• Client events don't have to cost a lot; if you're community-minded and creative, then scavenger hunts, nature walks, picnics and more can be viable options for connecting with your base and strengthening relationships.

Ah, summer: time to go on vacation, get some sun, visit the beach or pool — and build your real estate business.

Particularly for families with kids, summer is the ideal time to sell a house. So it’s also the ideal time to host a family-friendly event that brings exposure to your brand.

There are plenty of options for hosting a memorable summer event, even if you don’t have a large budget. Here are five ideas for making a family-friendly summer splash at a reasonable cost.

Bonus: These are arranged in order from least to most expensive.

City/neighborhood scavenger hunt

Show off your local expertise by creating a city or neighborhood scavenger hunt.

For families with children ages 9 and up, a downtown scavenger hunt is an exciting option. If the children are small, a scavenger hunt around a local park or in a residential neighborhood might be less stressful for the supervising adults.

Keep things within a walkable radius to make the experience more convenient, and offer a family-oriented, locally-themed prize at the end (for instance, a gift certificate for a family trip to the local children’s museum or zoo).

Just make sure to collaborate with business owners or facility managers ahead of time if families will be entering shops or public buildings.


Pick a family-oriented local charity, such as a food bank or beautification society, and invite clients to donate a couple of hours with you.

Even little kids can sort cans of food or help water newly planted flowers. Depending on what you do, you may only need to coordinate and provide water.

If you have a larger budget, you can provide supplies, refreshments or even a catered lunch or breakfast.

Star walk/nature walk

If your area has a park with walking trails, coordinate a nature walk or star walk for local families.

You can either brush up on constellations or local flora and fauna and lead the walk yourself, or get some expert help.

Most city park systems have nature centers with guides who can help. College or university astronomy departments, or your local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, might also be able to assist.

Make sure the walk is short (no more than half a mile) if very young children are involved. To keep the event open to families with babies or special-needs children, choose a location with paved paths that can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs.

Story/craft time

Most public educational or arts organizations have an outreach department that can provide staff for a group event. Think public libraries, city symphonies, art or science museums and more.

You will probably be asked to make a small donation to the organization in exchange and perhaps provide supplies or refreshments.

It’s easy to think of this kind of event as only for small children, but libraries and museums are experts at engaging older kids, too. Events can include a story time, drama or dance session, musical petting zoo, short painting class, kid-friendly craft time and more.

Picnic in the park

There’s a reason picnics are a summer tradition: people, especially families, love them. And the budget for these is very flexible.

Can’t spend much? Invite families for a potluck picnic at a local park and just provide the drinks and dessert. Book a shelter in a good location, such as near a playground, and let the kids entertain themselves for free.

Just make sure you don’t spend the whole time telling families about your real estate business – use it as an opportunity to really get to know your clients.

If you have a bigger budget, provide more or all of the food and hire some entertainment. Rent a bounce house and hire a juggler, balloon artist and/or face painter to “wow” the kids (and give their parents a break).

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you invite not just potential clients, but past ones, too.

More than likely, previous buyers or sellers will buy or sell again. A fun family event is a terrific way to thank them for their business, stay top-of-mind for when they move again — and recruit some new clients.

Kathryn Royster is the marketing director for HouseLens, Inc. You can follow Kathryn on Twitter @kathrynroyster. HouseLens is on Facebook.

Email Kathryn Royster.

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