I discussed this topic in a recent Rental Agent Round Table and had such a positive “I’m going to try that right away” response that I’m sharing it again today.

In his book Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver, Dave Kerpen describes a powerful, low-tech tool that has prospects and clients alike taking notice in an age of 300+emails in a day:

“DonorsChoose.org did a study which included a test group and a control group, and they measured the value of handwritten than you notes.  The people who received handwritten thank you notes were 38 percent more likely to donate money a second time. Those thank you notes had a tremendous impact.

I’m proud of the fact that I have created a daily ritual of writing thank you notes. I started with one thank you note per week and now write three than you notes every morning. It’s the first thing I do when I get to the office. I might write a thank you note to someone I met yesterday. I write thank you notes to staff people, to clients, to prospects, and to the concierge in my building.

The ROI of handwritten thank you notes is actually two-fold. People who receive a thank you note are always amazed and usually call me, email me or tweet me about it. It helps to solidify potential business relationships and is essential for internal relationships.  The second benefit of writing handwritten thank you notes is even if that note never leaves your desk, the ROI is that it puts you in a much happier state of mind. It makes you much more productive because you’re in such a great mood”

In the February 2013 issue of Units, the magazine of the National Apartment Association, Property Manager Kelly Korobov of Indianapolis explains how she applies this to our industry: “I make sure to keep a pack of blank note cards in my desk at all times. When a resident calls or stops by the office and mentions they’re struggling with their health, the death of a loved one, etc., I take a few minutes to write a short note of care and encouragement and drop it in the mail.”