While the holiday season is surely one of the busiest times of the year, it can also be one of the most productive in terms of growing your business. Although sellers are pondering whether to pull their homes off the market until spring and many brokers are looking at their downtime until then, the odds of growing your business are actually better at this time. Here are 7 ways to do it.
1. Plan it Out
This is a season unlike any other. The window is short and the opportunities unique, so you want to approach it with forethought and planning. Set your goals. Who do you want to meet? How many listings do you want in your pipeline? Plan for seasonal goals, as well as long-range goals resulting from your work during this time.
2. Surface Hidden Opportunities
This is where it pays to do your homework. Research your market based on what you set forth in your goals. What’s happening in the area? What are people talking about? What events are taking place? Keep tabs with your local paper, message boards and social media. This is also prime time for employee relocation activity. Look for those announcements in your networks and monitor company movement in the area. Think about other kinds of announcements too — promotions, engagements and babies on the way.
3. Find Your Angle
Again, the season is unique. Find your hook and build your own campaign around it. Holiday themes, New Year’s resolutions and year-end tax planning are a few angles on which to hook your proposition, as well as themes you discover in your research. Harness the momentum of the season.
4. Announce You’re Open
Everyone’s busy with shopping, holiday parties and vacations. Don’t leave it to chance that they’ll assume the same of you. Throw open your doors and get the word out. Be visible online and in your community. There are motivated buyers right now, so make it easy for them to find you. Create a holiday announcement email with your holiday hours and send it to everyone in your network. If you have a physical office (other than your home), go in every day. Put it out there that you’re open and ready for business.
5. Collaborate with Others
Who says you have to go it alone? This is a wonderful time to create business in partnership with others. Step up your activities in the community. Organize or participate in a neighborhood carol. Host a holiday luncheon/seminar at one or more companies in the area and theme it around any of the angles uncovered in your research. Partner with local businesses to create unique packages built around seasonal themes — snow removal, cleaning services, interior decorating.
6. Engage the Media…Social and Otherwise
Take all of the above and use it to increase your presence on social media. Post holiday tips, messages, pictures and videos to your social sites — but also don’t forget to share and comment on others’ as well. The season is bright and festive, so be as visual as you can. Additionally, the holidays present “slow news days” for the regular media. Take time to craft a news release with a creative angle or announcement. Build it around topics relevant to the season and to your target market. Also, consider being a guest contributor to a blog or news site.
7. Tug the Heart Strings
Finally, the holiday season is one of the best times to spread cheer and bring things to a more personal level. People are more prone to buy from those they like and trust, so feel free to share holiday memories, recipes and traditions in your emails and on your social sites. Tell your story with an uplifting angle or sense of nostalgia. And, as this is also one of the most charitable times of the year, organize a food drive or a donation for one of your favorite charities. Let others know what you’re passionate about and how much you care.