What Are You Buying for Your Clients This Year or Years to Come?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

What Are You Buying for Your Clients This Year or Years to Come?

I have been visiting my son in NV for the past week and had plenty of time reading up online, mostly real estate-related. One of the repetitive discussions in real estate groups was “what are you buying for your clients?”. Of course, each agent is different and they do what they think makes the best sense for their business and their client relationship.
One question I ask is:

-Am I giving gifts with the expectations of receiving business? As I see it, most people don’t reach out to a REALTOR® based on the types of presents other clients have received from them. In fact, past clients most likely forget what their agent sent to them as a present at the end of the year.
Let’s think about this;

-An agent with 110 past and present clients delivers a small poinsettia they purchased for $4.95 each x 110 clients=$2824.50. These are very small poinsettias, the receivers may think the agent was too cheap to purchase a large one for $19.95 for each. Of course they don’t know the agent has 110 clients they’re doing this for. They may not even like poinsettias.
How about cookies? I don’t know about anyone else, but I am extremely picky when it comes to food. If I don’t know the person who baked them well enough, I’m not going to eat them. Ohh, also, I don’t like sweets.
Alcohol of all kinds, you truly have to know the person so you can purchase something they would enjoy, otherwise, what’s the point? The same with celebratory cigars (do they smoke?), housewarming gifts (will they think this is cheesy?), and the list goes on and on. Your kind gesture may miss the mark and gain you a sneer rather than a smile.

Closing gifts, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, New Years' gifts to me are personal. I just don’t understand why I should consider purchasing hundreds of pies, wrapping paper etc not knowing if the recipient would enjoy them.

Another thing to consider, we work tirelessly to help our clients buy or sell their homes and provide them the utmost satisfaction with the entire process as it can be a very stressful time in someone’s life. I’ve personally hired and paid for cleaning crews, paid for lawn service etc to help them get their homes sold quickly for the most money. Should I expect a gift from them at the end of the year?

Whatever you choose to do, just think about the receiver and purchase gifts accordingly. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to gifts so sleep on that “bulk gift” idea. I personally truly appreciate a handwritten card or a card sent via email. That is just my preferance.



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  1. Joe Jackson 12/10/2020 05:49 AM
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Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate




Mr. Crappy Says

No Crappy Gifts




Nov 29, 2020 05:30 PM #10
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Beth Atalay - I did send someone a poop plunger as a gag gift.  We laughed so hard we had tears rolling down our faces. 

Nov 29, 2020 05:31 PM #11
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

When I was relatively new (a couple of years) to this business, an agent sent me a handwritten note, telling me how they had enjoyed watching me grow in real estate. They were not recruiting me, just saying how proud they were of me. I still have that card. It meant the world to me and during the recession, it was motivation to me to keep pushing forward.

That agent's kindness was a priceless gift that changed my business. I get calls from my sphere all of the time, after they have received a handwritten card from me. It makes my heart smile because I know how very much I appreciate the gift of a handwritten card too!

Great post, Beth!

Nov 29, 2020 07:21 PM #12
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Nov 30, 2020 01:00 AM #13
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

No Christmas presents, but I do send out Christmas cards.  As to closing gifts, they range from my husband who turns wood pens for me to locks on doors or even termite treatments. Each closing gift is personalized based on what the client needs.

Nov 30, 2020 04:57 AM #14
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Beth... I don't send out "mass" gifts to clients at holiday times. I do send Thanksgiving Day cards, Christmas cards, and New Years cards to my best clients each year. I send personal notes after each closing to my clients. And I don't do "closing" gifts, but I do very personalized "housewarming" gifts.

Nov 30, 2020 05:13 AM #15
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have never been a fan of giving gifts or even receiving gifts from those that are expecting business from me.  I use the services of people that I know and trust because I know and trust them, not because they give me gifts.  I want people to use my services for the same reasons, haha.  Also, it always trips me out to see Edward Gilmartin hanging upside-down, haha.

Nov 30, 2020 05:37 AM #16
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I love the idea of writing hand-written cards. Hardly anyone does that anymore!

Great message, and I agree.

Nov 30, 2020 06:05 AM #17
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Beth Atalay ,

Love your post and liked reading the comments on your well deserved featured post. I think the majority concur a hand written note is a winner!

Nov 30, 2020 08:36 AM #18
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I agree with so many here - a hand-written note means so much more.

Nov 30, 2020 10:08 PM #19
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Beth I have given 100 pt Robert Parker Wine to clients that appreciated it when I closed on their home... that was 20 years ago... now days I call the up and send personalized Holiday cards they love them as much as when I was new in the business. They love more the fact that I gave them straight and honest advice and they took it:)Endre

Nov 30, 2020 11:40 PM #20
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Our past clients need “Touches” more than gifts . A continued cultivation of the friendship that already exists .

Dec 01, 2020 04:37 AM #21
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Hello Beth, 

Very good point.  I used to give closing gifts as a gesture. One year I purchased a case of hearth crickets. One of my colleagues said that I should check the culture of the client to see if crickets are indeed good luck or a bad omen.  It is tricky.  

As I often ended up putting money and extra work into many of the transactions I found my clients were giving me closing gifts. 

Each deal requires thought before the gift. 



Dec 01, 2020 05:38 AM #22
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I like your thought process. Unless we can come up with something that we know will be appreciated, we too think the message is more important than a gift. And, as you mention, it sure can add up. We do enjoy coming up with creative closing gifts to match our client's personalities. 

Dec 01, 2020 07:00 AM #23
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

That's why I don't like the idea of 'pop by's'. Bringing stuff that you don't know if clients like or need.

Dec 01, 2020 07:23 AM #24
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I don't regularly give gifts to clients after the sale --I do give a housewarming gift. However, I did decide to give homemade holiday themed facemasks to several of my clients this month--they have been well receieved, esp the families with small children.  

Dec 01, 2020 02:48 PM #25
Ritu Desai
Samson Properties - Ashburn, VA
Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949

This topic has been discussed many times. Do doctors and lawyers give gifts? No then why Realtors? I think it is a very personal decision. If you truly appreciate your client's business and want to give something as housewarming you should. Otherwise a personalized thank you card is ample. 

Dec 02, 2020 04:45 AM #26
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

I always read blogs on this topic; thanks Beth Atalay 

Such a great point Ritu Desai  - VERY FEW other businesses give gifts to their clients.   I was quite surprised when my mechanic  gave a box of Sees to everyone who came in during December.

I like to give housewarming gifts - there's so much time spent with buyers that I really get to know them,  so it's fun to choose something.    With COVID, I've not spent as much time with Sellers this year so for me, it's been challenging finding the "right" closing gift for them.

Dec 02, 2020 10:34 AM #27
Gwen Fowler-864-638-3599 SC Mountains Lakes Homes
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

We do a little recipe booklet every year that serves as a Christmas Card & a little gift from my home to my clients home

Dec 04, 2020 12:15 PM #28
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

No matter what the gift is, it's the thought that counts. Important to let them know that we are always here for them. 

Dec 10, 2020 05:49 AM #29
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Beth Atalay

Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Sell or Buy Homes in Clermont FL

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