With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to show current and past clients a little love. Let them know you are thinking about them with the below unique ideas, proven successful by real estate agents across the country. Show your clients appreciation and surprise them with these tokens on Valentine’s Day…or any other time of the year!
1.) Never underestimate the power of a personalized touch: Nick Ratliff, owner of the Nick Ratliff Realty Team gives his clients customized ornaments, painted with a picture of their new home and closing date. He also gives a personalized address stamp, with their new address. Working with a first-time buyer? Make a copy of their new key and take it to a jeweler to engrave it with the closing date and to add a few links to turn it into a thoughtful piece of jewelry to signify their new chapter as a homeowner!
2.) Have some fun! Amanda McMillan, CEO of Chicago Home Partner, engages her clients with some friendly competition. “Our online March Madness Pool is always a hit! Every March, I invite all of my clients to participate in our March Madness Pool. I have a prize for the winner and everyone has a great time. Plus it allows for a lot of great communication…including some intense smack talking!
3.) Turn their house in to a home: “I give my clients a gift certificate to a local nursery, so they can pick out some special plants/flowers for their new home,” said Tania Rooney, Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Amanda Howard, owner of Amanda Howard Real Estate, has an arsenal of homey closing gifts including: locally made candles; Pyrex dishes engraved with their initials plus a pack of brownie mix; baskets packed with everything to make a spaghetti dinner in their new home (wooden spoon, saucepan, bowl, etc.); and a more practical gift, a mop bucket stocked with paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, and garbage bags.
4.) Throw a party! Gabe Cordova, broker/owner of the Core Group has a fun and generous way of thanking his clients post-closing. “My favorite thing to do is to throw my buyers a house warming party! Everyone says they are going to have one, but almost nobody does it because of the planning and details.” Gabe has his clients choose the date, select their favorite finger foods and send him the email addresses of their friends and family…he does the rest! He sends out an invite via Evite and has the food and serving ware delivered the day of the party.
Bonus: He attends every housewarming party to ensure it runs smoothly and to have the opportunity to meet the guests. He sends every guest a thank you email for attending. The whole event usually costs between $200-$300 – not bad for an event that leads to a new client almost every time.
5.) Go the extra step: Nick Ratliff says, “I try to take into account each client before I buy a closing gift, because not everyone wants the same thing. I recently had a client with two small children, so I bought a box of Hot Wheels cars for the son (he always had cars when we went to showings) and a gift card to Toys R’ Us for the daughter, so that she could pick out clothes for her dolls.”
6.) City-specific: If you live in a larger metro area, give your clients city specific artwork. Etsy can be a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind client gifts, such as a framed print with the city’s well-known and historical streets and places. Is your market near a major university? Nick Ratliff says, “The gift my clients always like best are tickets to that season’s sporting events.” He gives them first choice to tickets to the University of Kentucky football and basketball games.
7.) A gift that keeps on giving: After closing, sign-up your clients for a unique subscription service, such as HomeZada. This service will help your buyers manage all the data on their new home in one secure place, including: providing a central location for saving all important home documents; a portal to budget, shop and track costs of home improvement projects; keeps a home inventory for the insurance company; and tracks all maintenance tasks and to-do’s.
8.) Pay it forward: In real estate, the best compliment you can receive is a referral. “When I receive a referral, I typically give wine with a gift certificate to a local restaurant or I treat the person to a night on the town,” said Tania Rooney. Amanda Howard makes sure to send a hand-written thank you note with a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble gift card to everyone who refers a client.
Do you have any tips of your own? Tweet us at @HomeFinder1. Want to learn more from one of these experts? Visit their websites or connect with them via Twitter!