Pre-Holiday Plans for Business

Real Estate Agent with William Raveis Real Estate RES.0772823

First of all, I just want to mention that there is no discernable slowdown in my business so far this year.  Normally my business slows down by one-third for November, December, and January.  I'm taking on two new listings today and have several more coming on the market.  I have three buyers with pending sales, and two more buyers ready to pull the trigger next week on properties.  So I hope I find the time to implement this plan:

My pre-holiday planning for my business includes:

  • Designing a holiday "card" which I e-mail to my clients, past clients, and BDA.  See last year's design to the right.  Landscape photography is my hobby, so I choose a winter landscape from the photos I've taken over the past year or two.  I use Publisher to create the "card" and open up last year's file, add the new photo and then begin the long, slow process of sending it with a personal note at the top to over 1,000 recipients.  I also send out close to 600 to the subscribers of my e-mail updates via Constant Contact.
  • Updating my database so that the cards go to the right e-mail addresses and recipients.  I wrote a post reminding AR members to update their databases when they turn back their clocks.  I'm still working on mine.  It's a long process.  I search my Outlook e-mails to make sure I have the most recent e-mail addresses.  When I see a gmail address, I almost sigh with relief because it's almost always the most recent one.  When I see an AOL address, I get worried, as so few people use AOL any more. 
  • Planning a post-holiday party in January for my SOI.   I try to host a party at my house every season.  Right before the holidays is difficult as so many people are stretched in different directions.  I find that right after the holidays is the best time because everyone is much more relaxed and there is less on their calender to conflict with their attendance at the party.  I keep the party simple and I set up for the party over the course of a week, so that there is no last minute rushing around.  I enjoy setting up for the party and I also enjoy cleaning up afterwards. 
  • Attending holiday events and parties in my community.  Another benefit of not planning a holiday party until January is that I can focus on attending events and parties.  Without fail someone at the party or event will ask me how the real estate market is going, so I'm already working on my year-end statistics and analyzing them against last year's statistics.
  • Preparing the 2014 Black Rock Real Estate Market Report.  Every year since 2005, I've created an 8-page newsletter for my market area.  I analyze the statistics for single family, condo, co-op, two-family, and three-family properties and show the changes over time.  I list every sale over the past year in the report and have a lot of colorful images and graphs.  People look forward to the report every year.  It's only available to subscribers of my e-mail updates.
  • Creating a reminder that the 2014 Black Rock Real Estate Market Report is only available to subscribers of my e-mail updates to encourage more people to subscribe.  I'll send out e-mail reminders to people who don't subscribe and put flyers out at local businesses.


Posted by



Click on icons below to go to Black Rock Real Estate and Black Rock Community websites as well as social media sites:




  Active Rain Subscribe to Blog        FaceBook Black Rock CT         Twitter Gail Robinson       Instagram Gail     ActiveRain Pinterest IconActiveRain YouTube Icon


Recent awards:




This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
pre plans
pre plans for holidays for business

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i

Hi Gail. Congratulations for winning. You have an amazing plan. Hope you and your cats have a wonderful winter.

Dec 08, 2013 11:19 AM #11
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Work hard and play hard. :o)


Happy Holidays,


Dec 08, 2013 12:34 PM #12
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Congratulations on your win!  Making and sticking with business and personal plans give you the biggest WIN!

Dec 08, 2013 01:17 PM #13
Christina Sanchez Hood
Palo Alto, CA
#SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living

Love it, love it, love it!  Such great ideas!  I am inspired, thank you and congrats on your win :)

Dec 08, 2013 01:52 PM #14
Rosie Moore
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX

Congratulations on your new listings.  It seems like you are super busy during the holiday months when things tend to slow down. Your blog reminds me....I need to put together my business plan.  Thanks for the ideas.

Dec 08, 2013 02:55 PM #15
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Wow - We send personal notes in our Holiday cards as well, but our database isn't nearly as large as yours. 1000 would take me all month!

Dec 08, 2013 06:19 PM #16
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Gail - You have such a smart and integrated approach. It's no wonder that your business is going so strong, even during the holidays.  Good for you.

Dec 08, 2013 07:09 PM #17
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Gail - today I am working on my holiday cards, attending a holiday gathering, doing some one to ones with potential business clients.  No slow down here.

Dec 08, 2013 08:19 PM #18
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Now that us an impressuve list. I am working on new listings, too.

Dec 08, 2013 09:58 PM #19
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I reread it. I like the post Holiday Party best. The DB cleanup is also on my list. I love the market report year end gift. I may just read it a third time!

Dec 08, 2013 10:00 PM #20
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

CONGRATS on the WIN, Gail!!  Loved this post!  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Dec 08, 2013 10:12 PM #21
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Gail, you've got a good handle on your business during the holiday season. Hope you can find time for yourself and family.

Dec 08, 2013 11:25 PM #22
Aaron Hofmann
Atlanta Communities - Smyrna, GA
aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings

Excellent plan and great way to entice more subscribers. Just keep building that database. Little nuggets of gold.

Dec 09, 2013 12:16 AM #23
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Impressive list of plans. I'm always amazed when agents say they slow down in the last weeks of the year. I've found that I'm as busy as ever from Thanksgiving through Christmas. And I've written more than one contract on New Years Eve day!

Dec 09, 2013 03:32 AM #24
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Cheryl - OMG, a third read!  I'm flattered!  LOL

Debe - Well the holidays this year will be a little tough.  First time without my husband. 

Michael - Thanks, no family any more, just friends now.

Aaron - I do believe my e-mail database is like gold, especially when people subscribe to my e-mail updates.

Nina - In the past, my business has slowed down by one-third from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, but not this year.  I successfully negotiated a sale on one of my listings yesterday and am negotiating another one today. 

Dec 09, 2013 04:38 AM #25
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Well no wonder you won!  You are very put-together.  I would love to know more about your newsletter - what a great idea.

Dec 09, 2013 06:37 AM #26
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Gail an 8 page market report of the Black Rock area has to be impressive as well as time consuming to prepare. Hopefully it just needs to be updated from the previous years.

Dec 09, 2013 07:45 AM #27
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Gail congrats on wining this challenge and I can see why, your entry was outstanding.

Dec 09, 2013 03:56 PM #28
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Wow, you are finishing this year strong:) Well done:)

Congratulations on your win!

p.s. I love your idea of post holiday party~ stealing for a next year!

Dec 17, 2013 04:21 PM #29
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Margaret - E-mail me and I'll send you last year's newsletter.  

Ed - I use the same template every year and just update the data and graphs.  I use Publisher and insert Excel spreadsheets.  It is time-consuming, but well worth it.

Jennifer - Thank you!

Inna - Steal shamelessly!  That's the point of sharing on AR. 

Dec 18, 2013 12:44 AM #30
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Gail Robinson

CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT
Let Me Help You With Your Real Estate Needs

Additional Information