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again in the future. Have a wonderful holiday season, and enjoy every minute!

Warmest regards,

Kris

Thank you for an introduction or referral

You never know what an introduction will lead to — a new client, a valued colleague or an inspiring mentor. Show your appreciation for introductions and referrals to encourage your correspondent to keep thinking of you and connecting you to others.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: What you are thankful for
  • Sentence 2: What happened as a result of the introduction
  • Sentence 3: How it made you feel
  • Sentence 4: What you would like to do in the future

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you so much for introducing me to your friend, Ina. I had a great time talking with her, and I am excited about the possibility of helping her with her home purchase in the Hamptons. It means so much to me that you would think of me. Let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you in any way.

Best regards,

Anna

Introductory note

This note might be one that you would send to a new lead or a new referral, or it could be part of a promotional direct mail strategy. In it, you’ll introduce yourself and your service and end with a call to action for the next step in the process.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: A friendly greeting
  • Sentence 2: The context for your contact
  • Sentence 3: How to get in touch with you
  • Sentence 4: What you would like to do in the future

Dear Mr. McClane,

Welcome to Los Angeles! You and your family were referred to me by my colleague in Philadelphia; I look forward to the opportunity to help with your home purchase. Enclosed, you’ll find my business card. Please feel free to give me a call or text me and let me know when we can get together to discuss your homebuying wishlist. 

Yours,

Hans

Congratulatory note

This one is a great way to reach out at any time and stay top-of-mind with former clients and their family members. Check out social media and even the local newspaper to stay abreast of the accomplishments of your sphere of influence and their family members, and drop them a note of acknowledgment.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: Why you are reaching out
  • Sentence 2: Something personal about the situation
  • Sentence 3: What you would like to do in the future
  • Sentence 4: A friendly signoff

Dear Gustave,

I wanted to reach out to congratulate you and your daughter, Christine, on her acceptance to the University. As an alumnus, I know that she will enjoy her time there and that it will be a stepping stone to many tremendous accomplishments in the future. Please send her my warmest regards and let her know that I would be happy to assist if she has any questions or needs any advice. Go Dawgs!

Best,

Raoul

Catching up note

Sometimes, you just need to connect personally with former clients, members of your sphere or valued referral partners. Reaching out with a handwritten note feels warmer and more sincere than a quick email or text, and it lets them know that you genuinely want to reconnect.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: A context for the need to catch up
  • Sentence 2: A proposal for an upcoming meeting
  • Sentence 3: An invitation to connect.

Dear Dolly,

It seems like the worst part of the pandemic has been that I no longer get to have coffee with you once a week. I miss you so and would love the chance to get together (socially distanced, of course) for a chat and to hear about what you have been up to lately. Give me a call when you have some time free, and let’s put something on your calendar — I know how busy you are.

Have a great day!

Reba

Video communication

For some real estate professionals, writing is a frustrating and challenging process. For others, there simply isn’t time to sit down and draft written communication. However, we are all on our phones all the time, so video communication can be a convenient alternative.

I reached out to Kendall Bonner, broker-owner of RE/MAX Capital Realty in Lutz, Florida. She often touts the power of a one-to-one video, meaning a video made for an audience of one, in this case, the person you’re reaching out to thank. She is adept at creating direct, personal video communication.

Here are the three questions I asked, and below is her video response.

  1. How do you get past what I think is the No. 1 objection I hear regarding video: I am too ( insert old, fat, wrinkled, etc.)?
  2. Do you recommend a particular platform for the personalized videos you share or just your phone’s capabilities?
  3. Can agents create a library of pre-made videos for each step of the purchase and sale process, or should all video communication be organic and personalized? In other words, is there a way to streamline the process, especially for those who find it difficult or time-consuming?

If you’re interested in the video tools that Bonner mentioned above, click here.

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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