In this monthly advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. This month’s topic: creating an unforgettable client experience.

In this monthly advice column, Marketing Mastermind Christy Murdock Edgar answers three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. This month’s topic: getting the max ROI from your online marketing.

You all know the Maya Angelou quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

You might be the best negotiator in your market and have the flashiest listing presentation, but ultimately providing stellar service — and winning those all-important referrals — comes down to the way you care for your clients.

This month, we heard a lot from you about going the extra mile when it comes to the service you provide. Let’s talk about some of the specific ways you can make every interaction more meaningful.

Questions of the day

Question 1, Amber Tkaczuk, Nebraska Realty

Should I do some sort of special marketing for the holidays for my current (this past year) clients? Should I recognize my clients on their birthdays, or is their real estate agent the last person they want to hear from on their birthday?

Tying your marketing efforts to a holiday or special occasion can be a great idea, but you want to make sure it feels authentic and sincere. For my money, just sending a holiday or birthday themed card comes across as something of an empty gesture. As with most marketing, adding value makes all the difference.

Here are some ways to reach out this holiday season and have that effort appreciated:

  • Provide a convenient calendar of holiday-related events in your market: Messiah Sing-alongs, tree lightings, special concerts or cantatas or other local holiday happenings.
  • Create a recipe book with all of your favorite holiday snacks and sweets, or open it up to your sphere and ask them to participate as well. Make it pretty with a design in Canva, then email to clients, colleagues and friends.
  • Pop by with holiday cookies, breakfast fixings or other tasty treats.
  • Living in a snowy area? Drop off a new snow shovel or windshield scraper (with a big red bow) before the next storm.
  • Sponsor a charity giveaway or event, and invite your sphere to join in. A toy drive, food drive or winter coat drive is a great service to the community, and you can offer to stop by and pick up the donations.
  • If you’re sending a card, make it personal. A handwritten note thanking them for being part of your life this year, with a personal detail or memory, can go a long way to helping you connect with your clients.

The same principle applies to birthdays. Add some value with one of the following:

  • A handwritten note with happy birthday wishes.
  • A birthday cake or giant cookie.
  • Balloons or flowers.
  • A birthday party kit with hats, noise makers and happy birthday plates and napkins.

Whatever you do, make it personal, and make it meaningful. When it comes from the heart, that sincerity will make the right impression.

Question 2, Karen Clark Carey, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

When marketing for real estate, how do you find the balance between reminding people about what you do and providing engaging content consistently?

As part of your community, you know as well as anyone what matters to the people who live there.

Are they concerned about a local government initiative? Are there potholes that haven’t been fixed? Did the high school football team have a great season? Is everyone excited about that new restaurant?

Whatever content you are creating and sharing should connect with the community in an authentic way.

The great news is that this means you can create content around what really matters to you. If you are a foodie who knows where all the best boȋtes are in your town, you can put that knowledge to work in the content you create.

If you are a former teacher or active PTA member, you can put your knowledge of the local schools to work for your clients’ benefit.

Love the outdoors? Share all of the best hiking and biking trails in the area or the best hills for sledding with the kids.

When you show up in an authentic way, you’ll find that you connect with your ideal clients and create content that really resonates. When that content is hosted on a beautiful, contemporary website that highlights your real estate bona fides, you’ll remind them of how your neighborhood knowledge makes you a great agent or broker.

When you distribute that content consistently through your real estate-themed social media platforms, you continue the connection, both personally and professionally.

Question 3, Abraham Walker, Northern Virginia

With prices softening in the luxury price ranges, what are agents doing to make their listings stand out from the competition?

One of the things that luxury sellers are looking for now is a sense that their listing agent is going the extra mile to get their home sold. Of course, the things that always matter — timely communication, a high level of competence and responsiveness, and attention to the details — are vital.

But now more than ever, luxury agents are looking for next-level elements when marketing their properties.

Lately, I’m seeing an emphasis on the quality and scope of the content produced in relation to luxury properties. Of course you’ll have professional photography, but what about a model to showcase the home’s features and make the listing photos and video really special?

Some large estate properties have models playing tennis, stepping off a yacht onto the dock or driving up to the home’s front entrance. It conveys a sense of the home as a home and makes it look more alive.

Writing is, of course, a major part of preparing and marketing the listing. Besides professionally written property descriptions, brokers are going beyond the MLS with graphic brochures, blog posts and more to offer more background and descriptiveness than the standard listing allows.

Finally, thinking big is essential. Attention-getting events — either for launch, brokers opens or open houses — are big, especially when branded and combined with social media promotions and live streams.

Connecting with local, regional or national media — especially in the case of uber-luxe or historically significant properties — can also provide next-level coverage and capture the right buyer for a unique luxury property.

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook or Twitter

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