Build your marketing efforts around this one inexpensive strategy

Key Takeaways

  • The marketing strategy that will have the biggest long-term payoff for your business is easy and inexpensive — personalized note cards.
  • Share stories about your family, and ask about theirs — take the opportunity to build relationships.
  • People will use and refer the agent with whom they have the deepest relationship.


What’s the number one strategy you can adopt today that’s going to have the biggest long-term payoff for your business? You might be surprised, because it’s so damn easy and inexpensive.

We’re told we need to do these different things to improve our business — build a new website or get the new customer tracking software. We’re told we are not making enough prospecting calls or doing enough for-sale-by-owner campaigns.

I have tried what seems like a million different strategies, but going back to basics really works best for most agents. What I am talking about is … note cards.

An agent in my office writes ten note cards a week. That’s his entire business model, essentially all of his marketing. It costs him maybe five bucks a week.

Every Monday it’s on his to-do list to identify ten people to contact that week. He had some doubts about the strategy when he started doing it, because it took some time for it to work. But now he’s one of the top-selling agents in our office, and that’s almost all the marketing he does to generate a healthy living from referrals.

What should I write?

Please don’t say, “I am never too busy for your referrals.” Not only are five other agents sending your contact that exact same slogan, but it comes across like you’re begging. You don’t have to beg for referrals.

Share a story about something that’s happened in your life, with your family, or whatever. You can reminisce about an experience you shared together. Ask them how their kids are doing in whatever sport they play.

Make notes after you have a conversation with someone, including their kids’ or spouse’s names and what they are up to, what you have in common, or what they find interesting or fun. Once you have a few notes about someone, you’ll find it easier to figure out what to write.

Your goal is to create a reason for them to go out of their way to refer you. If you send a personal note to them and remember their kids’ names and ask how they’re doing, you may blow them away. Their own family may not even do that. So you come across as someone who listened, cared, and took time from your busy day to reach out to them. That is rare in the world.

Why this works

What I have discovered is that even if I’m the best real estate agent in my marketplace and I can prove it, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to get more business. It’s frustrating, but the fact is that people consistently use — or get a recommendation from — someone they know and trust.

When I get new business from the marketing I send out, it’s from people who didn’t have a relationship with somebody from whom they could ask for a real estate referral (which is rare). That’s why this is important. Almost everybody knows a real estate agent. Make sure you are the one with whom they have the deepest relationship.

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