How did I know she would love it? I listened.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

As real estate professionals, we serve our clients best when we listen. That seems like common sense, but I get a few new clients each year who fired their agent because he/she didn't listen to their thoughts and desires. It's critical to listen all the way through the deal. Some information is information that can be used after the deal as well. 

I love thanking my buyers and sellers with a gift when the sale is done. Sometimes, that gift can be as simple as a gift card to a local restaurant or a Home Depot or Lowe's card for move in supplies or whatever they need to get started with their new home. 

One of the most enjoyable ways to thank my clients is to give them a gift that is directly related to something I picked up on during the sale process. That might mean new lock-sets, hanging a light fixture, replacing a door, or it might be something unique to that particular client. It might be something that was related a teasing moment or a moment when the client was thinking out loud.

I have a special position in this business because I've remodeled houses and I have an electrical contracting company. I've had a lot of great experiences with clients after the deal. Over the last year, I replaced an exterior door for a client because it had a cat door in it and it led to the garage. There was concern that I picked up from the client about carbon monoxide leaking into the house through the cat door. No problem. My gift was a new installed exterior door. 

Another client, was talking about replacing all of her light fixtures while we did the walk-through. No problem, my electrical contracting company dropped by after closing and replaced the fixtures. 

Recently a new first-time buyer was nervous about someone having a key to the exterior doors on her house. We got that. I dropped by and replaced both lock-sets and cut in a third on on her attached shed. My son also added GFI receptacles to her kitchen counters.

The most recent, and one of the most fun gifts, related to a series of wacky cabinet door knobs that the seller had on cabinets. The buyer talked about those knobs over and over. She thought they were really unusual. Only a few out of about 18 matched. They were all different shapes and sizes and colors.

This buyer decided to replace all of her kitchen cabinets before moving in. My contracting company did the electrical updates and I was there when Habitat for Humanity showed up to carry away the old cabinets. I grabbed all of those old knobs before the cabinets were loaded onto the truck, and then I made a coat rack out of them. I dropped it by the house a few weeks after closing and my client was over the moon for the gift. How did I know she would love it? I listened. Make your time and your gifts memorable, and you'll have clients, client friends and family and co-workers for life.


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  1. Sheila Anderson 01/15/2018 01:47 PM
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

How thoughtul....and so much appreciated this very one of a kind gift !

Jan 14, 2018 01:39 AM #9
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

Something we keep telling newbies over and over again.  Listen to what your clients are telling you.  Of course, that goes for those who have been in this business awhile also

Jan 14, 2018 03:07 AM #10
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Our job is to be there to guide our clients/customers and mentor them while respecting their wishes if they are reasonable and not time wasters!!!

Jan 14, 2018 04:47 AM #11
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Great job.  I love the coat rack story.

Jan 14, 2018 06:20 AM #12
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

One of the worthier secrets is the secret to a woman's heart i.e. just listen to her

Jan 14, 2018 06:51 AM #13
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

What a wonderful skill you have, listening and then doing something with what you hear. I love your coat rack idea!

Jan 14, 2018 07:07 AM #14
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

My wife tells me all the time that I don’t listen like I should. Now you reemphasize that for me. Guess I better work on that!

Jan 14, 2018 07:31 AM #15
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

So true. People will tell you what they want. The key is to hear them.

Jan 14, 2018 08:16 AM #16
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

With your other business, you can come up with some really creative ideas. But the idea is not lost on us - by understanding your client's needs and desires, we can all be creative.

Jan 14, 2018 11:20 AM #17
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager are something special! Nothing makes a gift more appreciated than knowing the giver was paying attention and really listening when you shared a fondness for something or expressed a need or wish for something. I love your very creative and unique gifts!

Jan 14, 2018 12:35 PM #18
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I love your thinking in regard to client gifts, Mike.  And, if we are listening, we will often get a hint at what is needed or valued.

Jan 14, 2018 01:47 PM #19
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I do this as well.  I like to give personalized gifts to my clients, usually it is something that we talked about during the process.  Like noticing the soda that they like to drink and stocking the fridge for them!  It is so appreciated and such a small gesture with a lasting impact.  Thank you for sharing.

Jan 14, 2018 06:31 PM #20
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

This is the kind of personal service that keeps them coming back for more. What a great example!

Jan 15, 2018 06:08 AM #21
Delphine Nguyen
Baird & Warner - Northbrook, IL

Hey Mike, you're a talented fellow. Good advice that can benefit us all. Thank you for sharing.

Jan 15, 2018 09:48 AM #22
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

This is really good advice. I usually buy a Buddha statue for my buyers but that is not always welcome as in one case when I went by recently it was nowhere to be seen. Next time I will try and catch a clue.

Jan 15, 2018 10:23 AM #23
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good afternoon Mike. I absolutely love this. You are the best and listening is the best.

Jan 15, 2018 01:30 PM #24
Dorothy Liu
Alain Pinel Realtors - Los Altos, CA
Broker Associate, Silicon Valley Area,650-492-0859

thanks for sharing.  Those were very meaningful and a delight to hear.

Jan 16, 2018 06:59 PM #25
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Mike,

Very cute gift!

Jan 16, 2018 07:55 PM #26
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Your success comes from: Listening.

When we listen people talk and give us great information for further use.

You find gifts from your careful listening.


Jan 22, 2018 12:04 PM #27
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

What a concept...listening! My wife says that I should give it a try.

Mar 22, 2018 04:50 PM #28
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Mike Cooper

Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro
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