Congratulations! You have just sold a house and are preparing for the closing. You love your buyers and would like to work with them again in the future. Perhaps they are a younger couple, very successful, and growing their family. Or maybe they are well connected in the community and could be an excellent referral source. Perhaps their parents are nearing the "downsizing stage," and you'd love to help sell their home. Or maybe they are the parents and have young adult children coming into the homebuying stage of their life. Whatever the case, the closing will formalize your relationship with your clients. You want to ensure the process is smooth and leave them with a parting gift to show them how much you care. This is not the end of your relationship, but rather just the beginning!
Gift Giving Guide for Realtors
Ideally, the gift you give is purposeful, personal, and unforgettable. In other words, they use or see this every day, and when they do, they think of you! A client may appreciate a gift card to a restaurant or a bottle of wine, but it won't last. It's a one-time experience, and they're going to move on. You can give them something with your logo on it, and it might be a very nice piece of swag; however, they are unlikely to use it long-term. It will go in the cupboard with all the other swag they've acquired from events and business contacts and eventually get forgotten about. And I know the nice Yeti cups are expensive, but let's be honest, I don't necessarily want one with your logo.
Closing Gifts as Branding
With all that said, the closing gift is one piece of a larger puzzle to maintain the relationship. You want to create multiple opportunities to stay in touch with your clients during the year. This can be via email, snail mail, electronic newsletters, cards recognizing the momentous occasion of their life, and "pop by "gifts. Staying on brand is key. This is about your personal brand, not only the company that you represent.
Your client should be able to instantaneously see a picture of you, receive an email, get a piece of mail or a gift from you and immediately recognize that it is from you. Gifts that "go together "will be part of your brand identification. For example, some people pick a color. Everything they do, from what they wear, to the car they drive, to the gifts they give, has a component of their color. This example is a bit extreme, but I am certain that you can think of one person that you know who is always "on brand, "and they are highly effective and tremendously successful. There is a female law firm whose founder always wears red. It's a memorable color, and this woman means business. She rapidly grew her law firm and was one of the most effective branding educators for professionals I have ever seen.
Budgeting for Realtor Closing Gifts
Now that you know the goal, what's the budget? This often depends on the value of the home, aka your commission. What is the lifetime value of a client worth? It's more effective to give a high-quality, meaningful closing gift than something that might fall along the lines of trinkets and goes in the trash. No one wants that!
Technology as Closing Gifts
Gifts that are oriented toward technology in the home are great. They won't last forever because technology never does. Still, they will get used and be appreciated as long as you know your clientele. For example, if they aren't going to be able to figure out how to set it up or are so concerned about privacy that they would never plug them in, rethink that strategy. I, for one, love Amazon Echo Dots and never seem to have too many! You could give a big Echo show for the closing gift and then a pop-by gift a couple more times throughout the year with echo dots. These products can all integrate and create continuous music throughout the home or be used as an intercom system using the drop-in feature. I use all of the above!
Importance of Packaging
Going back to the branding piece, think about your gifts' packaging. Did you know that studies have shown when you dine at a restaurant, 90% of your experience and how good the food tastes comes from how it is presented on your plate? Spending a couple of extra minutes and a few more dollars on wrapping makes all of the difference in creating an experience for your clients and building your brand.
Another great idea for a closing gift is an electronic thermostat such as Nest. Stick with the theme of "keeping your home comfortable." The first gift could be the Nest thermostat, the second gift as a pop-by could be a Neutral colored throw blanket, and the third gift for the year could be a high-quality candle or scent diffuser.
In other words, space the amount you spend throughout the year and do three higher-end gifts instead of only one big one.
On a lower budget, perhaps do a theme of helping them create experiences in their home. Maybe their welcome basket has a gift card for Netflix, microwave popcorn, movie theater candy, a cute package of paper napkins, a bottle of wine for mom and dad, and cute small bottles of soda for the kids. Your second gift could be a gift card to the movie theater tied to a bag of microwave popcorn, and the third gift, depending on the time of the year, could be a hot chocolate mix and topping supplies.
Easy, Creative, and Personal Closing Gift
Another great gift is an Entry Envy sign. It can be done with house numbers or their last name, a monogram with their initials, or simply welcome. The signs are gorgeous and look great on all homes. They can be installed on siding, stucco, or stone and brick. You can add on a monthly or quarterly subscription for the Refill decor kits. Your clients will literally think about you every day when they look at their sign and certainly once a month or once a quarter when they get their new refill kit in the mail! Such a wonderful way to help them "mark the spot "of their new home, welcome guests, help delivery drivers find their house, and especially make front porch decorating easy for all the holidays and seasons.
Spending a little extra time to build upon a theme, curate a series of housewarming gifts that your clients will appreciate. This will ensure everything is packaged to be "on brand" and will maximize the return on investment and solidify your long-term relationship to ensure you are the first person they will think to refer and call when they need a REALTOR.
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