Choosing the Perfect Realtor Closing Gift
Real estate closing gifts can play a much more important role in your marketing plan than some realtors expect. According to the NRA, 88 percent of buyers say they would use their Realtor again, but in reality only 19 percent actually work with the same agent or recommend them to others.
In other words, there’s lots of room for improvement.
Since almost half of your clients come from referrals, you already know it’s essential to optimize the word of mouth surrounding your services. Perfectly chosen closing gifts that don’t sap your time should be the cherry on top of client relationships.
To that end, we recommend finding a small collection of realtor closing gifts for buyers and sellers that will delight the vast majority of your future client base.
Table of Contents
Tips for Giving Perfect Real Estate Gifts
1. Consider Giving 3 Gift Options
How Closing Gifts Backfire
Real estate closing gifts can easily become a lose-lose situation if your client doesn’t love your gift. They might have to put on a fake smile when they open that too-quirky birdhouse.
Or even worse, they might agree to a dinner they don’t have time for. Perhaps they have to hire a sitter for their children. Or there could be some issue you didn’t consider, like their new puppy has separation anxiety.
Even the most seemingly universal of gifts, like a curated case of wine, can be a poor choice. Maybe your client is a recovering alcoholic, and then you’ve really stepped in it.
In these cases, you’ve not only given a bad gift, you’ve also wasted money. Plus there’s the opportunity cost. Instead of inspiring referrals, you’ve only succeeded in leaving a bad aftertaste.
The Best Solution
The simplest solution is to offer three options. Giving real estate closing gifts is not about Christmas magic of opening a mysterious present. It’s about genuine bonding and inspiring referrals.
Of course, you can also simply ask your clients if they prefer to be surprised by the gift or if they want options. If they want options, it’s best to send photos when presenting the options.
2. Demonstrate Gratitude First, Inspire Referrals Second
A bottle of wine branded with your photo and professional info could be the sleaziest real closing gift of all time. Go to the other extreme. Make the gift truly about them, not you.
If you also want to offer moving boxes with your personal ad on them, go for it. Just don’t make it their official closing gift. That said, it is completely possible to kill two birds with one stone.
3. Prioritize Gifts That Also Inspire Referrals
While your real estate closing gift should absolutely be client-centered, the best gifts will also inspire maximum referrals. There are different ways to accomplish this. Beautiful conversation pieces like an artisan sun-catcher are sure to inspire compliments from guests of your clients.
Inevitably, those guests will ask, “Where did you get that sun-catcher?” Then you organically become the topic of conversation. In the best case scenario, you’ve also crafted a way to keep your contact info easily on hand that’s more impressive than a contact card on their smartphone.
Perhaps you’ve already gifted them a highly attractive refrigerator magnet or a cheesecake recipe with your phone number at the bottom. Something of value that won’t end up in the recycling bin like your business card.
You can hire graphic designers from Fiverr to complete tasks like this for less than $10. For more clever marketing ideas, check out the articles below.
Keep in mind that even the most tasteful of home decor gifts can miss the mark and end up in a closet. So we still recommend offering them as an option.
4. Consider Spending 2.5-8% of the Selling Price
Other common metrics include spending no more than 2.5% of your commission or $75-$250. You may also want to decide the spending amount based on the potential tax deductions. For more info, see the next tip.
5. Deduct Your Closing Gifts
Remember that you can deduct real estate closing gifts from your taxes. Typically you can deduct up to $25 for business gifts per person. However, there aren’t any rules for how old that person can be. So technically if you buy a gift for a family of five, you could be able to deduct $125.
Of course, this article cannot provide you with official legal tax advice. Make sure you also check state and local regulations and get the advice of a tax professional.
6. Be Aware of Cultural Gift-Giving Taboos
Certain cultures, especially Chinese and Japanese cultures, have taboo gifts. For example, knives and clocks can be interpreted as rude gifts that signify cutting ties or death. Check out this guide to culturally inappropriate gifts.
7. Be a Feedback Hound
Asking directly when you give the gift is probably not the best way to measure how much your clients enjoy it. Instead, wait a month to call and check in on the house and family. At the same time, you can ask if they’ve enjoyed their gift, especially if it’s something material or reusable.
8. Consider Local Connections
Remember that giving a closing gift is only one half of the equation. There’s also the person or company you buy the gift from. Widen your professional networking circle by buying local and forming loose partnerships.
Perhaps you know someone who owns a company that does landscaping, moving, interior design, or cleaning. These people are more likely to know when their clients will need a realtor.
To some, this strategy may seem like over-thinking. But it’s right in line with one of the best strategies of Top 1% real estate agents. They don’t think about landing the next deal. They think about forming the next connection.
As you form these casual partnerships with local business owners, politely but clearly express that you would appreciate referrals. If you’re regularly purchasing their products or services, it should be comfortable to ask when you explain who the gifts are going to.
9 . Don’t Buy Material Gifts for Sellers
When purchasing a realtor closing gift for sellers, the best practice is to avoid buying something that they have to move to their new home. That’s especially true for people moving long-distance.
Obviously it also makes little sense to buy a local service or experience if the client is moving away. Even if they will be in town for another month or two, you don’t want them to feel rushed to go to that couple’s massage in time.
Scroll down to the Best Closing Gifts for Sellers section for great ideas.
10. Assess Each Client's Referral Potential
Every client deserves your best. We’re not disputing that. But some clients have way more potential to generate referrals than others.
For these clients, we recommend putting the time in to find a clever and perfect real estate closing gift.
Sometimes gifts appeal more to the children, or to one spouse more than the other. In general, we recommend choosing gifts that delight everyone.
At the same time, there may be one individual in the family that has a large professional network or is simply more likely to refer others to you. In this case, it would be a big mistake to buy a gift that speaks less to them.
For example, let’s say the husband is a divorce lawyer and therefore in the perfect position to refer leads like crazy. You wouldn’t want to buy the family monthly floral bouquets if he doesn’t have a feminine bone in his body.
On the other hand, it would be excellent self-marketing to choose a gift that optimizes that referral potential. You could buy something for the house, but also a conversation piece for his desk at his office.
That’s a wildly cunning closing gift. There will be a continuous stream of people ready to move who ask about your gift around the same time they’re looking for a lawyer. Of course, just make sure it’s something your client will truly enjoy.
The Ultimate Closing Gift Package
1. Choose 3 savvy gift options your clients will love
Below is a sample collection of wonderful realtor closing gifts sure to inspire referrals.
- Monthly Floral Bouquet Deliveries
- A Consultation with a Landscaping Expert
- A Lasting Conversation Piece (Fruit Tree or Artisan Windchime)
2. Consider including a personal gift based on your relationship
As you get to know your clients, they will surely provide clues that can lead to a well-chosen gift. Perhaps the greatest tip for gift giving in general is to give by observing.
From the beginning, keep an ear open and jot down potential gift ideas. Once you form the habit, it will become second nature.
Then replace one of your standard gift ideas for the personalized gift. Or if you’re certain it’s a home run, go ahead and bank on it.
3. Invite your clients to a cocktail party
The Cocktail Party Guest List
Guests should include all your recent clients, a choice selection of past clients, and people from your local network. Think local influencers, business owners, and service providers that can start mutually beneficial relationships with your clients. Make it the perfect networking event for everyone.
Ideally, it would be a one-stop shop for everything recent transplants need: a family doctor, a handyman, a landscaper, a dentist, a veterinarian, a daycare owner, etc. And of course, local business owners are incentivized to attend and pick up some new clients.
Think deeply about the needs of your market niche. For example, if your client base is NYC transplant millenials, it would be clever to invite your friend who owns a bike repair shop.
It helps to invite a few life-of-the-party types. It can also be smart to hire a professional babysitter who can take care of all of the children upstairs, freeing and encouraging the adults to mingle.
Finally, encourage your new clients to invite friends of their own, which you can turn into leads.
Asking for referrals is a matter of choosing the perfect moment. By inviting clients to a cocktail party or similar get-together, you show that you’re happy to form true connections with your buyers and sellers.
Put a drink in one client’s hand and a gift in the other, and you’ve created the optimal moment to encourage clients to spread the word about your (obviously) premium service. 😉
If one client bought a home for twice that of another client, and therefore got a pricier gift, you may want to deliver your gifts discreetly.
The Importance of Referrals
Real Estate Closing Gifts for Buyers
- Lawn Care Service
- Consultation with Landscaping Professional
- Consultation with an Interior Designer
- One Year of Pest Control
- Handyman Service
- 1-3 months of Cleaning Service
- Moving Service
- Home Depot Gift Card
- Autographed Sports Memorabilia
- FIrst-Night Survival Kit
- 1-3 months of Homeowner’s Insurance
On one hand, homeowner’s insurance is not the most exciting gift. Plus, in many cases, it will be included in the contract. But if not, it does have the added benefit of giving you peace of mind. If something unforeseen goes wrong with the property, you’ve already provided the solution with homeowner’s insurance.
Real Estate Closing Gifts for Sellers
- Massage or Sauna Certificates
- Catered Holiday Meals (If the client is moving during Christmas or Thanksgiving)
Backyard Closing Gifts for Buyers
- Outdoor Hammock
- Porch Swing
- Outdoor Fire Pit
- Fruit Trees or Privacy Trees
- Gift Card to a Local Nursery
- Bocce Ball
- Custom Artisan Birdhouse
- Artisan Windchimes
- Hummingbird Feeder
- Artisan Suncatchers
- Robotic Lawnmower
Local Closing Gifts
- Cooking Lessons
- Sports Tickets
- Theater Tickets
- Concert Tickets
- Water Park Pass
- Drive-In Movie Tickets
- Winery Tour
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Sport Lessons (For Example, Skiing)
- Gift Certificate to Local Animal Shelter (To Rescue an Animal)
Gifts for Transplants
- Snowblower or Tire Chains for Snowy Regions
- Citronella Candles for Buggy Areas
- Car Wash Certificates for Oceanside Homes
Gifts That Brighten A New Home
Best Luxury Brands
- Tiffany & Co
- Crate & Barrel
Real Estate Closing Gifts to Avoid
- Branded Gifts
Branded gifts aren’t really gifts. They’re just self-promotion.
- Monthly Subscriptions like Netflix
They’re just blah and will never inspire referrals.
- Gifts for Experts
If your client is an expert outdoorsman, don’t buy them a compass. They probably have very perfectly dialed-in gear, and you’re only going to buy something they won’t use.
How InboundREM Can Help
The ultimate marketing strategy for real estate agents is a two-pronged approach that pivots around building genuine connections in your local community and leveraging digital marketing.
These methods not only bring leads to your doorstep, but they also have the best ROI.
InboundREM provides full-suite digital marketing services. We’re experts at the most important, effective, and cutting-edge aspects of online marketing. That includes lead generation technology, SEO, content marketing, video marketing, CRMs, and more.
Find out how we can provide some of the best long-term ROI in the market. Then get in touch to discover how we can deliver on our promises for you.