4th quarter is just a day away!
I say this every year, but this year I REALLY mean it. 2018 has flown by. Summer was just a blink of the eye; my kids agree. School is back in session and 4th quarter is about to begin. With 4th quarter begins the fall and winter holiday season.
This holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year.
We have never done any kind of Halloween themed marketing. I have never really thought about marketing at Halloween. We live out of town with very few neighbors, no trick or treaters, and our home is our brokerage office. So, not a lot of foot traffic for handing out branded candy. But reading some of the posts for this contest has got me thinking about possibilities in the coming years.
We have great clients, but this year we have felt especially blessed with clients that have come back to us again and again, clients who refer all of their family and friends to us, and clients who are exceedingly loyal despite growing offers for rebates or other incentives from agents, brokerages, and builders. As a thank you, we are sending certain clients appreciation baskets at Thanksgiving from our favorite local creative baskets maker, Idaho Gift Baskets. These gifts won't be sent to all of our clients this year, but a handful who have been essential in our business this year. It is our first year doing this. However, it likely will become annual and will include different clients each year.
For the past 15 years, we have sent Christmas cards to our friends, family, and clients. We are at about 425 cards this year. It is the only mailing we do. Our clients apparently love receiving these cards. I usually work on them during Thanksgiving weekend and send them out the Monday after Thanksgiving. We always get a number of clients who call or email us to thank us for the card and to wish us happy holidays. We frequently get comments that our clients love seeing our family (including Roy the dog of course!) and our kids as they grow older. Occasionally we go over to a clients' home many months after Christmas and still see our card hanging on the fridge or a mirror or wall. John is always shocked at the response because at first, he didn't think they were worth sending. But each year we realize more and more that they are a great way for us to stay connected with our clients and for them to feel connected to us.
Here is one of our past Christmas cards:
As of the end of 3rd quarter, we have already exceeded our goals for 2018. While we still are happy to sell more homes this year, most of our marketing, as well as current business planning and goals are for 2019.
Since I only have two holiday marketing plans but three are required for this challenge, I'll add a bonus holiday.
New Year's Eve/Day
I have considered sending New Year's Eve/Day cards instead of Christmas cards. A good reason for this is that often people get so many Christmas cards that they all might blend together, and sending a New Year's card would stand out from the rest. However, I almost always send my cards out the first business day after Thanksgiving. My goal is to have them be one of the first cards to go out, and therefore hopefully they will be remembered and are not lost in the shuffle. We have also thought about sending out calendars, which I think are tried and true but I have just never implemented it.
Another great option for the New Year is to mail a closing settlement statement with New Year wishes to those clients who purchased or sold a home in the previous calendar year. People are gathering information for their taxes and this is a great way to help.
Sending out a CMA to past clients to show them what their home is worth can prompt people to think about whether or not they want to sell and/or buy in the coming year. Those who may consider selling in the spring or summer can begin planning and preparing, and getting a market analysis at the first of the year will jump-start the process.
With a new year, there are so many possibilities.
Happy 4th Quarter to All!