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03/19/2014 at 12:10 pm • Posted in Buying a Home, Client Marketing, Dream Blue, Listing Marketing, Marketing, Real Estate Agent, Selling a Home by Blog Team • 0 Comments
Clients Day - Closing Gift Ideas
By Alicia Eisenbise, Social Media Specialist, Twitter: @aliciaATcb
Today is Clients’ Day. In real estate, the way many agents build their business is through referrals given by their past clients. If someone is receiving a referral, it’s probably because they have showed the initial client a superior level of service and attention. The question is, what do successful agents do to make their clients feel extra special and get the referral?
The ballisgroup, a boutique real estate team in Chicago, ensures their clients are satisfied by making sure their clients have direct access to the teams two principal brokers – Elizabeth and Deborah Ballis. ”We truly do whatever it takes to have a successful transaction from the first meeting through and beyond the closing. We help get the inspection items addressed, work with the client to be sure the loan moves along, go to the closing or deal with any after-closing problems that may occur. We do all of that and more.” said Eizabeth Ballis. “One of our ‘extras’ — when working with buyers or sellers in condo transactions is we give the managers and doormen a gift card to ‘thank them in advance’ for helping us and our clients. It definitely makes our clients know we are team players, helping the process move along with a happy support staff that feels appreciated and goes the extra mile, too.”
Lisa Thompson, a Broker Associate in Northwest Indiana, Lake and Porter Counties, finds that an immediate response and continued communication (even after the transaction) is key to building a life-long relationship with a client. Giving an honest opinion and protecting their best interest is also paramount to strengthening the relationship.
Closing gifts are another way to show clients you appreciate their business. What gifts have a real “wow” factor? I asked some agents and the resounding answer was that the gift needs to be personalized to the client. Many also said that sometimes the closing gift is most memorable if it is not given during the closing process because there is so much going on.
Our Favorite Closing Gift Ideas
Personalized Gift Baskets
During the home buying process, it’s likely that an agent will learn a lot about their client(s) – their interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. Many agents I spoke to on Google+ and from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said they enjoy putting together or having a gift basket full of products that they know their clients will love. Everything from wine country baskets to products from shops in their new neighborhood, this is a great way to personalize a gift.
I know this doesn’t seem personal, but it’s the type of gift card that makes it personal. If the client told the agent that they love DIY projects, they may choose a home improvement store gift card. Or perhaps the client mentioned their favorite salon or spa, restaurant or home goods store? A gift card to that favorite place would be perfect.
Image via HouseLoveShop on Etsy
Custom Home Illustration | Image via HouseLoveShop on Etsy
Lisa Thompson said her clients love an engraved ornament of their home. Every year the client will be reminded of her and how she helped them find their home. Other great personalized gifts include: a mailbox personalized with the new address, personalized cake carrier with a cake inside, personalized welcome mat, a framed house key engraved with the address and date or a personalized stamp with their new address.
Dinner Delivery During or Right After the Move
No one wants to cook the first night they move into a new home. First of all, who can even find the pots and pans? That’s why I love having a local restaurant deliver a full meal to the client on move-in day or the first week in the home. Of course, the agent has to do a little planning and arrange it with the client, but it’s a memorable and thoughtful gift.
Although it depends entirely on the client, Elizabeth Ballis shared that the ballis group sometimes gives a membership to a local museum for clients who may be new to Chicago. This idea could extend to all sorts of memberships that would help clients explore the local community: the local pool, botanic gardens, children’s museum, etc.
If a client is active in a charity, many times an agent will learn about it during the home buying or selling process. What about making a gift to that charity in the clients’ name? It’s a gift the agent and the client can feel good about.
Home Warranty Plans
The gift of a Home Warranty is a generous one and one that may be reserved for very special clientele at a certain price point, but one that can be extremely valuable to a new homeowner. Occasionally a home seller does not provide a home warranty in the sale, in that case, Elizabeth Ballis says it could make the perfect closing gift.
A real estate professional has access to all sorts of photos of the home they are helping to buy or sell. That makes a photo book or other photo gift a relatively easy project. Or if the agent has an especially beautiful image, then perhaps a canvas or metal print, stationary, photo blankets or other photo gift ideas would fit.
Annual Client Parties
This is the gift that keeps on giving. Many real estate agents have an event annually to encourage their clients to visit them and the client gets something in return. Some ideas are: giving out free pumpkins at Halloween, pictures with the Easter Bunny, holding a charity bowling tournament or hosting a shredding/recycle days.
What are your favorite client gifts you’ve ever received (or given)?
pinterest58x58 See even more closing gift ideas on our Pinterest Pinboard here.
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Contributions to this blog come from our dedicated Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage real estate professionals and our regional service center staff. We welcome your comments and questions!