It’s that time of year again. The temps outside are dropping and real estate activity may be taking a dip too as clients preoccupy themselves with the winter festivities. But the holidays are also some of the best times to heat up your holiday marketing efforts. The season of giving provides abundant opportunity to get your name front and center with home buyers and sellers as well as potential recruits.
Here are 10 marketing ideas to show your gratitude for current clients’ past business and loyalty while generating new leads for business and recruiting talent sure to pay off big in the coming year.
Have a special listing you’d like to showcase to buyer prospects? Ask the seller if you can use their house to host the event, or simply bring the party to your office.
In either case, don’t limit your holiday guest list to active prospects. Remember, current and past clients, co-workers and third-party vendors all have active spheres of influence who are ready and waiting to refer your business.
Pro tip: Dotloop users can create secure links using the Easy Offer feature to easily share a new packet with offer documents for any special listing with their network via email, social media or text.
Here’s a tasty way to spread holiday cheer. Host a hot chocolate bar and family photo booth station. Parents will appreciate the family time and opportunity to skip the lines at the mall, while you provide them with a special photo memento discreetly bearing your logo in the frame.
For a festive touch, add mulled ciders, hot teas and homemade treats or a cookie decorating station, and don’t forget to set the mood with holiday music.
Create a best-decorated house or door contest in a hot zip code and reward the winner. To promote the contest, hand out branded flyers door-to-door in the neighborhood of choice and hit up your Facebook friends in that zip code. You might also promote on the Nextdoor.app, which lets you target specific neighborhoods in your community. After the contest, announce the winners with pics on your brokerage’s web site and reward with a free home evaluation or gift card.
Here’s a great way to engage your contacts to get in the giving spirit. Ask residents to drop off new toys, gently used coats or shoes to your office. Then, work with a local non-profit organization to help distribute the items where they’re needed most.
Or host a fundraiser to raise funds for a cause that will be meaningful to you and your customer base. Every December, Debe Maxwell of RE/MAX Executive, Charlotte, NC, for instance, hosts a pet-related soiree at her house where guests donate bedding to the local Humane Society. You can also invite your colleagues and clients to join you in packing food boxes at the local food pantry or serving holiday dinners to the homeless.
Johnny Youssef, broker with the Dwell KC Group, Chartwell Realty, Kansas City, MO, offers home buyers and sellers that recently closed within the past three months a free housewarming party. “Most people never get around to having a housewarming party,” he says. “We offer to do some light snacks, take care of invites and arrange the evening. This is a win-win. People invite their friends and family, and we get to share with them about what we do and become the ‘amazing agents’ in their eyes.”
Consider offering buyers and prospective clients a free home warranty plan, or cross-market with third-party providers and gift a free home inspection in exchange for leads.
Albeit cliché, refrigerator magnets do (pardon the pun) attract current and prospective clients year-round by keeping your name pinned to one of the most popular appliances in the home – the refrigerator. Custom-made calendars also make great ways to showcase your team and the local scenery while reminding clients year-round of your business.
Q4 is a great time to generate new recruitment leads. Throughout the year, you might ask each of your agents to refer their peers and influencers as new talent. Then, invite all new candidates and successful hires to a holiday mixer dedicated solely to prospecting and celebrating agent talent. You can reward those agents whose efforts result in successful hires with at least six months on the job by entering their names into a drawing and announcing the winner at the company’s holiday party.
Every holiday season, RE/MAX Executive’s Maxwell invites clients to some fun activity, such as bowling, volunteering or a cookout. This year, they met at a local brewery and gave away a Carolina Panther-themed gift basket. You can also tie the event to a real estate-related activity, such as an evening with a home staging expert for holiday decorating tips.
When every other agent in town is sending holiday cards in November and December, try taking a different spin and send New Year’s cards. Kasey Boles of Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC, Boise, ID, suggests sending New Year wishes along with helpful business-related communication, such as a closing settlement statement to those clients who purchased or sold a home in the previous calendar year to help with upcoming taxes. Or, you could send a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to past clients to indicate what their home is worth and possibly trigger a selling and/or buying opportunity.
“Those who may consider selling in the spring or summer can begin planning and preparing. Getting a market analysis at the first of the year might help jump-start that process,” says Boles.
All said, sometimes the best holiday gift of all is simply a note of gratitude for sharing in the joys and successes of the year. Hand-written letters on recycled or local artisan stationery makes a particularly nice personalized touch. And don’t forget to send well-wishes to your community on your social platforms to help spread the cheer.