You’ve shopped for holiday gifts for your family, friends, loved ones and … who else are you missing? Don’t forget your clients!
The holidays aren’t just about opening gifts and eating good food around the fire. For agents, it’s also an excellent marketing opportunity.
A small gift in December will make the people you’ve worked with all year feel valued and remind them that you exist at a time when business tends to slow and agents compete to find sales.
We’ve put together a list of small, inexpensive and easy-to-find holiday gift ideas that clients are sure to appreciate — some we came up with ourselves while others were suggested to us by our readers in an anonymous survey. Wrap them up and hand them out to past, present or future clients.
One agent told Inman that she makes personalized “first year in your new home” ornaments for clients who have bought a house in the past year — they can be made with photos of the house or the written-out address in a clear ornament globe.
Along with being a nice holiday gesture, such a sweet gift will keep clients thinking of you for many years to come.
Monthly gift program
Another agent told us that their brokerage participates in a monthly gift program. LoLo, which launched in 2011 as a way for people to buy gift cards, not to giant corporations, but to businesses in one’s hometown, grew into a program popular with agents and brokerages.
You pay an annual fee of around $15 a year and then send out numerous $10-$15 certificates for local businesses to your clients. (The company makes money due to volume and uncashed certificates.)
“Helps me stay in touch with my clients and support local businesses,” the agent wrote anonymously.
A snow globe or other small piece of home decor
A snow globe might seem like a thing to collect dust, but they make lovely seasonal decorations. Another idea is to order a cute Christmas tree ornament in bulk and hand it out to different clients all throughout December. Use a metallic permanent market to sign or initial the back.
Who will say no to a $10 gift card to Starbucks around the holidays? You can slip one inside a card or tape it to the back of a business card that you hand out to your top clients in December.
Other options can include cards to Amazon, Macy’s, a familiar chain restaurant like Chili’s or Applebee’s or your local movie theatre. The amount of money need not be large — clients will be pleasantly surprised by any sum.
Gingerbread house kit
One agent gives her clients small gingerbread house kits. Complete with cookies, icing and candy for decoration, the gingerbread houses are a sweet treat for families to put together over the holidays.
If you’re extra crafty in the kitchen, you can even make homemade gingerbread houses for your top clients. They look impressive and are fun to eat!
A gift basket
Order a custom gift basket filled with treats, wine and tickets to see a play or movie. You can be ambitious and hand-select the gifts (a good plan is to pick a theme such as “sweet-and-salty” or “movie-lover”) or order a curated basket from GourmetGiftBaskets.com or Gift Tree.
A batch of homemade cookies
Easy, time-tested and delicious. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive gifts or have too many clients for individual presents, make some cookies (or any other kind of homemade treat), and hand them out to clients in small bags that include your business card.
You can also host an open house with tree and candy cane-shaped cookies, or mail out small bags of peppermint candies to your clients. It’s an easy way to reach out to a lot of people at once over the holiday season.
A bag of hot cocoa (or coffee or tea)
Small bags of hot chocolate (or any other hot beverage that you can buy in powder form) go down particularly well over the holidays.
You can order individually wrapped bags in festive motifs or, if you’re trying to save money, buy in bulk, and fill plastic gift bags that you decorated yourself. And don’t forget to attach your business card to the bag.
A festive mug
Another option is to buy a set of cute holiday mugs and to with fill a bag of the above-mentioned tea or cocoa, along with your business card. Stores like Dollar Tree let you buy sets of 36 Christmas mugs for $1 each while Wayfair or Williams Sonoma is the place to go if you want a more unique mug for a special client.
What better way to stay top-of-mind than to show up on your clients’ daily plans. And with the new year just weeks away, families will appreciate not having to shop for a 2020 calendar.
Some agents order printed calendars with their photos and contact information — Reamark Real Estate Marketing Products makes both paper and magnet calendars with an agent’s photo and contact information — but another option is to buy more generic but fancier calendars that you hand out to your top clients at the end of the year.
A small plant
There is a reason plants have made popular holiday gifts for decades. A potted cactus or other easy-to-care-for plant will show your client that you care and serve as a reminder of you all year long (or, at least, for as long as they water it.)
Sites like Bloomscape sell small house and office plants and also offer delivery. Another idea is to buy mini plant-it-yourself flowers or tree saplings in bulk and hand them out to clients, past and prospective.
Some creative agents have even handed out Christmas tree branches with a business card attached to them.
A handwritten note
And finally, you can always just send out Christmas cards with a handwritten note that thank your clients for staying with you throughout the year. Simple, inexpensive and a sweet reminder that you’re thinking of (and thankful for!) the people you work with over the holidays.
Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.
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