Holiday cards are a great idea for reaching out this season, but they won’t help you stand out to clients if you’ve been out of touch for a while.
As the holiday season arrives, many real estate agents love to send out Christmas cards to their past clients, which can be a great way to stay in touch, but I wouldn’t suggest sending one to those clients you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Why? It doesn’t accomplish what you think it does, it actually does the opposite.
Why Happy Holiday Cards Can Backfire
The reason that I’m not a fan of sending cards out to your clients that you haven’t been in touch with during the year is because it comes across as completely disingenuous. They haven’t heard from you all year long, and then you are suddenly sending out a card, in their minds, obviously means you are just doing it because you think you should, or because you are trying to get business.
That’s how I feel when I get cards from some of my family that I never speak to, and haven’t seen in years. I get that Christmas card and it feels a little like something that just gets checked off their to-do list.
However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t send something to your past clients! Here is the alternative I suggest: send out a New Year’s holiday card to wish them a wonderful new year. This is similar to the Christmas card, but by sending it a little later, it comes across differently.
TIP: Here are some tips on business Christmas Card etiquette from Scribeless.
Why Sending Out Cards Later Works To Your Advantage
One of the reasons I love sending them out later is because nobody else is sending them at that time, so your card doesn’t have to compete with a plethora of other, similar cards.
The second reason I send them out a little later is that when your are a real estate professional, sending them in the new year reaches people who are starting to think about buying or selling now that they have gotten through the holidays. That means that you are the first real estate agent they see.
The third reason is this: during the holidays, the way you sign the card should be more focused on personal best wishes, and it tends to be more reflective of the past year. By waiting until the new year, your signature can be more business focused, and forward looking into the year of possibilities.
“I just want to wish you a happy new year! 2021 was an interesting year, but we know for people who are thinking about buying and selling, 2022 is going to be an awesome and powerful year. If I can ever help you in any way, please reach out to me.”
The beautiful thing about this wording is that you can send this to everyone. People you just talked to a month ago, the family you helped to buy their first home, the couple that you lost touch with a couple of year ago, and it doesn’t come across as disingenuous.
How To Reconnect with Past Clients
I can’t tell you how often I have Power Agents® asking what the best way to reconnect with past clients that they haven’t spoken to in a long time. My advice is always the same: You don’t have to be apologetic, and you don’t even need to have a big reason to reach out, though with holidays are a good reason. We always tell agents that there is so much going on in the housing market and in our industry that makes for the perfect reason to reach out to people:
“I was on a coaching call recently, and we were talking about the importance of our clients. I was thinking about you, and just want you to know that there is a lot happening in our market right now that raises questions for a lot of people about what those changes mean for their home buying and selling power. I just wanted to let you know that if there’s anything you need, or if you have any questions, I’m here for you. Consider me your housing hotline!”
If you do phone past clients that you haven’t spoken to for awhile over the holiday season, just wish them happy holidays, don’t talk business at all, just say “I was thinking about you, and I wanted to call to wish you happy holidays.” Then, if you send a holiday card after that, it’s viewed as more authentic.
TIP: For some other ideas on what to write in Christmas and New Year’s cards, this article by Shutterfly lists several business holiday messages you can use.
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