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Closing Gift Etiquette: A How-to-guide For Agents

Written by Expose Yourself Public Relations on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 12:59 pm
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Congratulations! You've survived yet another house closing & can finally give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work! But, before you close the door on a now happy home owner, you have one last task to complete.

What about a closing gift?

After spending days, weeks, even months working together to find the perfect property, the relationship between real estate agent and home buyer can be everlasting. While a closing gift is standard for most real estate agents, it's important to present a gift that celebrates the end of a thrilling and mostly stressful experience for both you and the home buyer.

Rather than resorting to gift cards, flower arrangements and baskets, the closing gift should be meaningful in a way to welcome buyers into their new home while also promoting your realtor services.

Coming up with creative gifts that send warm wishes to your clients can be tricky. Here are some ideas that will highlight your creativity and build your reputation:

Hint: Custom is Key

Customized gifts show the home owner that you have valued them as clients and look at them as more than just a business transaction. Taking away small details of past conversations and incorporating them into your closing gifts is a sentimental touch that will go a long way.

Kim Clark, Owner of Bayside Realty Consultants in Dennis, MA says, "One of my favorite gifts to give with a nice bottle of wine is unique wine glasses. In the design, all of the fish are swimming one way accept one that goes in the opposite direction," she explained. "I have also had rooms painted for buyer clients. I have my go to gifts but will customize to the client."

Julie Booras, Owner of Heart and Stone jewelry also attests to the importance of personalization when giving a closing gift. Her personalized fine silver key chains have become a hot closing gift lately. "My clients are telling me that they want to give something with meaning, and something that shows they put thought into the gift," Says Booras. "The fact that they are handmade, heirloom quality key chains on which agents can place a front door key, doesn't hurt their appeal, either," Booras adds with a smile.

While giving a gift basket or a welcome mat is better than no gift at all, you may find the ritual more appealing if you look at it as self-advertising.

Jessie Wright, a Closing Gift Consultant for Cutco Knives tells us that some closing gifts can be legally deducted as an advertising expense. "Because the Cutco Closing Gifts are imprinted with the Agent's branding information, it allows the gift to serve as a tax deduction under advertising. Gift baskets, gift cards and things like door knockers can leave you paying back taxes for years if audited." Wright also talks about the fact that branded closing gifts are useful because they create top of mind awareness and actually create referrals and loyal clients forever.

  • Order a customized address stamp that will help their new location sink in!
  • Get engraved key chains made - puts more meaning into just handing over a set of keys
  • Get a room or two painted before move-in. It will feel a lot more like home.
  • Advertise in your gifts to cut taxes and to promote yourself as an agent!

So when you ask yourself, what do I give a new home owner? Think about gifts that are a symbol of the relationship you've built over the rigorous months together or better yet---give them something they will actually use!

For more information, visit: Expose Yourself Public Relations.

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12 comments

  • Comment Link Andrea Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:19 am posted by Andrea

    A personalized painted wood sign, made just for the client makes for a great conversation piece and is a good opportunity for the agent's name to be mentioned to all their visitors who ask about it! I work with hand-in-hand with several agents, making signs for their clients. You can see more at SignsByAndrea.com.

    Report
  • Comment Link Jeremy Graham Sunday, 22 February 2015 6:15 pm posted by Jeremy Graham

    I run a company that supports realtors who want to give quality gifts to show their appreciation in a way that lasts long after the bottles of wine and gift baskets have been used and forgotten…

    At Black Canyon Woodworks, our realtor clients like to give heirloom-quality, handcrafted cutting boards with their realtor logo/info on the back and their client names on the front.

    These beautiful boards continue to be valued by our realtor clients as “the business card that their client never throws away”… Great for future referrals too!

    A few facts that realtors consider when purchasing gifts
    · National presence and reputation- customer reviews and ratings are excellent.

    · Existence of a professional e-commerce site to streamline ordering for our realtor clients. Example:
    https://www.blackcanyoncuttingboards.com/closing-gifts/?rcc

    · Local products made in the USA

    Report
  • Comment Link Ken Lennox Tuesday, 13 January 2015 2:25 am posted by Ken Lennox

    The perfect closing gift is an artistic portrait of your clients' home. 
    House portraits are a great gift for buyers and sellers alike.   Check out my site http://www.housepix.ca and click on the realtors tab for more info.

    You've just sold a house. What gift could be more appropriate? A house portrait is relevant, and connected with your business.

    In additional to being very appropriate for the occasion, a house portrait has many advantages over other closing gifts.

    A house portrait is the gift that has a strong emotional impact on your customer. A house portrait is also the gift that will grow in value over time, as it becomes a family heirloom and memento.

    A house portrait is the gift that lasts. Unlike many other gifts that are consumed or fade, the house portrait will last literally for generations.    It grows in value over time
    Every time your clients look at their house portraits, they will be reminded of you and the quality service you gave them.  

    When visitors see your clients' house portraits, your name is invariably mentioned and you are again remembered in a positive way. People will be referring their friends to you!

    Every house portrait comes with matching greeting cards!
    The matching greeting cards that come with each house portrait have several benefits for you.
    First, your name and contact info printed on the back "Compliments of Best Reator, etc", so when your clients send them to their friends they get to see this.
    Another terrific thing about these matching cards is that they give you a great excuse to keep in touch with your clients Each year you can deliver a new set of greeting cards to your clients (in person or by mail – in person is better!) .  This gives you a reason to keep in touch with your clients.  You're not asking them for referrals. Instead, you're doing them a favour.  People appreciate this and will naturally refer their friends to you for future business, and deal with you themselves in the future.

    By keeping your name top-of-mind with your client base, the bottom line will more sales through repeat business, and endless referrals. 

    So why aren't more agents using house portraits as closing gifts? Is it laziness? Perhaps. More likely, it's the fear that it might cost them too much. But that's a pity because the truth is that in the long run, a house portrait actually costs you much less and brings you much more bang for your buck than any other gift!

    Depending on the size and framing options, a custom-framed house portrait can cost as little as $200 (see my website http://www.housepix.ca for complete price list). Consider that a house portrait gift will last for generations, that cost can be amortized over a lifetime. Or lets say, for illustration, that we average it over 20 years. That's only $10/year for ongoing referrals and practically guaranteed repeat business from your clients! What other gift will give you that kind of ROI?! One sale will pay for all the house portraits you could ever buy!!

    The use of house portrait closing gifts will put you head and shoulders above the competition. Other agents may continue to spend their money on flowers, wine, household items or other ordinary gifts, but you can set yourself apart from the crowd as the realtor who gives a unique, creative, thoughtful – and lasting - gift that your clients, their families and friends will appreciate for many years to come! Yes, it's true! An artistic house portrait costs less and brings you much more bang for your buck than all these other gifts. One house portrait can generate many sales and referrals over its lifetime. It's probably the most original and economical form of real estate advertising money can buy!

    You may be like many agents who are spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on newspaper and magazine advertising. Try re-directing a fraction of that amount – just a few hundred dollars - each year to house portraits, and you'll start to see a lot more warm referrals and repeat business from existing clients.

    Ordering a house portrait is easy. If you want to learn more, just contact me through my website.
    It's http://www.housepix.ca
    My name is Ken Lennox. I've been creating beautiful portraits of homes and cottages for over 20 years. In most cases, I can paint the house portraits from the listing photos you provide.

    p.s. And here's another little tip. Instead of giving your closing gift to your client right after the sale, wait for about a month or so. This will give your clients a chance to settle into their new surroundings and get comfortable. Then you can wow them with your amazing house portrait - gift-wrapped of course! Get ready for some emotional reactions and huge “THANKYOU'S”!

    I know; I get the same amazing feedback from my customers all the time! It's a beautiful thing!

    Report
  • Comment Link Ken Lennox Tuesday, 13 January 2015 2:22 am posted by Ken Lennox

    The perfect closing gift is an artistic portrait of your clients' home. 
    House portraits are a great gift for buyers and sellers alike.   Check out my site http://www.housepix.ca and click on the realtors tab for more info.

    You've just sold a house. What gift could be more appropriate? A house portrait is relevant, and connected with your business.

    In additional to being very appropriate for the occasion, a house portrait has many advantages over other closing gifts.

    A house portrait is the gift that has a strong emotional impact on your customer. A house portrait is also the gift that will grow in value over time, as it becomes a family heirloom and memento.

    A house portrait is the gift that lasts. Unlike many other gifts that are consumed or fade, the house portrait will last literally for generations.    It grows in value over time
    Every time your clients look at their house portraits, they will be reminded of you and the quality service you gave them.  

    When visitors see your clients' house portraits, your name is invariably mentioned and you are again remembered in a positive way. People will be referring their friends to you!

    Every house portrait comes with matching greeting cards!
    The matching greeting cards that come with each house portrait have several benefits for you.
    First, your name and contact info printed on the back "Compliments of Best Reator, etc", so when your clients send them to their friends they get to see this.
    Another terrific thing about these matching cards is that they give you a great excuse to keep in touch with your clients Each year you can deliver a new set of greeting cards to your clients (in person or by mail – in person is better!) .  This gives you a reason to keep in touch with your clients.  You're not asking them for referrals. Instead, you're doing them a favour.  People appreciate this and will naturally refer their friends to you for future business, and deal with you themselves in the future.

    By keeping your name top-of-mind with your client base, the bottom line will more sales through repeat business, and endless referrals. 

    So why aren't more agents using house portraits as closing gifts? Is it laziness? Perhaps. More likely, it's the fear that it might cost them too much. But that's a pity because the truth is that in the long run, a house portrait actually costs you much less and brings you much more bang for your buck than any other gift!

    Depending on the size and framing options, a custom-framed house portrait can cost as little as $200 (see my website http://www.housepix.ca for complete price list). Consider that a house portrait gift will last for generations, that cost can be amortized over a lifetime. Or lets say, for illustration, that we average it over 20 years. That's only $10/year for ongoing referrals and practically guaranteed repeat business from your clients! What other gift will give you that kind of ROI?! One sale will pay for all the house portraits you could ever buy!!

    The use of house portrait closing gifts will put you head and shoulders above the competition. Other agents may continue to spend their money on flowers, wine, household items or other ordinary gifts, but you can set yourself apart from the crowd as the realtor who gives a unique, creative, thoughtful – and lasting - gift that your clients, their families and friends will appreciate for many years to come! Yes, it's true! An artistic house portrait costs less and brings you much more bang for your buck than all these other gifts. One house portrait can generate many sales and referrals over its lifetime. It's probably the most original and economical form of real estate advertising money can buy!

    You may be like many agents who are spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on newspaper and magazine advertising. Try re-directing a fraction of that amount – just a few hundred dollars - each year to house portraits, and you'll start to see a lot more warm referrals and repeat business from existing clients.

    Ordering a house portrait is easy. If you want to learn more, just contact me through my website.
    It's http://www.housepix.ca
    My name is Ken Lennox. I've been creating beautiful portraits of homes and cottages for over 20 years. In most cases, I can paint the house portraits from the listing photos you provide.

    p.s. And here's another little tip. Instead of giving your closing gift to your client right after the sale, wait for about a month or so. This will give your clients a chance to settle into their new surroundings and get comfortable. Then you can wow them with your amazing house portrait - gift-wrapped of course! Get ready for some emotional reactions and huge “THANKYOU'S”!

    I know; I get the same amazing feedback from my customers all the time! It's a beautiful thing!

    Report
  • Comment Link Jolene Cingiser Monday, 12 January 2015 12:01 pm posted by Jolene Cingiser

    Check out http://www.NewNestPillows.com Fantastic Burlap pillows you can personalize with your clients name/date and a sewn on tag where you can upload your logo and contact info...

    Report
  • Comment Link elizabeth tyers Friday, 03 October 2014 6:06 pm posted by elizabeth tyers

    who cares if they aren't buying, they've just hired and paid for you "The Expert" to sell their home and you made a good wack of money from their investment................................. Buy them a gift certificate to a fancy hotel and spa treatment for a weekend or better yet, "Ask" them what they'd like to have but wouldn't normally splash out on themselves!!

    Report
  • Comment Link elizabeth tyers Friday, 03 October 2014 12:20 pm posted by elizabeth tyers

    my selling agent just came by to pick up the keys to give the buyers, that would have been the best time to give "a little something " but no, just a limp hand shake and a meek thank you! I'm fuming for a number of reasons I won't go into but won't be using him again any time in the future as well, I am sending him a text to let him know we could use a new coffee machine.

    Report
  • Comment Link Lorelei Barrett Wednesday, 09 July 2014 12:20 pm posted by Lorelei Barrett

    To Beth,
    For buyers, I go by the property a couple of hours before they get the keys and leave a nice food tray of snacks, chocolate, fruit and the like and also leave a case of bottled water in the fridge. If they drink wine, I'll include wine and a pair of glasses (and opener!). If they are first time buyers and have a lot of fixing up to do, I'll give a gift card to Lowe's or Depot.
    For sellers, I'll send them a thank you card and a gift card for a nice meal ($100.) to a restaurant near where they are moving. This works as I can check out restaurants online if they're moving out of the area.
    Every one of my clients have called and thanked me for the nice surprises. I even got a referral once from a friend of the buyers who helped them move in their new home. He appreciated the snacks/water too and called to say he wanted to work with someone who is so thoughtful. :)
    Hope this gives you some ideas!

    Report
  • Comment Link Beth Thursday, 03 July 2014 3:51 pm posted by Beth

    Awesome ideas on the champagne, glasses, and wine! Thanks!

    For sellers I've given an engraved set (2) of Cutco knives. It's a small enough box that it's easy for them to pack and take, or mail to them after they've moved as a thank you. If they're renting, or ever move back, they'll have those for a long time.

    Report
  • Comment Link Dennis Brown Thursday, 03 July 2014 1:26 pm posted by Dennis Brown

    I usually leave a bottle of champagne in the fridge and a boxed set of engraved champagne glasses on the kitchen counter with a card thanking the buyers for allowing me to help them find their new home. The glasses I buy at Macy's for under $30.00. I spend maybe $30 to $100 on the champagne, depending on the transaction.

    For high end clients, if they enjoy wine, I'll leave a basket of 8 to 12 award-winning Washington wines in the home, along with the card of a local wine shop owner I know who offers 10% discounts to my clients. During the shopping process, I ask questions about their "favorite thihgs" and watch for ways to personalize.

    Both of these are very well received and I get comments from the clients years after closing.

    Report
  • Comment Link Gale Spencer Thursday, 03 July 2014 1:18 pm posted by Gale Spencer

    I struggle the most with what closing gift to give sellers who are not buying. Some rent for a time, others move out of the area. Suggestions?

    Report
  • Comment Link Beth Steil Wednesday, 02 July 2014 1:59 pm posted by Beth Steil

    Great gift ideas! Curious as to when other agents give their clients the gift..... at signing? After the closing? Make it a pop by? What are some ideas on when and how to deliver gifts? Thanks!

    Report
Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.