January 2023 Newsletter Thank You


“Thank you.” This simple, two-word statement can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. When you say “Thank you” or send someone a handwritten thank you note, it could be the best thing that happens to them all day.


I have been saying “please” and “thank you” throughout my life, so it comes naturally to me. I have said “Thank you” to all of my real estate clients over the past 40 years. If I did not thank them, why would they continue to refer me? The same goes for my clients during more than 20 years of motivational speaking. If I did not show my gratitude by thanking them, why would they continue to refer me? Not only will I continue to thank them verbally, but I will also continue to send each client a handwritten note expressing my gratitude.


“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”  — Cicero


How many times have you given a referral to someone who didn’t express their gratitude by thanking you? Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often. However, I remember giving a home buyer referral to one of my former agents at DEEB Realty (which is now called Nebraska Realty). Instead of thanking me for the referral, this agent said, “Yeah, I should be able to do that.” Not only did his response leave me unimpressed, it also confirmed that I would never give him another opportunity.


By contrast, I remember a different agent who never failed to express her gratitude for my help. Whenever I gave her a home buyer referral, she would give me a verbal “Thank you” and then immediately send me a handwritten thank you note. As a result, I gave her a tremendous number of referrals. By thanking me for my help, she ended up earning a lot more money.


“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


For some of us, saying “Thank you” comes naturally and is part of who we are. For other people, it is not even on their radar. I am not a “thank you” therapist, so I won’t attempt to understand their thinking.


I would like to dedicate this newsletter to anyone who is not aware of the value of saying “Thank you.” A verbal “thank you” will not cost you anything at all, and a written “thank you” requires only a piece of paper, an envelope, and a stamp. Saying and writing “Thank you” is a simple way to show your appreciation to your clients, family, and friends for doing nice things for you.


You know how I always like to challenge everybody who reads this newsletter? Here is my challenge for you in 2023. I encourage and challenge you to write ONE handwritten thank you note each day. Not five or ten, just one note to someone who deserves your thanks. It may be someone you have known for a long time, someone you met recently, a past or current customer, a family member, or someone else. Your note can be one or two sentences; it doesn’t have to be lengthy. If you do not know what to say, then my suggestions below might help to trigger your thoughts. If you take me up on this challenge, I guarantee that you are going to make someone’s day! Not many things in life are as powerful as showing your gratitude to someone by saying “Thank you.”


“Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.” — Stephen King


Here are 11 examples of thank you messages to help you get started:

  1. Thank you for always being my greatest supporter. I am lucky to have you in my life.
  2. Thank you for being so incredible. I feel so grateful to have such a loving family.
  3. Thank you for opening your arms, home, and heart to me.
  4. Thank you to my wonderful friend. Thank you for being you. You’re all I could ask for and more!
  5. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for making me smile like crazy. Thank you for making me happy.
  6. I am thankful for so many things in my life, and you are at the top of my list.
  7. When I count my blessings, I count you twice.
  8. Every life is a story. Thank you for being part of my story.
  9. Thanks for being brutally honest with me, especially when I am being ridiculous.
  10. Thank you for your love, support, and encouragement!
  11. Thank you for the amazing job you do every day. You are an important part of the team.

Remember that you don’t have to be great at something to get started, you just have to get started to be great! You can be great at showing people that they matter by saying “Thank you!”

What People in the Audience are Saying…

With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"

—George Akers // President, First Mortgage Corp.

I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”

—Justin Pauls // Realtor, Tampa, Florida

We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”

—Tracey Fortina // Omaha Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”

—Dustin Talacko // Realtor, Omaha, Nebraska

Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”

—Linda Reismeiler // Student at Randall School of Real Estate, Omaha, Nebraska

Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”

—Todd Andrews, Anchor and Producer, KETV Omaha

Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!

This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”

—Carolyn Summerton // First Mortgage Company of Idaho

I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”

—Scott Asbill, CDPE // Associate Broker, Realtor