In this technology driven world, personal handwritten notes are a rare commodity. Emails, text messages, chat messages, and even tweets are the new normal as they are more accessible (and easier) than putting pen to paper. That said, COVID-19 has forced everyone into a virtual norm, making handwritten notes more important than ever before.
Unlike email and other forms of messaging, handwritten notes are not only impactful but very meaningful. For starters, they mean more because they cost more. Online messaging essentially doesn’t cost anything. It’s simple to write, free to send, and we all individually send hundreds of messages a day. In comparison, a handwritten note takes time – you need to really think about your message, neatly write it out, manually check your spelling/punctuation/grammar and then neatly address & stamp an envelope before popping it in the mailbox. Compared to email or chat, it’s a process, but again, a meaningful one.
Because handwritten notes have such a slow process attached to them, they aren’t a good way to ask for things. Instead, they’re more generally used to remind others of the value of your relationship. Some instances for taking the time to hand-write a note in the real estate industry, include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Thank you for your business
- Thank you for the referral or introduction
- Catching up
- Holiday greetings
In these instances, a well-crafted and thought-out handwritten note shows a deeper investment and appreciation to the receiver. And today, when almost all communication is purely functional, a small and simple act of investment, remembrance, gratitude, and appreciation can show the people in your sphere that they are important to you. Ultimately, nurturing and growing your relationships.
Lastly, handwritten notes have longevity. Although emails have a sense of permanence for the fact that they live in your digital inbox and can always be searched for, people don’t print out a meaningful email and save it or display it on their desk. An email just isn’t memorable in the way a physical note is. In a time of isolation, a physical token of gratitude or appreciation can make all the difference in a relationship.
All that said, there is still room for the handwritten note in professional communication. It costs something, means something, and has permanence in a way emails and online messages don’t. Physical notes let the people you value know that you appreciate them. So next time you’re about to send a meaningful email, take a step back and ask yourself if that email would mean even more or be better received in a personal note. And if so, consider reaching out to that individual in a way that nurtures your relationship and creates a lasting, positive connection.