2013 Holiday Gift Guide: 3 High-Touch Ways to Give

From the homemade gift to the holiday party, here’s how some real estate professionals are making their gifts memorable.

December 11, 2013

Some real estate professionals and brokerages go beyond the yearly calendar or holiday card when it comes to giving gifts to customers. They’ve put their own special spin on the spirit of holiday giving.

An Extreme Contest

Instead of giving several smaller gifts to clients, one brokerage in California decided they’d give one giant gift to one lucky family. The firm turned it into a contest to generate excitement.

First Team Real Estate in Huntington Beach, Calif., sponsored an “Extreme Home Makeover Lighting Contest” this holiday season, inviting residents in the community to “like” the brokerage’s Facebook page to be entered in the raffle. A winning name was chosen to receive $5,000 worth of professional lighting decorations for their home (clean-up costs included), along with a $500 check for the additional electricity costs. (The photo above shows the winning home after decorations were put up.)

“We thought the best way to say ‘happy holidays’ was to let one lucky family let their whole neighborhood and all of those orbiting in space see how bright the holidays can be,” says Rick Brotherton, vice president of marketing for First Team Real Estate. “The winner will be the talk of the town.” Brotherton adds that the winning home is likely to be the center of attention in the neighborhood as their lighting crew intended to “break all records.”

The brokerage also is offering runner-up prizes, such as $500 and $250 American Express gift cards.

Oh, What a Night…

Instead of handing out a gift, throw a party. That’s what Diane Cardano with Cardano, Realtors®, in Abington, Pa., does every year. She hosts a party at her home for 350 of her “raving fan clients” — those who have introduced her to other people in need of real estate services during the year.

Each year, the party centers on a different theme, such as TV’s “Boardwalk Empire” or a spy-themed “James Bond” party. This year’s theme is a nod to “Great Gatsby” and “Casablanca.” The parties include trivia questions based on each theme, as well as a visit from Santa Claus for the kids, dancing, and live music.

She says the holidays are a perfect time to do high-touch reaches to clients as a thank-you for their business during the year. “Everyone loves a party, and it’s a key to staying in touch with our clients,” she says. “We want to make sure that when they need us, we’re the ones they call.”

Specially Made by You

Put a special homemade touch on your gifts, and your clients will take notice of the extra thought.

Nancy Synowiec with F.C. Tucker Emge, Realtors®, in Evansville, Ind., has earned the reputation as the “fudge lady” around town for the sweet holiday gift she’s given her real estate clients since 1997. She gifts clients a half-pound of homemade fudge that she wraps up in a gift box, along with some of her homemade breads — pumpkin, banana nut, or Zucchini breads. She hand-delivers the boxes to her clients’ doorsteps during the holidays. Some of her clients even call her later to ask her to make her special fudge recipe for their friends. Synowiec gives homemade fudge throughout the year as gifts at listings and closings and to contractors. She believes the homemade touch makes it more memorable to her clients.

Beth Spradley with Capital Real Estate in Tuscaloosa, Ala., offers up homemade pumpkin spice cappuccino dry mix that she places in a plastic container, along with a scoop, and a raffia ribbon-tied instruction card. She’ll also include a gift tag that thanks her clients for their business for the year. Spradley is sure not to forget about her clients’ furry friends, too. She brings her clients a gift for their pets as well, such as a small bag of peanut butter cookies from a local business.