Many consider Valentine’s Day a “Hallmark” holiday created by greeting card companies to sell more stuff. But I, for one, love sending sweet cards to my favorite people, including past real estate clients and those in my sphere of influence. To me, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your clients how much you care about them and an opportunity to market your services at the same time.
Real estate season is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to spread the love to all of your people, including your current and past clients, your farm, and your sphere. Here are a few real estate Valentine’s Day promotional ideas I came up with to help stir your imagination.
But first, have you downloaded your 2023 Real Estate Marketing Calendar yet? It’s packed with awesome ideas for every month of the year. It even includes prefilled, customizable Canva templates to take some of the guesswork out of what to post. Download your calendar now to make sure your marketing stays on track throughout the year.
1. Host a Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Social
Something about eating ice cream in February is thrilling, like indulging in forbidden food. Hosting an ice cream social is a great way to get people together, mingle, and learn more about each other on a personal level. Plus, ice cream is fun! Invite your friends, family, past and current clients, and any prospects you may have recently met. Having ice cream together is a great way to love on your people and get to know them better in a relaxed atmosphere.
You can do this one of two ways: You can have everyone meet at your local ice cream shop if it’s big enough. Or you can order ice cream from the shop and have it delivered to a bigger venue and hire someone to serve up the creamy delight. Promote your event through email or postcards. Make it invitation-only (with a plus-one for your clients’ sweethearts!), so everyone who’s on the list feels doubly special.
2. Use Kids’ Valentine’s Day Cards in Your Real Estate Farming
My son is way past the age where he gives out those cute little boxed Valentine’s Day cards in his classroom. So what’s a savvy agent to do? Repurpose those cards and take them door-knocking in your farm, of course. Add something special, like a carnation or a small sample-sized box of chocolates and hand them out to anyone who opens the door for you.
You can also do this as a pop-by for some of your past clients. However, you might want to bring some extra boxes of candy to the ones you know have kiddos in the house. You’ll be putting smiles on a lot of faces when you show up with fun Valentine’s Day cards and boxes of candy in hand.
3. Offer to Babysit on Valentine’s Day
One of the best gifts you can give someone is time. And that’s just what you’ll do when you offer to babysit your real estate clients’ kids, giving them a night out on Valentine’s Day, one of the hardest nights to find a sitter. Call up past and current clients who have kids and tell them you’re offering a few hours (how many will be completely up to you, but three to four is a good amount for a nice night out) of free babysitting. Designate a location (like your brokerage office) and have all the clients who take you up on your offer bring their kiddos to that one location.
Prepare ahead of time and maybe partner with some other agents in your office. Get kids’ movies and a TV ready, some toys and games, order some pizza, and get some juice boxes. It may seem like a lot of work, but the payoff is enormous.
Just imagine—your clients will see you as a superhero when they get to take some time off from their parenting responsibilities for a few hours on Valentine’s Day. For a few hours of your time, you’ll gain some lifetime clients who will sing your praises to everyone who ever mentions real estate.
4. Raffle Off a Vacation Package
This idea may take some pre-planning, but it will be so much fun if you take the time to put it together. You don’t have to break the bank to get a vacation package—cruises, Las Vegas stays, New York City deals, beach destinations in Florida or the Carolinas—there are so many options that are already put together for you.
Or, if you want to find something a little less extravagant, think of something cool to do in your own backyard. For example, I live in the Florida Panhandle, so I have beach access. I can go down to one of the resorts here and pre-pay for a long weekend stay with a dinner package. Maybe you know someone, perhaps a past or current client, who owns a vacation rental property. That’s always a great option too. Throw in dinner and an excursion of some sort and you’ve created a wonderful weekend getaway that anyone would enjoy.
If you don’t want to plan it yourself, there are people who do this for a living. Contact a concierge at a vacation rental company or a cruise line and let them know your plan. If you really want to mitigate some of the out-of-pocket expenses, see if you can partner with a company for deep discounts.
Once you’ve got your Valentine’s Day package, advertise it on your social media accounts, in your email list, and via your website. Let everyone know you’re having a contest and giving away this package. Have everyone enter to win through a Google form. At the end of the contest period, create a live video on your social media platform of choice and draw the name of the winner. Make a really big deal of giving away this package and share some love with the winner. Make them feel extra special. If you can, do a second video when they come and pick up their package from your office.
5. Host a Cooking Contest
I love contests! Valentine’s Day is an excellent opportunity to host a cooking contest, like a chili cook-off or a BBQ, pie-baking, or salsa-making contest. Any type of food works, and to tie in the holiday, all you have to do is call it an “I Love ____” party. You’ll get to taste a lot of great food and discover who has some culinary skills you may not have been aware of. I favor the meats, but February is the Great American Pie month, so that might be the way to go. Either way, you’ll get people together in your community and create the perfect setting to meet new real estate prospects and catch up with those you know.
Create a trophy or a first-place ribbon you can hand out. And don’t leave out the second- and third-place winners—you’ll want to have prizes of some sort for all of the winners. I personally prefer money along with something that will last, like a trophy or a ribbon. But you can make it anything you want.
6. Host a Plarn-making Day
Hear me out on this one: You may not know what plarn is, but it’s actually really cool. It’s plastic yarn made from discarded grocery bags. It’s useful on two different fronts: It’s a way to upcycle plastic grocery bags to keep them out of landfills, and it’s used to create eco-friendly plastic bag mats for the homeless. There is at least one group in my city that gets together often to make plarn. They give the plarn to a crochet group that makes the sleeping mats. It’s a great way to get your real estate people together and show some love for the less fortunate members of your community on Valentine’s Day.
The actual event can represent any part of the process. You can start a group that collects plastic bags and helps make the plarn. You can also do a plastic bag drive—or even go door-knocking to collect it—to get a lot in a short amount of time. If you know how to make plarn (it’s super easy), you can host an Valentine’s Day event where you show people how to make the plarn and make as much as possible within a certain amount of time.
The plarn collection will give you and everyone who joins you that feel-good sensation because you’ll be helping those less fortunate as well as the environment. And it doesn’t take a lot of skill to make it. One of the best upsides is you’ll be teaching people in your community about something with which they may not be familiar. Maybe you’ll even start a new movement.
Another positive aspect of making plarn is it’s something you can do with little to no thinking. So, you’ll have plenty of time to chit-chat with potential real estate clients on Valentine’s Day.
7. Send Valentine’s Day Cards to Past Real Estate Clients
Something about getting a card in the mail just feels extra special. You love it when someone sends you a “Just thinking of you” card, am I right? And Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remember real estate clients you loved working with.
Send a handwritten Valentine’s card to all of your past and current real estate clients, your favorite vendors, and anyone you want to share the love with. Your tribe will appreciate receiving your sweet message through one of those almost forgotten methods of communication: snail mail. We work in a relationship-based business. Nothing builds relationships better than communication.
8. Create Valentine’s Day Door Hangers
If you’ve followed me long enough here at The Close, you know I’m a huge fan of Canva. I even teach classes on how real estate pros can use it in business. So it should be no surprise that I love using Canva to create door hangers for Valentine’s Day fun.
I created a template you can use to design a Valentine’s Day real estate door hanger to plaster your farm area. If you want to take it up a notch, attach a carnation, which is relatively inexpensive, to each one, or some fun treats like candy hearts, Hershey’s Kisses, or Andes Mints.
9. Give Away Dinner for Two
This might be a great real estate Valentine’s Day promotion to couple with the babysitting idea. You can raffle off a dinner for two and if the winners have kiddos, you can offer to watch them for free while your two lovebirds enjoy their night out. You’ll look like the biggest rock star since Elton John.
This is the type of Valentine’s Day promotion you don’t necessarily need to restrict to past real estate clients. Create a post about it on your social media accounts. Promote the fact that everyone can enter by liking your post about the giveaway. Then have your followers share the post for an additional chance to win! The more shares and likes, the more entries into your contest.
I love doing giveaways to get more followers, especially when you’re promoting a local business that probably also has a social media following to leverage. It’s a great way to spread the love about your business while sharing the amoré with some lucky winners in your community.
10. Rent a Movie Theater
This is one for your sphere. Rent out your local movie theater for an exclusive showing of a specific movie of your choosing. Make it an invitation-only for your past and current real estate clients, favorite vendors, friends, and anyone you’ve connected with recently.
I personally love the idea of bringing back classic movies for exclusive screenings, which is also often a cheaper option than first-run. You might try something like “An Affair to Remember” or “Sleepless in Seattle,” keeping with the Valentine’s Day theme for the month. Or go in a different direction with a spotlight on Black history with a movie like “Selma,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” or “The Help.”
Provide your guests free popcorn and drinks while they enjoy the movie. If this event doesn’t curry favor, I don’t know what will. It is such a fun thing to do for your people. If the cost feels prohibitive, partner with other agents or make it a brokerage event. You will become the go-to real estate professionals in your community with this type of public relations.
11. Black History Month Lunch & Learn
Don’t fret if you’re reading this after February 14—the month isn’t just about Valentine’s Day. You can also throw in some educational events, particularly in relation to Black History Month. This is a great time to show some love and appreciation for the Black community in your town. Enlist someone such as a professor of Black history from your local college or community organization leader who can present at a lunch and learn event.
Make it a public gathering and invite everyone in your community. But don’t forget to include an RSVP button in your advertisements. You’ll need to get a good headcount so you can reserve a spot. Choose a nice place, like a resort or local ballroom, that holds a lot of people. You may have to cater if the venue doesn’t provide food.
This might sound like a lot, but this type of event doesn’t have to be free. Guests often have to pay for their lunch at an event like this. So, you can have a set price per person for the lunch portion. Your participants can pay when they register for the event ahead of time. But the historical presentation from a local expert will be free for your attendees.
The goodwill for your community is invaluable with an event like this. You’ll be seen as a community pillar, someone who genuinely cares about elevating historically marginalized voices in the community.
12. Organize a Canned Food Drive
It’s February, which means it’s still winter. It’s cold and harsh out there. Most people think of doing a canned food drive during the holiday season. But people need to eat daily. A canned food drive is a great way to give back to your community at a time when needs might actually be greater. Yes, you want to stand out as a community leader and influencer, but this idea also gives you that feel-good sensation of helping those who have less.
Rally your sphere, invite your past and current clients, and announce to the community that you’re hosting a canned food drive. Partner with your local food bank and make it a one-day drive. Have people come on a specific day to your office with whatever non-perishables they would like to donate. Make sure to have boxes and markers for labeling and transporting what you gather, as well as snacks for any volunteers who help you organize the donations.
Since spring is right around the corner, you can mention in your posts and ads that it’s a good time to get a jump on any spring cleaning by emptying those pantries. This promotion takes little effort but generates a massive return.
13. Partner With Your Local Library
I don’t know about your town, but around here my local libraries host fun events throughout the year. You can attend a jazz performance, check out some local art, join a book club, and so much more. Many cities have nice museums that have similar and more varied events too. Partner with one of these institutions to host an event. Promote it on all of your social media, send out postcards or invitations, you might even spend some advertising dollars to get the word out.
Be seen as the local real estate professional who invests in her community. If you can find a way to raise funds for these beloved institutions, you may also become known as the community influencer who makes things happen. And when devotees to your local library or museum need a real estate agent, you’ll be the first to come to mind.
14. Host a Cancer Prevention Cooking Class
February is also Cancer Prevention Month. So why not host a specialized cooking class to raise awareness? Food is medicine, after all. Enlist the help of a local chef or nutritionist who can teach your people how to cook healthy meals packed with antioxidants. You can even make this a standing event, maybe once per quarter.
Partner with the chef and her restaurant. Make it mutually beneficial for both of you to host this event and be integral to the community. Your friends, neighbors, and colleagues will develop a loyal following to both you and your new chef friend.
15. Organize a Clothing Drive
February is the coldest month of the year for most of us in the U.S. But it’s the cold right before spring. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough sunshine lately that the spring cleaning bug has already started to bite. Help your community get a jump-start on their spring cleaning by organizing a clothing drive.
This accomplishes two things: One, you’ll be showing some Valentine’s Day love to those in need. And two, you’ll be helping real estate prospects clear out their closets. Some of those who will be clearing their old clothes out may be decluttering their homes with the prospect of selling in the spring.
If anyone is thinking of selling, you’ll be on their radar early in the season. Be sure to keep those real estate conversations going. If you’re a keen listener, you’ll start to pick up on those early buying signals and jump in to move the conversation toward real estate in a natural way.
16. Have a ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ Contest
This is the kind of contest that makes everyone a better person. The way it works is, participants can’t nominate themselves. You have to nominate someone whom you have witnessed being kind to you or others. And it can’t just be, “This person opened a door for me.” It should be something relatively substantial.
Post the contest everywhere and promote it for at least a week. Make sure everyone knows exactly what they need to share to nominate someone: the person’s name, phone number, and email. After all, you’ll need to be able to get in touch with the nominated person. But make sure they send you the person’s info privately in a direct message.
Hopefully, you’ll get some great responses from people about how to show kindness. Share some of the entries via video on your social media. Keep the videos anonymous, though. Once you’ve collected several entries (and you can implement a time limit to narrow your contest), have everyone vote on the one they think should win with a simple poll on your social platform.
Then, announce a winner based on your poll results. Give the winner a gift card to a local restaurant or grocery store (those are really popular right now with inflation). You can actually keep this type of contest going and make it a monthly giveaway.
When you encourage and spread kindness, people remember. And it will go a long way in showing that you’re the compassionate real estate professional in your community.
17. Organize a Cleanup Day
Spring is right around the corner, and no one wants to think about their local parks and community spaces being littered with trash once it gets nice out. So, be the hero in your community and organize a cleanup event on Valentine’s Day.
Choose your day and time and invite others to pick one of the city’s local parks or community green spaces. Post your event on all of your social media accounts, and send postcards to your farm, your clients, and your sphere. You can even invest in some paid advertising to get this project up and running. Be sure to buy at least one box of sanitary gloves and trash bags, and make sure you have a plan for disposing of what you and your team collect.
Doing something positive for your community puts you in a much different light. You look like the person who’s invested in your community, taking care of shared spaces. People will see you as a community leader. That will certainly boost your exposure throughout the city.
18. Host a Valentine’s Day Singles Mixer for Real Estate Prospects
I’ve mentioned several events that cater to couples, because that’s who we think of when Valentine’s Day comes around. But the ones who are often overlooked during this time are the single people. We certainly don’t want singles to feel left out—the world shuns them enough during this made-up holiday, am I right?
So, what can you do for them? Simple: Host a singles mixer! Reserve a spot at a local restaurant or fun zone, like Top Golf or Dave & Buster’s, and host a fun night out on Valentine’s Day. Who knows? Maybe some sparks will fly during the festivities.
I don’t know about you, but I love Valentine’s Day! Not because it’s a made-up, greeting card holiday designed to get you to spend money, but because it’s a reminder to show those you love how you feel. It’s an opportunity to shower everyone around you with kindness, appreciation, and generosity. Any time you get to do that is a blessing in my book.
I’ve shared some of my favorite real estate Valentine’s Day ideas for how to show love and appreciation to clients, prospects, and my community in general. But this is by no means an exhaustive list. My goal is to inspire you to think outside the box and come up with some great ways you can love on your real estate tribe this Valentine’s Day. And I’m sure you’ve got some great ideas that I would love to hear! Share your best advice with us in the comments.