Agent Advice: Letting go of Christmas card anxiety
As much as I love email newsletters, I believe that in a world of online marketing, hand-written cards stand out. What's important is that you zig when others are zagging. If everyone else is sending a Christmas card, send a 'Happy New Year' card. Your message will stand out more that way.
My Christmas card anxiety-ridden merry-go-round...
I don't know about you, but this is what normally happens to me at the end of each year:
Nov 15th: "I just received my first Christmas card! Is it that time of year already? I wonder what we should send our clients for Christmas this year?"
Action taken: I order 1,00 beautiful Christmas cards which arrive and sit ominously on my desk in a large cardboard box for the next 2 weeks. I procrastinate picking a gift idea as I'm inevitably waiting for the perfect solution which never comes.
Nov 30th: (Starting to get rather anxious). "Man, we really need to work out what to send out for Christmas this year! And I need to write these cards asap!"
Action taken: Still not sure what to send as a gift. Get distracted by owners urgently needing to sell. Cards still aren't written as I only seem to be able to focus on super-urgent tasks right now. I also need to tidy up my database before I do anything. #toohardbasket
Dec 5th: "Oh man, I'm still trying to decide what to do. My clients will think I don't care about them! Crap! We can't let this happen!
Action taken: Nothing. Christmas parties start happening. Hangovers are a twice-weekly ordeal. Only urgent tasks get completed right now. I'm in survival mode.
Meanwhile, 1,000 Christmas cards still haven't been taken out of their box to see the light of day. And, they potentially get moved under my desk until I have 'time to deal to them'.
Note: At one point I actually crack open the card box, but upon seeing the tidy piles of never-ending work and pondering "Crap, what do I actually write in these things?" I quickly shut the box and go make a coffee instead.
Dec 12th: "Shit, I think it might almost be too late to send something out. How am I going to write 1,000 cards in time? And I still don't have a gift! I can't just send out a plain card, that will be lame. Plus I haven't even got a present for my wife yet and I really should sort that out first."
Action taken: I get a cool gift for my wife and I take my team out for a slightly-boozy Christmas lunch. The box of cards stays well away from sight under my desk, with a few end of year awards certificates piled on top for good measure.
Dec 19th: "Oh well, I can always save those Christmas cards for next year! And hey, let's do a 'New Year' newsletter instead! That will stand out."
Four key takeaways
After 12 years in sales, riding that spinning wheel of anxiety, I have learned a few important lessons:
1. No one expects a Christmas present (or card) from their realtor.
I certainly don't. You are better off sending your database an email newsletter with a useful advice article that they can ponder (or take action on) while hanging with family over the holiday break.
Use: 5 key features of a great investment property or 5 ways to add value to your home this weekend.
Idea: You could load the article into a nifty printed newsletter template on Canva and post it out, old school!
2. New Year newsletters really stand out.
As much as I love email newsletters, I also believe that in a world of online marketing, hand-written cards stand out exceptionally well. What's important is that you zig when others are zagging. If everyone else is sending a Christmas card, send a 'Happy New Year' card instead. Your message will stand out a lot more that way.
3. Give yourself a break.
If you had a big year, take time to celebrate it. Don't beat yourself up for the tasks you didn't have time to complete.
Look after the clients you have right now. Do everything you can to get them sold before the holiday. Get ready to enjoy some time off and set aside work-free days for your family, who support you being in a career where they never know what time you will be coming home each day.
4. If you do anything for Christmas, take care of your key referrers.
Who are the people who refer the most business to you? Has anyone referred you more than one listing in the past 12 months? It could be someone you know who has a big local network, or a local property manager, or your accountant, or another agent in a nearby area. Take those people out to lunch. All together if you want to, or individually.
5 targeted one-on-one catch-ups are more powerful, in my opinion, than hundreds of Christmas cards getting lost in the noise.
Before you go!
If you have a box of unused Christmas cards under your desk right now please send me a photo! Along with your mailing address.
In return, I'll send you a surprise Christmas present.
Just note, based on past performance, your present will probably arrive after Christmas, lol.