April 21st, 2021 | Updated on December 11th, 2021
Are you a new real estate agent under contract on your first property? As with most careers, you’re likely learning as you go—what to do, what not to do—and likely learning that it can be tough to build clientele. Many realtors build their network from successful sales and word-of-mouth recommendations, but how do you get started if you don’t have those sales?
Thankfully, you’re not the first to come to this dilemma, and there are plenty of expert tips on how to build your clientele as a realtor. After some time, you’ll have a growing network, but you’re never quite done—after all, the average tenure of homeowners is about 10 years. You will still need to rely on customer reviews, so it’s imperative to foster a good relationship between you and your clients and make their buying process smooth and memorable. That way, they will want to recommend you to their peers.
Beyond ensuring a hassle-free buying experience, one way to remain memorable is through closing gifts. However, closing gifts are a debated topic in real estate. Some professionals swear by it, while others deem it unnecessary and that service should speak for itself. So, what should you do?
Cons of Giving Closing Gifts
Can Be Unprofessional
One of the easiest ways to lose clients is by being unprofessional. Never forget that your relationship with clients is a business relationship and not a personal one. However, it is often easy to confuse between the two.
There is a fine line between closing gifts appearing courteous and unprofessionalism. It is up to you to ascertain whether the relationship you have with your clients is a friendly one or not and whether they would appreciate the gesture of a closing gift or not. Also, make sure that you research your clients to avoid sending out gifts that they might misconstrue as something else.
Can Be a Waste
Professional gifts require some investment since the exchange of cheap items creates a more negative impression than a positive one. However, these gifts often miss their mark and are tossed out or forgotten.
Unfortunately, choosing the right closing gift is often a stroke of luck. You can turn the odds in your favor by paying attention to the clients’ habits and proclivities during your business dealings with them. However, this does require considerable time and effort that may be better used focusing on other aspects of the job.
If you feel overwhelmed while choosing the right closing gift for your client, maybe it’s not for you.
Pros of Giving Closing Gifts
Make Yourself Memorable
In the cutthroat real estate industry, agents constantly find newer ways to stand out to their clients to make a positive impression and initiate a favorable word-of-mouth flow. Now, considering that first-time homebuyers make up for almost 33 percent of real estate sales, you must keep track of your return customers.
Although holding on to your clients is essential, it is not easy. Closing gifts can go a long way towards making their experience with you unique and memorable. Some great examples of unique closing gifts are:
Housewarming presents complete with personalized gift sets, like a stamp with the client’s new address for mail
Gift coupons for furniture and toiletries
Month-long subscription to a non-essential service like cable or streaming services
Vouchers for relocating services
Some closing gifts can also double as excellent promotional items. Giving your clients items that sport your brand and slogan on them increases the likelihood of clients remembering and promoting your brand whenever they see it.
Since promotional items require some investment, you should make sure that they are affordable, practical, and an object of everyday usage. One excellent option is well-designed custom tote bags that are practical, affordable, and great for the environment.
Closing gifts are a great way to save money on your taxes since they are deductible; this might seem trivial, but they add up with every gift you purchase. In addition, any product with your brand on it as a form of advertising could make it eligible deductible by up to half the expense. Thus, not only are gifts highly effective promotional products and signs of an extra caring touch, but they are also an easy way to save some money on your branding investment.
Strike a Fine Balance
While good closing gifts can create a unique and memorable experience for your clients, questionable gifts can have a detrimental effect on their impression of you as a professional. Building a relationship with your client is vital. The key is to maintain a fine balance between professional courtesy and making yourself stand out to your clients.