This is the time of year when we take a moment to express our gratitude. And included in that, it’s also a time when we should express our gratitude to the people in our lives. For real estate professionals, past clients and referral partners should be at the top of the list.

Once you’ve gotten past the closing table, those clients can become a valuable source of referrals and testimonials, connecting you with their sphere of influence. Don’t let the hard work and good will you’ve developed go to waste.

Stay in touch and show your appreciation regularly in order to stay top-of-mind with the clients you’ve helped.

These simple gestures can help you become part of your past clients’ Thanksgiving holiday this year and help you transition from real estate agent to friend.

1. Write a note to say thank you

There is nothing as simple and heartfelt as a handwritten note, and there’s nothing that people enjoy receiving more. Because it’s so affordable and meaningful, cultivate the habit of writing notes all year long, not just at Thanksgiving.

2. Learn their coffee order

Want to make someone feel special? Take them out for coffee over the next few days, then memorize their coffee order. The ability to stop by with the perfect latte made just the way they like it on a random Tuesday next January? Priceless.

3. Prepare part of the Thanksgiving day meal

Even with a table groaning under the weight of a Thanksgiving meal, there’s always room for one more pie or other sweet treat. Pop by with fresh-baked rolls from a local bakery, or send them a muffin basket to make Thanksgiving morning easy.

4. Teach them about the area

Whether it’s a gift certificate to everyone’s favorite local diner or VIP passes to the area’s tree lighting, find something that is quintessentially associated with your area, then let your clients know about it.

They’ll feel like a local and enter into the community spirit — and they’ll remember that you’re the one who made it happen.

5. Pamper their pet

Fur babies are the way to your clients’ hearts, so make sure you find something special for them. A gift basket of treats from the local pet specialty store, a new pet bed for their new home, a personalized ornament for the Christmas tree — all of these show that you understand that pets are part of the family.

6. Don’t forget the kids

Many people give closing gifts or holiday gifts with the parents in mind, but the kids are also making adjustments. Give a T-shirt with their new school’s mascot or a gift card to a great local toy store or children’s bookstore.

7. Sponsor a family movie night

So many people are looking for an opportunity to get out of the house during the holidays. Rent out a local movie theater for a showing of a holiday classic or one of the upcoming holiday blockbusters.

Make it family friendly so there’s no need for a babysitter, especially considering they might not have found one yet.

8. Provide their Christmas tree

Take advantage of a Christmas tree delivery service, and offer the buyers you’ve worked with this year a tree delivered to their door. They’ll think of you throughout the holiday season — and tell their friends about your thoughtful and valuable gift.

9. Start a new tradition

Weave yourself and your business into the fabric of your clients’ lives, and your community, by starting a new tradition focused on this time of year.

Here are some possibilities:

  • Rivalry day football viewing party at your office or home
  • Holiday cookie swap and decorating event
  • Sponsor a local event like a “Turkey Trot 5K,” tree lighting or holiday concert
  • Sponsor and organize a local charitable food or toy drive
  • Sponsor a turkey giveaway for local families

Look around your area, and find out what type of event you’d like to see, then make it happen, and get your sphere of influence involved. Offer clients with local businesses the opportunity to co-sponsor as well.

10. Promote their business

Similarly, if you have a robust online or social media presence, use it to promote your clients’ businesses. Interview them, give an online tour of their offices, or take advantage of Small Business Saturday to highlight local businesses owned by your past clients.

Make Thanksgiving the lead-off to a holiday season filled with heartfelt and personal gestures that let your clients know just how much they mean to you.

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram  and YouTube.

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