Every day, thousands of excited homeowners leave closings with keys that will let them into their next home, where countless shared memories will be collected along with friends and family. Real estate agents leave closings just as excited, with the satisfaction of knowing they helped another client and the reward of a well-deserved commission check for their effort. While the paperwork is signed, the relationship between the agent and new homeowner is far from over.
Nearly every agent understands that the best time to ask your satisfied client for a referral is immediately post-closing. And what better way to get the referral flood gates flowing than by giving a closing gift that says thank you for your business along with a reminder that you’re never too busy for their referrals.
While closing gifts are commonplace within the agent-client relationship, often times this is a missed opportunity to add a memorable touch that can keep you top-of-mind the next time that recently satisfied homeowner becomes a seller or buyer.
Before you order that next Edible Arrangement or construct a wine and cheese basket, consider some alternatives that can get your clients talking about you to their family and friends. Here are some examples to help get your creative juices flowing.
Rally Clients Around A Social Cause
As a realtor, you’re in the business of helping families find the home where their most important memories will be made. Considering everything our homes mean to us, it’s not a stretch to say you’re in the business of making dreams come true. Think about it... there’s a reason “dream home” is an everyday part of our vocabulary.
An organization like 1MISSION is also in the business of putting families in homes, but in their case, these homes happen to look a little different. Throughout the world, 1.6 billion people lack access to adequate shelter. That’s 1 in every 5 people in the world! At the same time, 1MISSION knows that safe, secure houses protect families from extreme weather, violent crime and preventable disease. They also give families reason to dream and plan for the future.
If you’re struggling to find a closing gift for a client who has everything, getting involved in a social cause like 1MISSION’s House to House program could be a great answer. As an agent, you commit to giving a portion of each commission to 1MISSION to put families in homes. Not only does this give you a way to differentiate yourself in your next listing presentation, but also you get a handmade client box containing a keychain as well as a biography of the family whose house the donation helped fund.
Present the box to your client at closing, and a few months later, 1MISSION will send you a proof report once the family’s house has been completed. What a great way to follow up with clients a few months after closing!
Help Clients Keep Their House Happy
Closings are an exciting time for clients, but also usually indicate the start of a never-ending ‘honey do’ list. After all, homes require constant maintenance and improvements along the way of managing what becomes the biggest investment many individuals make in their lives.
What better way to gift your clients at close than a service like Househappy, which helps your clients document the ongoing maintenance needs of their home and set up reminders and alerts to let them know when things need to get done.
Imagine how valuable it would be for your client to get a detailed account of every aspect of their home, including:
- Appliance models
- Types of light bulbs
- HVAC filters and parts
- Regular maintenance cycles
- And more
What’s even better about services like this, is that when it comes time to resell, you’ve essentially got that home’s version of a Carfax report which means the home details and maintenance history are available for prospective buyers.
Throw Your Clients A Housewarming Party
The best part about a home is the memories that get made there. As soon as your clients take ownership of their new house, of course they are thinking about how soon they can show it off. Instead of a gift basket, give them a reason to bring over their family, friends and new neighbors by sponsoring their housewarming party.
At first, this might seem daunting, but you’d be surprised how easily it can come together. In many ways, you can think about it like you would an open house! Work with your client to designate a window of time once they’ve settled into their new house. Ask them to give you a list of people they’d want to invite, get their permission to add some of their new neighbors to the list and distribute the invites.
On the day of the ‘open housewarming’, you can tailor activities to the tastes of your clients and their guests. Need some ideas?
- Facilitate a wine tasting
- Show off your BBQ skills
- Set up a lawn game olympics
You can also help your clients by being the one who tours the home for their guests. They’ll get more time to visit and you’ll get to show off your skills! What better way to reinforce your client relationship while picking up some referrals in the process!
The best gift you are always going to give your clients is your expertise in supporting and navigating the home buying and selling process. While that experience will ultimately be what makes that client a reliable referral source, more creativity in your closing gifts can give you a quick boost to get your next lead.