I made myself a promise when I became a realtor that I would only work with people I like and I’ve stayed true to that. The very nice outcome of that decision is that pretty much all my clients have become close friends. So I’m a very lucky person: I get to do a job I like with people I really enjoy, and every year, I get to meet more of them.
When I was in training, Marion, one of our Royal LePage trainers, talked about how we should do whatever we can to try to make our clients’ lives a little easier during a very stressful time. And so I’ve baked casseroles for homeowners that were too busy getting ready to sell to have time to cook; grouted tiles; cleaned carpets; acted as a home shopper; touched up paint; sent flowers, etc. The one thing Marion recommended that I hadn’t yet done was host a Client Appreciation Open House Party. With Christmas coming, I decided this was a good time to say thanks to the people who’ve helped me succeed in this business.
I decided to invite not only my clients but also all the wonderful trades who’ve not only helped my clients but who are always there whenever I need them (usually on pretty short notice). And with the exception of two couples with previous commitments, every single person I invited is coming which means I’m cooking like a fiend.
So far on the menu: smoked trout with lime sour cream and corn relish served in corn tortilla scoops; maple-baked salmon on cornbread blini with sour cream and dill; corn fritters; maple-roasted scallops with mango and red pepper chutney; a cheese platter with a wide assortment of cheese and crackers; a vegetable platter with a basil/pesto dip and a fresh herb dip; Cajun shrimp with guacamole, and baked coconut shrimp. There will also be some appetizers that my client/pals will be bringing. Yum.
(This, by the way, is the trout appetizer dish: I got to try a whole bunch while I was experimenting with it and man, is it ever good. I smoked the trout on the stovetop: turned out to be easier than I expected and really tasty.)
For desserts: (everything home made, of course!) various truffles and mini-cheesecakes; chocolate crackle cookies; chocolate/cranberry/oatmeal cookies; gingerbread (in various shapes, decorated); shortbread wreaths; red velvet cake pops dipped in chocolate; white chocolate/ cranberry/pistachio bark; fruit cake, and green-coloured rice krispie squares. Once again, some of my client/pals will be bringing their special desserts as well.
I’ll have some mini-cakes from Cake and Shake (pistachio and cherry) and some Xmas mini-cupcakes from Thimblecakes, both of which are businesses in town that I highly recommend. Thimblecakes helped us out at Homes with Woofs by donating cupcakes for our fundraiser that they decorated with doggy-shapes, and Cake and Shake is going to host my book launch next year. (They also hosted the recent #JoytotheirWorld exhibition and fundraiser, which is how I got to know them.) Both these businesses have a heart, and their cupcakes and cakes are absolutely delicious!
For drinks, I’ll supply some rum-based drinks (egg nog, pina colada, and probably a rum punch punch) and some non-alcoholic drinks but I decided to make it a BYOB otherwise, and most of my guests will be bringing their own wine, beer, and liqueurs.
I’ve decided my Client Appreciation Open House is going to be one of my Christmas traditions. It’s a great way to thank the folks who’ve trusted me with their business, and I think they’ll all like each other, too.
Here’s hoping to see many new friendships in 2015.