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.