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— by David Serpa

CHRISTMAS FARMING DURING COVID19

HOW TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS SAFELY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON.

Oh no! It’s December… the year feels like a waste! No matter how successful you are, and
how great of a year you had, the Holiday Season leaves many people looking back at the year,
instead of preparing for the next one.

We have been shown how important it is to list in this market! The term “list to last” has
finally hit home for a lot of buyer’s agents working to compete in a highly competitive
market. I’m going to give you some ideas on how to get your face out in the world, and your
brand front and center, while giving families something fun to do for the Holidays.
People are looking for something fun and safe to do with their families. Communities are
built in times of tragedy. Sure, 2020 has been rough, but as Napoleon Hill wrote “Every
adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.” In the final days of 2020, you
can build the framework for your business in 2021. Here’s how to have some fun doing it!

1. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DISPLAY CONTEST
This year we are preparing for The 6th Annual French Valley Christmas Lights Display
Contest. Don’t worry! You’re not too late to put on your own. Put up a post on social
media, go live, and let your community know you are looking for participants.
Then, get in the car and go out and find them. Drive through your community and find
the best homes and leave them a note letting them know you would like to include their
home in your First Annual Christmas Lights Display Contest!

The four categories I have in my farm are:

  • Griswold: these homes are plastered with lights like Clark Griswold’s home.
  • Traditional: clean homes with neat lines or religious-themed displays.
  • Animated: flashing Christmas lights set to music.
  • Christmas Culdesac: A street with massive participation.

2. POLAR EXPRESS TOY DRIVE CARAVAN
Unfortunately, due to Covid19, several organizations are not having their annual toy
drives. Also, due to Covid19, a surplus of children in your community may not be having
a Christmas. We are working with some organizations to set up a toy drive caravan
where people can drive through with their families, drop off a toy through a chute, and
get a picture with a socially distanced Santa Claus.

It would be fun to encourage the community to dress their cars up as trains to do a Polar
Express themed toy drop off. You could light up the area for the cars driving through
and even live stream the event for people watching from home.

3. SANTA DRIVE BY OR CAR PARADE
You could dress up as Santa Claus, set up your car, and have a friend drive you through
the streets of your neighborhood while you throw candy canes to kids as you pass. You
could also include the community and have an annual car parade.

4. START A LOCAL FACEBOOK GROUP
I run a local Facebook group called “French Valley Talk” and we have over 6,612
members. We’ve added 1,756 in the past month, there are 20 new posts a day, and the
community is heavily engaged. I’ve added a key partner who is responsible for a lot of
the new growth. This group is key to my engagement with the community. Someone
might think “Only 6,600 people! What a joke!” There are only about 15,000 people in my
community. I have genuine local engagement with a solid community of good people.
Amy Serpa, my sister, went live directly in the group, and in 15 hours the post has been
engaged 1,749 times, has 52 comments, has reached 2,325 people, and was shared 7
times. I also went live on my personal page. This was viewed 1,500 times, has 32
comments, and has been shared 16 times to a completely different audience. Don’t do
one, or the other, do both.

5. WORK WITH POLICE & THE COMMUNITY
There is no way around it; 2020 has been rough for police departments and the
communities they serve. We are working to bridge the gap. No child should be afraid of
their local police officer when they need help. We are working to partner our toy drive
with some local police and sheriff departments or to support a drive they are currently
working on, but I am not sure what will come to fruition.
While talking to an officer she told me of a program they are working on which allows
children to shop with an officer. They already have their kids picked out, and she told
me some beautiful stories from last year about kids with itemized lists, which accounted
for their siblings, with the money allotted.

IN CLOSING: 2020 AND GIVING.
There is a lot of pain out there in 2020 and very few wrong ways to start healing that
pain. When I was young I was in a Woman’s Shelter with my mom and two younger
sisters during the Christmas season. My mom and my sisters spent a period of time

living in one room at a shelter while waiting for a house to open which would accept
Section-8. We cut a Christmas tree out of paper and taped it to the wall and we laughed
while we decorated it.

It was a dark time and I learned a lot about the worst of humanity during this period. It
was also during this Holiday Season at New Morning Youth and Family Services Women’s
Shelter where someone donated a soccer ball which made its way, wrapped, to me. I was
given the present, and I turned it down at first. I was entering middle school. I was a big
kid. They insisted and I opened it.

I then found a place outside, away from everyone, and I held my soccer ball (still in the
box) in my lap and I cried. I didn’t even like soccer, but someone, somewhere, cared
enough about a kid like me to give me this gift. To this day my eyes well up to think
about a person I will never be able to thank.

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