By Jim Droz
Once upon a time, you worked with a couple who was looking for their first home. You spent most of your evenings and weekends with them, sometimes sacrificing lunches and soccer games, to help them find their dream home. Months later, they found the one—the missing mate to the glass slipper they had been carrying in their hearts forever, the perfect home. And so you squared away the paperwork, negotiated any last standing details, and closed the sale. You gave them the key, received your commission check, they lived happily ever after, the end.
Or is it?
Is it really the end? After all, you spent months, perhaps even years, getting to know this couple. You worked hard to help them find the right home in the perfect neighborhood. You memorized their schedule. You learned their likes and dislikes. You grieved with them during life’s roughest moments. You celebrated with them when they walked into their home. Are you really going to throw it all away by ending the relationship there, severing any and all possible opportunities to work with them again in the future?
What a lot of agents have to understand is that even though they’ve managed to finally close the deal, it’s important that they remain on their clients’ minds. One way to do that is by doing something as simple as sending a closing gift that shows you appreciate their business and friendship.
A closing gift is a great way to remind your clients of the positive experience they had with you as their Realtor. Personalized and unique gifts such as customized wine bottles, mailing address labels and gift cards to their favorite restaurant are just a few ideas.
Personal touches matter when finding the right closing gift, which is why it’s important to remember that you should always, always, always listen to your client. Take mental notes (or jot them down in your smart phone) about what your clients like and dislike. Have they always wanted to go skydiving or wine tasting? Is there a pair of shoes or handbag that they’ve always wanted? Is there a favorite baseball team that they root for? Make sure the gift reflects who they are and take into consideration that your generosity is how you will gain referrals and repeat business.
You should also note that the value of the gift should be proportional to the sale—somewhere along the lines of about 1% of the final sales price of the home. Remember, the gift is the gateway to a future referral from your client—it is the last impression you will make on your clients.
So before you close the book on this story, send your clients another pair of glass slippers and a trail that’ll lead them back to your door the next time they’re ready to do business with you again. Real estate is more than just a business transaction; it’s an emotional time for your client and giving them a closing gift will remind them that they can always count on you to slay that dragon or climb that tower. Until then, let’s leave the ending open for a sequel.
What’s the best closing gift you’ve ever given to your clients? Were you buying a home and working a realtor who gave you a fantastic gift? What was it? Share your story with us.