July 4 is a unique holiday because it brings together entire communities to celebrate with food, music, fireworks and other festivities. As a patriotic community celebration, this is the ideal time for you to market yourself as a real estate agent.
After all, branding yourself as a community expert involves being active in the community. While you could tie red, white and blue ribbons to yard signs or hand out market stats at your neighborhood barbecue, there are some other great ideas that are aligned with the sense of community that the holiday brings.
What are creative ways to get the word out about your services and your expertise in the real estate market?
Host a Block Party
Independence Day is a time when people want to get out of the house and socialize with friends and neighbors. You can be the one to bring them all together by hosting a block party. There are a variety of great block party ideas to choose from, depending on the makeup of your target area (e.g. adults vs kids) and the specific theme you want.
Consider having a bounce house or another fun activity for the kids. Yard games and music can be fun for all ages. In true holiday tradition, this may be the time to break out the grill and to cut open a few watermelons.
Planning Your Party
While you understandably want to invite all of your nearby neighbors to the event, you may also leave the invitation open to their friends and guests as well. After all, your block party is a meet-and-greet event where more is merrier. For many real estate agents, their own neighborhood is their farm community. Because of this, hosting the event from your own driveway could be the right move. If your neighborhood is not within your geofarm, consider asking a friend in the community to let you host the gathering. Another idea is to host the event at a community park. Because many people have other holiday plans throughout the afternoon and evening, a lunchtime block party could make sense in many situations.
Do you want to get the most mileage out of your block party? Invite a few vendors to co-sponsor the event with you. For example, a vendor may bring its food truck to the party. This is advertising for the vendors, and it enables you to grow your referral database exponentially.
Remember the Handouts
The last thing that you want is for your block party to very clearly be a marketing event. Over-the-top self-promotion can turn your guests off and may send them heading back home. However, you can and should offer some freebies or flyers in a low-key way.
For example, you may place a basket of insulated koozies next to a cooler of beverages. You may also place a flyer of market stats next to the dessert trays for folks to browse and grab at their leisure. The rest of the event, however, should be about shaking hands, socializing and celebrating.
Sponsor a Booth at a Community Festival
In many communities, there are large neighborhood gatherings, suburban festivals and even citywide events to celebrate the holiday. Rather than go through the effort and expense of hosting a block party, you could sponsor a booth at one of these events. Sponsoring a booth gives you a great opportunity to increase your visibility and develop name recognition.
Festival-goers can ask questions about the market, and you could even set up a few appointments on the spot.
Come Up with a Fun Booth Idea
Unfortunately, many people may not come up to your booth if you are simply sitting behind a table handing out flyers. To make the most out of your booth, consider setting up a fun game that draws people in. For example, you may have a small prize-fishing pool for the kids, a ring toss or a prize wheel. If you have a helper, that person can hand out flyers while visitors wait in line to play the game.
Consider Other Festival Promotional Opportunities
Festivals often have many events for attendees to enjoy throughout the day, and you can be active in any number of other activities outside of your booth. For example, you could cover half the cost of a food truck’s rental space fee at the festival in exchange for them handing out a branded balloon or hand-held fan with your name on it.
Does the festival have a parade? Invest in a car magnet, and join in. Have branded lollipops, koozies or other giveaways to toss to the parade attendees. Larger festivals may enable you to sponsor the event in exchange for recognition on the festival’s map or program. You also may be able to pay for banner space at the admissions gate or near the event stage.
Offer Handouts and Freebies
Regardless of how you plan to promote yourself at your community festival, it is important to display who you are and what your services are. For example, your booth should be well-decorated with branded signage, and you may tie some branded balloons on the sides of the table. You also should hand out branded merchandise and flyers.
These events are often large, so you may not have a chance to speak with everyone. By handing out branded material, you can remain at the front of the attendees’ minds once the holiday has ended.
Partner with Your Sphere of Influence
Rather than host a party or booth on your own, consider teaming up with companies or individuals in your sphere of influence. These professionals or companies may already have plans to host a booth, attend a neighborhood event or be active in other exciting ways on Independence Day.
By partnering with them, you may be able to secure a spot alongside them, post your logo in a small section of a brochure or something else.
Generally, professionals and companies will not simply structure a one-way partnership. There must be something in it for them as well.
Will you run their logo on your next batch of direct mail postcards or invite a representative to your next community mixer? These are only some of the many strategies that you can use to create a win-win situation.
Choose Partners Strategically
Who should you partner with? The easiest marketing partnerships to make are with the companies that you already do business with. For example, do you send a lot of business to a specific mortgage company, or do you regularly work with a local title company?
Consider other affiliated businesses as well, such as home insurance companies, remodeling contractors, appraisers, property inspectors and others.
Find Quality Opportunities
When you partner with your sphere of influence, there are two primary approaches that you can take. First, you can be actively involved in the event, such as by standing behind the partner’s booth at a festival. Second, you can be passively involved, such as by taking up a small space on the partner’s marketing material.
The good news is that you may be able to maximize the marketing potential of July 4 by being an active partner with one company and finding several other passive opportunities for the same day.
Optimize the Benefits
When you spend the time and energy setting up a special partnership for Independence Day, you understandably want to take full advantage of the opportunity. Depending on the nature of the partnership and the type of business the partner is involved in, you may be able to hand out branded merchandise or have a small flyer handed out inside a promotional bag on your behalf.
Another way to optimize the benefit is to discuss collaborating for future opportunities once you have established a partnership for this holiday. For example, you both could create backlinks on your websites for mutual benefit or exchange guest blog posts.
Create a 4th of July Giveaway Contest
Another thoughtful way to connect with the community is through a giveaway or contest. People love the excitement of contests, so you can drum up a major buzz around your brand when you create a great promotion. More than that, people love to win things. With this in mind, you may be able to generate more interest in your special event when you offer a prize that people would be excited to receive.
Brainstorm Great Contest Ideas
There are many great contest ideas, but they vary in terms of your time commitment and the players’ commitment. For example, you could host a contest for the most well-decorated home, the most festive Fourth of July attire or even the best-dressed pet.
Contestants simply would need to send you a photo by the due date. This is easy for you and easy for them. Another idea is to host a pie-baking contest at your festival booth. You can also run a contest where participants name patriotic tunes, submit favorite festive recipes or share their funniest family videos.
Do you want to run a low-key contest? A simple raffle contest would work great.
Choose Gifts and Prizes Strategically
Your contest should appeal to your target audience, which is homeowners or future buyers. The prizes that you select should be chosen with them in mind.
For example, you may offer a free house cleaning service, a gift card to a home improvement store or even a dinner for two at a trendy, new restaurant. When you partner with local businesses, you may be able to get a discounted price for the gift in exchange for promoting that business through the contest.
Optimize Social Media Engagement
Getting the word out about your contest is easy to do through social media. For example, on social media, you can ask your followers to submit photos for a contest or to visit your festival booth for the raffle contest. You can also ask your followers to vote on their favorite photos or on their favorite patriotic song for entry to a contest.
Social media is great for getting the word out, and it is equally perfect for encouraging participation. You can even make a separate post after the contest to announce the winners and to share honorable mentions.
4th of July Community Video
You could take a different approach with your holiday marketing campaign by creating a community video. Throughout the holiday, simply capture both videos and photos of people throughout the community. Remember to get their permission.
These may be individuals in a community parade, cute pets at a festival, photos of the fireworks, video from a historical recreation and more. Consider getting submissions from the community as well. Compile your videos and photos into a montage dubbed with patriotic music.
While the obvious purpose of the video is to showcase your love of the community and the great community spirit that the area has. This can be strategic when you connect with both buying and selling clients in the future. However, you also need to use the video to promote yourself. This should be in a low-key way, such as by adding a “Sponsored By” graphic at the beginning and end of the video.
Share Your Video with the Community
People love to watch and share videos. More than that, they may be enticed to watch your video to spot themselves or others who they know in the video. If they love the video or if they spotted someone they know, they may be more likely to share the video with others.
To encourage viewership and shares, the video should be easy to access. Consider posting it on YouTube and sharing links on your homepage and your social media accounts. You can also market it in your next batch of farm postcards.
Get More Mileage in Following Years
It can take time, energy and a touch of tech expertise to create a well-designed video montage. With this in mind, you understandably want to get the most use out of it. In upcoming years, you can re-post the video link to your social media accounts to once again encourage viewership and sharing.
From ordering promotional material, reserving space at a festival, connecting with partners and more, it can take several weeks to plan and pull together an amazing Fourth of July marketing campaign. The last thing that you want is to let this incredible marketing opportunity slip away.