With Thanksgiving around the corner, agents are looking forward to spending some time with family and friends. But don’t expect to spend all your time eating pie and turkey — the holiday is also a valuable opportunity to show appreciation for your clients while strengthening business connections with new ones.
“I find that many agents take a break from marketing themselves during the holidays because the market tends to slow down,” Chris Pagli, a marketing coach and William Raveis broker in Portland, Maine, told Inman. “I believe the slower periods are when we should ramp up.”
With help from brokers, Inman put together a list of creative ways agents can use Thanksgiving to show appreciation to clients, connect with new ones and, of course, score a marketing opportunity.
Send out personalized cards
Thanksgiving is a busy time of year — not everyone will be able to organize a holiday-themed open house or full-blown party. A card with a short handwritten word of thanks is the best way to remind clients (past, present and prospective) you’re there for them. You can also ramp things up a notch by designing and printing your own cards.
“Unique, hand written holiday cards always stand out and send a message that you care,” Pagli said.
Everybody loves pie
When we asked agents to name their favorite Thanksgiving marketing tricks, the gift of pie was by far the most popular and beloved tradition. Pie parties, hand-sized pies with business cards and a pie open house day are all possibilities. What works best will depend on your client base and whether you work in an urban, suburban or rural area.
The Property Group’s principal broker Jesse Dill even organizes an annual “Pie Delivering Service” — throughout the year, agents keep a list of clients who will receive pies delivered to their door. Over the years, Dill found that this worked better than inviting people to stop by their office and pick up a free pie as clients will often call back to say thank you and start talking houses.
“Throughout the year, we create a list of local people that have closed a transaction with us, referred us, will be working with us within the next 12 months, and those we are currently working with,” Dill told Inman. “All of theses very important people get a BIG Pumpkin Pie on their doorstep two days before the big feast!”
Host a holiday-themed open house
An open house with holiday decorations is an age-old way of getting neighbors and passersby curious. For Thanksgiving, this can be as simple as some streamers and early holiday lights or as attention-grabbing as inflatable turkeys.
“You can choose a theme to represent the various holidays in each room,” Pagli said. “I like to choose colors of the season and shiny, happy things.”
Have a party
If you have time, a Thanksgiving dinner, party or even happy hour is a good way to get some face-to-face time with your clients. Geena Becker, a real estate agent at William Raveis Luxury Properties, hosts a get-together in which clients can come by a local restaurant, chat and have some (you guessed it) Thanksgiving pie.
“Next Tuesday I am hosting a ‘giving thanks’ pie party,” Becker told Inman. “I’ll be at the bar with my team and husband — they can have a drink with us or just give us a hug and leave with the pie that they chose from the postcard email.”
In the past, Pagli has used photos of homes to create jigsaw puzzles on Shutterfly for clients. Unique gifts — other options could include notepads, pens and calendars with home photos — will make you stand out from other agents during the holidays.
Keep showings short (but don’t stop showing)
A Realtor’s job does not end during the holidays. According to Live Urban Real Estate brokers Kelly Kozlowski and Susan Adams, many buyers hope to take advantage of the slowdown to get an edge on an offer.
As a result, be respectful to home sellers who want to take a break from showings during the holidays — but also be prepared to clock in unconventional work hours when everyone else is resting.
“Our advice to agents working during the holiday is to be grateful and kind to your current clients and be respectful to the agents on the other side,” Kozlowski and Adams told Inman. “Keep showings brief and be respectful of any showings delayed because families are home together during the holidays.”