2021 has flown by, with the coming of fall and the third quarter closing in just a few days. As the San Diego market slows down after this year's peak season, we now have more time to prospect and start planning out what we want our businesses to look like come 2022. We have an old adage at KW that "your activities from today will turn into business 90 days from now." If we took today, for example, that would put us close to New Year's Eve, but this message truly shows that results take time, and your daily efforts are crucial to keeping your business running sound.
With the holidays getting closer each day, your clients will be surrounded by friends and family this time of year. There will be socializing, parties, and discussions about plans for the future. Would your sphere refer you when buying or selling real estate pops up in the conversation? By lead generating ahead of the fourth quarter, this reminds your clients that you are the real estate expert in their lives and opens the door to more referrals.
That being said, we've put together a list of activities and ideas to help you re-engage your clients, just in time for the most wonderful time of year.
Make the Call
As redundant as it may be, picking up the phone is the simplest way to engage your sphere on a regular basis. When you pair that call with the upcoming holidays, it expands your conversation topics tremendously. This is a great time to ask about your client's plans for the holidays. Are they travelling this year or staying local? Do they have any friends or family visiting? What big goals do they have for the new year? It may lead to hearing about a unexpected life change or even a referral.
Social Media Content that Encourage Likes, Comments, and Shares
In the last two years, people have been more connected virtually to the world through the use of social media. Just in the United States alone, people spend an average of 2 hours per day on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, according to Statista. This opens a window for any business owner to engage not only friends and family, but colleagues and other connections. Every month, we come out with a new list of social media post ideas to help boost your personal and business pages.
Some posts you can include for the holidays:
Charitable cause worth spotlighting
Any contests or giveaways you're hosting
Client Events (pie pickups, Santa photo op)
Show gratitude towards family, friends, clients, staff, and other business partners
Ask a question (What's your favorite side dish at Thanksgiving? What's your favorite tradition during the holidays?)
"Would You Rather..." posts (never have stuffing or gravy again, Christmas caroling or ice-skating, etc.)
Holiday Themed Lists
Holiday Activities in your area
Host a Virtual Holiday Livestream
Post on actual holiday dates
Pop-by and Say Hello
This one goes back to the basics, but is still highly effective. Map out a full day of stops to your clients' homes, put on a Santa hat and spread some holiday joy! Not only will they appreciate the small gift you give to them, but you'll get some much needed face time and updates on what's happening in your client's life. Putting together small gifts doesn't have to cost an arm or a leg either. If you plan to stop by 25-50 homes, you can order items in bulk to help break costs.
Some ideas for small pop-by gifts can be:
DIY hot chocolate kit (even better, load the cocoa mix inside an ornament!)
Cookie mix in a jar
Stuffed oven mitt (cookie cutters, cookie mix, wooden spoon, etc.)
Christmas Potpourri in a jar
Holiday Food or Toy Drive
During this special time of year, there are plenty ways to celebrate, but there are also many ways to give back to the community. One way you can engage your sphere or farm is to host a holiday food or toy drive. The San Diego Food Bank is always looking for donations, but you can also support other local charities, such as Poway Unified's Youth In Transition and San Diego's Habitat for Humanity.
Holiday Pie Pick-Up Event
Who doesn't love pie? This event might take a little more planning, but it's well worth the energy if you are looking to communicate with multiple clients in one day. Also, if you are concerned with the pandemic, you can have a safe, socially distanced drive-thru event! This typically needs weeks of marketing upfront to get as many RSVP's as possible. The best part, you can host this event right at the office!
Looking for an easy way to get referrals? Add a can of whipped cream to the mix for any client that brings a friend or gives you a lead.
Set Up a Christmas Caroling Group
Are you musically gifted or just like to sing in the car? Coordinating a caroling group is a great way to brighten anyone's day, but especially your clients. Gather up the friends and family, or partner with a couple of agents to really spread some holiday joy.
Partner with a Local Christmas Tree Farm
A cost effective event you can put together around Christmas is spotlighting one of the local Christmas tree farms in your area. Most farms are willing to offer some discount to your clients if you are expecting a crowd. Plus, you can plan to set up a hot chocolate or coffee stand as your clients pick out their tree. Want to incentivize your clients to show up to the event? Offer the first 5 clients who show up a Christmas tree to take home, on you. You can also create more referral opportunities by offering a free tree or bigger discount for those who bring a friend along with them.
Send a Handwritten Note/Christmas Card
Again, we're going back to the Real Estate 101, but receiving a handwritten note in the mail can be one of the most personal touches you ever make in your business. Most people are used to seeing agent mailers, with printed address labels or envelopes. You can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your card by taking the time to handwrite cards for your clients. Most folks rarely receive anything, other than advertisements or bills in their mailbox. So, it'll make for a pleasant change when they see your handwriting on the front of the card. With the holidays rolling around, there are plenty of opportunities to share Thanksgiving gratitude, Christmas or holiday cards, New Year messages, and more.
Put Together a Photo Op with Santa
In 2020, Santa Claus was rather hard to find in San Diego. We may see more opportunities for photo ops in the coming months, but you can plan ahead by hiring your own Santa for your client event! You can choose to host this in your home, at a local park, or even at the office! This creates an exclusive opportunity for your clients to get into the Christmas spirit, without the hassle of waiting in ridiculous lines at the mall. Your sphere will be thanking you for creating an environment for that coveted Santa photo, without the stress.
Secret Santa Program for Families in Need
Another great way to engage your sphere is to identify a family in need and develop a Secret Santa program around it. Not sure who to pick? Have your clients submit nominees for this incredible opportunity! This can also help build out your database with potentials clients for the future. From there, it's all about trying to provide the best Christmas possible for this family in need, by providing gifts, Christmas caroling stops, doorbell ditch cookies, and more.
Bundle Up Your Client's Holiday Recipes Into a Cookbook
Every family has their tried and true recipes, especially when we get close to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. Create a community cookbook for your neighborhood! Advanced planning would be needed, but you can ask neighbors to share their recipes, and by the time the book is printed or bound, they'll receive a whole collection of holiday recipes in return. If you are worried about cost, you can ask a vendor to co-brand with you! This will be one pop-by gift your farm will never forget.
Create the Ultimate Holiday Playlist
Bring all of your clients' music tastes into one giant holiday playlist. With more and more Christmas and Hanukkah songs coming out each year, this playlist can easily become a massive hit. I would suggest using Spotify, as they have a unique shared playlist feature. Once you make the playlist public, anyone can use the link and add whatever song they'd like! Don't worry, if there's a song there that doesn't make sense, you can always remove it as admin. Since Spotify is usually tied to the user's Facebook account, you can see exactly who added the songs, which can be extremely helpful for follow up calls and messaging.
What kind of events or marketing are you planning to use this holiday season? We'd love to hear in the comments below!