Staying in touch with your sphere of influence, past clients, and warm leads is important.You know that. But what can you say that won’t make them think you’re being pushy?Sales letters aren’t appropriate for past clients or even for your sphere of influence. These are people who may turn into current clients at some time in the future, but for right now they’re important as a source of good referrals.But writing someone every month or even every quarter just to ask for referrals isn’t a good idea. It makes you seem needy, and it makes those contacts feel like the only time they hear from you is when you want something.So instead of always asking, give them something – like news about the local real estate market.Almost everyone is interested in what’s going on in real estate. And yes, they do hear it on the news all the time, but what’s happening nationally isn’t necessarily what’s happening locally. And while it’s good to see the overall picture of the industry, most people are more interested in their own neighborhood.You might also be able to give them “insider information” about things you learn by attending Chamber of Commerce or City Council meetings. For instance, you might know that a builder is trying to get approval for a new housing development – and be able to give a few details such as the number of homes or the lot sizes.As a real estate professional, you probably have good information about all the new government programs related to real estate, so give them a concise overview of the new FHA loans or the “green mortgages.”If one of your clients has started a new business or purchased an existing one you can share his or her news – giving that business a boost at the same time.Pretend you’re writing to a personal friend…You can make those people feel like valued friends by sharing a bit of your own life. You can tell them about a vacation you took or a conference you attended. You can mention getting a new puppy or your child going off to first grade – or to college.You can share something about a hobby or an unexpected adventure. What friend wouldn’t chuckle if you told them about going on an agent tour of homes on a rainy, muddy day – and the agents getting their shoes mixed up? (A true story I read on Active Rain.)And then, of course, you can let them know that you value their referrals.Your newsletter doesn’t have to be long, it just needs to be “newsy,” so people look forward to reading it.