One of the best ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is to take time to show our thanks — not only to our friends and loved ones, but to our colleagues and clients, as well. Instead of waiting until December, why not get the jump on the holiday rush and do it right now?
Many agents wait until December to send their clients holiday greetings. Rather than waiting and having your good wishes lost in a sea of holiday bills and greeting cards, stand out by being one of the first people to acknowledge those to whom you are grateful.
Even better, choose something unique as a special expression of your gratitude. While the list below is a great starting place, we invite you to share your ideas in the comments section.
1. Past clients who closed a transaction this year
Normally when people move, their paperwork can easily be misplaced. Along with a holiday card, include copies of your past client’s closing statement for their tax preparer. You can also make a beautiful slide show of any photos of their home you have taken using Animoto.com — other examples include Flickr or Stupeflix. This is even more effective if you deliver it in person.
2. Host a holiday movie
Many theaters have programs that allow you to host a private event. Choose a classic Disney movie or other holiday favorite. Invite your past clients and sphere of influence to bring their kids. If you host the event at a shopping mall, parents can get a jump on their shopping while their kids watch the show.
3. Give your special clients a special gift
One of the best ways to acknowledge your gratitude is to give a gift based upon your client’s interests. For example, if they like yoga, it might be a private lesson with their favorite yoga instructor. If they’re avid readers, it could be a signed copy of the latest novel from their favorite author. If they’re actively involved in doing community fundraising, make a contribution to their favorite cause.
4. Acknowledge your service providers
Most agents have a favorite mortgage broker, title rep, home inspector, as well as other service providers with whom they do business throughout the year. One of the best ways to acknowledge them is to post a review of their services on Yelp.com. Yelp reviews get picked up at the top of most searches.
Better yet, if you have a video camera, shoot a video testimonial and post it on YouTube.com and LinkedIn. You can also do this for the person who cuts your hair, your local cleaners, or anyone else who provides you with great service throughout the year.
5. Do something special for your support staff
Acknowledge each one individually and include a note that thanks them for something special they did for you over the last year. If you enjoy arts and crafts, make something special for each staff person that they can either use at home or place on their desk.
6. Lend a helping hand
One of the best ways to express your gratitude is to volunteer to help those who are less fortunate than you. This can mean working at a food bank, visiting people in nursing homes, or volunteering to serve holiday dinners for the homeless.
One agent who took his search-engine optimization budget and gave it to the local food bank saw a 15 percent increase in his business over six months. He also got the extra benefit of spending time with his kids doing volunteer work each weekend.
7. Recycle your electronics
There are numerous programs that recycle computers and cell phones. In addition to keeping toxic chemicals from these devices out of the groundwater, you have the extra benefit of getting a tax write-off if you donate it to a local school or nonprofit.
8. Get rid of what you’re not using
Most people have lots of things they’re not using. You can host a clothing and/or toy drive for a local women’s shelter. The old toys your kids have outgrown, or that outfit that doesn’t quite fit right anymore, could make a huge difference to a family that is struggling this holiday season.
9. Connect the young and the old
Oftentimes, your older friends and clients may not have a computer or they’re not particularly computer literate. A great way to show your gratitude is to ask them to set a time where their children or grandchildren can be available for a Skype call. Take your laptop computer or smart phone to their home and let them video chat with their loved ones who may not be able to see them at the holidays.
10. Don’t forget to acknowledge your family
One of my most special memories is something my sister-in-law did last year. She gave each of us a Thanksgiving card where she shared how we had helped her or some other special memory.
The best tip of all is to remember to acknowledge the people who mean the most to use throughout the year, not just at the holidays.