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Today’s Ask the Expert column features John Bunker, marketing director of

Q: As the holiday season approaches, what are the most important marketing essentials to keep in mind?

A: In many areas, home sales slow (in some cases to a crawl) during the fall and winter seasons, which means a lot of real estate professionals ramp up their marketing efforts.

While you may not pick up dozens of listings over the winter holiday, it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re top of mind among clients and potential clients.

Unfortunately, holiday mailers are known for getting lost in the shuffle. That’s exactly why you need to do something that stands out by offering more value than anyone else.

While it’s great to send a holiday card, why not do something even more effective? Most agents find that they can offer clients and potential clients much more value with something like:

  • A real estate calendar – People typically buy calendars for the upcoming year in the fall, and you can save them from making a purchase while providing a way to look at your services and contact information every day for the next year.
  • A kitchen magnet designed for real estate marketing – Kitchen magnets that help make important conversions, including gluten-free conversions, can be a tremendous help to your clients. When they’re branded, you’ll be able to keep reminding clients about your services (and provide a handy way to contact you) for an extended period of time.
  • A customized magnet – From life-saving first aid steps to cleaning tips, a customized magnet can provide tremendous value for your clients. It’ll be front and center each time they open the refrigerator.

Now is also a good time to update your website and plan a new email campaign. As the season progresses, you may have more time on your hands to carefully evaluate your website and make adjustments, which means it’s time to take an objective look at what you’re currently doing and see what’s working.

It’s also the perfect time to create a takeaway for potential clients, such as a lead-capturing eBook that triggers an email course that walks buyers (or sellers) through a real estate transaction. You can allow free downloads on your website in order to capture the leads, then nurture them through the course.

And last, but not least, the slower season is also a good time to focus on reinvigorating your social media.

Spend some time engaging your social media followers and giving them easy access to your eBook during the holidays, when people are online, but still thinking about buying or selling a home.

Remember to keep the 5-3-2 rule in mind, as well:

  • Five posts should be shared content from others, such as helpful articles or links that your potential clients will find useful. This is known as curated content.
  • Three posts should be things you’ve created. While some branding can be included, make sure these posts are useful to your clients.
  • Two posts should be personal, fun, or entertaining. These can be branded, but your purpose isn’t to get people to work with you. These are referred to as humanizing posts, and their purpose is to show people there’s a real person behind the brand name.

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