You have probably noticed – very few people are in a business mode right now.
If you’re trying to contact other agents, lenders, etc. you may be getting frustrated. Almost the only people you’ll find working are those who have transactions pending at the moment, sellers who want to be on the market right after Christmas, or buyers who need to find a home during the holiday vacation.
Meanwhile, your prospective clients are probably not interested in reading / hearing promotional messages.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t promote yourself. You just have to do it softly.
What is soft real estate self-promotion?
It’s the kind in which you don’t ask for business. Instead, you simply wish people well during the holiday season.
- It might mean dropping by your most important contacts’ homes with a small gift.
- It might mean sending a card with a hand-written note – one that shows you know who they are.
- It might mean picking up the phone for a short chat. When you know people, you can ask about family members, pets, travel plans, or anything else you know will matter to them.
Whatever you do, make it personal.
Every year we get cards from businesses with their printed names instead of a signature. There are some that also include a signature – or the signatures of everyone in their office – but no note. Anyone receiving such a card knows they are mass-mailed to everyone on a list.
They don’t feel like wishes for a happy holiday – they feel like advertising. And, of course, that’s all they are.
If you actually know the people, you can send specific wishes or a relevant comment. For instance, “I hope your kids are able to make it home for Christmas” or “I so admire the work you do each year with Toys for Tots.” If there’s an event coming up with an organization you both belong to, it might be “I look forward to visiting with you at the ____.”
Use your soft real estate self-promotion to contact people you know and like.
You can “resume regular programming” (marketing to strangers) in January. Right now, make it personal.
What else can you do?
If you’re going to be out and about at parties or other gatherings, perfect your elevator speech.
When you meet new people, many of them will ask “What do you do?? Be ready with a short, concise answer.
“I sell real estate,” or “I stage homes,” or “I’m a mortgage lender,” is really not enough. Tell them a bit more. If you aren’t sure what to say, follow the suggestions in this post.
Be sure to follow up with asking what they do. If they have a business that you might be able to refer others to, say so. Then ask for their card so you can follow up.When you ask for their cards, give them one of yours. Asking to be put in their contact list on their phone is just a bit pushy, but you can easily say “If you ever have questions about our market, let me know.” If you’ve stopped using cards, read this and then perhaps you’ll reconsider.
After the event, write a short note saying that you’re happy to have met them. And of course, let them know that you’ll be glad to help any time they might need your services – or even just have a question you could answer. If you write a newsletter or a monthly / quarterly market report, ask if they’d like to be put on the list to receive them.
Remember that the more you encourage people to talk about themselves, the more you will come across as an interesting person. They might even call you a brilliant conversationalist.
Enjoy the holidays – and enjoy the new business they can bring!
Christmas tree Image courtesy of Multipedia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net