|People do business with you because of what you do. People
refer business to you because of who you are. The Letter From The Heart
is a core By Referral Only strategy that works well because it is personal,
and promotes lifetime relationships. Use this strategy after sending a
Harv Barkowsky, with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX attended a
Main Event and then wrote his first Letter From The Heart. “This
was a Thanksgiving letter,” Harv recalls, “and I did this
with much worry and a lot of doubtful thinking. I kept asking myself, ‘Do
I really want to put that much of me into a letter? Do I really think
folks in my sphere will relate my emotions to common events in their
“I addressed, stamped, and took the letters to the Post Office
(in the dark of night) and almost didn't drop them in the slot. I finally
convinced myself to give these letters a fair chance and to get them
mailed. I figured that I had absolutely nothing to lose and everything
“On the Monday before Thanksgiving, my phone went crazy! People
called me to congratulate me on my letter, thanked me for sending it,
and told me that I was definitely their Realtor if they ever bought or
sold. Not only that, I received five calls from buyers based upon the
90 letters I had sent! I had meetings with each of them and they have
signed Buyer Representation agreements with me. I went from zero clients
to five in a matter of days!”
The Letter From The Heart works equally well for Lenders, like Robert
Bartolomea of Strategic Home Loans in Agoura, CA – though it took
a bit of convincing to get him started. As Robert recalls, “When
I joined the community in 2000 I looked at the Letter From The Heart
and said – I could never do this. This is not something I can do.
My assistant threatened to beat me up, so I wrote something. It was so
hard, because I’m just not the type of person to talk about that
kind of stuff.
“I write one letter every quarter and it takes me about a week.
Throughout the month I’ll make little notes about what I think
I could write it about, so at the end of the month I have some thoughts
mail my letter to about 400 people and I get a lot of response – people
e-mailing me, people saying they have the same feelings, or they’re
going through the same things. Everywhere I go, people comment on it.”
“It is hard. But it feels great when it’s done. The feeling
that you’ve opened up, you’re sharing, and the accomplishment
that you did it.”
Thanks to his Letter From The Heart and other strategies, Robert has
built a business that’s 100% referral, and grew from 90 loans
in 2000 to 300 loans in 2002. He works 30 to 35 hours a week, doesn’t
work weekends, has two date nights a week with his wife, and lots of
time to spend with his three children. “I really try to put a
lot of energy into my family. I often leave work early to take the
kids to the park or to the beach. I enjoy it, and I know they enjoy
(Of course, Harv and Robert didn’t send their letters in a vacuum – you
must reconnect first. See How it Works, below).
A Letter From The Heart is a personal communication that you use to
keep in touch with past clients and other important people in your sphere
of influence. These letters keep you at their “top of consciousness,” not
as a Realtor or Lender, but as a person. These letters get read aloud
to other family members at the dinner table or passed around at the office,
inviting communication and dialogue.
To begin your Letter From The Heart process, follow the simple directions
in your monthly Results in Action kit. Mail one letter
a month to your entire database, or at least to your Top 150 group. As
you get more proficient,
you may decide to customize the content, embellish on the theme, or even
write your own letters like Harv and Robert. But to start out, please
use the By Referral Only version – it may not be as personal as
yours, but it will be a system!
You may also choose to “trash” some of your letters. Take
a few letters each month and include a handwritten note at the bottom
specifically to that person. Letters that are “trashed” with
a personal message consistently average a higher response rate.
|Download template from the monthly Results
in Action CD or
from the website and personalize.
|Merge names and addresses with letters and envelopes, print.
||Colored or patterned paper – $24 per 100 sheets; envelopes – $38
|Add signature, add handwritten note to 10 letters, fold,
stuff and mail.
||First-class postage $.37 each
- If you have not been in touch with people in your database, before
implementing the Letter From The Heart strategy you must send a Reconnect
Letter to people with whom you want to build a deeper relationship.
Without a Reconnect Letter your clients would wonder why you are suddenly
sending them mail. Review the Reconnect
- Access the Microsoft Word document from your Results in Action CD or from the website and replace the highlighted words with your
own information. Change the red ink to black.
- Write this letter to one person. Do not use phrases such as “All
of you” and “Everyone who is reading this.” Keep
this a personal letter to one person. Make sure to use the person’s
name and mailing address above the headline and in the salutation.
- Put a provocative headline in bold. Ask a question in the headline
to draw readers in, searching for the answer. If you’re not going
to use our headline, be sure to add your own.
- Don’t include a business card or ask for referrals.
Your Letter From The Heart is about relationships, not referrals.
- Don’t use letterhead. Colored or patterned paper and
envelopes make your letter even more interesting. (One source for
colored and patterned paper is www.paperdirect.com.)
- Double the impact of your Letter From The Heart by “trashing” it – adding a short, personal, handwritten note as a P.S. or elsewhere on the letter. If it’s not feasible to do this for your entire database, then “trash” the letters going to your Advocates and Raving Fans.
- Orchestrate referral moments by following up a Letter From The Heart
mailing with a telephone call using the “I Have Time…” Script or “Great
- Sometimes you may prefer not to use a particular Letter From
The Heart in the Results in Action kit. If this happens, reference
the Results in Action archives on the website and choose one that is
more appropriate for you.
From The Heart Download
Barbara Smith April
222 West Street
Anytown, CA 99999
Packing Your Parachute?
Every now and then I hear a story that is so great I just have to
pass it on to the people I care about. Here it is:
Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat
missions his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb
ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent
six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal
and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man
at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew
jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were
“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.
“I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise
The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb
assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked,
I wouldn’t be here today.”
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb
says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy
uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers.
I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good
morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a
fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor.”
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden
table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and
folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the
fate of someone he didn’t know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone
has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.
Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when
his plane was shot down over enemy territory — his physical parachute,
his mental parachute, his emotional parachute and his spiritual parachute.
He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what
is really important. We may fail to say hello, please or thank you,
congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them,
give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.
I’m sending you this as my way of thanking you for your
part in packing my parachute!!!
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life
PS: If you’d like a copy of this story to send to a friend, family
member or anyone who helps “pack your parachute,” just
e-mail me at [email protected] and I’ll e-mail a copy
back to you.
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