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.” As a real estate agent, you have an immediate hook since many of the members of your sphere of influence will associate you with either the past purchase of their current home or the process of purchasing their next home.
With that in mind, there are plenty of ways that you can connect with your past and current clients and other members of your sphere this time of year. Don’t forget to reach out to colleagues as well to share a little holiday cheer. You never know when your professional network will come through for you and your clients during a tough negotiation or in a low inventory market.
Here are seven ideas for your holiday outreach that are sure to make a positive impression—and ensure that you end up on everyone’s nice list.
1. 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 of what we have just come through as a society; the separation and isolation that many people have experienced over the last year and a half. A handwritten note is personal, intentional, and meaningful, and it’s a great way to reconnect with your sphere.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities for seasonal deliveries that will be a welcome surprise during the holiday months. Remember, many of the members of your sphere may 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.
3. Movie nights
The holidays often bring with them the premieres of big blockbuster movies. 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 so 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.
Whether at your office or at a popular local venue, this is also a great time of year for client appreciation events. Host a holiday party, gameday 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. Whatever type of celebration you choose, make sure to publicize to your email and text list it well in advance, and on social media.
5. Event sponsorships
Does your city have a Turkey Trot or other race on Thanksgiving morning? What about a Fall Festival or other seasonal celebration? 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 branding and offer something value-added, such as free water, event merchandise, or just a comfortable place to sit down for a while.
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.
Organize a toy drive, feed holiday meals to the hungry, or provide needed personal items to local homeless shelters and nursing homes. 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?
7. 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 sprucing 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.