As everyone knows, commercial real estate is all about relationships. Whether you’re trying to get a new client to sign, or checking in with an old one to see what they might need, it’s important to stand out from other brokers and stay top of mind.
We’re not here to say that golf isn’t a good way to show your clients that you want to go above and beyond to make them happy, but there are certainly other ways to do so while differentiating yourself from your competitors. We’ve rounded up a list of seven ways to woo your clients, besides cliché golf outings.
1. Private wine or beer tasting
You of course need to know your audience, but there’s a pretty good chance your clients will love anything that involves free alcohol. Rather than just taking them out for drinks, consider setting up a private wine tasting at a winery/wine bar or beer tasting at a brewery. Better yet, you could choose a high end restaurant (maybe even one with a private wine cellar you can rent out) and hire their sommelier for a few hours to do a food and wine pairing.
2. Cooking class or walking food tour
In the same vein, most people love free food. And while paying for a fancy dinner is always appreciated, you can do even better. Find a local cooking school that hosts private cooking classes and invite your clients. Most locations do wine pairings with whatever dishes you’re learning to prepare. Plus, it’s not just fun; you get to enjoy the food you've cooked at the end, too. Another creative dining idea is a walking food tour. Similar to a bar crawl, you visit anywhere from a few to several of the city’s top eateries and taste different popular dishes at each one.
3. Private fitness class
We’ll echo our earlier sentiment: know your audience! Fitness classes cost money, and classes offered by boutique studios are even pricier. If you have a big group of potential or existing clients that love to workout, host a private class at a popular local studio. If you’re trying to impress just one or a couple of clients, buy them a gift card or a pack of classes to their favorite studio. Just make sure you ask first which one(s) they like best!
4. Movie screening
A lot of your clients are just as busy as you are, and if they’re meeting up with you for some sort of client appreciation event outside of working hours, that’s taking them away from spending time with their families. Kill two birds with one stone and make your event family-friendly. Private movie screenings are a great idea (as long as the movie is both kid-friendly and something adults will get a good chuckle out of). Plus, a lot of movie theaters serve food besides snacks and alcohol as well. However, this isn’t the best idea if you’re looking to network and chat since you’ll have to be quiet during the screening.
5. Private event at an aquarium
An aquarium isn’t just a neat space to network with clients. If they bring their families, their kids will be both educated and entertained. And honestly, what adult doesn’t find sharks cool? If possible, try to rent out a room in the aquarium for not only privacy but to make your guests feel special too. You can set up cocktail tables and pass some drinks/hors d'oeuvres.
6. Rent out a bowling alley
Bringing your client(s) to a sporting event is always a fun option, but why not have them actually play a sport themselves and rent out a bowling alley? But not just any bowling alley. Chains like Pinstripes serve good food and drinks. You can rent out a few lanes or the whole alley, depending on the size of your group. If they are the type of people that would find it fun, instill some competitive spirit in your clients and set up a little bowling tournament. The winner (individual or team) could take home a valuable or cheesy prize. This can also be a family-friendly option.
7. Educational event
So many people are looking to learn a new craft or brush up on some skills, whether personally or professionally. If this is something your clients would be into, host an educational event for them. For example, if your clients can’t afford an in-house marketing team and would like to do more of that work themselves, invite local marketing professionals to participate on a panel. They can share their experiences and best practices and let your clients ask them advice for their own business. Also, it doesn’t hurt to serve lunch or snacks during.
BONUS: If your budget allows, it doesn’t hurt to send your clients home with a little something to remember the great time they had at the event and you as a broker. For example, if you invited them to a private wine tasting, send them home with a bottle of the wine they liked best. That way, when they’re enjoying a glass of it later on, they’ll remember your name and hopefully make a note to reach out first thing in the morning about some upcoming business needs.
Never forget to follow up with a client ever again. With Apto, you can set reminders at whatever frequency you choose so you know exactly when to set up that meeting or book that tee time 😉. Click below to request a demo of Apto today.