The client appreciation party is one of the funnest ways to stay top of mind with your real estate clients. The opportunities are endless and limited only by your imagination. Why then do so many agents not do them? Why do so many clients get lost after the sale? Don’t abandon your clients after you get that commission check. Here is everything you need to know about client appreciation parties.
Plan Your Client Appreciation Party Well In Advance
Client appreciation parties are a fantastic opportunity (and excuse) to call your past clients, update their information in your CRM, and invite them to the party. Almost nobody ever gets mad when you are inviting them to a party. This will require you to actually pick up the phone and call them. Send out invitations by mail and email. Send out a reminder the week before. Send out thank you notes after. If planned correctly, this will give you a solid 2-3 months of communication with your clients, keeping you top of mind the entire time.
Client Appreciation Parties Are About The CLIENT
The first rule of a client appreciation party is that you don’t talk about much about business. People who come to a party want to relax and enjoy some entertainment – they don’t want to sit through a sales pitch. Instead, print out some flyers or market reports and set them up on the sign-in table or put them into a gift bag that you hand out to each recipient. Don’t worry about setting appointments during the party, just have fun.
Pick a Great Location
The more memorable the client appreciation party, the more they will remember you when it comes time for them or a friend to buy or sell their home. Choose a location based on your average client. If you are a luxury listing agent, perhaps ask one of your current million dollar listings if you can host the party in their home as a way to advertise it. If you deal with a lot of first time homebuyers with kids, consider renting a movie theater for a night and showing something that will keep the kids entertained while the adults socialize. Deal with a lot of young professionals? One of my most successful client appreciation parties was at a place called “Painting With A Twist” where you get to drink wine while everyone paints the same picture. Don’t worry if you can’t paint – likely, none of your clients can either, and that’s the funnest part of this place.
Everyone Likes Food
A party is nothing without good food, but this can be much easier than it sounds. Having a party catered is always the easiest idea, but usually the most expensive. Depending on the location and the clients, sometimes something as simple as hotdogs and hamburgers, vegetable trays, meat and cheese trays, or chips and dips can be plenty. Make sure you know your clients though and have options for anyone with special dietary restrictions. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free diets are very popular these days, so make sure your party doesn’t exclude them or they will feel left out and abandoned.
Client Appreciation Parties Don’t Have To Cost A Fortune
If you are avoiding a client appreciation party because you think it will cost too much, think again. Consider partnering with your preferred lender, home warranty company, handyman, general contractor, or any other service provider which your clients may have a need for. You can also trade services for promotion. For example, if you host a party at one of your listings, ask your preferred maid service to clean up for free in exchange for you promoting them as one of the sponsors of the party. If you have the party catered, ask them if they will give you a discount if you promote them as a sponsor. Make sure that everyone remembers the first rule of the client appreciation party – they are NOT allowed to sell during the party. Instead, let them know that you will place their information or business card in the invitations and thank you notes and they can provide a flyer for the sign-in table or gift bag.
If you have never thrown a client appreciation party before, this is a good guide to get started. Clients love these types of parties and even if they aren’t able to go, they will remember that you invited them. Don’t think this has to be a once a year event! Some agents have seen amazing success throwing this type of client appreciation party twice a year or even quarterly. Dip your feet into the water and you will see how successful they can truly be.
For those of you who have thrown client appreciation parties in the past, what was the most memorable party idea you had or are is there any other advice you can share? Please comment below!