So many real estate agents give up during the holiday season, but if you think strategically, you’ll find a lot of opportunities to list and close this time of year.
At first glance, finding a new listing or buyer seems like a daunting task during the holidays. Sellers and buyers are distracted by shopping for gifts and making plans to celebrate the season, right? In reality, though, it’s one of the best times of the year for real estate agents to market homes and capture their best leads.
The tactics in this actionable guide will help your real estate business not only survive the holiday season, but also truly thrive.
1. Be Extra Available
Most years, we see the demand for real estate fall off during Q4. This is due to several factors:
- Buyers and sellers go on vacation or travel to see family and friends.
- Buyers and sellers put off making big money decisions until after the new year.
- New construction projects go on hiatus in many parts of the country during the winter months.
- Real estate agents go on vacation or take time off to spend with their families.
However, with interest rates for mortgages at record lows, fewer people planning to travel for the holidays, and pent-up demand from a slower spring and summer selling season, there are plenty of reasons for optimism about the housing market for Q4 2020.
All of this means if you can position yourself to snag those buyers and sellers, you’ll end the year on a high note, which brings me to my first tip: be extra available.
How? Now is the time to up your marketing game. Send concise emails with attention-grabbing subject lines, reach out to any warm prospects on your list via text, and make your availability during the holidays part of your value proposition.
An important part of being available is avoiding assumptions. Don’t assume your clients know which days you’ll be spending with your friends and family. Always communicate the hours and days of the week you’ll be working to your listings and active buyers. Setting this schedule ahead of time builds trust in your agent-client relationships.
And signaling your availability doesn’t have to be rocket science. Here’s a quick email script:
Dear [your client],
I know you’re busy, but I wanted to take a few minutes to wish you and your family a happy holiday season. [Your community] has been through a lot in 2020 and I know we’re all looking forward to getting a fresh start in 2021.
However, since I am your tireless advocate, I also wanted to let you know that I will be available for any and all real estate-related needs this holiday season. My business hours for the month of December are as follows: [hours and days you’re available].
So please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or maybe just want to grab a coffee and vent about the traffic on [local main street].
[your name and cell phone number]
2. Create & Share Actionable Holiday Content.
Many real estate agents still underestimate the power of content creation. The content you create can come in a variety of formats, from infographics to blog posts to short videos and so on. Did you know you can show appreciation to your present clients while generating leads by creating helpful, festive content?
In this digital age, it’s important to make sure your content appears wherever your prospects are online. Investing in some well-placed social media ads or in creative content aimed at a cold audience are tried-and-true marketing strategies that will work well during the holidays because so many agents are not working.
For instance, real estate marketing experts Shayne Hiller and Matt Cramer, co-founders of REMC Academy (REMCA), a course that teaches how to get more listings using Facebook and Instagram ads, had this to say:
“One of our clients increased production by revving up lead generation right before the holidays. With $1,500 in ad spend, we were able to get him at least $200k in new opportunities. We see the best results when our agents go all in where others are pulling out.”
Aside from the fact that many people spend more time online during holidays, REMCA’s students succeeded because they created irresistible content with high-quality photos about their properties to share on social media.
In addition, you can take this a step further by mailing newsletters, pamphlets, or brochures containing useful holiday tips.
DIY Home Decorating Guide
Everyone loves decorating their homes for the holidays, and many are going all out on decor this year. Make your guide as detailed and practical as possible. Create a PDF with plenty of visuals and ask a graphic designer to make it look amazing. If you create a PDF, besides printing and mailing it out to current clients, you can also post on social media and even run ads to your guide. So this marketing piece covers a lot of ground.
Short Holiday Tips Newsletter
Alternatively, you could create a one-page PDF or article with festive tips for your clients and prospects. Consider topics such as:
- Safety precautions to observe while hanging decorative lights this holiday
- How to manage guests at home during the pandemic
- How to host a socially distanced event this holiday season
3. Work Your Referral Network
There is no better marketing for a real estate agent than a referral from a friend. Real estate is a relationship business, so strong connections are key. According to the annual survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 90% of buyers report that they would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others. In other words, if you want more real estate listings and closings, you need to invest in and grow your network. The holidays are no exception.
In fact, the holiday season is a great time to remind past clients that your relationship doesn’t end once their home buying or selling journey is over. Contact them with an update about your business to remind them of the services you offer and to let them know you are always available for a “free, no-hassle market analysis consultation.” You may be surprised at how many new leads this generates for your business. Again, most real estate agents will be on vacation.
4. Invest in Facebook Ads to Increase Reach & Engagement
Online platforms are a great way to engage prospects with captivating content and build your database of leads. As we discussed earlier, investing in social media advertising is a smart way to amplify your messaging over the holidays.
Targeted Facebook ads make the world of digital marketing a breeze. Because so many real estate agents will be slowing down for the holidays, it’s a great time to take over market share and rev up your lead generation.
As you consider which ads to strategically run, pay attention to your organic traffic. One mistake that many make is completely starting from scratch on an unproven offer. You actually want to do the opposite. Reuse a post about a listing that got the most organic traffic. This gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Find more tips in our guide How to Create Real Estate Facebook Ads That Actually Work.
5. Reach Out to Real Estate Investors
Unlike many real estate agents, most real estate investors continue working through the holidays. Since they’re looking for the best deals and desperate sellers, this time of year can actually be busy for investors.
Get your pitch ready and reach out to real estate investors. You can also strategically meet commercial and residential investors by attending estate auctions or other events. In addition, consider who in your network could introduce you to top investors in your local area. If you get an introduction, be clear about how you can help and get straight to the point. Investment professionals will appreciate you being mindful of their time.
6. Call to Check In on Your Buyers
It’s important to contact sellers and leads, of course, but what about your past buyers? Wish them happy holidays, but also check in to make sure everything is going well with their new home. You can reference an issue or potential issue they had at closing and ask how they’re doing with it.
For example, maybe they wanted to build a new deck, or were concerned about leaky gutters or old wiring. They will be thrilled you remembered the specifics of their deal. Always remember: Empathy is the best way to build the long-term relationships that lead to referrals.
7. Separate the Personal From the Professional
The holidays can be busy and stressful for everyone, and real estate agents are no exception. But if you want to build your business over the holidays and get an edge on your competition, you need to be able to shut out the distractions and focus.
This, of course, is easier said than done, but I’ve always found it helpful to schedule in time for work along with time for errands and fun. Yes, scheduling fun can seem a little boring, but if you don’t do it, trust me, you will get overwhelmed—and quickly. So make a schedule and stick to it, unless you want work stress interfering with your family time.
While most real estate agents see the holidays as a time to relax, regroup, and retreat, if you lean into your strategy with these seven tactics, you’ll thrive this holiday season and set yourself up for a strong 2021!
Over to You
Are you planning on working over the holidays? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.
About the author: Victoria Kennedy is the CEO of Atman Real Estate. She is a highly in-demand speaker on digital marketing, branding, and real estate, and has helped many clients boost their visibility and revenue. Because of her expertise in marketing, she has been a trusted speaker and contributor to such organizations as the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inman News, and Realty411 Magazine. She has been featured in over 175 publications and podcasts both nationally and internationally. Find more info here.