Use these real estate marketing ideas to generate referrals and repeat business.

According to Properties Online (2016), 64 percent of real estate business is generated from referrals and past buyer clients, and 69 percent from past seller clients. To maximize this huge opportunity that already exists within your network, it’s important to put effort into maintaining relationships post-sale.

It’s easy to lose track of past clients in your day-to-day dealings but by putting forth a little effort year-round, you’re able to stay relevant. Whether you’re hosting an event or sending gentle reminders, finding ways to stay connected now will stock your pipeline with recurring, quality leads in the future. We’ve rounded up some great ideas for staying engaged, whether you’re looking to host an event or simply offer value to stay top of mind. And, whatever you do, remember you can deduct 100% of these expenses at the end of the year so the financial investment is minimal.

Word-of-mouth is one of the most influential forms of marketing. Imagine how many great impressions you can make, in person, in one day by hosting an event. If you chose to host an event, novelty and quality are key. It’s important to supplement an event with ongoing engagement, but you don’t need to host your clients on a monthly basis to stay relevant.

Remember: If you host an event, don’t just invite your clients. invite their families (dog-child included, cough-millennials-cough) and friends as well. Not only will you get to meet all guests in person, you’ll be able to collect contact information for the purpose of sending invites – which you can then follow up with thanks and further engage your new-found leads!

Year-round:

  • Develop referral programs
    • Active: ASK for them! You can also offer incentive for your past and current clients to refer their friends and family by providing a gift card or small discount on services.
    • Passive: incorporate a plug for referrals into your email signature.
    • Affiliate : Partner with contractors and vendors to create a referral network in your community. A little networking can go a long way when it comes to  referrals. Be strategic and develop relationships with vendors whose scope of work aligns with real estate; i.e., contractors, interior designers, landscapers, etc.
  • Ask your past clients for reviews to publish on your website, social, and, if they’re hip to it, LinkedIn page to boost your credibility and brand equity.
  • House-warming parties for your recent home buyers.

Summer:

  • Host family and dog-friendly client appreciation events. Kids are typically out of school and most parents are looking for fun, family-friendly activities so take advantage!

    • Picnic at a local park
    • Ice cream social at your home
    • Slip’n Slide party, complete with “Best Slide” contest
    • Summer Solstice BBQ with face-painting
  • Gentle reminders: set up a multi-step direct mail (email or print) campaign that offers tips to beat the heat during the hot summer months

Fall: 

  • Host fall-specific gatherings to bring people together as the weather starts to cool.  
    • Sponsor a tailgating or viewing party for an upcoming football game
    • Start a private fantasy football league and invite the clients you know would join. This is great for engagement and you’ll create long-term connections (read: long-term business and referrals), while having fun at the same time.
    • Pumpkin-carving party- BYOP, while you provide supplies. 
    • Halloween party with costume contest & prizes for kids (and Fido)
  • Gentle reminders: Daylight Savings postcards to remind your clients to set their clocks back.

Winter: 

  • Take advantage of the festivities and jolliness of winter and the holiday season. People might be busier than normal, but serving up creative twists on otherwise conventional events is a sure way to keep your presence top of mind.
    • Host a holiday party, complete with Santa photos for children (and doggo).
    • Ice skating party
  • Donate to a toy/coat drive or food bank in your client’s name as a way to say, “thanks.”
  • Provide season-specific information for homes, including how to winterize pipes and energy-saving tips for the longest nights of the year.
  • Send holiday cards or, if you’re into it, Valentines.

Spring:

  • Spring is perhaps the most rejuvenating time of year. As the morning frost dwindles and cherry blossoms come to life, most people are feeling a bit stir-crazy from hibernating during the cold winter months so it’s a great time to invite them to step out of the house.
    • Put on a spring-cleaning bazaar for your community. Set up shop to get rid of gently-used household items, toys, and meet other people in the community. Also have donation bins set up for people to donate their unsold items at the end of the event. These events can be held at local schools, churches, or community centers (most of which come complete with tables and chairs and are of minimal cost to you).
    • Throw a canine social at a local park, and provide tennis balls for your client’s four-legged friends. 
    • Egg-hunt for your clients’ children
  • Gentle reminders: Daylight Savings to set their clocks forward. If humor is your thing, offering some comedic relief for the hour lost would only be more memorable.

Putting forth a little effort to show your clients you care after the transaction has closed can work wonders for you pipeline. Real estate is a long-term game that requires some long-term strategy.

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