Not another holiday card: 5 fun ways to market this season

Host an event, have a snow day or become an influencer to make your mark this winter

In the digital world where people see an advertisement a minute, your “Happy Holidays!” message is going to get lost in the shuffle. While many people save holiday cards from loved ones, very few people are itching to put a card from their real estate agent up on their refrigerator.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

The key is to give your audience an experience to remember, to photograph and to share. Whether it’s bringing a smile to their face as they drive by your listing box or involving their families in a fun memory, you can still grab the attention of your past (and future) clients this season with a few out-of-the-box marketing hacks. Here are a few starter ideas.

1. Host a holiday-themed open house event

Show off your property by hosting a holiday-themed event at one of your listings that can use some more action (with the seller’s permission, of course).

Invite the buyers you’re representing, and inform other real estate agents, in case they want to invite their buyers. You can even create a Facebook event to get the word out to your town.

Serve light, winter-themed refreshments like hot cocoa and cookies at any event.

If you’ve got the skills — or have a friend who has the skills — create a Snapchat filter for the event. Inform people about it when they walk through the door, and not only will they share photos of your fabulous event on social media, but they’ll have a fun way to share your contact information, as well!

Photo by Welcome Home on Unsplash

Here are a few party possibilities:

White elephant party

Consider hosting a white elephant party in the living room. A white elephant party requires all attendees to bring a small wrapped $5-$10 gift (aka minimal costs for you).

Every attendee draws a number from Santa’s hat. The person who draws the No. 1 picks a present and unwraps it. The person who drew No. 2 then can choose to steal person No. 1’s present or unwrap their own.

If person No. 1’s present is stolen, he or she selects a new present to unwrap. The game goes on as the numbers get larger, and the person who drew the largest number has the widest selection to choose from.

‘Twas the night before Christmas party

Invite families within the area or family buyers to one of your listings, and ask that they bring their children. For this event, it’s important that all families RSVP with the number of children attending.

Purchase a stuffed animal or similarly low-priced gift for each child that RSVPs. Variety is important here!

Have all children sit in a circle and hand each of them an unwrapped gift. If there’s a fireplace, light it up and host the activity there.

Read the Night Before Christmas to them, but with a twist. Any time you say the word “and” they pass their gift to the person on the right. No child knows what gift they’ll get until the event is over.

These are just a couple ideas of fun holiday themed gatherings you could potentially host.

2. Host a Santa meet-and-greet

This one requires a nice camera and some Photoshop skills. Take photos of families with Santa on your camera only. No photos on anyone’s personal camera.

Ask Santa to meet with community members at a location of your choosing and set up a nice backdrop.

Invite everyone you know through a public Facebook event, and let them know the event is open to anyone! Be sure to include a branded event photo and your information in the about section.

Inform everyone they will receive their photos for free so long as they provide you with an email address.

Then, watermark all photos with your contact information. That way, when families share these photos on social media — and, of course, they will — they’ll share your contact information with their whole following.

You’ll also get a database of email addresses that you can keep in touch with to scout for new listings or promote existing ones.

3. Co-sponsor a snow day

Photo by Cooper Le on Unsplash

Snow days are great for sunny communities, like Florida, where snow isn’t common.

While a snow day is too expensive to throw on your own, you can partner with local businesses and your chamber of commerce to sponsor one.

Your name will be on the Facebook event and promotional material at the event itself. You can even create promotional T-shirts to give out at the event.

The front can say, “‘Snow place like home” within a snow globe, next to snowman or beside an igloo. On the back, include your contact information. Ensure the shirts are cute enough people would wear them, and you’ll have walking billboards all winter long.

4. Dress up your brochure box

Brochure boxes are so drab. Upon first glance (what most drivers have), they can look like a mailbox. They really do not catch a person’s attention.

However, the holidays give you the perfect excuse to make your flyer box more noticeable.

Consider adding holiday lights around your box or replacing it all together with a stocking. You can put up a sign that says “Look inside for a holiday treat,” and attach candy canes to each of your flyers.

5. Creating Instagram-worthy videos

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Younger homebuyers are trusting influencers more than real estate agents to help them make a home purchase. You know how the saying goes: If you can’t beat them, join them.

You can join the ranks of influencers by growing your social media following and attracting new clients based on your posts.

For example, at the moment, cookie decorating videos are taking over the “Discover” tab of many people’s Instagram feeds. Consider picking out a listing with a nice kitchen and making one of your own!

Not a high-quality baker? Consider enlisting some help.

The point of creating a video like this would be to rope in people who are already looking at this style of content — probably people who like to imitate the art — and impress them with a kitchen they would want to cook in. If you bring in your spouse or children for help, it might make it easier for people to relate.

Now, the video becomes a would-be memory they can make — if they would only purchase your listing.

If cookie decorating still isn’t your thing or if you want to make other types of content, consider these ideas:

  • Ornament decorating in the dining room.
  • How to properly wrap a present in the den.
  • Christmas tree decorating in the living room.
  • How to craft a jaw-dropping bow in the den.

Creating videos like these can lead to them checking out other content (and listings) that you have on social media.

Got any other neat ideas? We’d love to hear them, so please share in the comments below!

Martin Orefice is the founder of Rent to Own Labs in Orlando, Florida. Follow him on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn.