Inspiring Views from the Bright SideSM
1. What are the goods/services offered by your primary business?
We are a residential real estate firm, and represent buyers, sellers, and investors throughout the Baltimore Metro area.
2. What did you launch in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our business model is all repeat and referral, and typically we host very special events for our client base quarterly. As the pandemic hit, we knew we had to change everything we normally did and find a way to support our network virtually. The first thing we did was launch a Facebook group for our clients where we could more easily connect, share insights on the state of the real estate market during the pandemic, refer clients to good contractors, and host virtual events that are both educational and fun.
The second thing we did was decide to reallocate funds we normally spend on client events towards a new client appreciation initiative. We distributed $500 checks (in person, but from a safe distance) to several clients to let them know we were thinking of them and we appreciate their business. Our clients absolutely loved it and it brought so much joy to all of us!
3. What steps did you take to develop and promote your new initiative?
- Launched a private Facebook group for our clients
- Shared what we were doing on social media and via email
- Invited our clients to be submit their names for our client appreciation drawing
4. What or who inspired you to undertake this effort?
One day I was feeling upset about canceling my favorite event that we normally host, where we bring our top clients into a beautiful setting and give away high-value prizes. It hit me that I could do the same thing in a virtual environment and thought to myself - what more would make impact in this horrible time than cash? From there... the planning and execution took off!
5. What results have you seen so far from this initiative?
Through this initiative, many clients who had not talked to us in years reconnected with us. Everything we do is with the long view of doing good things for people and maintaining strong relationships. We definitely had some people reach out with referrals or about buying/selling themselves, although that was not the primary motive. We also posted photos on social media with our gift recipients, which inspired a lot of people - including Jonathan Wachs of Offit Kurman - to reach out to me about our efforts.
6. How do you define success for your project?
Engagement! It's all about stirring up conversations with people and staying present as a resource that is front of mind for them.
7. What are the biggest challenges for you to meet your goal?
We didn't have a major challenge, I think the only thing I think about constantly from a business development perspective is how to be present/available/in front of our clients without annoying them or causing them to feel spammed.
8. How long do you anticipate continuing this effort?
It's done, although it was a hit and we will absolutely be conducting client appreciation events like this again in the future!
9. What have you learned by undertaking this project?
It's so important to be creative and find new ways to connect, add value, and maintain relationships. Doing the same thing over and over can get stale, so the pandemic has forced a lot of innovation in our company (this is just ONE of many things we've changed) and I am grateful for that!