What do you think of when someone says "referral marketing letters", in terms of marketing advice? Wish to bet $50 that you believe I'm talking about getting letters of testimonials from your past clients?

That's a powerful Realtor marketing method too. But, I'm talking about getting yourself an overflow of clients sent to you by professionals like attorneys, contractors, CPA's and landscapers. The most amazing part is that it'll only call for a individualized letter written by you, the coolest Realtor in the community.

What referral letter marketing truly boils down to for Realtors is this: get a list of professionals with clients likely to purchase or sell a house. Then you simply create a personal letter that truly shows off who you are and send it to this list in the regular mail (no email).

Get creative on the envelope or package you mail it in, as well as some type of additional marketing piece, like a DVD you craft using Animoto. Be consistent about following up with each professional by phone, regular mail or e-mail at least 1 occasion each month.

Lots of Sharp Realtors and agents use this one marketing approach to fuel their real estate businesses for their entire careers! There's nothing unethical with following the leader.

Let's get going with a sample list of these professionals that have the clients you're searching for...

- Certified Public Accountants

- Mortgage Brokers (obviously)

- Certified Financial Planners

- Real Estate Attorneys

- General Contractors

- Interior Decorators

- Appraisers

- Title Reps

- Residential Electricians

- Plumbing Contractors

- Residential Landscapers

- Roofing Contractors

- Tree Trimming Professionals

- Handymen

- Makes sense?

Of course, there are numerous more professionals to add to the list but that'll have you going for today.

You're probably questioning how to get all these professional's info to market to, right? Fantastic question. You have a duo of options, depending on how much money you retain in your marketing budget.

Searching through the yellow pages, on-line, is a cheap option. As a Realtor, you already have a neighborhood you work in so remain within that geographic region, in general. The time consuming component about this option is the manual labor.

You need to compile each professional's phone number, name and mailing address. This option is absolutely free of charge but definitely more time consuming than a number of Realtors might like.

A separate choice for compiling your list of well-thought-of professionals is to simply purchase a list. Exactly like you're probably on a Realtor list for sale to people, practically every other profession has their own list for sale as well.

Relax, these types of lists aren't immoral or unethical. These kinds of compiled, professional lists are commonly for sale since professionals (like us real estate agents) willingly sign up for random subscriptions, associations, events, etc.

Are you a little bit shocked? Well, now you comprehend where all that junk mail and spam comes from.

You have more than enough choices when it comes to picking a list company to purchase your list from. The list company you choose ought be able to supply you with every profession you'll require, rather than going to one company for a CPA list, another company for an attorney list, and so on. I assure you, it'll cost you a few dollars for this list but it's going to salvage you hours of precious time!

Once you've obtained your marketing list (whichever way you decide to obtain it), it's time to kickoff writing this personal letter to send to your list. I can't detail how to write sales copy here, sorry to say. Copywriting and penning sales copy are topics totally on their own.

Simply realize for now that you don't want your referral letter to be a "sales letter".

You can copy and re-use your letter for each professional but the referral letter itself needs to cause each professional who gets it, to feel like they're the sole one in the world that you sent it to.

It's all about penning the letter as if you were talking to the person face-to-face. I'd advise that you don't make use of the boring, "professional" language style that you read in the letters you receive from your bank. Catch the reader's attention, write to them like a real person and not like an institution.

As a side remark, personalizing your marketing goes for all your Realtor marketing material, like postcards, emails, articles, ads, etc.

What the heart of this letter needs to tell them is that you want to refer business back and forth, not only take and take and take from them. The big plan is for you to become these professionals "Realtor on-demand", so to speak, and get all their client referrals for the rest of your career. Stress how they'll gain without trying to "sell" them on it, you know?

If you happen to know a personal tid bit about their company or a client they've worked with, toss it in your letter. You might know of a client who's used them in the past, throw that in there also. Unless you begin talking about their mom, there's no way you can get excessively personal.

I would highly urge you to write this letter yourself, in your own words. But if you simply hate penning this sort of marketing material, you can rent an economical freelance writer to do it for you.

Perform a Google search for "self-employed writers" and you'll understand various companies to select from. On some of them you can sift through freelance writers from all over the country and world. The excellent thing is some of these companies let you find reviews on each writer, how much they charge and even reach them with "interview questions". You could go as far as posting the project you need accomplished and waiting for writers to apply. It's terrific.

Alright, so far you have your marketing list of professionals and your marketing letter completed, now it's time to mail it and get some business. Here's the thing though, don't mail your referral letter in one of those conventional, plain, white envelopes... Please.

Look for a mailing box or another envelope that will stick out among all the mail these professionals will be sorting through. The idea is that you want your mailing piece to stand out among every other letter that professional is receiving that day. I'd also warn you to write the mailing and return addresses by hand so that you increase the "personal" appearance of your letter.

Simply consider how you opened your mail today. Exactly, letters that have hand-scripted addresses always get priority!

The next thing you need to do is enclose a distinctive marketing piece, apart from your referral letter. A fun marketing piece to include might be a video you produce with Animoto and copy onto a DVD (easier than it sounds).

I have a friend who sold life insurance and had the superb idea to send out tiny poker chips with his information printed on them. His theme was "Don't gamble with your life".

Sheer brilliance! If you desire to be a top producing Realtor like the "big boys", that's the type of thought you want to come up with, or at least understand where to get them!

By the way, in this referral letter, I would guide them towards your website and telephone number. It's important to give them the choice of how to reach you. A number of Individuals would rather call you and others would rather look over your website first.

This final step is probably the most significant. Repetition is essential with any marketing technique you choose, particularly when mailing letters, as we're talking about. Stats from the marketing industry demonstrate that a potential client needs to be exposed to your message at least 7 times, on average, before they are comfy enough to respond.

So it's apparently important to continue following-up with these professionals on your list. Following up with these professionals with another letter or a phone call every 4 weeks or so would be my suggestion. Emailing them would be an alternative also, if you have it.

As it is with dating, you want to be careful to not smother and bother them or else you can count on never receiving referrals from them, ever. You don't need to let them forget who you are but you also don't need to be calling or mailing them every other day.

As a side note, if you have the marketing funds but don't have the time, think about hiring a teen or college kid to stuff these mailers. Your college kid or teenager can stuff all the envelopes and address them but I'd still suggest for you to write the referral letter yourself.

This kind of hired-hand will be about as cheap as you can get and you'll save so much time that you won't understand what to do with yourself.

Seriously, this is simply one of the best, long-term and short-term marketing tips for Realtors. If you construct these relationships right, they can create you so many leads that you won't need to actively advertise or market your real estate business in any other style.

Author's Bio: 

Josh F. Sanders is a Real Estate Broker and the Founder of Shiloh Street University in Seattle, WA.

SSU is an online marketing school for Realtors, dedicated to “Creating Wealthy Agents through World-Class Marketing” by providing step-by-step video lead-generation tutorials and Realtor leads tactics.

Get your "FREE 5 Day Sneak Peek" at http://www.ShilohStreetUniversity.com