Tis the season! With most people back to in-person events and holiday traditions, likely you have a full schedule of parties, observances and family gatherings this holiday season. Maybe you are planning on taking some time off and fully putting work on the shelf as you enjoy the season, and that’s great! But for many real estate professionals, there’s never a bad time to talk about your business or homeownership, which truly is relevant to nearly everyone at any time or event. At the same time, no one wants to be around “that guy” who turns a fun holiday event into a sales pitch, so care and tact should be top-of-mind.
Here are four tips for (appropriate) lead-gen and networking at holiday events:
Ditch the hard sell
Coffee might be for closers, but hot chocolate is for people who want to relax and have a good time. No matter how promising a prospect or potential business relationship seems, don’t pull the kids away from Santa or shout across the dinner table to try and close something out. Likely you will annoy everyone, including the potential prospect, if you take this route. Try instead to set up a time in the near future, or keep the tone light and let them come to you.
Share your gifts
It’s the season of giving—and you have a lot to give! Because housing affects everyone, there will likely be plenty of opportunities for you to share tips on homeownership or tidbits about the market. Whether it is something about value-creating renovations or data to counteract some of the sensationalist media narratives about a housing crash, you can inform people in a way that is not overbearing. While some of these seeds might not bear fruit for some time, you can ensure people remember you as honest and knowledgeable when they decide to buy or sell.
If you are going to directly bring your business to a holiday event, keep it light! Whether you want to put in the effort to make a gingerbread house (maybe with your branding and a “sold” sign in the front yard) or if you are keeping it more low-key, find a way to make it fun. Instead of business cards, be ready to hand people Christmas ornaments with your number on them. Whatever holiday event you are participating in, keeping the holiday spirit is going to be more memorable and productive.
Most real estate professionals love to talk, and they are good at it. But perhaps the quieter holiday season is a time to really focus on your listening skills—honing in on understanding others’ experiences, and expanding your own knowledge of your area. Sometimes getting a referral might come through asking someone to tell you more about their problems or plans, and in an emotional business, being perceived as a good listener can mean a whole lot to your circle.
In most places and for many people, a holiday party or tree-lighting ceremony are not the ideal time to build your real estate business. Even if you have mastered the art of the direct pitch or sale, probably now isn’t the best time to show off those skills. But if you follow these tips and keep it classy, there are plenty of chances to make connections during the holidays.