Friday, February 22, 2008

House Warming Parties Can Pay Off

Here is a very creative prospecting idea that came from an agent on one of the HouseValues Group Coaching Calls. Lot's of great ideas get exchanged there. Here's what the coach sent over...

"An agent was receiving quite a few referrals from one of her past clients. As a
thank you she went in with her lender and loan officer to offer to catered party
for the client, his friends, and co-workers. He agreed, gave her a list of
invitees, and they threw him a party. At the party they offered to send CMAs and listings to the attendees collecting prospects that way; they also did a small drawing to collect prospect's emails. After the party she went home and put them all into her Market Leader and now they are on an email drip campaign receiving her information. She said that because it was a three way split the expenses really were minimal and if one of them transacts then it will be more than enough to cover her expense."

I'm amazed how this simple marketing strategy has some unique aspects that make it a triple win.

First win- Client. Your client is impressed that you care enough to make the effort to host a house-warming party. Everyone wants to show off their new home to their friends and neighbors. Lots of feel good here that will lead to referrals later.

Second win- The party goers'. All the new owners' friends and neighbors have been dying to see inside. Who doesn't enjoy good food, drinks and company? The guests are super-impressed that THEIR friends' agent would throw such a nice party. Bet those guests wish their agent had done something this nice as a thank you.

Third win- Agent. The agent has created a super-warm (prospect rich) environment. Where else can you put yourself in front of a group of people, in a casual non-business environment where the ‘selling barriers' are down, who are EXPERIENCING your service- the home you helped their friends buy? Woa, does it get any better?
You bet. The cost and ease of pulling a party together could be well worth the while. As mentioned, splitting the food & beverage costs with a lender and title company cuts your costs to a third.

Call the best caterer in town to deliver the food (beyond sandwich and vegetable trays pppllleeeaaassseee) with a large ‘bucket' full of ice. The bucket is for you to show up with beverages, (beer & wine?) to put in it. Usually cheaper than having the caterer do it.

Let's say the average number of guests that show (figure 50% of who is invited) is 20. Allow $15 a head (pretty generous), that's $300. So for $100 and a little time, you are placing yourself among your clients' best friends and neighbors in their home. This whole thing oozes goodwill

None of this works unless the agent can do the personal networking thing to ‘connect and collect' information from the guests. We'll have to save that for another discussion...

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