John D. Mayfield has been practicing real estate as a broker in Missouri since 1981. He owns and operates multiple offices, is an active lecturer and trainer and a contributing writer for REALTOR Magazine Online. Mayfield has also authored two books listed in the TOP 10 Broker Resources by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers. Though Mayfield is based in Missouri, his book is general enough to be applicable for agents practicing real estate in any part of California.

Veteran agents will find Mayfield’s ready-to-send sample letters useful, and get inspiration for new marketing campaigns. Fledgling agents can lean on Mayfield’s experience in business writing to gain insight into the etiquette of business correspondence. Instructive introductions accompany each chapter, providing context for each discussion.

The book is comprised of over 200 real estate letters, emails and facsimiles. These letters are designed for a variety of situations, including:

  • farming (what Mayfield calls, “prospecting”) for new clients, some specifically tailored to:
    • apartment tenants;
    • for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs); and
    • underwater homeowners;
  • soliciting referrals from friends, colleagues and former clients;
  • correspondence with buyers and sellers during negotiations of a sale;
  • introducing a brokerage’s new agent; and
  • recruiting agents for a brokerage.

A supplemental CD-ROM is also included with the book, containing customizable letters and a link to online updates. Adapting letters from a CD-ROM can sound intimidating, but the process is simple and the author walks users through the process in a short online video tutorial. Mayfield also encourages agents to contact him via email or through the message board on his website for additional help or other information, and responds promptly to readers’ questions with helpful advice.

Mayfield has also stayed abreast of other technological advances. Several of the book’s sample letters contain references to Facebook, Twitter, personal websites and Skype.

Many of the sample letters are general and useful for any era. However, Mayfield is also cognizant of recent shifts in the housing market and has purposefully designed FARM letters for agents offering their services as the listing agent for underwater properties. This market niche occupies an entire section of the book, and is a valuable tool for a seller’s agent in a short sale.

The author does recycle a few letters from his previously published book, 5 Minutes to a Great Real Estate Letter. However, the majority of the book is fresh and has been painstakingly brought up-to-date, suffused with the latest real estate trends. The author includes brief descriptions of how and when to use these letters to farm for clients via email.

Mayfield’s book is a business tool which combines the rudimentary task of letter writing with modern strategies for dissemination. In today’s real estate market, agents must present themselves as sharp, alert and relevant to their clients’ interests. Through Mayfield’s collection of real estate letters, readers can do just that.