The Value of the Handwritten Note

Growing up I tended to take my dad’s advice with a grain of salt: “Take a jacket, it’s going to be cold tonight,” “Saving is a better choice than spending” and “Always remember to change your oil every 3,000 miles”. My thought process when it came to his great wisdom usually went something like this: “It’s annoying to carry a jacket around all night,” “The last minute trip to Vegas will be epic” and “The new synthetic stuff needs to be changed every 10,000 miles” – which more often than not, provided an opportunity for “learning my lesson the hard way”.  However, there is one piece of advice he gave me that I never questioned and still follow today. I had just finished my grueling one on one with the store manager at Tom Thumb for the coveted position of Store Bagger and was confident I nailed it, “the position was mine” I remember telling my Dad. He explained to me that I was probably up against ten other qualified kids and the importance of making an impression that separated me from the rest – he suggested that I send the store manager a hand-written note thanking her for the potential opportunity. It’s safe to say the store manager was probably shocked when she received a thank you note from the 13 year old kid she just interviewed, but I ended up getting the job (worst job I ever had) and I like to think my note made her decision a little easier. In a competitive commercial real estate market like Dallas-Fort Worth, with more than just a few qualified brokers vying for the same business you are, making an impression on a prospective client that separates you from the competition can be the difference in winning an assignment. During my first year in the business I had the opportunity to meet with a property owner about a leasing assignment for a 50,000 square foot office building. I spent a significant amount of time in the week leading up to the meeting preparing my “pitch” and considering my limited experience at the time, thought the meeting went well; to follow up I sent a hand-written note to follow up. A week later the owner called and informed me he had decided to go with someone else, a firm who had a track record of handling similar properties. Before hanging up he told me how impressed he was that I took the time to actually write a note thanking him for his time and he would keep me in mind for future opportunities. Fast forward to 2012 when Bradford was given the leasing assignment for two office buildings totaling 175,000 square feet, a project I am currently working on - this business was a referral from the owner who appreciated my hand-written note years before. With the convenience of the smartphone, tablet, and laptop at our fingertips literally 24/7 now, anyone can follow up an important meeting or interview with an email but taking the time to make that extra, personal step and send a hand-written note could very well give you the edge when decision time comes. For more information about Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services click here
July 15, 2013

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