If you’re a realtor, then you’re part of a fast-paced, competitive industry where both your personal brand and reputation are critical to your success. Not only do you need to have expertise across a range of subject areas, but you must demonstrate an understanding of your client’s needs. It’s also imperative to show that you genuinely care enough to give them the best possible service. Building this relationship is where thoughtful closing gifts can be invaluable.
Real estate closing gifts given by realtors to their buyers (and even new renters) continue to be a slightly controversial subject. Some realtors swear by them and the value they return. So, why don’t more agents give these gifts? What are the real benefits of giving and dangers of not doing it? And what makes for a great or terrible closing gift idea?
What are Closing Gifts?
Real estate agents give closing gifts to their clients on the completion of purchasing or selling their home. They can also be given to high-end renters who are leasing luxury units.
It’s a simple way to say “thank you” for their business. Yet it carries many other residual perks for the giver as well. This is typically a small gesture of gratitude in relation to the size of the deal, but it can pay big dividends over the long haul.
Why Give Closing Gifts?
It’s a good question. Not every agent does it.
You got the lead, won the deal, and carried it all the way through to closing–no small feat! You did your job and got paid for it. Now that you’re looking for your next client, why get hung up on the investment and time involved in giving a gift?
Show Your Appreciation
More than anything else today, customers want to feel valued and appreciated. They’re tired of being just another disposable wallet for a cold corporation to milk.
There are a million realtors to choose from. Technology has made it easy for businesses and entrepreneurs to quickly win new customers online. But a general lack of personal service and appreciation can quickly erode loyalty and create a bad impression. If people feel like they’re just another meal ticket to you, they’ll take their business somewhere else next time—even if you offer the best price.
You’ve been busy in the mechanics of the transaction. Have you really taken a moment to show your clients how valued they are? A closing gift is an easy way to wow them and make a good impression.
The best closing gifts help realtors stay at the top of their clients’ minds for many years.
Even with email and social media, marketing costs can still really add up for realtors. Repeat business is always cheaper, more sustainable, easier to close and more profitable. It’s hard to win clients. Once you do, never let them go.
Even if they loved you the first time around, unless your name and contact info are handy, there’s a good chance they’ll forget you. Don’t let that happen. Let your gift be there every day at their fingertips.
A gift that’s constantly accessible and visible in their new home means clients can easily refer business to you and hand over your contact information. It also keeps you visible and constantly helps to brand you with their family, friends and other visitors.
Gaining Good Online Reviews
Businesses live and die by their online reviews today. If you really want to give your clients a reason to leave a rave review and give you five stars instead of a mediocre three-star rating, you’ve got to go above and beyond their expectations. They might not understand all the hard work you did behind the scenes. A simple and affordable gift can make all the difference.
Creating Positive Positioning, Mental Anchors & Memories
Even a small gift can be powerful. Every time they see it, they’ll mentally link your name and brand with the moment they got the keys to their own home. That’s a powerful emotion. It’s even better if the gift itself continues to help them create great new memories. They may not remember all the financial details or how you saved the closing, but they will remember how they feel about you.
What a Successful Closing Gift Should Achieve
What boxes should a closing gift check? It should:
Be Memorable – Whenever they think of buying their home and the feeling it gave them, they should think of you and your gift.
Remind Them of Who It Came From – Make sure it includes your brand/name to remind them of you (even better if you can work in your contact information–as long as you don’t change your phone number).
Be Long Lasting – Give them something that will last. A box of cookies is going to be gone fast, along with any lasting value your gift could have had.
Be Used Around Others – Ideally, this gift will be used whenever someone comes into the home. That makes it easy to share their story and refer business to you.
Be Relevant – This is common sense, really. You don’t want to give them something they will throw away or put in storage. This is where knowing your client and listening to them becomes valuable.
Be Remarkable & Unique – We are so busy today that we can’t possible hold all the data that our brains process every day. Make sure your closing gift really sticks in their minds.
Be Enjoyable – Think twice before you give a toilet plunger, stress ball, or Home Depot gift card they’ll use for an emergency plumbing issue. Do you really want them to relate those stressful moments to you?
Be Well-Timed – Timing is everything, if you want to optimize clients’ mental and emotional ties to you. At closing is the perfect time to personally hand over your gift. It can even help smooth over any friction at the closing table. The next few days as they move into their home can be a very welcome time to receive a gift, too. Just don’t wait too long and miss the best benefits.
Tax Breaks: An Added Bonus
While it certainly shouldn’t be the top motivator, real estate closing gifts can be tax deductible. To give something, get all those benefits, and get the gift of a break from the IRS yourself can be a pretty sweet, win-win deal. If you include your name, brand or contact information on the gift then you can deduct the full cost of the gift as an advertising expense. (Make sure you speak to your own tax professional to find out exactly how much you can deduct, and how to itemize it for the largest break on taxes.) It may be better to gift to a couple or the whole family than to one individual. Some tax experts say to break down every part of the expense to maximize the amount you can deduct.
Why Don’t All Realtors Give Closing Gifts?
This is a great question! It gives you the chance to really stand out. Picture this: a neighbor visits their home and sees your gift. Your client asks what they got from their agent, but their agent didn’t get them a gift. That’s an instant victory for you!
Some of the common reasons that agents have failed to take advantage of this great opportunity include:
“Other service providers like doctors and lawyers don’t give gifts, why should I?”
This is certainly true. Not all service providers show appreciation for their clients, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the optimal thing to do. The ROI (return on investment) for closing gifts is high. It’s likely to be one of your best lead generators in terms of ROI.
“My top-class service should be enough.”
There’s no doubt that your clients appreciate your service and hard work, but do they truly understand everything you did? From their point of view, do they have a reason to truly sing your praises to all their family and friends to ensure you get referrals? On top of that, is it even guaranteed that they will remember you in 8-10 years when they’re ready to sell/move? A closing gift is often worth much more than its monetary value in terms of establishing ongoing good will and cementing your positive reputation for years to come.
“I haven’t given any in the past, why change now?”
If you are happy where you’re at, then by all means continue doing what you’re doing. However, when it comes to getting leads or acquiring new clients, over the years you’ve likely tried new tactics or advertising methods. This one might be worth a shot.
“I don’t have any good ideas.”
Picking out a good closing gift can take some effort, but it’s sure to pay for itself many, many times over. Time spent picking the right gift is well worth the investment.
“I think closing gifts are cheesy.”
Some closing gifts certainly are cheesy. Getting your clients something they won’t use or something that will cheapen your reputation isn’t advisable. But getting your clients the right gift will never be considered cheesy–only appreciated, thoughtful and caring.
Common Closing Gift Fails
Home improvement store or restaurant gift cards
While giving a gift card may be useful for your clients, it won’t be memorable, remarkable or long lasting. After the initial appreciation wanes, this gift will be forgotten.
If the plant is exotic and your client is a master gardener who will keep it alive for decades, you might see some ROI from this gift. For most people, however, a plant is an unremarkable gift that will never be mentioned to family or friends.
While taking your client out for dinner may be a great way to develop your relationship, over time, their memory of this will likely fade.
Knives and cutting boards
These gifts just aren’t remarkable or unique enough to draw attention and ensure you are top-of-mind for the long haul.
Bottles of wine
Most people enjoy wine, but when it’s gone, it’s gone.
It’s just too easy to blow it with these gifts. You don’t want to give consumables which are eaten, spent or drunk in the first few days. After that, the gift is gone forever, never to produce value for you again. Your gift should tick all of the boxes above, but especially being relevant, unique, remarkable and memorable.
Top Real Estate Closing Gift Ideas for 2019-2020
The following suggestions are practical and represent a fitting price point. They are more likely to be used and treasured, especially if chosen with the homeowner’s tastes in mind.
Some of the top real estate closing gifts that are sure to be home runs this year are:
Decanters are often used when serving company. If the design is unique it is sure to draw attention from guests. Decorative decanters can be great feature pieces that are constant conversation points–a marketing tool 365 days a year.
This everyday item is a great place to put your name or logo as a constant reminder to the homeowner and their guests. Just don’t make your name the primary focus of the coasters. A unique design honoring their new home would be perfect. Whenever someone comes over to their new home, they are going to want to make sure they have coasters. Bam! You’re there, being handed right to their guests every time.
Moving inevitably means missing or broken glasses. Help make their move-in experience and first few days really pleasurable. And keep making a difference for the rest of the time they own the home.
Bar or serving tray
Whether used on special occasions or every day, a bar or serving tray is another practical option for advertising. Choose a tray that can have a unique design engraved into it, such as a design featuring their new home’s address.
Painting or wall art
One of the first things guests notice and admire in a home is the artwork, so this type of gift is a solid conversation starter. Have a painter commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind unique painting of your clients’ new home.
Address stamp for mailing letters
Giving a customized address stamp for your clients’ new home is certainly a thoughtful and unique gift. Think about pairing it with another gift that could be used around guests, that you can add your contact information to for advertising.
As a realtor, you have a demanding role and a huge responsibility to your clients. You’re an expert across a range of subject matter, but you’re also an expert in delivering top-notch, personalized service to each of your clients. Repeat business and referrals are always cheaper, more sustainable, easier to close and more profitable. You work hard to win new clients. You should also implement a closing gift strategy where the gifts will work for you 365 days a year to consistently get referrals and stay top-of-mind with existing clients.
Ready to choose that perfect closing gift? This is where we come in. We invite you to explore our website and look through the remarkable collection of quality barware that we offer. We’re sure that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for: a unique and thoughtful closing gift. And we’ll go the extra mile to make this step in your business transaction as easy and pleasant as possible! Plus, check out how to get a special real estate agent discount on our stunning closing gifts. Your clients will thank you now, and you’ll thank yourself when the referrals keep coming!
Closing Gift Program: http://prestigedecanters.com/closing-gifts/ (Get Discounts on your Closing Gifts)
Curated Closing Gift List: shop.PrestigeDecanters.com/closing-gifts