Real estate

Hold a brilliant real estate client appreciation event this summer

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Summer is almost here and it’s the perfect time to hold a client appreciation shindig. If this will be your first one, we have some client appreciation event ideas and tips to ensure it’s a smashing success.

Start coming up with your client appreciation event ideas now

When asked what he would do if he had just five minutes to chop down a tree, a woodsman answered: “I would spend the first two and a half minutes sharpening my axe.”

Although the quote is often mangled and erroneously ascribed to Abraham Lincoln, it illustrates perfectly the importance of allotting a big chunk of time to the planning phase of your event.

Summer starts on June 21, so you have plenty of time to nail down the details for a mid-summer soiree.

Here are some client appreciation event ideas to help you get started on the plan:

1. Know your “audience”

If you don’t have a clear picture of your typical client, it’s time to get one. Go through your database of past clients, paying close attention to those who’ve referred you to others and to those that you’d like to develop a better relationship.

Are they single? Married with small kids? Older adults?

This is an important first step because it will dictate the type of event that’s appropriate for your “audience.”

Some coaches suggest you invite family and friends as well, but we disagree. The temptation to spend most of your time with them during the event may be too great.

You don’t hold a client event to NEGLECT your clients, right?

Do invite vendors, in exchange for helping to financially fund the event. We discuss this in further detail, below.

2. Type of event

You know, at least vaguely, who you’ll be inviting. Now take a look at your budget.

If yours is tight, reach out to your vendors for help. Promise your lender, stager, home inspector, pest inspector, favorite building contractor a chance to hobnob with potential clients in exchange for financial help for the event.

Or, allow them to invite clients from their database – a win-win for both of you.

If you don’t have vendors who’ll kick down for some of the costs, choose an event that’s a bit more manageable financially. Intimate real estate client gatherings are just as effective as the over-the-top huge ones that some agents hold.

If you’re hoping to widen your SOI with your event by allowing attendees to “bring a friend,” don’t forget to include in your planning that the guest list is actually larger than it may appear.

3. Venue

Now that you know the type of client appreciation event you’ll be throwing, and about how many you’ll invite, decide on a venue. Its availability may dictate the date of your event, which is why it’s vital to get the planning done early.

Depending on the type of event, venues other agents have used include local parks, community centers, parking lots, hotel banquet rooms and even their own homes/backyards.

4. Get the invitations out

Summer is a busy time for folks, so ensure they set aside your date by getting the invites out early. Whether you do it by phone or mail, do it sooner rather than later. And don’t forget the request for a R.S.V.P.

Then, set up a consistent schedule of reminders. Social media blasts aren’t wise if you’ve decided to keep the event small and intimate (you don’t want other clients or potential clients to feel left out).

So, come up with a plan for how you’ll “drip” on your guests as the time for the event draws near.

Real estate client appreciation event ideas generator

Most of the agents we spoke with said that the toughest part of planning that first event is determining the type of event (number 2 on our planning list).

What they finally decided on often became an annual event. Just choose something and, if it doesn’t work as you’d hoped, change course the following year.

Lucky you if it turns out to be over-the-top successful, like the one Reston, Va., financial planner Miye Wire. She “regularly invites clients and their family and friends to a cherry blossom viewing and picnic in nearby Washington,” according to the folks at Financial-Planning.com.

Her first event didn’t go exactly as planned. Unsure of what the response would be, Wire chartered a bus for her guests to get to the park where they lunched from Japanese bento boxes.

Wire was shocked when “almost 90 people tried to sign up.” That was far too many to fit in the one bus she chartered.

She solved the dilemma by closing off signups when they hit the capacity, promising to charter more buses next year.

Give them a taste of the tropics, without the airfare

If you’re still looking for client appreciation event ideas, what could be more fun and memorable than a summer luau (lū.ʻau)? Where you hold it depends on your invitation list. Your backyard might be ideal for an intimate affair or use a local park if the list is long.

Wherever you intend on holding your party, you’ll need to set the mood, so let’s go shopping. Party stores are probably the best places to find everything you’ll need.

First, you’ll need to set the mood and most of the items you’ll need can be found at party stores. If there’s none in your town, go online to PartyCity.com, OrientalTradingCompany.com or WholesalePartySupplies.com.

Food can range from simple barbecue fare to more authentic Hawaiian cuisine (and the ingredients are mostly available here on the mainland). Get more ideas on how to throw the perfect summer luau client event at AnchorageRealEstate.com.

Still stuck for client appreciation event ideas? Here are some events other agents have shared with us:

  • Trip to a baseball game with a tailgate party. Check out Thrillist.com for some tips.
  • Ice cream social
  • Fishing clinic
  • Movies under the stars (rent a projector and screen and hold the event in a local park).
  • An evening at a cooking school (this one is ideal for small groups)
  • A pumpkin patch with free pumpkins. Food trucks at the event took care of the need to provide food and the agent rented a bounce house for the kids and hired a very popular local band to provide entertainment.

While client events are brilliant ways to stay top-of-mind and to meet potential clients, the overall purpose is to thank your clients for trusting you with their real estate needs.

They’ll feel used if you use the event to overtly promote your business, so keep the “shop talk” to a minimum and focus on ensuring your guests have fun.

Former clients can be a great way to reinvigorate some old leads. Here are some ways to reach out to old clients.

Want to impress your old clients? Borrow some of these awesome gift ideas:

Or check out our list of closing gifts for even more ideas!

Tags: client, client appreciation, former clients, lead gen, lead generation

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