As the season of giving comes to a close, are you remembering to use gift giving as a way to say thank you to your real estate clients throughout the year? Just like any industry, we as real estate agents can tend to forget little things here and there as we gain experience in our profession. We thought it would be a great time to put together some closing gift dos and don'ts to help you along the way.
1. Listening to your clients...
You're going to log some long hours with your clients whether it's driving around neighborhoods or at your desk, so make sure to listen to their likes and dislikes. This will help you be more thoughtful when choosing their gift by possibly hearing them mention they love a particular restaurant or maybe going on a big trip soon. Little hints like that could lead you to a gift card to that restaurant or maybe extra spending money for them during their trip. Clients are dropping hints all the time on their likes and dislikes. This can also help you avoid leaving them something that could potentially offend them due to religious or personal beliefs. Showing them you listen and you care will be something they remember long term.
2. Making it all about you...
Don't! How many items do you have around the house with a salesman's name or face on it that you used in years past? These items are honestly more likely to end up in the attic once your clients have gotten their boxes unloaded and house neat and tidy. Clients should remember your brand and their wonderful experience when they walk by your gift without needing it engraved with your brand and phone number, let them enjoy your gift without it being a sales pitch.
We often think the best time to provide our clients with closing gifts is right as they close. Some of us leave it on the kitchen counter so they'll notice it and be surprised when they walk in or hand it to them at the closing table, but try to remember how hectic their lives are right now. They might not be able to use that gift card right away or it may get misplaced in the chaos of moving. Consider waiting even 30 days, this will give them time to settle in and it gives you a chance to follow up and see if they need anything.
4. Giving the gift of nothing at all...
Some REALTORS® believe people shouldn't expect gifts in return for their services, and that's up completely up to you and your team. Your relationship with your real estate clients should be about your knowledge, expertise, and how well you worked together. But closing gifts do in fact help build your brand. The small act can leave clients with a lasting impression and show them you care and hope for a relationship with them long term.
top closing gifts of 2017:
- Nest Learning Thermostat ($210)
- Alexa Echo ($150)
- Antique framed blueprints of their historical home or maps of the area they're moving into (varies)
- Monogrammed kitchen items such as a mixer ($199) or marbled cheese board ($38)
- WiFi Smart Video Doorbell ($180)
These gifts are meant to represent sincerity, your brand, and leave a lasting impression. While it's important to stay within your budget, remember it's better to overspend than under spend. And don't forget that the IRS allows for deductions on business gift giving up to a certain amount. Do your research to make sure you're not deducting too much, or not enough!