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Old School Marketing

This free old school trick improves referrals, earns you repeat clients

There’s a free old school way to connect with people that will improve your referrals and keep current customers coming back.

thank you writing note

A little gratitude goes a long way.

As with all businesses, in real estate, the best customers are the ones you already have. You instinctively know that you save tons of time, money, and effort, by retaining and satisfying current customers, rather than constantly seeking new ones. In the real estate trade, a happy customer is more likely to refer you, and referrals bring in valuable new customers.

But how do you keep track of existing customers, and keep your agency fresh in their minds, long after the sales have been completed?

There’s a simple, old school method for this

I’d like to propose a simple way to stay in touch with customers, and let them know you value their business: a thank-you note campaign.

When I was a kid, my mom wouldn’t let me play with any of the Christmas toys sent by my aunts and uncles until I sat down and crafted a handwritten thank you note to each and every family member who sent a gift. I’m sure I protested at the time, eager to play with my new swag, but this important childhood lesson taught me the importance of expressing gratitude. It was hard to take the gifts for granted when I had to sit down and appreciate the thought, effort, and money that my relatives put into making my Christmas special.

How to get started, and what to say

Thanking all of the people who make your business possible may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by creating a list of recipients (clients, vendors, other agents, title folks, lawyers, and so forth), get some classy stationary together, and try writing and mailing just one handwritten note per day. Once you get used to it, you should be able to squeeze in a thank you note during dull moments or on your commute to work.

Try to avoid using generic compliments (“thanks, you’re the best!”) and go for specific feedback. Take a few minutes to contemplate what impresses you about the recipient, or what they have done to improve your life. Think about what makes the recipient unique, and cite examples from interactions you’ve had.

One thing you should NOT do

Keep your thank you notes separate from other offers or solicitations. Personal thank you notes will let recipients know that you value them as people – not just as a referral source or dollar sign. Of course, this will have the pleasant side effect of making you look charming and thoughtful, all of which will increase your likelihood of repeat customers and referrals.

Gratitude also helps us keep a positive perspective, even when things are stressful. Think of them as mini meditations that will remind you of your many blessings, while simultaneously improving your business.


Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.


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