The Role of the Closing Gift for Realtors (And 5 Creative Ideas)

Mortgage and Lending with Olympus Labs

For a real estate agent, the closing table represents the finish line. And in any race you run, it’s best to finish strong. One of the ways you can make this happen is by purchasing closing gifts for your clients.

The Purpose of the Closing Gift

If you presume you’re only in the business of selling real estate, you’re wrong. When you’re a Realtor, you’re in the people business.

Everything you do is about satisfying human beings and helping them navigate stressful, time-consuming decisions that will have a massive impact on their financial state and overall sense of well-being. A closing gift is a method of going above and beyond the call of duty and showing the buyers you care.

As Realtor Thomas J. Nelson says, “Gratitude is never out of fashion nor misdirected.” In fact, Nelson believes so strongly in gift giving that he presents a gift to the seller when he lists and to the buyer when he sells. Nelson also takes his transaction coordinator and escrow officer to lunch after a deal closes.

A closing gift expresses gratitude, certainly, but it also creates a more positive association between the real estate transaction and you, the agent, in a concrete and tangible way. Yes, it will set you back a small amount in your wallet, but you should count it as one of the costs of doing business … and it really isn’t a big deal.

Five Creative Ideas

Some real estate agents buy the same closing gift for every client. Yours will be far more effective if you take the time to hand-select gifts on a client-by-client basis.

The more personal a gift is, the more it says about you, the giver. So keeping that in mind, below are some creative ideas.

1. Cigars

Traditionally, cigars have been given and smoked as a way of celebrating a major event or accomplishment -- such as a graduation, engagement, wedding, business accomplishment, or military or sports victory. Buying a house certainly qualifies as a major event, so why not send a couple of cigars your client’s way?

If you don’t know anything about them yourself, get more familiar with some of the cigar lingo and etiquette before you purchase.

2. Champagne

Another classic celebratory gift is champagne. It’s a universal symbol of happiness, accomplishment, and joy.

Send a bottle to your client on the day of closing. For a special touch, have the bottle label customized to include your client’s name and/or a picture of the new house.

3. Gift Cards

Gift cards often get a bad rap for being impersonal and lazy, but for a new homeowner they can make a lovely and appropriate gift. The key is to purchase the right gift card.

Will the homeowners be doing a lot of home improvement projects? Try a gift card to Home Depot or Lowes. Will they be buying lots of new furnishings? A gift card to a nearby home design store would be thoughtful.

Find something that can be put to good use and your client will be thankful.

4. Commissioned Drawing

If you’re a listing agent, you sometimes encounter the sentimental side of clients. This is especially the case when homeowners sell a residence they’ve lived in for years or decades. To show you care, commission a drawing of the house so it will be immortalized for the departing owners in the years to come.

5. Donations

What do you do for the client who seems to have everything and may not appreciate a small gift? An appropriate option is to locate a charitable organization or cause that’s near and dear to the person’s heart and make a donation in his or her name. This can be a touching and memorable gesture, particularly if you can identify a cause with the client’s taste and heart in mind.

Finish Strong

You might not sense the positive impact of giving a closing gift right away. Face the fact that you might not recoup its financial cost.

But more often than not, exceptional service followed by a tasteful closing gift increases your chances of gaining repeat business three, five, and even 10 years down the road when that client decides it’s time to buy or sell. In this sense, your expression of gratitude may garner a substantial ROI.


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David Jackson, MBA

Financial lending analyst
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