When working in real estate as a chosen career, you are only as good as your client list. Clients end up becoming your friends but equally as important, they become your referral network. Yes, you can pay for buyer/seller leads, you can cold call, or you can walk a neighborhood and knock on doors looking for business. In the end, it is your inner sphere or circle of influence (those that love and trust you and would welcome you with a hug) that will help push your block of business to the next level. So, naturally, in return, it is common practice to provide a thank you gift at the end of each transaction. Now, each agent has their own take on how best to execute. Some view the fact that they have overseen a transaction on behalf of their client and that alone is reward enough in itself. I have a slightly different view on the topic – here are some of the best and worst gift ideas I have come across.
I always like to give a gift that has personal meaning to either the client or transaction. Recently, I had a client who was selling their home and moving out of state. I hired an artist to paint a picture of her current home so that she could it take with her as a memory no matter where life took her. I also had a client that had lost out on multiple homes before we landed their dream home. Their family loved doing puzzles together so I had a custom puzzle made of their home to capture the memory of winning the contract but also enjoying family time. I also had clients moving here to the area from out of state so I had a custom map of their new home county made so they could quickly learn the ins and outs of their new surroundings. Here are a few ideas from others:
· A robotic vacuum
· Consultation with a local landscape designer
· Concierge to help with the move or interior design
· Meal kit delivery service
· A gift certificate to a local florist
Now, on the flip side, there have been some ideas over the years that are tasteless and just downright horrible. Of course, I would never subscribe to any of these ideas but here are some that I have run into or colleagues of mine have seen as well:
· Gifts that require assembly
· Blanket with image of or contact information of your agent
· Cleaning supplies
· Alcohol for those who abstain
· Coupons (I mean, really?)
· No gift at all
While giving a gift at the end of a transaction is optional, I would highly recommend it. Typically, there will be aspects of any deal that will want everyone involved to pull out their hair so in my opinion, a gift is necessary. My advice – if you don’t know your clients well, take the safe route and do not teeter on extreme. Also, phone a friend. I have done recon work on folks and have reached out to someone they know or has a similar background and asked for advice. Invest a little time so that with any future real estate transaction or when someone in their circle asks for a referral, you will be the only name that comes to mind!