Putting pen to paper through the end of the year will put you on the right track in 2023!
Sometimes I find myself saying to my agents, “Real estate work is weird, isn’t it?”
And it totally is. When people think about what real estate agents do, they picture them showing houses, writing contracts and handing over keys at the closing table. But most folks, especially those who are in the thick of real estate school or dreaming about getting a license, don’t think about what it takes to get to those activities.
It’s easy to explain how to work in the business – the nuts and bolts of opening doors, negotiating the terms of a deal, getting from objection to resolution…etc.
But, working on your business, creating and nurturing relationships, generating referral business and earning people’s trust is a whole different game that you have to play concurrently so your pipeline keeps filling up even when you’re working through your spending.
One super old-school but timelessly relevant real estate skill that is a must in my opinion is the art of the handwritten card. If you’re a Ninja Realtor, you know that this is one of the core daily habits, and you should be sending two per day.
With just a little preparation and planning, this is absolutely doable, and the return on both time and money is huge.
1. Don’t overthink the HOW
Whether you like to go to your local bookstore and choose a special card for each occasion, or you order personalized stationery in bulk quantities (or even better – use cards and envelopes provided by your brokerage), it’s all about what makes you proud to send it, and your recipient happy to receive it.
I recommend having at least a month’s worth of supplies on hand.
Pro Tip: Order super cute stamps from USPS.org for a special touch, and use a return address stamp with your info on it, which saves a lot of writing.
2. Focus on the WHO
Handwritten cards are a great thing to track in your CRM. Whether you use a Google Spreadsheet or a robust Customer Relationship Management software, you’ll want to remember who you’ve sent cards to, and when, to make sure that you’re hitting your A-List/VIPs/BFFs often, and everyone else on a regular basis.
Pro Tip: Having birthdays, home anniversaries and other events that deserve a moment of celebration or remembrance is a great way to determine who to focus on each day.
3. Try not to outsource this task
Of course, as I love to say, “Done is better than perfect,” and having your assistant or a service like PunkPost.com is definitely better than not sending mail at all. But there is something special about taking the time to actually think about each person as you are writing them a note and addressing the envelope yourself, and that energy carries forward into a stronger connection.
Pro Tip: Make sure to add and update addresses in your CRM, so that you can easily find them next time. “I don’t know their address” is not a valid excuse, and it’s also a great reason to reach out with a “Hey, I have a note ready to send you but I realized I don’t have your address!”
4. Holiday cards are still a thing
I often hear “experts” telling agents not to send holiday cards because they get lost in the shuffle, but I just don’t think this is true.
For one thing, depending on their stage of life, the people in your database might not get very many holiday cards at all, and yours will be meaningful and appreciated. It might even get placed on the mantle with care or displayed throughout the season.
So, stock up on those Hannukah, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Diwali and New Year’s cards and get them in the mail!
5. Remember the WHY
Just like all of those other daily habits and sales strategies, it’s important to keep in mind why you’re bothering.
Yes, you’re working to stay top of mind, to make sure that people know you’re there for them when they need something, and to hopefully avoid them calling the agent on a local bus bench when they’re thinking about real estate. But, you’re also hoping to make someone’s day a little brighter, to remind them that you care and that you took a few minutes to put that into action.
Pro-Tip: Don’t focus on your messy handwriting (it will get better with practice!) or struggle with what to say. Be genuine and seal the envelope with a little love, and nothing else matters.
Stacie Staub is the co-founder and CEO of West + Main Homes and never met a handwritten card she didn’t love.