The Power of the Pen

By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

5 Minutes to a Great Real Estate Letter: A Desk Reference for Top-Selling Agents by John D. Mayfield (Thomson Southwestern, 2005)

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Writing an effective real estate letter can be tougher than it sounds, especially if it must address a sticky situation with a client such as lowering the listing price or contacting a FSBO again after you’ve already been turned down. What should you say? How should you say it? Will you sound professional? This book will ease your letter-writing anxieties and help you craft succinct messages for a wide variety of scenarios, including those mentioned above.

Unlike an instructional book, 5 Minutes simply provides a collection of templates for letters and e-mails to prospects, buyers, sellers, vendors, and colleagues. It includes examples for asking for referrals, following up after a sale, and promoting your Web site. The book also comes with a CD-ROM, so you can download templates directly to your computer and personalize them. With this ammunition in hand, you’ll find more reasons than ever to keep in touch with prospects and clients.

Tips From the Book:

  • Know your client’s e-mail preferences. Some clients prefer to communicate via e-mail and will check their inbox a dozen times a day—expecting an immediate response from you. Others would rather hear from you on the phone and receive documents in the mail.Find out your client’s preferences before you make assumptions. And remember that some conversations, especially those that involve complex or touchy issues, probably don’t lend well to e-mail.
  • Communicate, even if it’s bad news. Sellers often complain that they don’t hear from their real estate practitioner enough. To develop a long and successful relationship with your clients, communicate diligently—especially with sellers. Even if you call or write to say there hasn’t been very much activity on their property, they will appreciate your efforts to keep them informed.
  • Vendors deserve a ‘thank you,’ too. Don’t forget to thank the lenders, appraisers, closing agents, and others who help you get business done. Send a letter to acknowledge your appreciation for their quick responses and the time they devoted to the deal. Adding a personal touch will always set you apart from the crowd and they’ll remember you in the future.