For most of us in mortgage lending/sales, the name of the game is connections, relationships and ultimately referrals.
Phone calls and e-mails are nice and certainly part of the process in communicating with our clients and business partners. However, the handwritten thank you note is a secret little weapon of intimacy, a way to “touch base” on a more meaningful level. People love receiving a personal note in a hand-addressed envelope. Since I was a young boy, I have been the sender (at my mother’s behest) and recipient of countless thank you notes. As a loan originator, I have found them to be an easy, effective and very well received marketing technique.
When a customer, real estate agent, builder rep or other important contact sifts through their mail and finds your small hand-addressed envelope, I guarantee they are thrilled (or at least receptive) to find your thank you card.
The handwritten thank you is so easy to do. My personal goal is to write at least five such notes every day. They don’t all have to be significant nor do they have to be to a client. There are a myriad of people and reasons to write a thank you note, such as the escrow officer who went above and beyond in the 11th hour, or the buyer’s agent who covered for the listing agent at the appraisal appointments, or the CPA who provided an important document just in time.
In addition to the note, you could consider including a business card magnet and even a small token of appreciation such as a Starbucks card, although the latter can’t be given to acknowledge referrals (a RESPA violation).
Here are a few thank you writing tips:
- Keep a stack of cards/envelopes on your desk, ready to use.
- Keep it simple. Your thank you card does not need to be long, but rather two or three sentences at most. If necessary, keep a “cheat sheet” of the most frequently used messages.
- Keep a schedule of letters you intend to send each week. For example, it could list two past clients, a Realtor and a builder one day; three agents and an attorney the next, and so on.
- Be consistent. If you aren’t able to write five cards a day, then do three every other day or whatever works best. If you lapse into an irregular writing schedule, you most likely will eventually stop sending them altogether.
We certainly need to take advantage of e-mails and various social media techniques to communicate with customers, Realtors, builders and other partners. However, I strongly encourage you to start (or continue) sending thank you cards as well.
Article by: Matt Elerding
Matt Elerding, The Elerding Team (Powered by HomeStreet Bank), Vancouver, Wash.