Countdown to a Successful Housewarming Party
Because I love any reason to throw a party, after I read Michael Maher’s The 7 Levels of Communication my first thought was, what a brilliant idea it is to host a housewarming party for your buyer.
Growing up in Central Florida in the 1960’s we moved around a lot as my dad was changing careers from being an educator to being a banker. Each small town we moved to came with their version of the same housewarming party: The Welcome Wagon. A neighbor would stop by after we moved in with a basket of goodies from the local establishments including discount coupons and most brought a homemade goodie too. It was our family’s first glimpse of our new community and its warmth. I would love to share with you my 21st century version of my 1960’s Welcome Wagon experience.
Since over 80 percent of our business at Distinctive Atlanta Homes is done by referral, we set ourselves apart from the rest of our competitors by offering a housewarming party as part of our post-closing client care system. During the buyer presentation we let the buyers know that, as part of our unique value proposition, we will throw them a housewarming party once they are settled into their new home (approximately 3 months after closing) if they are interested. We offer it to everyone, however, not everyone wants one—about 50 percent, depending on their personality type or family situation at the time.
Our Step by Step Process:
- Our system begins at the Buyer Consultation. Throughout the buying process, we continue to mention how fun it’ll be when we find the right house and then have a party for them to show their new home to their friends & family. Reinforcing to them that we are serious about our housewarming parties is part of our “system.” We remind them to begin thinking about how it will feel to have friends over to this new space. Every house we view is another opportunity to narrow the houses down to THE one by asking them to visualize themselves entertaining there.
- When they find the house they will ultimately buy, we remind them again how much fun we will have at their party and that we can’t wait to meet their friends and family. At the closing, the DAH agent gives the client packet that includes a reminder of the house warming party, and what their role will be (inviting guests, etc.). By this time we know whether or not the client is introverted and most likely will not choose to have the party. If we have provided the recommendation for the lender, we ask the lender to pay for the housewarming party, which is usually between $250.00-350.00.
- Our Client Care Coordinator will call 30 days after closing to check on the clients and ask for their list of guests. Our Digital Marketing Specialist then creates the eVites and sends to the client to approve the proof before the invitation is emailed. This is also a good time to ask if they need recommendations for vendors for house projects (painting, plumbing, etc.).
- 60 days after closing, the DAH agent will call to see how the unpacking is going and remind them to send their invite list to Client Care Coordinator, if they haven’t already.
- 3 weeks before the party, the Digital Marketing Specialist sends out the eVite.
- 1 week before the party, Client Care Coordinator or the Agent will call to see if they are ready for their party and find out if they need anything. Decide on any prizes for drawings and purchase.
Day before/day of party
- Buy and bring food & drink items (water, ice, tub for drinks, Coca-Cola products). We don’t provide alcohol for liability reasons and let the client know that if they would like to provide, they are welcome to. We get our sandwiches pre-made from our local grocer: tuna, egg or chicken salad and peanut butter and grape jelly with crust cut off if there are children in the house.
- Seasonal floral arrangement and balloons for the mailbox
- Serve ware and platters for food, napkins, cups, plates, tablecloth (get size of table beforehand)
- Bring The Atlantan Magazine, DAH & Atlanta Habitat for Humanity brochures, sign-up sheet for next Habitat build day with the clients’ photo from their closing (“The purchase of this home helped someone else experience the joys of home ownership”).
- Cleaning supplies (Lysol wipes, Windex & paper towels)
- Agent prepares necessary sandwiches/food & sets out promotional materials and door prize
- Lender stands at the door to greet guests and have them sign-in; clients will be entered into a drawing for a prize
- Agent cleans up home (30 minutes) and leaves food if there are guests remaining.
- With the homeowners permission, do a FB live interview post, tagging DAH and Sarah.
After the party
- Client Care Coordinator creates a photo collage and sends thank you emails to guests who attended and “we missed you” to guests who did not attend.
- Client Care Coordinator adds guest list to CRM with a tag to follow up, making note of any guests who were interested in the DAH Real Estate services.
Our intention is to continue to provide massive value to our clients and make them raving fans long after we’ve received our commission check. We’ve heard our clients say things like, “Hey, so and so, did your Realtor throw YOU a housewarming party?” That is the best referral after all, don’t you think?
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