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The holiday season is almost upon us and businesses should start thinking about how to leverage the season to generate some extra sales and revenue and more importantly create some brand awareness and recall.

In this episode we are talking about holiday branding or marketing – specifically related to the real estate market.

I have a letter here from one of our clients who says that he is quite happy with the branding that we had created for him and is asking how he can use his modest budget of $3,000 for the upcoming holiday season marketing. He wanted to know if he should go for merchandising (pens, cups, tshirts etc) and then pass them around or any other ideas that would get better traction and bang for the buck.

Hi Mash,

You had created our branding for our real estate business and it has been great and we love it! With the upcoming holidays, I was wondering if you can shed some light on how best to use our modest budget of around $3,000.

Should we go for merchandising – pens, cups, t-shirts and so on and then pass them around? Any ideas you can suggest?

Best Regards, Kate Wheeler

In my opinion, merchandising is not effective, unless your goal is to create brand awareness or brand recall. If your aim is to get some sales and generate revenue, giving away merchandising won’t be effective and motivating clients to make purchases. Especially during the holidays people tend to chuck merchandise away.

The better alternative would be to spend your budget on different activities that create buzz and interaction and engagement from your target audience. Here are a few examples:

You can hold a contest or giveaway (sweepstakes) on your social media channels such as your Facebook fan page, Twitter, Google+ or even your corporate website. If you can offer a decent prize such as an ipad or other desirable gadget that people would be keen on getting for the holidays such as Christmas or New Year, this would motivate people to participate in a quiz or survey that you can organize.

By promoting the contest on your social media, you can generate a lot of buzz. You could also promote this contest to your newsletter subscribers to gain maximum exposure. This may not generate revenue right away but it is hard to generate revenue during the holiday season with any strategy. At least this way you are building buzz and engagement which can potentially turn into conversions down the line.

This way, you are encouraging people to check out your profile, your company, your services and create a healthy encounter which would surely play into the equation when these audience are in the market for your services.

Another strategy would be to give away complimentary services such as free valuations, free estimates, virtual tours, consultations etc. For example if some one is interested in your area and are looking to either buy or rent a place, by participating in the contest, they get an hour’s worth of consultation about the area by arranging a visit to your office and sitting down with them to go over the pros and cons of the area and sharing your knowledge with them freely.

I know this sounds very much like a marketing idea but it may play well if you do it from a selfless point of view rather than sell, sell, sell!

You could also put a portion of that budget towards researching, brainstorming and generating a kind of white paper or report on your locality or geographic area that your service covers. This report could be very valuable in terms of how house prices have been trending or sharing with them some insight into perhaps a proposed government plan or construction or expansion that would raise the profile of the area and hence lead to increase in house prices. And of course, do not forget investing in getting a kick-ass real estate logo design for your company.

You can promote this report on your social media channels and perhaps ask for email addresses in exchange for this report.

Of course I am not a real estate agent and hence may not know what I am talking about but what I am trying to do is help you frame your mind in terms of how you can go about marketing your services.

Finally you do have the regular holiday marketing ideas such as printing some custom cards and then personalising them to your list and sending them out.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & CEO of SpellBrand. Since 1998, Mash has helped conscious brands differentiate themselves and AWAKEN through Brand Strategy and Brand Identity Design. Schedule a Brand Strategy Video Call with Mash.