Writing notes is not just about ticking off a box on your to-do list or even having good manners. It’s about delighting the recipient with a heartfelt, sincere and, most of all, personal form of communication.

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In the book of Proverbs, King Soloman says that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Fitly here means “properly,” and what’s a more proper form of communication than a handwritten note?

For many of us, handwritten notes were a staple of growing up with parents who insisted that we write “proper” thank you notes for birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, graduations, showers and more. While we may have thought of it as a matter of etiquette, it’s really so much more than that.

Handwritten notes are probably the warmest and most personal form of communication, so incorporating them as part of your marketing plan is the perfect way to create a closer relationship with your sphere of influence. Here’s why you should be writing them, tools you should use and some ideas for how to write them as well.

Benefits of handwritten notes for real estate agents

There’s a reason that handwritten notes are such a popular part of so many agents’ marketing plans. From new agents to veterans, they offer unparalleled results. Here’s why they work so well:

Personal touch

Everyone knows that real estate is a relationship business, and handwritten notes help to build those relationships. Because they feel so personal and thoughtful, they make a big impression and assure everyone from members of your SOI to leads to referral partners that they are special to you — and worthy of your time and attention.

Improved client satisfaction

The personal outreach that handwritten notes provide results in improved client satisfaction. No one wants to feel like they’re just a number. Every client you have wants to feel like your favorite. Reaching out with a handwritten note can accomplish that, especially when you include personal details.

Increased likelihood of referrals

The relationship you build with handwritten notes can easily translate into additional referrals, especially if you continue to communicate with past clients long after the closing. Because personal notes are often kept for months or years, they outlast virtually any other type of marketing collateral and keep you top of mind for years to come. 

Types of handwritten notes for real estate agents

While you don’t need an excuse to send a handwritten note, here are some key times in the lifecycle of your client relationship when a handwritten note is particularly welcome.

Thank you notes

Whether you’re thanking them for their business, for a referral or for being a friend, your recipient will be thrilled with a handwritten thank you note. Find plenty of ideas and examples in my article: How to write the perfect thank-you note guaranteed to generate leads

Follow-up notes

How do you keep your great first impression going after a listing appointment, buyer consultation, or interviewing with your dream team or brokerage? With a promptly delivered handwritten follow-up note. Recap your conversation, end with your CTA (call to action) and, as always, express your sincere gratitude.

‘Just checking in’ notes

Haven’t heard from a favorite client or referral partner in a while? Reach out and renew the relationship with a well-timed checking in note. You never really need an excuse to say “Hi” in this way, but if you want one check out their social media feeds for recent life changes or accomplishments.

Holiday greetings

Rather than sending out preprinted cards at the holidays, consider a handwritten note instead. Offer your warmest personal wishes on an elegant piece of stationery with a border color that reflects the season.

Tips for writing effective handwritten notes

Want to make sure that your handwritten notes are having the impact you want on the recipient? Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Keep it concise. This isn’t the time to initiate a long conversation. It’s just a chance for you to touch base. If you want to have a longer conversation, do so by phone or in person.
  • Be personal. Try to include something about the recipient or about their transaction to make your note more personal and less generic.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling. If you’re not great at these elements, have someone proofread your notes for accuracy.
  • Use high-quality paper and pens. It may sound old-fashioned, but the type of writing elements you use makes a difference in the way your note is perceived. Invest in heavyweight stationery and a high-quality pen with either dark blue or black ink.

Best practices for incorporating handwritten notes into your real estate business

  • Schedule time for note writing, preferably once a week or for a few minutes each day.
  • Use a CRM to track notes and the personal details that make them more effective.
  • Personalize notes for each recipient, referring to them the way that you would in real life.
  • Use handwritten notes in combination with digital communication to reinforce your message and increase your contact.
  • Train your team or brokerage on the importance of handwritten notes and consider providing them with stationery and stamps so they have no excuse for not writing their notes. Consider holding collaborative note-writing sessions to make it a fun group activity.

Writing notes is not just about ticking off a box on your to-do list or even having good manners. It’s about delighting the recipient with a heartfelt, sincere and, most of all, personal form of communication. Incorporate handwritten notes into your outreach and see what an impact they have, both on you and on the people to whom you send them.

Christy Murdock is a freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. Connect with Writing Real Estate on Instagram  and subscribe to the weekly roundup, The Ketchup.

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