Real Estate

The Handwritten Note How-To Every Real Estate Agent Needs

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This post was largely taken from Christy Murdock’s work published on Inman.

Building relationships is the name of the game in real estate, especially now as consumers have more access to information than ever, and agents must prove their value to get the deal.

Relationship-building is a massive undertaking that will require many interactions throughout a career, if you intend to keep your clients that long. 

Time and time again, top producers tout the benefits of handwritten notes. But let’s be honest, it’s challenging to find the time to write them. And then you have to think of exactly how to thank each person appropriately. It can be time-consuming, but the handwritten note is a simple and elegant tool to show clients, vendors and everyone else that you care.

We’ve put together the ultimate thank-you note how-to for busy real estate agents.  

Here, you’ll find the elements of a quality handwritten note — from stationary to salutations — along with how to easily format those elements using examples, plus five common real estate scenarios and the templates you’ll want to steal over and over again to show your gratitude.

  • The elements of a thoughtful thank-you note
  • The formula for compiling one
  • Examples using that formula 
  • Thank-you note templates you’ll use again and again

You’ll find yourself writing thank-you notes throughout your real estate career, so be sure to save or bookmark this post to return to it quickly and often. 

Isn’t formulaic writing bad?

Many of us remember English teachers who drilled into our heads the so-called fact that “formulaic writing” is the mark of a weak writer. However, in reality, most writing follows some formula, whether it’s a sonnet or an academic essay or even a personal note.

If you don’t like the word “formula,” replace it with “structure” or “pattern.” However you phrase it, defining the elements you’ll include in your note and formulating a logical pattern for those elements makes your writing faster and easier to create — and easier for the reader to understand. 

The elements of a thoughtful thank-you note


Miss Manners used to recommend very specific stationery for thank-you notes and casual correspondence. However, for most of us, those old rules no longer apply, so you should feel free to choose notecards or note paper that you like and enjoy using.

Because your note cards are presumably for professional contacts, past clients and other business communications, you will probably want to avoid overly cartoonish or jokey cards, especially as these will distract from and undermine the sincerity of your message.

Business letterhead or notecards with your logo definitely keep your communication within the realm of the professional. That might be fine for a note that is related to work, but it might seem a bit cold or even advertorial if used for a personal note to a friend or as a thank you for a personal favor.

A pre-printed thank-you card can be cute if you include a personal note. However, you should not simply sign and send this type of card as that can seem a bit rote and impersonal.

Don’t forget to use a blue or black ink pen for correspondence, never pencil. A note of this type might be meaningful to the recipient and should be written with posterity in mind.


There are a variety of ways to open your note, including any of the following listed in order of formality:

  • Dear Mr. Smith:
  • Dear Bob,
  • Bob,
  • Bob —

For someone you know only slightly, the first two greetings will be preferable, while the last two work better for someone with whom you have a more personal relationship.

Some people attempt to avoid the formatting dilemma altogether by opening with “Hi!” or some other more verbal greeting. This should be avoided. People like to have their name used, and a generic greeting makes the note impersonal. It might even make the recipient wonder if you have outsourced the task of note writing.


A thank-you note does not have to be long. The emphasis here is on the sincerity of your thoughts, not on the eloquence of your writing. Consider the following format:

  1. Greeting
  2. A thank you for (specific action or item)
  3. What it meant to you or how it helped you
  4. A word about the future, such as “I can’t wait to …” or “I look forward to …”
  5. A closing and signature

A note on ‘just’

Many writers begin notes, emails and other correspondence with the word “just,” as in “Just writing to say thank you …” or “Just wanted to drop you a line …”

There is a tentativeness to this that suggests that you are apologizing for taking up the recipient’s time. It is better to start strong with the purpose of the note itself:

  • “Thank you for allowing me to help you with the purchase of your home.”
  • “Thank you for working with me to close the sale of 555 Main Street.”
  • “Thank you for your kindness in teaching me how to write thank-you notes.”


Like the greeting, closing can be formal (“Sincerely” or “Very truly yours”) or casual ( — Name). You can also include a short phrase like one of the following:

  • See you soon!
  • Thanks again!
  • Talk soon!

Some people favor alternative closings like “Best!” or “Cheers!” Although these might be useful for casual correspondence, they can feel awkward in a more formal, business context.


Using the format from above, here are a few examples:

  1. Greeting
  2. A thank you for (specific action or item)
  3. What it meant to you or how it helped you
  4. A word about the future, such as “I can’t wait to …” or “I look forward to …”
  5. A closing and signature

Here are some examples using the format above:

Dear Mr. Smith:

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you on the sale of 555 Main Street. It was a pleasure getting to know you and learn more about your real estate investment portfolio. I look forward to the opportunity to serve you in the future as you continue to consolidate your portfolio and move into multifamily holdings.


Joan Jones

Dear Bob,

Thank you for working with me to co-list the property at 555 Main Street. It was a pleasure working with you, and I learned a great deal from you about negotiation strategies that I am sure I will use in the future. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again.

Very truly yours,

Joan Jones


Thank you for your recent recommendation of my services to the Allen family for the sale of their home. It was such a pleasure getting to know them and finding out how I can help them with their move to Saskatchewan. I look forward to helping them get the best possible price for their home and to making their goals a reality.

Talk soon!


Bob —

Thank you for taking my dog to the dog park during my late closing on Tuesday. Mr. Piddles is so fond of you and of your dog, Bernie, and he slept great after all of that exercise and fresh air! I look forward to the opportunity to return the favor for you and Bernie sometime soon.



5 thank-you note templates worth using often

Finishing a transaction isn’t the only reason you should be writing thank-you’s. Below are five scenarios that are perfect for sending a thank-you note — plus the formulas and templates that’ll make them a cinch to write. 

Thank you for your business

Of course, this is the thank-you note that you probably are already writing. It’s the one that you send after the closing to thank your client for working with you. In it, you’ll want to offer some personal memory or observation to let them know that you genuinely valued your time with them.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: What you are thankful for
  • Sentence 2: Something personal from the process
  • Sentence 3: How it made you feel and what you would like to do in the future
  • Sentence 4: A friendly signoff

Dear Doris and Fred,

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you on the purchase of your beautiful new home. I know that Susan will love her room and that big backyard. It was my pleasure to assist you, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again in the future. Have a wonderful holiday season, and enjoy every minute!

Warmest regards,


Thank you for an introduction or referral

You never know what an introduction will lead to — a new client, a valued colleague or an inspiring mentor. Show your appreciation for introductions and referrals to encourage your correspondent to keep thinking of you and connecting you to others.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: What you are thankful for
  • Sentence 2: What happened as a result of the introduction
  • Sentence 3: How it made you feel
  • Sentence 4: What you would like to do in the future

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you so much for introducing me to your friend, Ina. I had a great time talking with her, and I am excited about the possibility of helping her with her home purchase in the Hamptons. It means so much to me that you would think of me. Let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you in any way.

Best regards,


Introductory note

This note might be one that you would send to a new lead or a new referral, or it could be part of a promotional direct mail strategy. In it, you’ll introduce yourself and your service and end with a call to action for the next step in the process.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: A friendly greeting
  • Sentence 2: The context for your contact
  • Sentence 3: How to get in touch with you
  • Sentence 4: What you would like to do in the future

Dear Mr. McClane,

Welcome to Los Angeles! You and your family were referred to me by my colleague in Philadelphia; I look forward to the opportunity to help with your home purchase. Enclosed, you’ll find my business card. Please feel free to give me a call or text me and let me know when we can get together to discuss your homebuying wishlist. 



Congratulatory note

This one is a great way to reach out at any time and stay top-of-mind with former clients and their family members. Check out social media and even the local newspaper to stay abreast of the accomplishments of your sphere of influence and their family members, and drop them a note of acknowledgment.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: Why you are reaching out
  • Sentence 2: Something personal about the situation
  • Sentence 3: What you would like to do in the future
  • Sentence 4: A friendly signoff

Dear Gustave,

I wanted to reach out to congratulate you and your daughter, Christine, on her acceptance to the University. As an alumnus, I know that she will enjoy her time there and that it will be a stepping stone to many tremendous accomplishments in the future. Please send her my warmest regards and let her know that I would be happy to assist if she has any questions or needs any advice. Go Dawgs!



Catching up note

Sometimes, you just need to connect personally with former clients, members of your sphere or valued referral partners. Reaching out with a handwritten note feels warmer and more sincere than a quick email or text, and it lets them know that you genuinely want to reconnect.

The formula here is:

  • Sentence 1: A context for the need to catch up
  • Sentence 2: A proposal for an upcoming meeting
  • Sentence 3: An invitation to connect.

Dear Dolly,

It seems like the worst part of the pandemic has been that I no longer get to have coffee with you once a week. I miss you so and would love the chance to get together for a chat and to hear about what you have been up to lately. Give me a call when you have some time free, and let’s put something on your calendar — I know how busy you are.

Have a great day!


Using these simple templates, you’ll be able to show your gratitude easily and often.

Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on TwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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