How to do Pop-Bys Like a Pro!

Some REALTORS® view them as a necessary evil; others view them as an added benefit to the job and are excited when the time rolls around. We’re talking about Client Pop-Bys! Creative pop-bys are a fun way to help agents stand out from others.

Not only is it a helpful way for real estate agents to make a touch or get in front of their clients, but, if planned correctly, can help an agent stay in front of those ‘referral partners’ all year long. However, not everyone excels in this area of marketing. Here are our top 7 tips for becoming a Pop-By Pro!

1. Create a Schedule
The agent should plan ahead by scheduling the whole year in advance for what pop-bys to do. Being consistent is the best way to get started and feel more prepared. Adding to the calendar the exact day to pass out the pop-bys will make it feel less overwhelming.

Don’t schedule too many pop-bys or it may be difficult to keep up. Smaller, quarterly pop-bys usually work out well. However, maybe the REALTOR® wants to go all out during Christmas time with a gift basket once per year. Maybe the REALTOR® only wants to focus on sports schedules. The ideas are endless!

2. Holidays and Seasons
Planning pop-bys in sync with holidays or seasons are the easiest way to stay on schedule and come up with ideas. For example, if doing quarterly season pop-bys…
-Spring: Your referrals make my business bloom! (With packages of flower seeds)
-Summer: Have a KOOL summer. (With packages of Kool-Aid)
-Fall: Bringing You Warm Wishes this Autumn Season (With a candle)
-Winter: The real estate market is warming up. Take comfort that you have a pro in your corner. (With a mug or bag of hot chocolate).

If focusing on holidays to schedule…
-March/St. Patrick’s Day: I’m LUCKY to have worked with you. (With gold Rolo candies)
-July/Independence Day: Have a BRIGHT Fourth of July! (With sparklers)
-October/Halloween: Don’t be stuck in the dark about the Real Estate Market. (With mini flashlights)
-December/Christmas: Wishing You a ‘Lotto’ Holiday Cheer! (With lottery tickets)

3. ALWAYS Incorporate Your Brand
Top real estate agents never let their current or potential customers forget who they are and what they do. The reason for pop-bys is to further the agent’s brand and stay in front of that audience. The easiest way to do this is include the REALTOR’s® logo and/or business card every single time without fail.

4. Do Something Different Each Time
Pop-bys can lose their pizzazz if the same bag of candy is given time and time again. Agents should do a different pop-by gift every single time, every single year. Come up with new and fresh ideas. Stay up to date on what’s popular on social media, especially with tech products. For example, one year fidget spinners were a huge hit. The next year? Not so much.

The only exception to this is if a REALTOR® becomes known for doing the same gift basket every Christmas or the same Football schedule every season. This can be useful as clients will come to expect the pop-by and look forward to receiving it.

5. Consider Utilizing Something More Permanent
If an agent’s budget is tight, s/he may need to rely on something tangible that lasts a long time. A good example of this is magnets. Wine and cheese pairings, recipes, sports schedules, or yearly calendars in the form of refrigerator magnets can be a great way to stay in front of an audience with the least amount of effort and money.

6. Incorporate a Unique Touch
If an agent has a talented hobby on the side, it would be a brilliant way of standing out. Maybe that hobby is baking, jewelry making, sewing, wood carving, etc. Whatever that special flare is, REALTORS® should incorporate that into their pop-bys. Home baked cookies have much more of a special touch to clients than store bought. Homemade says, “I care about you as an individual and want to earn your referrals.”

7. Get Creative!
Don’t do what every other REALTOR® does. At a loss for ideas? Google and Pinterest are the real estate agent’s best friends! There are countless DIY ideas online for creating simple, but impactful, pop-bys for current and potential clients. If the agent can’t choose between two similar ideas – they can be combined! There are countless opportunities and each season can be approached as a fresh start to try a new pop-by.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to your First International Title rep today!

Winter Decorating Tips

Even though the holidays have passed and it’s time to take down the Christmas tree and lights, there are still so many ways to decorate your home for the winter months ahead. Don’t let go of that decorating energy just because Christmas has passed. You can still make your home feel warm and cozy after the holidays are over! Here are some winter decorating tips to get your creative juices flowing to carry you through the cold months.

Winterize Your Wreath
Wreaths are a beautiful and appropriate decoration any time of the year! Switch out your bright, holiday wreath with something a little more bare. You can use bare branches or birch with some snowy trees, or a simple wreath with a few winter flowers.

All About that Pine
Both pine needles and branches paired with pinecones can be a beautiful way to decorate your fireplace mantle or create a new table centerpiece. Pair these with some white pillar candles and you have the perfect balance of winter-cozy. Wrap your candle with sweater cloth to make it feel extra warm!

Cold Weather Colors
Even though it may be time to ditch the red and green, you can simply switch out those colors for a royal blue or purple. Use accents such as dinner napkins, frames, candle sticks, and pillows. This adds the perfect pop of color to your home to get you through the dark and cold winter months.

Use Greenery Instead of Fresh Flowers
Fill metal or white vases with greenery to complete a winter look. You can place these on your tables, mantle, bookshelves, or any open space for décor.

Use Fun Patterns
Mix and match different patterns like checkers and plaid in your living room or bedrooms to create a fun but winter-neutral look. However, some patterns may not work together and all homes are different, so play around with it or do some research for what would look best in your house.

Pair Wood with Bare Branches
Instead of using greenery in your vases, try some bare branches or birch. This would pair well with homes that have a lot of wood accents!

Give Your Pillows a Makeover
This ties into our section about cold weather colors. Exchange out your red or green blankets and pillows with some more neutral colors to match the cold weather outside. Light brown, white, gray or light blue would look really nice and give that cozy feel like everyone wants during winter time.

Add Some Aromatherapy
Grab some winter-scented candles next time you’re at the grocery store. Scents that have musky, sweet, and fresh undertones like amber, rose, lemon, fig, or vanilla gives off a warm and comforting feeling that many people crave during the winter months. You can also use your diffuser with essential oils of the same scents.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to your First International Title rep today!

How to Throw a Holiday Party on a Budget

Are you ready to save money on your holiday parties this year? This time of year can already be so expensive with travelling, buying gifts, decorating your home, and finding a big enough ham for Christmas dinner. It’s also a great time to get together with friends and family for your annual holiday party.

If you’re lucky enough not to care about how much you spend during the next month or two, then this article isn’t for you. For those who budget holiday spending, here are a few tips to throwing a fantastic party – and impressing your mother-in-law at the same time – without spending next month bills.

Less Really Is More
The theme to keep in mind this Christmas season is that less is more when it comes to hosting people. It starts with your mindset. Unfortunately, like most big events, your guests are not really going to notice all the little extra things you went out of your way to do to make your party special. No matter how cute they are, you do not need to individually place everyone’s silverware is those mini red stockings!

Save yourself some time and money by deciding not to ‘go all out’ on every detail of your evening. Not only will it cause you to stress over the little details, you’ll also feel disappointed and, possibly, a bit irritated when your guests don’t notice all the work you put into it. Plus, it’s more expensive and that’s why we’re here in the first place. So, take a deep breath. Put down all the burlap. And let’s get to work to make this year’s holiday party the best and cheapest one yet!

Let’s Start at the Beginning
There is no need to spend an unnecessary amount of money printing off individual invitations. Do people use print invites anymore? We don’t know. But opt for email invites or a Facebook event instead. It gives your guests the opportunity to RSVP easily online instead of having to call you and go through the awkward small talk. That’s what your party is for anyways, isn’t it?

Don’t Go Crazy with the Food
You will automatically save money in one of the biggest areas in party planning–food–just as long as you don’t overdo it. Keep the options light and easy for your guests. Too many choices can be overwhelming. They don’t need a 5-course meal to have a good time and, chances are, they won’t eat as much as you’re planning anyways. No one loves a heap of leftovers and after guests politely say, ‘No, thank you’ to your offer of bringing home the dip, that’s exactly what you’ll be left with. You have a lot going on during this time of year. Why not make it easier on yourself?

Finger food is gold. Instead of hand-wrapping those garlic butter prosciutto wrapped asparagus that you found in a fancy magazine, stick with some cute Grinch-themed kabobs using grapes, strawberries, and banana slices on a stick. You could also throw together some popcorn with red and green m&ms to make a festive and generally enjoyable snack.

Finally, head over to Aldi or another discount grocery market and buy off-brand food products to save even more dough. After all, this food is basically only going to last one evening.

Definitely Don’t Go Crazy with the Drinks
Similar to what we discussed about food, you should also try to limit your drink choices – especially if alcohol is involved, which can be outrageously pricey if you’re not careful. A bar for hot chocolate is cute, easy, and includes a beverage that’s loved by almost everybody this time of year. If you plan on having alcoholic drinks, stick with one signature cocktail or a punch.

Also, keep it down to two or three wines and one beer. Generally speaking, people who like wine can either enjoy a simple red or white. In the same way, most beer-drinkers aren’t all that picky either. If you have a picky guest, then maybe they’ll have to accept their role as Designated Driver.

Party Décor and Entertainment Doesn’t Have to be a Chore
Thrift stores and discount stores such as Big Lots, TJ Maxx, and Walmart are the place to go if you want to find relatively inexpensive but simple and attractive decorations. If you’re a part of those families who put up bigger-than-your-house inflatable snowmen and Christmas minions well, then, there’s no help for you here. But we bet your house looks amazing!

Another good tip when it comes to decorating is not to buy all new serving dishes for one party. Work with what you got! You can tie some holiday ribbon around serving bowls or silverware. You can use those mason jars piling up in the top cabinet with cotton balls for fake snow and tea lights for a warm Christmas glow.

Finally, instead of getting favors or goodie bags for every guest–which we know you’re going to spend too much time hand-tying ribbon across the top of every single one–stick with one grand gift or prize. Play a holiday game with your guests and the winner gets the prize. You can also do a gift exchange, still only causing you to worry about one gift.

Have fun!
The choices are endless and there are countless ideas all over the internet if you want to spice up your holiday parties this year without taking out a small loan to do so. But whatever you decide to do, whether it’s a massive gathering or a small get together, all of us at First International Title wish you a wonderful holiday season.


Questions? Comments? Email