I don’t know about you, but when I first started in New York City real estate I was more than a little disappointed. I was expecting a whole lot more schmoozing over martinis and charming my way into million dollar deals. Instead, most nights I sat at home eating cold pizza and answering emails in my pajamas…

Other agents in my office were throwing elaborate parties and seemed like they were having way more fun AND making way more money. Of course this was years ago, so I decided to reach out to some top producers to get their best client appreciation event ideas to close more deals in 2022.

Virtual Client Appreciation Events

video conference

Since so many states are still in lockdown, let’s start with some virtual client appreciation event ideas. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Virtual events are boring, awkward, and no one really likes them.

While in-person events with flowing drinks and stimulating conversation are definitely better, that doesn’t mean a virtual event has to be awful or feel like a work meeting. Even better, you will be able to show your clients that you care about their health and safety.

Virtual Wine or Scotch Tasting

wine tasting

Difficulty: Medium
Fun factor: High
Cost: $$$$$

No, that’s not a typo and no, we haven’t invented a new technology that lets people taste things through the internet. (But if we did, we would name it Taste-o-Vision.) We’re talking about real, honest-to-goodness wine tastings that you can arrange for your clients virtually.

Here’s how this works. Partner with your local wine shop, an upscale restaurant, or sommelier. Work with them to come up with a list of five interesting wines or spirits that they can talk about. Then buy smaller bottles or use a service like Bottles Nation that takes care of the wine and sommelier for you.

Tips for a Successful Event

The best way to get people to actually come to your virtual wine tasting event is to make it interesting. Pick a highly talented (and entertaining) sommelier, and have them come up with a list of wine that will pique your client’s interest. It could be roses, local wines, or maybe something like port or Riesling. Just make it interesting and your clients will show up.

Hire a Musician for a Virtual Concert

virtual concert

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: Medium
Cost: $$

Everyone loves music, so organizing a virtual concert might be a great idea to keep your clients happy. The tricky part is finding a musician who will actually get them to turn up. Of course, most agents who read The Close have done their due diligence and know their audience inside and out, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for our (amazing) readers.

Tips for a Successful Event

Since live concerts are a dime a dozen online these days, I would think about sending out some tasty local snacks to accompany your concert. A theme might be fun. Maybe you can find a Zydeco band and have a Mardi Gras-themed concert, or send out pralines and opera cake for a performance for a string quartet. The key here is to be creative.

Host a Game Show With Real Prizes

game show

Difficulty: High
Fun factor: High
Cost: $$$

Here’s your perfect chance to channel your inner Bob Barker and keep your clients happy at the same time. Sure, virtual game shows might be a little cheesy, but that’s kind of the point. They’re FUN. Your former clients should already know you’re a hyper-local expert and a shrewd negotiator, so why not use your client appreciation event to show off your fun side?

Tips for a Successful Event

Even if this event is all about goofy fun, you need to take it seriously. Make sure your prizes are something people actually want, and make sure you rent or buy some equipment that actually works. You can use software or apps, but what fun is that?

Host an Online Trivia Night With Real Prizes

pug

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: Medium
Cost: $$

Bring your clients back to their college bar crawling days with an online trivia event. This is a super-easy event to organize. All you need to do is buy some prizes people actually want, then come up with some fun and challenging trivia questions and you’re good to go.

Tips for a Successful Event

Don’t make your questions too insanely hard, or too easy. Also try and pick some fun topics. No one wants to do math on their down time.

Live Client Appreciation Events

event

We obviously don’t want to get you into trouble here, so considering the state of the world, in most cases, in-person events will not be possible or even legal for you right now. We get it, but as they say, this too shall pass. One day, and ideally one day soon, the best agents will be out and about schmoozing with clients in person again. To get you ready, here are some ideas for live client appreciation events that you can start planning today.

A Cocktail Class & Tasting With a Local Mixologist

mixologist

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: High
Cost: $$

Craft cocktails are all the rage these days. Instead of just drinking Instagram-worthy cocktails, everyone seems to want to learn how to make them too. So why not kill two birds with one stone? Hire a local mixologist to teach a class on making interesting cocktails, and then have a tasting when she’s done.

Tips for a Successful Event

Themes will save the day here. Hiring the bartender from your local dive bar to make gin and tonics won’t cut it. Instead, try to find someone who is an honest-to-goodness cocktail nerd and come up with a fun theme. It could be Tiki cocktails, historic cocktails, cocktails using interesting ingredients, or reverse engineer cocktails from a popular high-end bar.

Behind-the-Scenes Guided Tours of Galleries or Museums

museum

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: Medium
Cost: $$$

If you’ve worked in real estate for more than a week, you know that money opens many doors. Some of those doors include private tours of museums, art galleries, or historical sites with professional tour guides. The American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan even allows sleepovers.

While a sleepover under a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton might be a little … intimate … for your clients, there are surely other local museums or historical sites that will allow you to bring your clients on a private tour.

Tips for a Successful Event

Making your tour somehow related to the history of your city is a great way to try and steer things toward real estate. New York City real estate agent Jeffry Goodman actually cut out the middleman and does tours of iconic Manhattan neighborhoods himself that are well-attended by former clients and his sphere.

Rent the Chef’s Table at a Local Restaurant

restaurant chef

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: High
Cost: $$$$$

If your former clients include any foodies, then renting the chef’s table at a high-end restaurant will be something special they will talk about for weeks. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, many restaurants have a special table set up in the kitchen for VIP guests, or, you guessed it, people with deep pockets.

They not only get to watch their food being prepared, but often get individual service and attention from the chef and sous chefs. They will often prepare a special tasting menu for the chef’s table only, so this is definitely something that offers more of an event than a regular dinner.

Tips for a Successful Event

While you’re probably not even going to be offered the chef’s table at a mediocre restaurant, try to pick someplace special and interesting. The whole fun of the chef’s table is to get served food regular guests don’t get, and hopefully to learn something from the experience.

A Catered Private Film Screening & Talk With a Film Expert

theater

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: High
Cost: $$$$$

If you have an artsy client list, then renting a small theater and screening an art house film followed by a talk with a film professor could make a great client appreciation event.

Tips for a Successful Event

As always, novelty is the key to a successful event. Screening “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” might be fun, but why would they book a babysitter for that? Instead, find something interesting and someone qualified to speak about it.

Snacks and booze make everything better, so make sure you include plenty of both.

A Clam Bake or Beach Party

clam bake

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: High
Cost: $$

While this may be an East Coast thing, getting your former clients together for a day of seafood and beer is always a great idea. Just make sure to include some options for vegetarians and kids too.

Tips for a Successful Event

If you can swing it, hire a professional chef or catering company to cook and set everything up for you. At the very least, you’re going to want a few hired hands to help serve, clean up, and give you the space to play the charming host.

A Good Old-fashioned Barbecue

barbecue

Difficulty: Easy
Fun factor: High
Cost: $

At the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned barbecue. Hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, and ice cold beer. What’s not to love? If you want to spice things up a bit, maybe come up with some fun games for the kids, or better yet, rent a house with a pool for the afternoon.

Tips for a Successful Event

Remember to include vegetarian options for your clients who don’t eat meat, and consider hiring someone for the day to help you cook, set up, and clean up, so you can play the charming host.

Over to You

Have a great idea for a client appreciation event or a pointed opinion on ours? Let us know in the comments or join us on our Facebook Mastermind Group.

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