Tips for International Closing Gift Success

October 2, 2015

From April 2014 to March 2015, international real estate buyers spent around $104 billion on properties in the United States. In the most recent NAR survey looking at the home buying activity of international clients, thirty-five percent of REALTORS® reported working with an international client in 2014, up from 28 percent in 2013. As more opportunities for working with global buyers arise, it's important to be mindful of the fact that working with international clients offers a different set of challenges than working with buyers from the U.S.  NAR's Global View blog recently took a look at international closing gift etiquette to help you better serve this market.

The first step to closing gift success is finding out the customs and traditions of their country. "You may be surprised that some of the most common closing gifts─ champagne, steak knives, clocks, to name a few, could prove problematic depending on your client’s culture. In fact, sometimes, the most appropriate gift is no gift at all," Global View points out.

You'll want to avoid giving gifts that have religious or political significance, as well as gifts that seem funny but would ultimately be confusing to clients who are not in on the joke. In certain cultures, giving a gift that is a certain color can be considered offensive, so keep that in mind. And finally, while giving a French client a bottle of French wine or a German client a local beer might seem like a thoughtful present, etiquette experts say giving clients products that are abundant in their country is actually a faux pas.

This list of Do's and Don'ts of gift giving will help you out when working with clients from Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Latin America in particular:

Source: "Closing Gift Guidelines for Global Real Estate Practitioners," The Global View blog (Sept. 15, 2015)