If you want your real estate marketing ideas to stand out at the holidays, you’ve got to do something out of the ordinary. Your target audience is too over-burdened and overwhelmed to notice humdrum “call me if I can help” or “stop by today” mailers.

Here are five ideas sure to ring up some sales – or at the very least build goodwill.

  1. Offer coupons and discounts – If there’s any way to cost-effectively discount your products or services, by all means do it, especially if you’re a retailer. Traditionally, a whopping 40 percent of consumers say their “main reason” for visiting a retailer during the holidays is a special promotion. Plus, the latest Advertising Age study shows overall coupon redemption has surged more than 28 percent since 2009, with consumers as young as 20 now wildly clipping the things to save money during this economic downturn.
  2. Offer complimentary end-of-year services – For many service businesses, the holidays are the slow time. Rather than cut back hours and assign busy work, consider using your spare resources to provide free evaluations, consultations and estimates. Just be sure to present them as end-of-year specials so your target audience realizes they need to act now.
  3. Provide a sneak peak – With 2011 fading and a fresh 2012 just over the hill, you can bet the people in your target market are already starting to think about what they want to improve in the next 12 months. Give them a preview – with photos, videos and descriptions – of any new products, processes, employees, services and solutions you’ll be adding next year that’ll help them achieve those goals.
  4. Brand those gifts – Many small- and mid-sized businesses give gifts to long-term clients at this time of year. It’s a nice way to build loyalty. But if it isn’t branded, it can easily get lost in the shuffle (or worse, re-gifted). If you give a bottle of liquor, invest in a custom label. If you give food, use a custom container. Better yet, give high-end promotional products, which have your branding and contact information permanently emblazoned.
  5. Sponsor a cause – So many people want to donate to needy causes around the holidays, but don’t for one reason or another. Let them know you’ve decided to contribute (time, money or both) on their behalf, and your efforts will be sure to win some additional respect and future loyalty.

It’s not easy to be the life of the marketing party at holiday-time, but one thing is for sure: Whatever you choose to do, you’ve got to be bold with your communications. Make sure to use oversized mail pieces, quality graphics, plenty of color and strong calls-to-action.