Congratulations on closing your client’s dream home. After working with them for months, your efforts have paid off. But your relationship with your client should not end there. It’s time to show your appreciation for their business and congratulate them on their milestone, and there’s no better way to show your appreciation than by giving them a gift.
At Luxury Presence we understand that building your brand is more than just designing real estate websites or helping agents grow their social media influence. Gift-giving is a part of appreciation marketing, which develops strong relationships with your clients. It’s not just for closing deals. You can give appreciation gifts throughout the year to keep yourself top of mind and maintain client loyalty.
With so many gifts on the market, finding the perfect closing gift for your client can be challenging. So, here’s the realtors’ ultimate gift-giving guide to help you connect with clients and improve your marketing strategy.
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Guidelines for gift-giving
To master the art of gift-giving, remember three things: personalize, practice mindful giving, and outsource as needed. These guidelines allow you to use gifts to help develop warm relationships with clients — which would be unlikely if you sent out a cold, corporate, one-size-fits-all gift.
1. Personalize the gifts
You work with your clients for months, so use every appointment as an opportunity to learn something about them. Show them you paid attention to what they had to say by giving them a personalized gift. Research your clients, reflect on your conversation with them, and tailor the gift accordingly.
Keep specific details in mind, like if your clients are married, have a family, or have pets. These details can help you select a suitable thank-you gift for them. In addition, delivering the gifts in person is preferable, especially if the recipient is near you.
Corporate branding may appear impersonal and thus less memorable. The goal is to strengthen your bond and build meaningful, unforgettable relationships. For example, you could include a handwritten thank-you note or a personalized message with your gifts.
2. Practice mindful giving
Use strategy to help you find the perfect gift. Consider your budget, business goals, and desired outcomes for more mindful gift-giving. You could also make gift-giving a year-long plan rather than just part of your closing deals. Showing your clients appreciation throughout the year may help you stand out from the crowd, especially during the holiday season.
With a plethora of gift options, strategizing will ensure that you stay within your budget, especially for subscription gifts. Making gift choices without careful consideration may also hurt your budget.
3. Outsource your gift-giving
If you want less on your plate as a business, you can delegate gift-giving instead. You can choose from numerous available gift-giving services, such as Lake Life Co. and Third & Main. Some services even partner with locals, including restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, vendors, and gift stores.
These subscription-type gifts help you express your gratitude to your real estate clients without doing the heavy lifting yourself, allowing you to continue helping your other clients with their business.
Gift-giving services also offer ready-made gift boxes if you prefer a one-time closing gift.
Setting up the gift-giving system
Identifying your clients’ interests is simple if you’ve personally worked with them and you’re preparing their gifts. However, if someone else in your company is in charge of the gifting, it becomes more difficult and much less personal.
Having a system helps your team understand what to do for which clients. The system also allows you to delegate the work within your company rather than delegating outsourcing. It can also ease your workload as a realtor.
Step 1: Create company guidelines for how you want to show clients your appreciation. The guidelines could include a timetable for gift distribution and a request for feedback from the client on the real estate services you provided.
Step 2: Prepare your tools, including any handwritten notes, subscription or membership services you’re about to provide, and items required when outsourcing gifts. If you have different gifts for each client, inform your staff of the correct recipients.
Step 3: Keep in touch. If you don’t want to give clients gifts throughout the year, still maintain contact via email or phone. Check-in regularly to see how things are going with the new property or offer the client an email newsletter with more tips and information on your services.
Step 4: You can ask for referrals and send another gift or thank-you message if they result in a sale. With referrals, you maintain an existing relationship with your client and create new ones.
How much you should spend on gifts for your clients
How much you spend on gifts varies per client. Establishing this budget depends on your goals as a business and your closeness with the client. However, experts say you should base the budget on the total commission of the sale.
You can follow the one to five percent rule of thumb for choosing a closing gift. If you select a subscription or monthly gift, divide this rule of thumb based on how long you plan to give.
When planning a budget, remember it’s just as bad to spend too little as it is to spend too much. You want to be sure you give a good impression. If you’re looking for a number, some realtors give gifts with prices ranging from $35 to $250. This range, of course, does not include prices for luxury gifts.
Gift ideas for buyers and sellers
Now that you know how to plan for your gifts using these guidelines, here are some gift ideas for your clients. Some are more suitable as a closing gift, while you can give others throughout the year. Also, some are material gifts, and others are experiences.
Remember to always keep your client’s interests in mind, regardless of your budget.
Closing gift ideas for buyers and sellers
It doesn’t have to be brief when closing a deal, and it doesn’t have to be a goodbye. A closing gift is neither against formal etiquette nor illegal. However, keeping these tips in mind will help you keep things professional.
- Have an appropriate and tasteful budget for your gifts. Gauge whether you’re giving too much or too little. Both can hinder your client relationships.
- Don’t give your client a gift before the closing is complete. It’s an appreciation gift, so it should be a direct response only when you’ve successfully provided your services.
- Since you have a purpose of keeping your connections, it’s an appreciation gift you should give freely.
- Don’t offer gifts in exchange for referrals and negotiations. Send a thank-you gift only after you have requested and received a referral.
- Don’t include any gift related to your professional affiliates.
Gifts for the new home
Given you have recently sold a property, you may wish to purchase something for the home as your gift. The gift could be an antique, an original piece of décor, or something related to the house’s history.
It could be a surprise you leave in the new home or something you deliver during the move-in process. Here are some examples:
- A custom history poster about the new property
- A chandelier for a 2-story height living area
- A wall with local graffiti art
- A custom painting
- A house plant or small tree
- A hand-drawn house portrait
- Coffee table books
- A welcome mat
- Custom birdhouses
- Gift cards for home improvement
- A consultation package with an interior designer
- A consultation package with a landscape designer
- Different scents for aromatherapy
- Kitchen supplies, such as an air fryer
Gifts for a smart home
Many budget-friendly appliances and technology could make the client’s new house a smart home. These gifts are functional and helpful if the client is interested in such technologies You could choose from:
- Robotic vacuum
- Smart doorbell
- Digital assistants like Google Home
- Bluetooth speakers
- Keyring with a key tracker
- Lighting system
- Security cameras
- Energy-saving appliances
Clients will likely prefer energy-saving and security appliances, as these would significantly serve in the long term. However, you can also send out luxury gifts, like a tablet, if the deal is with a high-end property.
Gifts for celebration
Gifts can be experiences instead of material objects. For example, you can celebrate your closing deal with dinner or provide an adventure for them. Whatever the preference, here are some ideas for celebratory gifts:
- Restaurant gift certificate
- Free rounds at the country club
- Gift card to a hobby store
- Gift card to a local coffee shop
- Gift card for a spa day
- Pass to the local zoo
- Pass or membership to a skill class
- Bottle of wine
Client appreciation gift ideas
As mentioned in the guidelines, it’s ideal if you can give gifts to your client throughout the year to keep the connection. Sometimes, planning the extra monthly step can add too much to your plate, so consider these gift ideas below that you can organize in one sitting without sacrificing personalization and intent.
You can find various subscription gift boxes available on the market, and these are especially helpful if you continuously plan to give gifts beyond the closing period. Some options:
- Home décor subscription boxes
- Gift boxes for the family pets
- A membership to gyms or museums
- Bath essentials gift boxes
- Tea or coffee sets
- Seasonal gift boxes
- Wine subscription boxes
- Cheese subscription boxes
- Beauty and self-care subscriptions
- Flower subscriptions
You can include a personalized message or thank-you card with every box to make it more meaningful.
Miscellaneous gift ideas
Subscription boxes or outsourcing doesn’t always fit your budget. You can still make an impression on your clients with these heartfelt and personalized, less expensive gifts.
- Customized throw pillows
- Framed map of the client’s hometown
- Personalized keychains with the house key
- Tumbler with engravings
- Personalized cutting board
- Personalized hand towels
- Comfortable throw blankets
- Address stamps
- Pet toys and yard games
- Curated gift boxes
- Elegant silverware
- Engraved pen
The bottom line
To have a successful gift-giving experience, keep four things in mind: who you’re giving to, your giving system, your budget, and the type of gift. You are not required to provide a thank-you gift, but doing so can help you avoid burning bridges and possibly land more clients due to positive feedback.
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