What's the first idea that pops in your head when someone talks to you about a referral letter marketing method for Realtors? I'll bet you $100 you're guessing that I'm talking about testimonials and recommendations from former clients.

That's a marvelous plan for marketing as well. But, I'm talking about getting a lasting stream of client referrals from professionals like CPA's, mortgage brokers, financial planners, attorneys and contractors. And the only thing you'll need to do is pen a nice little letter, written by the greatest real estate agent (you!).

In short, this referral letter marketing technique comes down this: Get yourself a strong list of well-thought-of professionals that are most likely to have the same sort of clientele that you would have. Then, sending it by regular mail, jot down a personal letter to your list of respected professionals.

Make an effort to be creative in terms of the mailing package or envelope you use as well as including a distinctive marketing piece with your letter. If doable, telephone each professional that receives your letter, as a follow up chore.

You'd be surprised how numerous successful Realtors use this marketing idea for their entire careers, very nearly eliminating marketing expenses to find clients.

The beginning step in this process is making a list of these respected professionals that you need to build relationships with...

- CPA's

- Lenders (apparent, correct?)

- Financial Planners (certified)

- Real Estate Lawyers/Attorneys

- Remodeling Contractors/Handymen

- Interior Decorators

- Appraisers (residential or commercial)

- Title and Escrow Officers

- Residential Electricians

- Residential Plumbers

- Landscape Contractors

- Roofers (residential)

- Tree Service Companies

- Handymen (residential)

- You see the idea...

That list should get you off and running but there's several more you can add in the future.

You're probably wondering how to get all these professional's information to advertise to, right? No worries, it's simple. Depending on how many marketing dollars you have, there are a duo of options for you.

Searching through the yellow pages, on-line, is a economical choice. I'm confident you already have a special area you work in, as a Realtor, so it'll be best to stick to that. The time consuming part about this option is the manual labor.

You'll sift through to find the complete name, phone number and mailing address of each professional. Like I said, this could take a bit of time but it's free.

Just buying a list of these professionals would be your other choice. Just as you're on a "Realtor list" out there someplace for sale, these professionals are on lists that the general public is able to pay money for as well.

These types of lists aren't immoral at all (unfortunately for a few of us). Whenever professionals, such as us Realtors and agents, sign up for random publications and associations, these lists are compiled and made available for sale to anyone.

There are quite a few list companies out there to pick from. The list company you choose should 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 lawyer 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!

Whether you prefer to buy your list or accumulate it yourself, as soon as you have it, you can start crafting your referral letter for these professionals. I don't have space here to tell you about copywriting, sadly. That's a subject all by itself.

Simply understand 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 however the referral letter itself needs to make each professional who gets it, to feel like they're the only one in the world that you sent it to.

The point is that you need to jot down this referral marketing letter as if you were talking to them face-to-face. Don't use a cluster of "salsey" cliches` and standard "professional lingo" that you read in the letters you receive from your bank. Catch their attention and write to them as you'd write to a personal acquaintance.

By the way, this "personalization" goes for just about all your marketing pieces: postcards, flyers, ads, emails, etc.

The crux of your letter absolutely must make clear that you'd like to kickoff a reciprocally beneficial, professional relationship with them (but say it in a personal way, of course). The ultimate result you're looking for is to be their favorite Realtor for all their clients who need real estate services. Specify for these professionals how they will profit without "selling" them, make sense?

If you know something personal about their company or the area they work in, drop it in the letter. You might know of a client who's used them in the past, drop that in there as well. There's no way you can truly screw up this "personal" touch unless you begin talking rubbish about their mom, but you won't do that, correct?

I would highly urge you to pen this letter yourself, in your own words. But if you just hate penning this sort of marketing material, you can hire an economical independent writer to do it for you.

Doing a search on Google will pull up a number of choices of freelance writers and companies for you to pick from. With some companies, they even permit you to screen through their writers from across the globe. It's nifty because you can sometimes see their reviews, pricing and even send them a question to "interview them". In a few cases, posting a project you want written and letting self-employed writers apply, is allowed. It's nifty.

Ok, so now that you have your marketing list and referral letter written, it's time to mail it out. But please, no matter what you do, do not mail your letter in an ordinary, simple envelope like every other "schmuck" does that sends mail to these professionals... please, please, please!

Instead, search for a unusual envelope or box that will stand out from all the mail these professionals will be receiving. Your aim is to stick out like a sore thumb, in a good way, from all the mail your list will be getting. Also, a perfect way to personalize your letter and have it opened, is to have the mailing and return addresses hand-scripted.

Stop and think about which pieces of mail you open first. Exactly, letters that have hand-scripted addresses always have priority!

Next, you need to enclose a marketing piece, other than just your letter. A fun marketing piece to enclose can be a video you make with Animoto and copy onto a DVD (easier than it sounds).

I have a friend who sold life insurance and had the brilliant idea to mail out tiny poker chips with his information printed on them. This buddy of mine printed "Do not gamble with your life" on all the poker chips.

Sheer brilliance! That's an example of what I'm talking about when it comes to getting creative with your marketing, exactly like the top real estate agents do.

Getting back to this referral letter, I'd recommend that you aim them not only to your phone number but also your website or blog. Provide them the option but make sure you give them both. Several professionals prefer to talk on the phone and others like to suss you out online first.

The last step we'll address is absolutely critical. The mother of all keys to marketing is "repetition". If you look at marketing statistics in general, it's been shown that consumers and prospects need to hear or see the same marketing message more than 6-7 times before they feel comfortable enough to reply.

Following up with this marketing list of professionals is crucial to getting the highest reply rate that you can. Following up with these professionals with another letter or a phone call every 4 weeks or so would be my method. If you were able to find or purchase their email address, feel free to begin emailing them too.

The thing to lookout for is coming on too strong and smothering them, much like a dating relationship. Be nice and give them space but at the same time, don't let them forget which Realtor or agent they should be sending clients to.

As a side note, if you have the marketing money but don't have the time, think about hiring a teen or college kid to stuff these mailers. I'd still tell you to jot down your referral letter yourself but feel free to pay somebody else to address the envelopes and stick the letters inside.

In the end, I feel this is one of the most amazing marketing ideas for Realtors to secure a long, successful career without a million-dollar marketing budget. If you build these relationships right, they can bring you so many leads that you won't need to actively advertise or market your real estate business in any other style.

Focus on helping them as much as you want them to help you and the funds will flow in!

Author's Bio: 

Shiloh Street University 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 advertising tips.

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