Great Closing Gifts

By
Mortgage and Lending

Just over a year ago I started giving gifts to my clients after they close on their loan.  It is something that I had not practiced until attending a seminar and hearing Greg Frost.  Greg was America's first $1 billion loan originator.  One of the keys to his success has been his ability to develop repeat and referral business. 

Greg's favorite gift is a fruit basket.  He suggests sending the fruit basket to the customer's place of business and having it arrive on a Monday.  His theory is that the basket will be proudly displayed on their desk all week causing their co-workers to ask where they received such a wonderful gift.

Personally, I have begun sending baskets containing blueberry products.  My office is in Hammonton, New Jersey, which happens to be known as "The Blueberry Capital of the World".  Ronald Reagan himself actually proclaimed this statement on a visit here.  I am able to send a unique, personalized gift thanks to help from a local business called The Blueberry Factory.  I have become friends with the owner to the point that he actually found house-shaped baskets.  The response from my customers has been terrific as they love such a unique thank you.

Another great idea is to give a book.  Though they may not read it, your customer will be touched by the gesture.  Besides, books are something that people just don't throw away and you can personalize it with an inscription on the inside cover.  One suggestion would be your favorite motivational book.  If the client is relocating from another area, a book about local attractions or stories would be a good welcome.  For families with younger children, try The Bernstein Bears "Moving Day".  Just be sure to read the book before sending a copy.

Please share your closing gift ideas or contact me if you'd like to know more about some of the gifts I send.

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Rainmaker
388,769
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

I was giving gifts of wine but I actually like the fruit basket idea a lot.

Aug 14, 2008 08:44 AM #8
Rainer
108,048
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Thank you to all who shared their ideas.  Giving something unique or personalized definitely seperates you from the crowd.  Below is the site for the store that I use for my baskets.  I apologize for being a newbie that doesn't know how to add links to blogs.

http://www.blueberryfactory.com/

Aug 14, 2008 08:54 AM #9
Rainmaker
341,671
Eric Reid
Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners - Lawrenceville, GA

guess I have to say.. I don't gift any more.. I did when I started out .. as a professional photographer  I gave an original framed photo that seemed to best match them .. I enjoyed doing it and everyone loved it...then i heard a buyer say .. when you get us our closing gift ..we would really like ... this pot and pan set.. yea can you believe it .. That's when I had to ask .. why am I buying them a gift ?? I did a great job found them the prefect house gor them the best deal possible .. what did they get me ... and no not my commission that was my salary for the job I was hired to do.

I still now and them we stop buy a past client with a gift and a smile just to say hello but not every closing gets a gift .

 

Aug 14, 2008 08:55 AM #10
Rainer
39,311
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Thanks for visiting my posts.  I thought I would give a house-warming party for 20 guests to my clients.  Any thoughts?

Aug 14, 2008 11:01 AM #11
Ambassador
772,151
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Karl,

We like to send plants after the closing gift.  We have received many calls from clients saying they got a great place for the plant !  Often times a year later, they will say we still have the plant !  Or perhaps if we go by the house, they will show it to us.  We think it is a great long-lasting gift.

The Somers Team

Aug 14, 2008 02:30 PM #12
Rainer
108,048
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Eric - I definitely see why you would be hesitant about giving gifts after that experience.  That's a bit too presumptuous for a customer to tell you what to give them.  As a photographer, perhaps you should have given them a nice photo of the pots and pans.

Laura - Keep up the great and inspiring posts and I'll keep visiting.  The house warming party is a very interesting idea.  Were you thinking that the client would host but that you would provide the catering?

Chris & Stephanie - The plant is definitely unique and, unless they have my wife's black thumb, will have great staying power.  I'm curious as to how you decide what type of plant to give.

 

Aug 15, 2008 01:21 AM #13
Rainer
1,241
Therese Burgueno
TB Notary Services - Oakley, CA
Mobile Notary -Loan Signing Agent

Karl~I find when Realtors or Loan Officers/Brokers bring gifts to their clients at closing it such a nice added personal touch.  Great ideas keep it up.

 

Aug 17, 2008 03:29 PM #14
Rainer
39,311
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

I was thinking the buyer gives me a list of names.  I send invitations, provide food and show up to Hopefully pick up some referrals and have a good time.

Aug 18, 2008 08:10 AM #15
Rainmaker
111,710
William "Bill" and Karen Farragher
EXIT Blue Water Realty, Matawan, NJ 07747 - Matawan, NJ
SFR

Hi Karl that is great as a mortgage guy you are always dealing with the buyer. As agents we deal with both the buyer and the seller. For sellers I always use my own company gift program wfarragher.ordermygift.com I get to choose the dollar amount I want to spend they get to pick the gift and they don't know how much I spent. They do it right online and have it delivered where they want.

It is a great practice to give closing gifts. I like to stay away from the wines, not everyone drinks. Before we were agents, when we bought our house the agent bought us a bottle of champagne. We thought it was nice but what were we going to do with it.

Oh well some say it is the thought that counts. I think that if I'm going to spend money on something I would like to get a bang for my buck. To each his/her own.

Sincerely,

Bill

Aug 18, 2008 03:42 PM #16
Rainer
108,048
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Laura - I love the concept.  The buyer gets to play host in their new home and doesn't have to worry about all of the work.  You would definitely get referrals out of it.

Bill - Letting them shop for their own gift is very interesting.  That's a good way to ensure they are getting something they like.  Wine is definitely as questionable gift.  If someone doesn't drink wine, they could be offended.  It is definitely important to make sure you know your client and give them something appropriate.

Aug 19, 2008 02:59 AM #17
Rainer
226,765
Richard Ives
Chicago, IL

Karl.  Great ideas!  Great post!

Aug 23, 2008 04:51 AM #18
Rainer
25,321
Jason Roebuck
Springfield, OR

The moving day book is a great idea...I gave a gift this morning for a closing that closed last week and I couldn't think of anything to get the two girls that they wouldn't fight over.  Great idea, I plan on seeing them again tonight with my family, I will have my boys give them the present...You rock...God Bless...Jason

Aug 23, 2008 06:19 AM #19
Rainer
108,048
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Richard - thanks for stopping by and showing your support.

Jason - how did they like the book?  I'd love to hear your feedback.

Aug 25, 2008 02:49 AM #20
Anonymous
Loretta

I am so glad I stumbled up on this blog. I was searching for gift ideas for closings and I found just what I needed. Thanks for all of the ideas. My broker is just getting in to the swing of gift giving. He's been a broker/ agent for about 10 years and we have never given a gift. Today we are closing a loan and I will make sure our buyers recieve a plant or some type of gift.

Aug 27, 2008 02:51 AM #21
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Thanks for the information.  I have sent different closing gifts to clients.  I try to get something that relates to them.  However, the fruit basket seems to be universal.

Aug 27, 2008 02:54 AM #22
Rainer
108,048
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Hi Loretta & Jon,

Thanks for stopping by.  It's great to know this blog is helping.  Please stop back to let me know the response you get from the gifts you give.  Fruit baskets are a bit of a stale idea, but I think the original idea is to have them sent to the customers business to help generate referrals. 

Aug 27, 2008 03:52 AM #23
Rainer
1,958
Tina Christein
American Acceptance Mortgage, Inc - Chattanooga, TN

What a great idea.  I too give gifts to my clients at closing.  One thing that has gone over is a gift certificate from all the new stores that have dinners made up and ready to throw in the oven.  It may make their moving day a little easier in the kitchen.

Sep 01, 2008 09:52 AM #24
Rainer
26,964
Laura Moore Godek
Laura Moore Godek, PC - McHenry, IL

I can see the value of sending the showy gift to their place of business.

Sep 01, 2008 01:37 PM #25
Rainer
108,048
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Tina - Giving something that makes move in day easier goes a long way to showing the client that you are a thoughtful person.  Great idea.

Laura - This, I think is the key.  Yes, we do want to thank the customer for allowing us to help them purchase their home, but if we can do that in a way that helps spark referrals, even better.

Sep 02, 2008 09:17 AM #26
Rainer
108,048
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

As an update to this blog, The Blueberry Factory now has an online store.  Check out some of the products my clients receive in their unique gift baskets.  If you like my recommendations so you too can try a little taste of Hammonton, NJ I would be happy to give some advice.

Enjoy

Oct 04, 2008 10:33 AM #27
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Karl Peidl

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