Today, we’re talking client gifts.
Not the kind of gifts you give after a sale (if you want our tips on strategic closing gifts, we’ve got you covered here), but the sporadic, “just because” kind of gifts that make your client feel appreciated — and make you the kind of real estate agent they’re happy to recommend.
Unexpected gifts are a great strategy for two reasons:
- They show your clients that you don’t just see them as a commission generator
- They keep you top of mind, long after the sale has closed
But really good, unexpected gifts are hard to think of.
You don’t want to spend too much, or too little. No one needs more junk, and home décor is a little too personal.
Good thing we’ve got eight tried-and-true ideas on how to make your clients smile. Keep reading for our eight favourite ways to thank real estate clients out of the blue.
1. Surprise pizza delivery on move-in day
Everyone knows the exhaustion, the mess and the hunger that comes with moving day.
Be your client’s hero and take care of #3 by surprising them with a pizza delivery. It’s easy, affordable and, even though it’s just pizza, it’s a pretty meaningful gesture.
Find out the details of your client’s move day (easy — just play the role of curious, friendly real estate agent) and place an order during a window of time when you’re certain they’ll be around. Throw in drinks and prepay, and you’ve just ordered pizza and a glowing client testimonial.
2. A useful membership
No, not a gym membership.
We’re talking memberships to a local art gallery, yoga studio, zoo, wine club or meal kit delivery service. These memberships are the gifts that keep on giving (or at least for a little while).
Bonus: no gift wrapping required. Just be sure you know enough about your client’s life to pick a membership that’s personal and relevant.
3. Handwritten notes and photos
Whether buying or selling, real estate can be an emotional world.
Tap into that, and show your clients that you get it with a heartfelt handwritten letter, accompanied by a framed photo of their new or old home.
(Bonus points if you can manage to snap a photo of your client in front of the place while you’re still working together.)
Not sure what to write? Treat it like a letter you’d write a friend, and stay away from mention of referrals, testimonials and dollar amounts. Drop it in their mailbox with the wrapped frame at random — and it will be a heartwarming surprise.
4. Out-of-the-ordinary gift cards
Gift cards are often criticized as being impersonal, and to some degree, that’s true. But they’re so convenient.
So how do you get around the impersonal factor? By choosing a card that’s perfect for your client’s unique tastes and interests. That means no Starbucks and no Best Buy.
As you work with your clients, keep track of personal details that come up in conversation: food preferences, a passion for wine, sports team allegiances, a family cottage, and so on. If you’ve noted these kinds of details, finding a gift card to match is no sweat.
If you’re in a bind and don’t know what they’ll like, there are a few gift cards that will almost always be appreciated: a cleaning service (perfect for someone that has just moved), the best restaurant in town, or a prepaid credit card.
Throw in a handwritten note à la the previous gift idea, and you’ve got a winner.
5. A fridge of food
To reiterate a point from gift idea #1, moving is hard. And, nine times out of 10, there will be a point when the person moving realizes that they have no food, or not enough food, or not the kind of food they want to eat at the end of a long day.
If pizza delivery isn’t your thing, then fill the fridge for your client. Give them a few basics, and some goodies: a couple prepared salads, a carton of eggs, a nice bottle of wine, a good baguette, soup, freshly baked cookies, or any food that qualifies as “home cooking.”
If you helped your client buy the place, then you can probably find a way to get the food into the fridge before they arrive.
If not, then swing by on moving day, but do not stay longer than it takes to hand over the food and say best of luck. They probably don’t have the energy to stop and chat, so just hand over the food (with a card!), wish them well, and be on your way.
6. A high-quality kitchen tool
Unless your client has made it clear that they never ever cook, a well-made, high-quality kitchen accessory will most definitely be appreciated.
A professional, multi-purpose kitchen knife is always a winner.
Other excellent kitchen ideas: a beautiful wood serving platter, a chef-grade frying pan, or a glass or ceramic water pitcher.
7. Seasonal arrangements
For clients that you’ve helped find a new home, consider gifting them with a beautiful plant or arrangement for their new front porch (or entryway).
Making the front of their home look welcoming is likely not on their list of priorities for moving day (or the days after that), so a little bit of colour or décor is a great surprise.
For fall moves, a pot or two of brightly coloured mums is a solid pick. For winter, try an arrangement of birch branches or a classic door wreath. In spring and summer, you’ve got endless options.
Drop off your gift before they move in for the ultimate “aww” moment when they pull up. And don’t forget to tuck a card in so they know it was you.
8. Free advertising
Does your client own their own business? Help them out with some promotion!
Add a link on your website, tweet about their company, include a “featured business” section in your newsletter, or write a blog post about local businesses that gives your client some love.
Surprise advertising shows your client that you’ve still got their best interests at heart, even weeks or months after your real estate relationship has ended.
What’s the best, most well-appreciated gift you’ve ever given a client?