Updated October 2, 2023
The holiday season is probably the time of year most closely associated with home. After all, it’s right there in the song: “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” At this time of year, when you’re looking for holiday marketing ideas that will reinforce your relationships and give a boost to your business, take advantage of the connection your clients—past and present—make between you, their real estate agent, and their holiday hearth.
With this in mind, there are plenty of festive marketing ideas you can use to reach out to your clients and other members of your sphere this time of year. Don’t forget to reach out to colleagues and referral partners as well to share a little holiday cheer. You never know when your network will come through for you and your clients during a tough negotiation or in a low inventory market.
Here are seven outstanding ideas for your holiday marketing that are sure to make a positive impression—and ensure that you end up on everyone’s nice list.
1. Give a gift of a magazine subscription
The wonderful thing about a magazine subscription is it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Our clients absolutely love sending our personally branded magazines, and our annual holiday issue in particular, because it keeps them top of mind with their clients throughout the year.
For less than the cost of a typical holiday card, we brand each issue with their photo and business info in six key locations. Our clients often write personal holiday greetings customized down to the individual level that we print on the Front Inside Cover at no additional cost. They also enjoy selecting holiday recipes or other content for the two Tear Out Cards we include with every issue. Many also decide to use the Back Inside and Back Outside Covers for customized ads.
2. Plan a movie night
The holidays often bring with them the premieres of big blockbuster movies, and there’s always the holiday classics. Consider hosting a movie night at your local theater for your sphere of influence.
Send out invitations in plenty of time so that they can put the event on their calendars, and you can get an accurate headcount. Then spring for the popcorn and candy, and make it a festive and fun break from the everyday routine for friends, colleagues, clients, and their families.
3. Arrange for a seasonal delivery
You’ll have plenty of opportunities for seasonal deliveries that will be a welcome surprise during the holiday months.
Many members of your sphere are likely to be hosting guests, so gifts of food are always a good idea. Consider pies for Thanksgiving, breakfast foods or sweet treats during the December holidays, and bottles of bubbly for New Year’s Eve. If you have clients who are big football fans, January also offers plenty of opportunities for sharing a fun tailgate basket or gift cards for food delivery services during the big bowl games.
Want to help make their home more festive? Consider a pumpkin or flowers for the porch in November and greenery, wreaths, or a tree delivery in December. A fall or holiday-themed welcome mat can also be a welcome gift.
4. Send handwritten cards and notes
This is an ideal time to reach out with a holiday card or other correspondence. However, rather than sending along a generic, mass-produced greeting, why not take the time to handwrite a card or letter?
There are 61 days combined between November and December. Writing five notes per day should only take 10–15 minutes and will give you 305 handwritten notes by the New Year. Add in New Year’s greetings throughout January and that’s another 155 notes for a grand total of 460 handwritten greetings by the end of the season.
If you’re wondering “Is writing a handwritten note actually worth it?,” think about the feeling you get when you receive one. A handwritten note is personal, intentional, and meaningful, and, if it’s been a while since you reached out, the holidays give you an organic reason to send a card and reconnect with your sphere.
5. Host client appreciation events
Whether at your office, home, or at a popular local venue, this is also a great time of year for client appreciation events.
You can go all-out and host a lavish holiday party, or scale it back to plan a game-day tailgate, open-air barbecue, or pancake breakfast. Hold a drop-in on Black Friday where clients and their family members can take a break from their holiday shopping for some cookies and cider.
If you want even more event ideas, you can listen to our podcast episode, “12 Client Appreciation Events Inspired by Top Agents and Producers.” There’s one idea for each month of the year, but you could easily turn many of them into Thanksgiving-, Hannuakah-, or Christmas-themed marketing ideas.
Whatever type of celebration you choose, make sure to publicize it in your email, newsletter, on social media, and in texts to your list.
6. Get involved in event sponsorships
Does your city have a Turkey Trot or other race on Thanksgiving morning? What about a Fall Festival or other seasonal celebration? How about a Santa race? Many community events offer sponsorship opportunities to local businesses. This gives you the opportunity to advertise your sponsorship now and see your logo on fun run t-shirts, signage, banners, and other advertising for months to come.
Compound your sponsorship impact by hosting a booth, table, or tent at the event. Include some holiday branding and offer something value-added, such as free water, event merchandise, or just a comfortable place to sit down for a while.
7. Participate in charitable events
The holiday season is also the time when charitable organizations are stretched thin, so it’s a perfect time to offer help to those in need in your community. If you’re not already affiliated with a local charity, this is a good time to find out who you can partner with and how you can help.
Every year, Shannon Gillette, one of the top 12 Realtors® in Phoenix, Arizona, and a two-time Stay Paid podcast guest, arranges to take a group of children living in the foster system holiday shopping. Her clients are invited to participate as personal shoppers, and she always receives a huge response. She takes along a videographer who captures all the action and posts the videos to social media.
You might consider a similar activity or decide to organize a toy drive, feed holiday meals to the hungry, or provide needed personal items to local homeless shelters and nursing homes. You could also gather supplies for a local pet rescue or sponsor a pet adoption event. This is the season for sharing, and what better way to do so than to help out in the market where you work?
8. Perform community service
Ask yourself what needs to be done in your neighborhood. Is there an empty lot that needs to be cleaned up? Do first responders need resources or equipment? Does the high school band need new instruments? Does a rundown playground need to be spruced up?
It’s easy to find things to criticize and complain about. However, taking a proactive approach to improving your little corner of the world makes sense this time of year. Consider your service a gift you give back to your community, and invite your sphere to take part either through giving a financial donation or offering their time and labor. Imagine the difference you and your clients can make between now and the New Year.
9. Use these “12 days of Christmas” marketing campaign ideas
The holidays are the de facto time of year to indulge in good food and drink while gathering with friends and family, and you can be a part of the party whether you’re invited or not by providing the people in your sphere with holiday-inspired recipes. You might also share blog articles with useful information that can help them prepare for the holiday season. Post the recipes and blogs to social media, send them in emails, or include them in your newsletter.
If you like the idea of a 12 days of Christmas marketing campaign but don’t think you have the time to pull it off well, consider checking out our Branded Posts, our automated, personally branded social media tool. You can select the type of content you want to share, or we’ll select from our library of prewritten posts seasonally-appropriate content and post to your account according to your schedule. Branded Posts is only one of the four tools we make available to clients using our Digital Marketing Platform.