Friday Objective: Learn how to have a successful client appreciation party
If you’re in the real estate industry, and you’re not doing client appreciation parties, you are missing out on a golden opportunity to generate repeat and referral business and to connect with your clients.
You’re going to want to do at least 2, ideally 3-4, client appreciation parties every single year. If you do this process over repeatedly, you’re only going to get better and have more impact on your business which will lead to more repeat-referral clients.
STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL CLIENT APPRECIATION PARTY
1) PLAN AND PROMOTE
You need to plan this out AT LEAST 2 months in advance. I would recommend at least 3 months in advance, but at minimum, 2 months because you want to have time to promote this. If you promote it, people are going to show up, but if you try to pull something off in 2 weeks, people already have plans. If you don’t give yourself time to plan and promote, less people are going to show up than they would if you gave yourself the time to do that.
2) SEND INVITES
Once you have the time, now you need to make calls, send save-the-dates, send emails, or send video invites. It could be as simple as sending a message out that says, “Hey! Save the date. We’ll send you more information but block this date out on your calendar. We’re throwing a bash! There will be food, fun, and festivities, so make sure you’ve got it blocked on your calendar.”
Just remember: the more you reach out, the better the experience is going to be, and the more people will show up.
Real quick: let’s talk worst case scenario – what happens if you do all of this and nobody shows up? Did you lose? No, because what were you doing? You were making contact with your past clients, your sphere of influence, and you were building that relationship. They won’t know if nobody shows up. Remember, if they don’t show up, they don’t know who’s not there. So if nobody shows up and all you did was make a hundred calls to connect with your database, what are they going to feel? They’re going to feel gratitude, like “Wow! That was really nice that Travis was doing that. I can’t make it, but man, that’s awesome! Maybe I’ll make it to the next one.“
You’re still building your relationship, staying top of mind, and connecting with your database, your past clients, and your sphere of influence. There’s no loss in the situation. Even if only 25% of the people show up, you’ve still won, because you connected with what? 100% of the people in your database. Most people wonder “well, what do I say when I call my database? What do I say when I’m reaching out to my sphere or my past clients?” This is an easy thing to do – invite them to a party. It’s a simple way to connect.
3) KEEP IT INTIMATE
If you’re worried about the number of people that show up because you only have 150 people in your database, keep it to an intimate dinner of 25 people. Do you think you can get 25 people of your 150 people in the database to show up for an intimate dinner? Of course, you can! If you keep it intentionally intimate, what you’re doing is making sure that it’s going to feel full, and if only 20 people show up, it’s still going to feel intentional. It’s still going to feel like this is what it was supposed to be. If only 10 people show up to the dinner, all you have to say is, “this was supposed to be an intimate dinner for the top referring clients and the top clients of this last year, and I’m so grateful that you guys could make it because you 10 are the 10 most important clients that I had last year.” It’s all about how you market it.
4) PLAN IT AROUND ANOTHER EVENT
This is what most of our clients will choose to do for their first event. They do it around Halloween and they do a pumpkin patch type of thing. They say, “There’s going to be a lot of people at the pumpkin patch, right? There’s already stuff going on like corn mazes, hayrides and face painting, so what if instead of planning it around ourselves, we do it at the pumpkin patch? We’re going to give away pumpkins to the first 50 people that show up and we’re going to have face painting, bouncy castles and hayrides, and we’re going to pay for all of that for everybody that shows up.”
Also, there’s going to be other people at that pumpkin patch at the same time that are not your clients. So, number 1, you’re getting exposure to people that aren’t your clients. And number 2, when your clients show up, they’re going to have NO IDEA that all those other people at the pumpkin patch aren’t there to see you. They’re just going to think, “Oh my gosh, look at all the clients that Travis has! This is amazing!!”
You could plan around Santa photo days, baseball games, or other sporting events, because they have NO IDEA how many other people are there to see you and how many other people are there to see whatever else is going on. It’s a great way of creating the appearance of a fuller event.
5) TELL PEOPLE TO INVITE THEIR FRIENDS
This is SO critical. It’s a great way to blow up the number of people that are going to be there and to increase the number of referrals you get. Don’t just invite your past clients. Don’t just invite your sphere of influence. Say “Hey, do me a favor. Bring people! You’re welcome to bring whomever you want. All I ask you to do is just RSVP, so we know what sort of numbers to expect.” When you do this, you’re increasing the reach that you start to have, and you know who people tend to bring? Their friends who are thinking of buying or selling a house. It’s so funny. They all do this. They’re going to come up to you and say “psst! Travis! Don’t tell them I told you, but the reason I brought Mary and Joe is they’re thinking of selling their house this spring, and I wanted them to meet you, so don’t tell them I told you, but I’ll make the introduction!“
The people that you’re getting exposed to are homeowners, people that are thinking of buying, or listing their house. So, the more they bring their friends, the more comfortable they will feel, the more likely they are to show up, and the bigger your reach expands.
Let’s be honest, calling people and asking for a referral is kind of awkward, right? There are great ways of doing it, we’ve given you scripts for it, but this is a really great approach. If your clients bring friends, and their friends bring friends, or they bring friends, you didn’t even have to ask for a straight-up referral. It’s a GREAT, great way of getting the numbers up AND getting repeat and referral business.
6) MAKE IT AUDIENCE AND CLIENTELE APPROPRIATE
Look, if you work with a lot of families, don’t do something that’s “adults only”. Just think about all the people that now have to worry about childcare. Or if you do a big family event, but you serve primarily young or older people that don’t have families or kids, don’t do the pumpkin patch because they’re like, “Yeah, I’m, you know, 35, I don’t have kids. Sounds kind of boring. I’m not really into the hayrides and corn maze thing.” Make sure that it’s audience and clientele appropriate.
7) HIRE A VIDEOGRAPHER AND A PHOTOGRAPHER
This is super important. Could you hire a videographer that is also a photographer, yes, but DO NOT hire JUST a photographer. The key thing here is the videographer. Make sure that they’re capturing everything so you can get the mileage of the event on social media.
You’re also going to want to capture client testimonials. Now that they’re here, you’re throwing them a party, it’s a great time to get video testimonials from a client! If you’re doing this and they’re having a great time, they’re going to be so happy. The videographer is going to show up and go “Hey! How did you start working with Travis? Tell me about that experience.” What will result are the most glowing client testimonials you will ever receive and now you have on video.
Now what are you going to do? Post and share the pictures and the videos on social media. This is how you start getting more and more play out of the event. Tag everybody that’s there, and say, “Hey, thanks for coming, John & Mary! Here’s the picture of you guys and your family. Here’s the video that you guys recorded – thank you so much!”
**Note: this is a great tip for once you have an established client base. But, for your first client appreciation party, it may be an extra expenditure you can’t afford – be mindful of your bottom line. Plus, you can always ask a friend to come, cell phones can take good quality videos nowadays.
8) CREATE A CLIENT TESTIMONIAL VIDEO
Now put all of this together in a client testimonial video. Not only will you share these on social media, but also create a very specific video that is just client testimonials. When are you going to use this? Before a listing appointment, anytime somebody reaches out to you, or when a new lead comes in. You can say, “Hey! I’m going to be reaching out to you. Here’s what it’s like to work with me. Here’s what other people have said.”
You can say all day long, “Look, my clients love me. They think I’m great, blah blah blah.” Everybody’s going to say, of course you say that, nobody’s going to say they’re kind of shady. But if you have a testimonial saying, “Hey, Travis is AMAZING. You know, he’s incredible to work with. He really took care of us through the entire process” it will go a long way to making a powerful impact on any lead that you’re trying to convert into a client. 100%.
And do you think most of your competitors have this? Absolutely not! It’s worth the investment. Make the investment. Have a videographer there and get those testimonial videos. Have them invite their friends. Get people having a great time, and I promise you, you’ll have success with it. You’re going to love it. Clients are going to love it. You’re going to get repeat business. You’re going to get referrals from it, and it will change your business.
- Get out your calendar and pick a date for your first client appreciation party. Does it matter that you are potentially new to the business or haven’t done many closings? Absolutely NOT! Pick a date, identify your invite list, and extend the invitations. By doing this you will commit yourself to seeing this through and reap the benefits of taking action.
- Watch: How to Throw a Successful Client Appreciation Party