Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


The Turning Point - Friday Afternoon Break

 One of the core activities for Brian Buffini’s program is to write three personal notes every day and mail them to three favorite people – clinets, friends, favorite aunts – who might be in a position to refer you business.
So, as our afternoon break began, my Blackberry buzzed.  It was a call from an unusual area code, and I answered.  The caller said he had seen my blog about going to the Turning Point and asked how it was going.  OK, so where is this call going?
It turns out he runs a company that automates the personal note sending process – they do it for you with a computer program that matches your own handwriting.
Now, this was fascinating.  The whole magic of the personal note isn’t my beautiful handwriting (thanks to the Sisters of Charity).  It’s that it is, in fact, personal.  It’s the thought and the energy that goes into the message.
I don’t know about your friends and clients.  But mine are smart.  I think they would be able to sniff out a fake personal note like a skunk in the living room.
So, am I just being old-fashioned?  Or even just retro?

Comment balloon 18 commentsPatricia Kennedy • November 03 2007 10:32AM


Patricia- The notes must be written in your handwriting, my hand, not typed and they must come from the heart. Any automated process is just a waste of your money. It defeats the whole intention. Katerina
Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) almost 13 years ago
Pat, funny!  The same guy called me the other day and said he had never done this before but was calling me because he had read my blog about Buffini.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) almost 13 years ago

Katerina,   yeah, I had a hard time figuring out how a computer generated note could possibly come from the heart! 

and Brian, so what'd you tell him?   OK, you don't have to answer that!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 13 years ago
I urge you to embrace technology and not fight it. If you have a computer program that helps you do something better or faster, use it. The more you leverage technology to save you time and money. The more productive you become the more free time you will have to enjoy personal experiences that you hold so valuable. Today the Internet and email are mainstream. Don't worry if your personal note is computerized no one will hold that against you. It's the thought that counts right?
Posted by Dwight ................ (Home Finder Realty) almost 13 years ago


Even if the 'personal note' looked real...the one written by you is from the heart...that's what counts! Thanks,   Fran

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) almost 13 years ago
Technology can never provide the personal message that comes from knowing someone.  Wonder if the notes would pass the FBI handwriting experts?  Glad you had a great time and came home ready to take on the world!
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 13 years ago
Patricia, I ran into this in organizing your greeting cards mailouts for holidays, birthdays, etc. All the reasons a service could help me "automating" this I didn't like. Saving time, going to the post office, it's automated. I liked the handwriting, the personal touch, the selecting the card (my cards were better too), the driving to the post office. Call me a dinosaur but I think the personal touch has a lot going for it. It may not always be time or cost effective but on the receiver's end it doesn't look like a cookie cutter model. I do agree with embracing technology (when you hit a certain size of numbers) because you wouldn't have time to do this. But your inner core of 100 people, you DON'T need the service or to embrace a service or technology. It's MORE than the thought that counts for those close contacts. Besides you can't insert cartoons or clippings or paper notes inside the automated packages.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 13 years ago
Patricia, I'm with you there are just some things that should not be automated.  I'll be honest I also have a problem with a ghost blog writer.  It is just not the same.  My favorite author Robert Jordan died a month or so ago without finishing his series.  There is talk about someone finishing his Wheel of Time series and they probably will but to me it is just not going to be the same.  I expect I will read it anyway as I really don't like an unfinished series but I'm just using that as an example.  It is just not the same as the personal touch.
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 13 years ago

It's not really personal if it's computer generated, is it?  How would the computer be able to comment on the conversation you just had? It wouldn't!  The point is for the receiver to see that you spent time and thought of them and listened.

We gotta give the guy an A for being creative though.

Posted by Nancy Pav, Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor (Century 21 Redwood Realty) almost 13 years ago

Even the best quality program can not duplicate the hand written card or note.  I would pay somebody to write my notes before I paid a company to mail out my cards.  Technolgy can replace somethings, but not personalitites.  OLd fashion you are, BUT intodays age, people appreciate the effort and thought behind the gesture. 

I've said it once, I will say it again.  People love when I send them hand written cards.  Not my favorite thing to do, but I do it every morning.  It surprises people to get a not out of the blue, hand written from a man. 

Posted by Chad Baird (Re/Max Spirit) almost 13 years ago

Funny, we write these blogs to gain referrals and business.  Who would have the nerve to jump in and ask us for money for their product?  Gutsy guy.  I would ask him to buy a home!  I find that I feel better after writing my notes.  People I have associations with, agents, attorneys, bankers, town hall clerks, waitresses, etc., I write to, no machine can take my place.  I feel better while writing the notes, and when they write me back, or mention the note to me, I feel good all over again.  Technology is good for somethings, but, people like to know you care.  They know that you took time out of your day, to write to them.  That says bunches about you!

It's Still a Good Life!

Posted by Frances C. Rokicki, Broker-Mentor,CRS (Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC) almost 13 years ago
Patricia & Brian -  You won't believe this, but the same guy called me too....with the same pitch that "he has never called like this before".  I was with a client, and I told him to email me.   It sounds like somebody else is trying to make a buck off the personal note system.....but, I prefer to write them myself, in my own "chicken scratching" with a warm heart.  Plus, one of my personal things is I ALWAYS buy the best U.S. Commemorative stamps for the envelopes.  Unusual stamps really catch someone's eye!
Posted by Christine Bohn, The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL (RE/MAX Professionals) almost 13 years ago

Patricia, you KNOW the answer.  What would the Sisters of Charity do???  What advice would they give?

From a fellow former parochial school student with perfect penmanship.

Posted by Karen Webster...Grand Rapids, MI Realtor (5 Star Real Estate, Grand Rapids MI) almost 13 years ago

Okay, so I am looking for your address, so that, I can write you a note;)  I didn't find it on your website, shall I wait until you are posted on our Buffini Clubnet site?

Oh, By the Way....I am never too busy for your CT referrals!

It's Still a Good Life!

Fran Rokicki, Clubnet~Mentor

Posted by Frances C. Rokicki, Broker-Mentor,CRS (Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC) almost 13 years ago

I have heard about these pseudo-personal-handwritten not business.  A couple of folks I know rave about them.  But I am with you - it's the whole PERSONAL thing.

They may or MAY NOT know.... but I will... I work hard for my money and hard to keep in contact with old friends and clients!

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) almost 13 years ago

Now Dwight, I know you're sort of right on this one - which is one reason I felt compelled to write about it. I do embrace a lot of technology, but I think that there is something about the real handwritten and personal nature of these notes that impacts the pshycho-phisics of the thing.  I know it sounds a little airy fairy, but in my gut, I have to hand write these things or it won't work. 

Fran, it's hard to communicate what you even mean by "heartfelt" to a geek in the mid-west who is ghost writing your personal notes.  Yikes!

And Cindy, I think even the FBI could figure it out.  I'll bet they even have a computer program that spots computerized handwriting.  

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 13 years ago

Gary, I'm like you!  And I'm preparing to have fun with this!  I just went out and bought a bunch of beautiful cards.  Thinking up what to say is so special.  And somehow, beginning each day going through this exercise seems like a perfect way to start.

Marchel,  I used to ghost write "advertorials" for an outfit that sold them to agents around the country.  And I'd read them in some of the local publications, and they sounded nothing at all like the agents who were using them!  I think ghost written blogs are a bit of a no no on The Rain.

And Nancy, I'll bet the guy gets some bites!  A lot of busy agents will decide a fake note is better than no note at all! 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 13 years ago
everybody has a gimmick - now they want to de-personalize personal notes - I would consider it a turn off! I put time and effort into that and don't need some computer popping them out for me -
Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 13 years ago