Haley M. Hwang is a former REALTOR® Magazine online editor. She's now a real estate practitioner and trainer with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Glenview, Ill.
6 Clever Closing Gifts
Instead of the usual gift cards or house plants, give something more unique. Here are some fresh ideas.
March 1, 2007
REALTORS® spend more than $510 million each year on business or closing gifts for their clients, according to the latest REALTOR® Magazine Reader Profile Study (MRI Custom Division), conducted in 2005. But although you’re long on generosity, it’s tough to come up with new ideas all the time.
Top gifts from practitioners are gift cards (59.5 percent), flowers or plants (37.2 percent), or gift baskets (36.7 percent). Set yourself apart and build referrals with these clever closing gifts:
1. A night out
Who wouldn’t love a dinner out at a favorite restaurant? But make it memorable by not only picking up the tab but also going all out. Make the reservation for your clients, arrange a limo or a sitter, and then have the restaurant send over a personal thank-you note from you.
2. A proud shareholder
3. A new address
Help your clients get used to their new address by providing a customized address stamp after the closing. Arroyo Grande, Calif.-based VRS Marking allows you to customize the self-inking address stamps with your photo, name, and contact information on the side. Every time your clients use the address stamp, they’ll think of you. Prepay for the stamps and order them with each client’s information as you need them. Pricing ranges from $22.95 per stamp for a package of five different addresses to $13.90 per stamp for orders of 100 or more. Additional charges apply, including shipping and, for orders of fewer than 50, a one-time artwork fee to set up your custom logo. Once you create your account with the company, you can order individual address stamps for each closing, and the company will send them in a complimentary gift box directly to your clients. Or you can deliver them personally.
4. A new experience
What do you get for the clients who have everything? How
Not sure which experience to give as a gift? The company allows you to choose from nine color-coded gift cards at different price levels, and your clients can choose their own experience. The company will send your clients a gift pack that includes an “experience certificate” personalized with your own special message, as well as a DVD and brochure with all the details about the experiences they can redeem within a year of receipt. Prices start as low as $70, but many are several hundred dollars or more.
5. A sweet something
Mrs. Fields offers more than a dozen different “housewarming/REALTOR®” gifts for practitioners to give clients. The “New House Gift” is worth adding to your closing gifts repertoire because the cookies, brownies, and other baked treats come in a box shaped like a house. Customize the front door of the house with your clients’ names or your company logo. House boxes are priced at either $29.99 or $75.99.
6. A card that gives back
Lowe’s, a REALTOR Benefits Program partner, provides free “New Homeowner” cards that you can personalize with your photo and contact information. The card, which comes with a personalized letter, offers your clients a 10 percent savings coupon from Lowe’s, an exclusive rebate offer, and tips for moving into a new home.
Update: The Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® is no longer available through the REALTOR Benefits® Program. For questions, please call NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Help Line at 800-627-5233.