JnniferAllanHagedornThis post by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn was originally published on ActiveRain. Jennifer is a real estate educator/trainer and the author of “Sell with Soul.” View her website here

Please, please, please! Can we do away, once and for all, with the dorky new agent announcement card, letter or whatever else that agents use to announce their exciting venture into real estate?!

Here’s a typical letter:

Dear Friend,

I’m pleased to announce … blah, blah, blah … my company is great … blah, blah, blah … I promise to provide the highest level of service … blah, blah, blah … please send me referrals.

Love, Me

Nice, but so what?

First, if you are new in the business, I strongly urge you not to announce this fact to the world. Sending out an announcement that you JUST got your real estate license and are looking for business won’t give anyone much motivation to call you. OK, well, maybe your mother and your Aunt Lou, but no one else.

I’d rather you approach your “announcement” a little more casually. Just slide into “being in real estate.” Don’t make a big deal that you “just got your real estate license” and are “looking for business.” No, simply start communicating with people you know and “reminding” them that you’re in real estate. Most of those on your sphere of influence (SOI) list haven’t been keeping track of your every movement (sorry), so if you’re suddenly in real estate, they won’t think twice about it, probably. They might even think they forgot that you were a real estate agent! And that’s fine.

So instead of sending out a formal announcement, here are some other ideas for getting the word out:

1. Send out an email offering your friends some promotional item or service. Don’t mention that you just got your license; pretend that you’ve been selling real estate for a while now and “Gee, I’ve been so busy I’ve lost touch. Let’s get together soon!”

2. If it’s holiday time, send out holiday cards with your business card enclosed. Write a “personal” note in each — “What a great year it’s been! Looking forward to even more prosperous 2007 for all of us” or something like that.

3. Send out a “Happy New Year” (any time of year) family newsletter with all the happenings in your life, including your venture into real estate. Don’t be specific as to when your career started — just that it did start and you love it! Be sure to include your business card.

4. Put together a mini-newsletter with a description of special services you offer as a local real estate professional. If you have a digital camera, you could offer to take pictures of your clients’ rental properties for their online marketing. Or before-and-after shots for clients who are doing extensive remodeling. Maybe you could offer to take photos of your friends’ belongings for insurance purposes. I offer my graphic design services to friends for garage sales, rental property fliers, etc. Very few people ever take me up on these services, but it gives me something of value to offer.

5. Send thank-you cards every day … to anyone who helped you out that day. Some sales trainers advise sending out five thank-you cards every single day, and it’s not a bad idea. Not only does this practice put you in a grateful frame of mind, it also gets your business card out there in the hands of the public.

Open your mind … can you think of anything you could mail out to your SOI that would have value to them yet give you the opportunity to push your business card at them? You don’t have to send the same thing out to everyone — if you belong to a special interest group, maybe you can clip a relevant magazine article and send out copies (along with your card and a short note). Brainstorm ideas and write them down.

Or, send out the dorky announcement. It’s OK if you do that, it’s just not special and it makes it kind of obvious that you’re fresh off the turnip truck, so to speak.

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