Buying a home is a big accomplishment. Most real estate buyers put years of thought and preparation into the purchase of a new home, and once it happens, it’s a dream come true. As a realtor, it is your privilege to help home buyers realize this dream by finding a house that is perfect for all of their needs. Throwing a housewarming party for your real estate client once they move in is a memorable, thoughtful gesture, and one that shows your client just how appreciative you are of their business.
A housewarming party gives your clients the opportunity to welcome friends and family into their new home, and meet the nearby neighbors. It also gives you, the realtor, an opportunity to cultivate a long-term relationship with your client, leave a lasting impression, and network with others in the neighborhood to generate real estate leads. A win-win situation for everyone involved.
If you want to deepen relationships with home buyers and leaving a lasting, positive impression of their experience with you, here is a quick guide to hosting the best housewarming party for your real estate clients!
1. Confirm That Your Clients Want a Housewarming Party
Before you dive into creating the best housewarming party for your clients, it is important to confirm that they would appreciate the gesture. If your clients are reserved or find the idea of having a lot of people in their home overwhelming, a housewarming party might not be the best option.
To get an idea of whether or not your client would like a housewarming party, ask them at the contract signing. If your client seems interested, remind them of the idea in a brief thank you letter after closing, and then call them to confirm.
2. Assemble a Guest List
Once you have confirmed with your clients that the housewarming party is a go, it's time to get down to work. And, the first thing you need to do is assemble a guest list. For this part, you will need your clients help. Ask them to send a list of their closest friends, family and any neighbors they’ve already met along with mailing addresses, and be sure to let them know that you will do the rest of the work.
TIP: Get a head start and do some pre-work by leaving a guestbook out at open houses in the area to get the names and contact information of any neighbors that you might be able to invite.
3. Create and Send Invitations
Now that you have the guest list, you will need a way to get guests to the right place at the right time with a personalized invitation. You can create and print a high-quality paper invitation online at several places, such as Moo.com or Paperless Post. Be sure to send your invitation at least three weeks ahead of the party to give your guests ample time to plan.
TIP: Although it might be tempting to place your logo and name on the invitation, avoid it at all costs. A housewarming party is about your clients. However, be sure to have your business cards on hand at the event because you’ll have ample opportunity to make new connections.
4.Coordinate a Menu
As with any party, at a housewarming party there will be plenty of mouths to feed. Therefore, creating a tasty and exciting menu is key. Even if you are a great cook and your clients have an amazing new kitchen, the best practice for hosting a housewarming party is to hire a caterer. Not only will they cover the food and clean up, but handle the beverages as well so you and your clients will have time to mingle.
You can decide on a fun theme with your clients and create a menu that matches, or just choose a variety of great appetizers and finger foods. Don’t forget to include a few meat-free and dairy-free options to make sure everyone feels welcome.
5. Pre-Party Preparation
There are a few last-minute preparations you can complete to make your housewarming party a success. The first is to call your clients a few days before the event to remind them to have the house "tour ready" and see if there is anything they need. Additionally, you should prepare a guest book that neighbors can sign as they walk-in, and have nametags ready for the guests that have RSVP'd, along with a few blanks. Doing so will help show your attention to detail and make a great first impression on potential clients.
6. Bring a Housewarming Gift and a Guest
A housewarming party is a social event, therefore you should always bring a gift and a guest. Skip the promotional products and choose a housewarming gift that is personal and meaningful to your client. As for a guest, it is perfectly acceptable to bring your family (children included), significant other, or a close friend.
7. Be Social
Once the party has started, all of the hard work is over. Now you can sit back, relax, and make connections. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures throughout the event to share on social media. Tag your clients in the pictures so all of their friends, family, and neighbors get an easy link back your business page.
At the end of the event, stick around to help clean up and make sure everything is back in it’s place.
The day after the event there is one more thing to check off your to-do list: follow-up with your client. Give them a quick call to let them know you had a great time and enjoyed meeting their friends and family. Double check to make sure they enjoyed the event and see if there is anything else you can help them with. Oh, and don't forget to remind them again how thankful you are for their business.
If you have home buyers that are closing soon, consider throwing a housewarming party for your clients. It’s a great opportunity and a kind gesture that they will truly appreciate. (And it’s likely you will acquire a few new clients along the way, too.)