Admin

Using Gifts to Build Your Referral Business

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with MySMARTblog.com

Christmas is getting closer, and real estate transactions might be slowing down. As real estate professionals run into potential cash flow problems, they might be tempted to stop handing out gifts to their clients. Many look at gifts as budget items that just aren't critical or think they have to spend a lot to make a big impact.

There's another, bigger-picture way to look at business giving. Gifts selected with care convey to customers how important they are, and how much you will continue to value their relationship.

Also, gifts don’t have to break the bank. They can be inexpensive, but still be meaningful. The gift should be more about making a connection, and building on the relationship you’ve developed throughout the real estate transaction. Think about it. The best customer is the return customer. No advertising needed, they just keep coming back for more. Even better, they will tell their friends and family how great you are. This power of referral is the most powerful strategy for sourcing new customers.

Think back to the last time a close friend or family member shared their great experiences about a product or service that you require. Did you go with their recommendation? Chances are that you did, because belief and trust coupled together is all a potential customer needs to be convinced to go to your business.

So we need to develop strong relationships with our customers. How do you do that? Offer your client gifts.

Here are some things to think about when you’re considering using gifts to keep your current clients coming back, and even to get referrals for new clients.

* Think of spending as an investment, not a cost. Many small business owners see client gifts as an investment in their business, one that will continue to pay off as business gets better. By investing a small amount into your client, you let them know that they mean more to you than just a one-time transaction or a paycheck.

* Think twice about giving away pens, magnets, etc. The pens, mugs and calendars that used to be staples of gift-giving have been falling out of favor in recent years and cost is just one reason. Many small-business owners have tried in recent years to give clients and customers gifts that help build or cement a relationship, and a mug or a pen just doesn't do that. Try to give your clients something that will benefit them in some way, will make their lives easier, or is personalized to their interests.

* Gifts don’t have to be expensive to make a lasting impression. Most clients don’t care how much a gift cost, but that you took the time to show them your appreciation for entrusting you with the purchase or sale of their home. * Seek something that clients will hang on to and which will serve as a continuing reminder of you. Seek out gifts that stand apart in their longevity. Instead of giving a wine lover a bottle of wine, you could give a leather bound binder in which to record the wines consumed and to make notes of the experience. You could give clients who love to cook a special binder in which to record recipes tried – and how they worked out. You could give clients who just bought a fixer-upper a binder to keep track of all the home improvement jobs they’ll need to tackle. Every time your client uses one of these resources to track a recipe, or a wine, or a paint color; they’re going to be reminded of the gift’s source – You!

If you treat your clients with respect and show them how much you appreciate them, you will be able to thrive in tough times and outperform your competitors. Offer gifts to them on their magic moments, individualized to their personalities and needs, and you will get far more in return than you ever imagined.

If you want to try out Our Ultimate Home Journal, we’re offering you a copy sent directly to you at no charge and with no obligation. We truly believe in our product 100%, and know that you will find many ways to use the Home Journal as a way to grow your business and to enhance your existing mail and communications programs. Just visit our website and enter the Coupon Code UHJ4FREE at the checkout for your free journal.

Dan Haggerty
RE/MAX RESULTS - Orlando, FL

Great topic this is on my mind, I will be buying a client gift today or tomorrow. Thanks

Dec 07, 2009 05:14 AM
Mikel Erdman
MySMARTblog.com - Goodyear, AZ
Mikel Erdman - MySMARTblog.com

Thanks Dan!  Let me know if I can send you a free sample journal. It can help generate a referral for 2010.

Mikel

Dec 08, 2009 03:05 PM
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent

Mikel,

Great Post. You definitely makes some great points.

Thanks for sharing,

Matt Naumann

Dec 12, 2009 06:44 AM
Greg VanLaere
Danville, IN

I think that I am going to give away some lotto tickets for referrals.

Feb 14, 2010 11:53 AM
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

All great suggestions and a very well laid out post. Thanks for sharing and good luck to all.

Jan 06, 2013 07:30 AM