The holidays are an interesting time of year for realtors. On one hand, it’s the off season for listing and buying homes so activity tends to slow down. But on the other hand, people who are moving because of a new job or other unexpected life changes feel pressure to sell and/or buy a new home now. And then there are people who plan to move in spring or summer (when school’s out) but who may be browsing already, looking for the perfect street or part of town where they hope to relocate.
One thing is certain, the holidays are not a time of year for realtors to back off on their social media efforts. While it can be difficult to create new ways to engage with your clients and prospective clients during the holidays, the key is to just keep engaging.
During the holidays people’s moods and mindsets are different compared with other times of the year – they are more open to ideas, products and promotions. As a realtor, if you play your cards right, you can engage with your audience throughout the holidays and hit the ground running in 2016.
Here are 11 campaigns that real estate agents can use to leverage social media this holiday season.
- Vote on Images/Videos
Real estate is a visual business. When you stage a house, the images you create can have a large impact on the interest in that house. The good news is social media users love photos. Try hosting a Voting contest, where you ask your fans to vote for their favorite photo or videos from your listing.
The winning images can be used for your listing and you can take advantage of interest you’ve already stirred up in the new property. Be sure to offer a relevant prize, such as a gift card to a home improvement or home decorating store, to one of the lucky participants.
- Thank You Giveaway
Realtors rely on their relationships with the community. The holidays are a great time to say “thanks” to your community and give something back. Consider a promotion with a gift card giveaway to a grocery store or boutique, or even a staycation offer.
- Best Decorations Photo Contest
One of the reasons people look forward to the holidays is so they can decorate their home. A perfect holiday promotion is a Best Decorations Photo Contest. Ask your audience to submit pictures of their decorated homes and reward the winner with a festive prize, maybe even a fragrant wreath for the front door, or some holiday-scented candles.
- Holiday “Costume” Photo Contest
Not only do people decorate their homes for the holidays, but they also decorate themselves! Whether it’s an ugly sweater, best Santa/Mrs Claus, or elf theme, there are a variety of opportunities for asking fans to submit photos of themselves and their families during the holidays.
- Christmas Tree/House Decorating Campaign
One way to get your audience talking during the holidays is by sharing ideas. There are endless home, apartment and property designs out there and just as many opportunities to decorate them. An ideal way to run this sort of promotion would be with a Pin and Win Contest. Another option would be a simple picture collection campaign. Ask your audience to provide pictures of their Christmas tree and house decorations as inspiration for other home decorators.
- Pictures of a Recent Remodel
Did you know 300 million photos are uploaded to social media daily? That’s because photos tend to garner great engagement and are more appealing than plain text updates. A fun way for realtors to leverage this marketing strategy is to ask your audience to upload before and after photos of a recent remodel they’ve done on their home. If you want to add an extra element you can ask your audience to vote on their favorite remodelled kitchen, bath or bedroom.
- Advent Calendar Giveaway
Advent calendars allow businesses to host multi-day giveaways and/or count down the days to a special occasion. At ShortStack, our Advent Holiday Calendar Template is always our most popular holiday template. If you’re in the position to give away multiple prizes, an advent calendar is a great way to go – the prizes don’t have to be extravagant.
- Display Current Listings
Not every holiday campaign has to be a promotion or giveaway. One of the most common ways we see realtors use our software is to display their current listings. With your campaign, you can easily display photos, house images and details. You can even have your audience inquire about individual listings right from your campaign.
- Home Interest Questionnaire
Just like people don’t stop listing or buying homes during the holidays, people also don’t stop looking for their dream home just because it’s the holidays. With a campaign, you can create a questionnaire to gauge the interest of your audience in buying a home and find out exactly what they’re looking for. Start off with a simple status update or Tweet: “Looking to buy a home? Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll find the perfect home for you!” Then lead your audience to your campaign, where they can answer questions about their ideal home.
- “What Home Style Best Suits You” Quiz
You’ve seen the Buzzfeed Personality Quizzes, right? This idea is similar. Come up with a list of questions and answers and create a fun little quiz for your audience to determine whether their ideal home is n apartment in the city or a three-storey residence in the suburbs. ShortStack has an easy-to-use Personality Quiz Template that allows you to build a quiz that asks visitors a series of questions and automatically calculates scores and presents results.
- Partner with a Local Non-Profit
If you plan on doing any extra local fundraising this holiday season, using a campaign to collect donations can streamline your process. Partnering with non-profits is a great way for realtors and real estate companies to show their support of the community.
For each of these campaigns (contest or not), I recommend including a form that asks for an email address and whether the entrant is planning on purchasing a home sometime in the near future. This allows you to segment your participants for future marketing efforts. Below is an example of what the form can look like.
In addition, when you’re promoting your campaigns don’t forget to use all of your social channels. Think of your campaign as your “hub” and drive your audience back to it from all of your different outlets.
What other ways do you plan to engage with your audience this holiday season? Let me know!
Jim Belosic is the chief executive of ShortStack.com, software that businesses use to build marketing campaigns that collect email addresses and other lead-generating data from their online audience.