For some REALTORS®, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is a dead zone with no sales and lots of financial stress. However, some REALTORS® build their market share with consistent closings during the holidays while capturing tons of future business at holiday gatherings.
Multiple Opportunities for Real Estate Conversations
The average American adult will be involved in several conversations about real estate during holiday gatherings. Below are just some examples of how these conversations can originate.
- Size matters. If someone believes their residence is small, they feel it more intensely when they host people for a party.
- Status looms large. When people attend a party held in a larger, more ornate home, they compare it to their own residence where they drag dusty metal folding chairs up from the basement to stick in the corner.
- Concern about frail parents. When people visiting their parents observe that Mom or Dad is struggling to get around their home or keep up with the maintenance, it’s time for a conversation about downsizing, moving closer, or going into assisted living.
- Reassessment about hopes and dreams. With another year in the books and perhaps a year-end bonus in their pocket, some people realize it is time to buy their first home or upgrade to the home of their dreams.
- Longing to live closer to those who matter. A person who moved away can feel a sense of longing when they’re reunited with family and close friends in a location that feels more like home than where they are currently living.
- Snarled traffic can be the last straw. A person who has to fight through city traffic to and from their family member’s safe and quiet suburban home may decide that they’ve had enough with city living.
- Pay raises inspire buyers. Someone enjoying newfound success with work feels more comfortable with buying a better home.
- Planting roots for the newly engaged or married. Conversations frequently turn to the newly engaged or married couple, with family and friends asking them where they’ll establish their roots.
- Move to adulthood. A person in their twenties may feel pressure from their family to grow up, so buying a home can be a powerful statement to their family that they have matured.
- Magical time. Many people make their decision to buy or sell based largely upon emotion, and the holidays generally trigger positive feelings that can spur people to make a life change.
If you notice, all of these opportunities represent life changes. A conversation about a life change is music to an agent’s ears.
Getting in the Game
If you are a person who is about to obtain their real estate license but is thinking of holding off until after the new year, I suggest you get in the game now. Since people will have multiple real estate conversations during the holidays, this is a prime time to establish relationships that will pay off next year. Some people may think it is better to save money on REALTOR® dues by waiting until 2016 to become licensed, yet the potential income from even just one buyer or seller client established at this time will more than cover your costs.
Regardless of whether you are about to earn your license or are already in the business, now is the time to be a part of the real estate conversations that people have. If you are not, another REALTOR® who is active during the holidays can end up working with those people.
A savvy REALTOR® can earn five figures a year in referral fees alone. The holidays are a great opportunity to tell far-flung family and friends that you’re in the business and that they should call you first if they or someone they know has a real estate need. Then you can interview and select a REALTOR® who works close to the person you’re referring. The idea is to have family and friends see you as a trusted real estate advisor and a great connector. I caution agents about assuming that family and friends already know to contact you for real estate matters. I have missed out on referrals and clients in the past from family and friends because I did not remind them consistently that they should reach out to me for any real estate need. A wise coach once told me that people have to be reminded about 10 times to do something before they make it common practice. So, be proud to tell the people you care about that you are a REALTOR® who stands ready to serve.
Gifts and Greeting Cards
It is fun to send out holiday greeting cards and gifts to family, friends, past clients, and future prospects. Fewer and fewer greeting cards and letters are mailed each year. When you send something handwritten, it will be well appreciated by the recipient. The tried and true refrigerator magnet along with a greeting card is a nice touch.
Planting the Seeds
The holidays are not a time for agents to go into hibernation. This is a wonderful time to reconnect with people who matter. There are multiple opportunities for deep and loving conversations. When a life change comes up, it is time for a REALTOR® to step in to help. Enjoy your time with loved ones this holiday season!
About the Author: Tai A. DeSa is the Team Leader of the Keller Williams Real Estate office in Allentown, Pennsylvania. DeSa is a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to entering the real estate business, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. The purpose of Tai's life is to be a leader and writer, and to do insanely good things for himself and others.