By James James
Customer Relationship Management is an integral part of of the business of being a Realtor, and the holiday season – which, amazingly, Target has already kicked off – is THE time to remind your clients who you are and what you do for them.
So with that in mind, here are are five great tips for incorporating the holiday season into your marketing strategy:
1. Go Non-Denominational
Don’t assume your customer base shares the same religious preferences as you do. Choose a card that says something to the effect of “Thanks for a Wonderful 2012” for safety’s sake. Another hot button topic to avoid: politics. The goal is to secure positive impressions — not to alienate or start debates.
If you do have a large group of clients that would appreciate a more religious card, order two sets of cards — one religious and one generic.
2. Send a Card That Stands Out
When we said “generic” above, we meant in terms of referring to holidays — not design! Though the postal service is used less and less, households and businesses get lots of mail during the holiday season, so you want yours to be distinctive. Christmas cards from Minted.com, for example, are well-designed (and affordable) holiday cards, or you can just head to the mall, where they are sure to have great deals on photos/cards during the holidays.
3. Make it Personal
The worst thing you can do is send a card with a pre-printed inscription and signature. Take the time to, at minimum, sign your name to every card. Compile a list of 5-10 personal simple sentences to hand-write when you sign the card. If you can think of a simple, personal touch, write that in.
Bonus points if you have great penmanship and have time to hand address it, though a simple address label should be just fine.
4. Don’t Be (Obviously) Sales-y
Remember, this is a personal greeting card, not a flyer or magazine ad. Choose a photo for your card with personality; it can be a (staged or candid) shot of you in a professional capacity, but it should not be a glamour shot or overly formal promotional headshot. A great photo to use would be you participating in a cool charity event with a local celebrity — you’ll have something to talk about in the card that, as journalist Vickie Elmer writes, naturally references your business.
Also, be genuine, and subtly remind your audience of why you’re the best at what you do, and why they should keep working for you. If you include anything — business cards (such as those by Minted), magnets or other promotional items — acknowledge the enclosure without a hard sell.
5. Don’t Stop There
Year-end is a great time for a mass mailing, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your CRM. Emailing a greeting on the anniversary of a client’s closing date is a great way to stay in touch and on their mind. Find those opportunities throughout the year to create a friendly rapport with all of your customers.
The vast majority of clients only need the services of a Realtor every few years (or less). It might seem counter-intuitive to invest in maintaining relationships with customers who won’t need you until 2020, but remember, they could be feeding you new customers via referrals. Therefore, maintaining future relationships can be critical for your current business.
JJ has made career out of helping build and maintain customer relations for small businesses of all sizes. It’s his passion for real estate and his love of helping small businesses grow that drives him to educate whenever he can.