When she decided to create her very first free Pie Drive event on Facebook, Lana Rodriguez was not only a newly licensed agent, but also a brand new Colorado Springs resident. But after creating the event, Rodriguez was tasked with delivering 85 pies to complete strangers — a task she managed to complete in four and a half days. “My husband told me I’m crazy,” recalls Rodriguez. “But of those 85 people I touched in November 2014, five became clients who still stand by me to this day. They have done several transactions with me during my real estate career,” she says.

That first year, Rodriguez swore by Costco’s pumpkin pie (a brand she still heartily recommends), with her business card included with the delivery. But the real estate rainmaker has come a long way in event planning since 2014. What started as a one-woman delivery mission evolved first into a drive-in event hosted at her team’s office (The Lana Rodriguez Group) and later into a ‘Pies and Smiles with Santa’ magnet event expected to reach nearly 600 people. bring customers. Here’s how Rodriguez, whose team is on track for 300 trades for 2021 — all referrals based — gears up for one of her most successful events of the year.

Read more: The Lana Rodriguez Group

5 Tips to Plan the Ultimate Thanksgiving Customer Event

Make sure your event is fun and valuable.

“Customer events are a big part of our referral-based business,” says Rodriguez. “My main focus is to build a community and bring clients together, and many of our clients are single parents or married couples with one or two children,” she says. That’s why Rodriguez’s calendar of events for the year focuses on family-friendly activities that her target audience will find value and convenience in. weddings, Rodriguez not only hands out a classic Thanksgiving favorite, but also brings the added value of professional photos with Santa Claus.

Make use of Facebook.

Before a major event, Rodriguez and her team work to book the venue 90 to 120 days in advance, then move to full planning about 30 days in advance. To gain immediate access to her sphere of influence, Rodriguez relies on a private client Facebook group, which she maintains throughout the year and uses it to spread the word of upcoming events to her clients. Once the venue is booked, she’ll create a Facebook event page to spread the word. “We follow with hard mailers, a funny video invite and an email explosion,” she shares. “We’re also doing personal details like a phone call and text to spread the word.”

Read more: Four ways to find business success with Facebook groups

Comfort is key.

The world of events has been in constant flux since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While live events are back in Rodriguez’s neck of the woods and restrictions have been relaxed, her team is working to create a space where guests feel comfortable and safe. “We organize our event in the middle of the day, a strategic moment when children are awake. We also use time slots to keep everyone apart and limit the number of people at any given time,” she says. Make FOMO. Rodriguez uses social media to connect with her vibe up to the moments leading up to the event. She even shows the moments when her team loads the pies into trucks and SUVs and tries to remind customers why they should be there. “For example, if I buy $2,000 worth of candy, you better believe I’m going to advertise it on Facebook Live,” she shared.

Put on your game face.

On the day of the event, Rodriguez and her team arrive at the venue around 10:30 AM and begin unloading refreshments, including cookies and coffee, for their customers. They generally wear matching uniforms for the occasion and are ready to rock by 11:30am, assuming some customers will arrive early. “I’m always the first one they see when they come in and the last one they see when they leave,” she says. Throughout the event, she keeps an eye out for faces that are not current customers. “You can generally tell they’re a little uncomfortable,” she shares. “So I introduce them to the team and make them feel welcome. After the event, I’ll add them on Facebook to keep in touch. Even if they don’t want to sell or buy now, as long as they see me posting I’ll be the broker they think of once they’re done. At the end, customers and potential customers leave with a cake with a subtle sticker. “Happy Holidays! We’re never too busy for a referral!”

“There is something very special about breaking bread with people,” says Rodriguez. “And providing these community experiences to your customers sets you apart from competitors.” While her own events now spark the interest of hundreds of clients, Rodriguez wants to remind agents that it’s the activity, not the numbers. “Start small. Go door to door and deliver that pumpkin pie,” she says. “Because guess what — your competition doesn’t.”

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