Giving Survival Kits As Client Gifts - Odd Gift ?

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Americana Group, Realtors, Dapper Development

Get Your Thoughts -

I enjoy what I do and I try to make it a great uplifting experience for my clients and I know that a lot of agents give gifts as a way to say thank you for your business and trust in this relationship. I also do participate in that practice but I don't give the normal flowers, gift cards, or baskets.

 I left Corporate America after almost 20 years of dealing with ego and people lacking ambition -leadership teams that just recycled the same-o-crap year after year. They "gathered" their paycheck and stock options - I was a sheep at one time. After the all of the events surrounding 9-11 and losing my mother unexpectedly, I was fed up with following!

I made the decision to "hunt for my success" I left the corporate world to start my own business and doing something that I could call my own. I had a friend that was a Las Vegas Developer and Real Estate Agent, he would always tell me "Joe, you know so much about commercial real estate you should get into the business" So, I did, after completing my first lease, he asked me "what did you send to the Client as a "thank you"? " what I didn't even think about it. I had busted my butt and provided great service and thought that Tom and Derek were very happy with their warehouse.  He reminded me it's not expected but it's something that we all do and it's a very nice gesture.

I thought about it and asked around - what do you give two self made internet millionaires? I wanted to say "Thank You but I Care". I knew that they both had families and they traveled between Las Vegas and the LA area because they didn't want to move their family at this time to Las Vegas. This warehouse was a distribution center for the west coast and it would save them $150,000+ a year in shipping costs.  

As kind of a joke, I bought both of them Survival Kits, we kinda joked about all of the earthquakes in California, I used as a selling point to move to Las Vegas.  I was shocked by the result of my purchase, I had wanted to give a gift that would say thank you but I care but with these two guys had everything, so it was about buying a gift as a joke, they didn't take it as a joke they took it as a gift of caring . I was taken back by the response to my gifts. Tom went on to tell me that it was the first time someone had listened to his concerns about all of the travel and how he had felt that I actually cared verse it was a transaction . I couldn't at that moment tell him it was a joke (but later did tell him, but also told him how it really made me think about how I say thank you to other clients)

From that moment on, I now give Survival Kits to all of my clients as a way to say thank. The reason why I tell this story is that just last week I got a card from my third client Karen.  I sold her home here in Las Vegas. I presented her a Survival Kit as she was moving her family to the Burbank area in California. I wished her well and my thoughts and prayers were with her and her family as they start their adventure in Burbank.

Survival Kit Survival Pack

In the card, I got from Karen; she wrote "Joe, I had never received such an odd gift from someone in my life but I knew that you were very thoughtful for thinking about me in the first place. I had tossed it in my trunk and forgot about it. Ted, Tammy, and I were on vacation in Wisconsin visiting Ted's parents. Racine the town his parents live in was hit by a tornado. It wasn't devastating like you see on the news but we were without water, electricity and the necessities of everyday life. As we sat in the dark, Ted proclaims do you have a flashlight in that survival kit in your trunk? Until that point that odd gift was nothing more than a backpack that had been riding around in my trunk. When we opened it, I was amazed to see all of the items in it . Flashlight with charger to charge our cell phones, water boxes, food, first aid, it was everything we needed to provide us support through the night. Thank you for being an Angel in our life, now that odd gift is something I won't leave home without.

Well, after giving away 40 or so Survival Kits, I know that what started out to be a joke has now severed someone in a time of need. So, I thought I would share my story of why I don't give flowers, home depot cards or gift packs. I give the potential to save a life. Thanks for listening to my story but I thought I would share it .

Joe Plante
Las Vegas Commercial Real Estate

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