handwritten notes

Why Can't All Year Be Like A Holiday Card?

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My favorite part of the holidays is the holiday cards that we receive in the mail. I scramble to the mailbox in the afternoon, ensuring I am who opens them. I "ooh and ahh" over how much kids have grown, how happy my loved ones look, and what has transpired over the past year.  At the holidays, mailboxes are overflowing with staged pictures of kids in adorable clothing that they probably argued about having to wear; holiday letters filled with the happenings of the wins and losses of the year; even the occasional sweet treat that a loving neighbor wanted to spoil you with. 

But, I'm left wondering - why do we only do this at the holidays? As a coach, I preach that consistency breeds results in all things - our relationships, our work, our skills. All of these are made better with consistent performance, but in practice, we struggle. I'm not saying that it is easy  to find the time throughout the year to consistently write handwritten notes, send emails, make phone calls, or simply stay in touch; but I also question - is it any easier to do so at the holidays? I would argue it is actually more difficult than in say, April. 

When I think about how holiday cards make me feel, I smile. I feel loved, valued, cared for, and important. And when we think about it, we don't not feel that way throughout the year - we just don't always take the time to acknowledge it. When we pause for a moment to be present in our own lives, reflect on our blessings, and show our gratitude - we are truly able to feel the impact the people we care for have on our lives and our businesses. Doesn't that warrant acknowledgement all year long?

It is the holidays, so I won't pick on you, but I will challenge you. As you wrap up 2017, think about how you can incorporate more consistent communication into your business and your life. How can you show people they matter to you beyond closing gifts and the annual picture of your family in matching outfits? Find more opportunities to say thank you, to show others they matter, and even to surprise someone with something unexpected. I promise you won't regret it. After all, magic is wherever you choose to create it. 

Opportunity Actually

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Ah yes...the holidays! A time for enjoying your loved ones, snuggling by the fire with your favorite holiday movies and building your business. Wait, what?!? Who can build their business during the holidays? The answer is you can. 

In one of my favorite holiday movies is Love Actually, Hugh Grant says "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around." Well, the truth is, opportunity is all around during the holidays, you just have to look for it. 

The reason many professionals struggle and stress over the holidays is that they are consciously taking time away from their businesses and not replenishing their efforts in other areas. In real estate, the holidays afford us tons of opportunities to rekindle connections, deepen connections, and make new connections - but just as Grant mentions...you have to look for it.

Here are a few ideas I have for how you can breathe some life into your business for 2018 and make the most of the holiday season...

  1. Write a handwritten thank you to everyone who gave you a review in 2017. This may seem like a no-brainer, but during the holidays, we are often so pre-occupied with sending holiday cards that we forget the value of a handwritten note. The holidays are about gratitude, so what better way to give thanks than to actually reach out to folks who have helped your business. Also, since people are receiving so much mail, they are often more engaged than normal in their mail allowing your note to really stand out.

  2. Prepare a holiday pop-by gift for some of your past clients. A lot of agents are reluctant to use pop-bys as a way to generate business because they have such large databases and think they simply can't afford it. The great part about pop-bys is that you don't have to give them to everyone. Consider segmenting your database to folks that you know stay local over the holidays and who can really benefit from what you are giving them.

  3. Shake hands with 10 strangers this month. Simple, right? For whatever reason, most people are particularly jovial during the holidays. Take advantage of the good spirits and spread cheer. Offer to help a neighbor that you see putting up lights or with a package, pay it forward at the coffee shop, or simply say hello. (Editor's Note: due to the high instance of illness during the winter month's, we also recommend using hand sanitizer or washing your hands frequently. ;-) )

  4. Thank your service partners. Lenders, home inspectors, attorneys, and so on. These folks that you work so closely with all year long deserve thanks as well. Taking the time to write them a note, give them a call, or even get them a small token of your appreciation goes a long way in getting your deals to the closing table all year long.

  5. Set appointments for AFTER the holidays. This is a big mistake that a lot of agents miss during the holidays. While you take the time to prospect, you are discouraged when prospects push you off due to their time constraints over the holidays. Instead of pushing for an appointment now, go ahead and build your pipeline by setting a future appointment where you can kick off your 2018 with a bang!

Whether it is using these five tips or doubling down on your own strategies don't forget to take time for yourself and your loved ones this holiday season. 

Like these suggestions? We have so much more in our Holiday Hustle program! 

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