Closing Gifts - Are They Necessary? Or Worth It?

By
Education & Training with Loan Officer School

Don't sweat the small stuff. This is perhaps the oldest notion in life, and the same can be said for business, but in the real estate market, whether you're a real estate agent, broker, or another rung in the ladder, this is perhaps the most competitive market we have seen and that means that it's definitely necessary to sweat the small stuff.

And the small stuff includes closing gifts for clients.

Why closing gifts for clients? What's the idea behind that?

It can be easy to think that closing gifts for clients are not even worth considering, especially given that they will be spending their time and energy and focus on their new home, moving in, getting rooms painted to their personal tastes, or any number of other activities that help make a house a home, so why even bother with this little, almost insignificant step?

The answer is simple: impact. While the closing gift doesn't have to be any great shakes, clever and thoughtful items will mean that the client will think of you for weeks, and months, every time he or she steps into his or her new home. This will lead -in more cases than not, for certain- to the most important and impactful marketing technique available, which is word-of-mouth marketing.

People want to feel as though they are thought of as more than just a client, more than simply a number or a means to achieve a bonus or a paycheck or some other monetary measure. They want to feel unique and special and when they do, the impact can have a long-lasting effect on them and the people around whom they surround themselves.

Imagine the following scenario: Your clients are hosting their house warming party. Fifty of their closest family and friends are attending, viewing the house, complimenting them on what a great, special deal they got, and when they start talking about the process and the people involved in it, they talk mostly about you. Whether you're an agent, or a broker, or another rung in that proverbial ladder, your name comes up first and foremost and they glow when they talk about you.

"Oh, you have to see what he (or she) got for us as a closing gift. Totally unexpected and it made the entire process so enjoyable." Followed by, "When you're ready to start looking for a new home, you must contact him (or her)."

Simple gifts, not extravagant

We're not talking about extravagance here, we are talking simple, inexpensive closing gifts that will have that memorable impact on your clients, especially when they finally settle into their new home. Many people will immediately think of champagne as the perfect closing gift, but will that have the same impact as something else? Probably not. Champagne is meant to celebrate a wondrous event, such as buying a new home, but they won't by popping the cork in your office, nor should you expect or encourage that.

What do most homeowners need when they settle into their new home? In the modern environment of home ownership, many do it themselves to turn to Home Depot or Lowe's for additions, new appliances, or paint or other necessary items that will make their new home their own. Gift cards of $30 from these places can have an impact on a person; it's thoughtful, it's personal.

How about a gift card plus a six-pack of toilet paper. This isn't exactly a pricey item, but it is certainly something most people need when they move into their new home (imagine all of the new homeowners who bring in their first round of boxes and furniture, turn to one another and ask, "Dear, do you remember where you packed to toilet paper?" and the look of lost confusion that follows. This kind of gift will be remembered.

How about a self-inking stamp with their name and new address on it. What a great way to welcome them into their new home, and new address and a way that they'll remember and think of you every time they send out a letter.

It only takes a small gesture

None of this is about large, expensive items, but rather smaller gestures. That's what matters when it comes time to close on a home. If you want to be the one that's remembered long after the closing, then a closing gift is the way to go.

David

David Reinholtz is a professional Mortgage expert in Real Estate Industry. David is also a sales and marketing expert and trains professionals in every career field. David has personally trained tens of thousands of loan officers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and individuals through The Close More University Seminar Series, LoanOfficerSchool.com Classes, Correspondence and On Line Learning, and countless private engagements and training events throughout the country.

David is the Founder and CEO of LoanOfficerSchool.com, an approved education provider for The Conference of State Bank Supervisors and The National Mortgage Licensing Systems' (NMLS) required pre-licensing education and continuing education.

Comments (4)

Jeana Cowie
RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Paramus, NJ
Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES

David, I believe in closing gifts for clients and I have received some gifts from my clients. People appreciate the work we've done for them, but a gift sometimes takes it to another level.

Oct 12, 2010 05:05 AM
Trish Sarfert
Gulf Coast Home Experts - Pensacola, FL
Serving military & civilian relocations!

My clients even love the Lowes Realtor Benefits coupon that I email directly after closing- it doesn't cost anything (although I usually include a gift card as well) but since they are going to be spending money making the home 'perfect', this ends up saving them money at the cash register, and they REALLY appreciate that.

Oct 12, 2010 05:09 AM
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi David, Thanks for this post. Do we need to give closing gifts? No..but I think it is a great way to follow up after working so closely with a client for weeks...sometimes months. It breaks that gap of constant communication to monthly communication after close. Like you said, it doesn't have to be pricy (here we are only supposed to keep it to $25). Gift cards are great either from one of the home improvement stores or from a local restaurant.

Oct 12, 2010 05:42 AM
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

I like to give a few gifts that have something to do with the house or our connection. One client went with me to farmer's market the day before the move and we bought things together for the kitchen. The biggest hit I have found is to send a SendOut Card with pictures of them moving in and a gift card(AMEX, Target, Walmart)...or maybe a big box of brownies or goodie basket(all thru Send out Cards), It can all be done online in minutes and it arrives in their mailbox. They keep the card forever and show it to everyone!

Oct 12, 2010 10:30 AM