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After the holiday season is over, there isn’t much of an opportunity to tie sales to something seasonal. Except for major holidays such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and, in the case of seniors, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, HECM professionals might as well forget about mining the calendar for promotional ideas, right?
Not so fast. With a little ingenuity, you and your reverse mortgage prospects and clients can find ways to celebrate all year long. For instance: did you know January is National Oatmeal Month, as well as National Soup Month and Hot Tea Month? What a perfect lead-in for a lunch ‘n’ learn, where (depending on the venue and menu available) seniors could be served tea and soup along with a heaping helping of housing wisdom.
Start your expanded holiday program by creating a spreadsheet of all the potential holidays you can use as marketing tools: local, statutory, specific anniversaries, celebrations that take place in your community or niche market, etc.
You can even customize by client. If one of your clients speaks fondly about her feline friends, for example, you’ll endear yourself to her heart by giving her a kitty-focused card on January 2nd, which is Happy Mew Year for Cats Day. (Missed it? No worries. February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day, so you can target the card to arrive then.) Have a gastronome on your prospect list? January 2nd also happens to be National Buffet Day, so you might send him some heavenly truffles. And there are lots of other food-related holidays scattered throughout the year!
An ideal reason to host a quarterly open house is Get to Know Your Customers Day, which is recognized on January 17, April 18, July 18 and October 17. Each May is Older Americans Month.
Once you’ve compiled your spreadsheet of relevant holidays, set your own calendar (whether that’s on your computer, phone, or in a physical datebook), to notify you well in advance of upcoming holidays, so you can put together a targeted marketing program aimed at existing prospects and clients, as well as for new business development.
Finally, think of how best to promote these unusual holidays with your reverse mortgage audience. You might want to create one type of outreach program for younger seniors or soon-to-be seniors that involves the Internet: your website, blog, and social media. It may be easier to reach older prospects and clients with snail-mail cards, phone calls, senior center talks and office gatherings. Reach out to your colleagues in aligned fields, too, such as financial planners and elder advocates. Cross-promotion can help boost awareness of all the services available to help seniors navigate their later years successfully — and have a good time in the bargain.