Realtor Gifts for Clients
Thought exercise: What if the 3 most important factors in real estate are NOT “location, location, location”…but in fact they are: “relationships, relationships, relationships”?
Enter realtor client gifts, the oft-underestimated tactic that can dramatically boost your rapport, referrals, and repeat business.
The notion of giving realtor client gifts may initially seem like a detour from the main road of property transactions. However, you will quickly find, that a genuine, thoughtful gift can transform a one-time customer into a raving fan, who amplifies your name in their network to become a regular referral source.
And if this still feels like a detour from the core responsibilities, here’s a roadmap for what we’ll cover:
- Why Give Realtor Client Gifts?
- The Best Realtor Client Gifts for any Occasion
- Client Gifting Services for Real Estate Agents
- Legal Concerns with Client Gifting
Why Give Realtor Client Gifts?
Maybe the first question is: Why are agents expected to give gifts to their clients?
Doctors, lawyers, mechanics, and general contractors don’t give gifts to their customers, right? Perhaps there’s a good point here, but we’re not here to debate the industry dynamics or expectations when it comes to appreciating your clients.
The simple fact is that real estate agents don’t need to give a damn thing to their clients (that includes giving great service too).
They should want to because positive client experiences benefit their business. Along the same lines, if you want to maximize the number of clients that refer you to their friends, family, and colleagues, you should at least consider sending them gifts.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
Realtor client gifts aren’t just about the tangible object that you give—it’s the reminder that you’re looking out for your clients. Even if “the gift” is just a short text message on their 1 year move-in anniversary. And there are multiple benefits that can come from these gestures.
Enhancing Referrals and Repeat Business
Let’s not beat around the bush. When it comes to any business activity, if it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense 🎶.
65% of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home. (NAR)
The thoughtfulness expressed through gifts can turn a satisfied client into a raving fan. And that means real estate referrals and repeat business.
As all expert agents know, business thrives on relationships, both short and long-term. It’s right here that realtor client gifts can play a significant role. Gifts aren’t just tokens of appreciation—they can, indeed, pave the path towards stronger client-agent relations. By sharing a thoughtful gift, you show that you value your client, not just their business. And in doing so, you just might kindle the spark for a robust, long-lasting professional bond.
A simple gesture can speak volumes when it comes to expressing appreciation. Realtor client gifts symbolize more than just a thank-you—they represent your dedication, effort, and especially the value you place on your professional relationships. When you show a client that you’ve taken the time to choose a gift that resonates with them, you’re expressing their importance to you.
Reminding clients that you’re still in business
Sounds crazy right? Well the stats are scary in this area.
Eighty-nine percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others, BUT only 12 percent used an agent that they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home (NAR)
So don’t let your happy past clients forget that you’re still available to help on their next transaction. The occasional gift is a great way to do that casually.
In summary, thoughtful realtor client gifts are a remarkable way not just to end a transaction but to perhaps begin a rewarding business journey. They truly are the unsung, super-effective secret weapon of resourceful real estate agents.
Occasions for Real Estate Client Gifts
Sure you don’t need a reason to give, but it’s a bit less weird when your gift is tied to some kind of occasion. Here a list of themes you can consider when sending client gifts
- Housewarming: this is the most obvious and we have an entire article about closing gifts here.
- One-Year Home Buying Anniversary: Celebrating the first anniversary of the home purchase. This is an excellent way to remind clients of their relationship with the realtor and the successful transaction.
- Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s): Seasonal celebrations are perfect times for realtors to reach out with gifts, showing that they remember their clients during these festive times.
- Client’s Personal Milestones (Birthdays, Weddings, Birth of a Child): Personal milestones are great occasions for realtors to demonstrate that their relationship with clients extends beyond business transactions.
- Referrals: If someone refers you business, it’s great positive feedback (and just common sense) to send them a little something. And send the gift when the referral occurs instead of when the referred transaction occurs. It’ll make the positive feedback much more powerful (and again it’s good common sense).
- Holidays: Marking the end of the year or the start of a new one is a thoughtful way to remain in clients’ minds and show appreciation for their business.
- Client Appreciation Events: Hosting or participating in client appreciation events is an excellent way for realtors to network and show gratitude to multiple clients at once.
- Major Local or Community Events: Tying gifts to significant local events or celebrations can be a unique way to connect with clients and show engagement with the community.
The Best Realtor Client Gifts for any Occasion
One size does not fit all when it comes to realtor client gifts. A bit of consideration into the type of gift and event will ensure it’s personally meaningful and establishes a lasting connection. Stand out from the crowd by selecting gifts that not only express your gratitude but also resonate with the occasion and your client’s preferences.
Simple Messages & Cards: you’d be surprised how much the smallest gestures can make. Extra points if they hear your voice, see your face…or at least see your real handwriting :D.
- Unique Cards: Sending personalized cards for significant life events like weddings, birthdays, or job promotions shows personal attention beyond the business relationship. Check out Market Dwellings
- Send the card along with a $2 scratcher: Add some excitement and also great for fun messages: “glad you took a chance on us!”
- Send a personalized video messages: For example a video of you saying/singing happy birthday. It’s modern, memorable, and cheap!
- Calling clients (ex: for birthdays): Sometimes a good old fashioned phone call goes a long way.
- A Simple Text: It’s the least personal of the group, but better than nothing right!
Sweet treats. Want to be loved and hated at the same time? Get someone a perishable delicious guilt inducing gift.
- Cookie Delivery like Tiffs Treats
- Brownies with logo & personalized card
- Local bakery treats: Personalized and supports local business
- The Popcorn Factory cards: because no one buys their own popcorn tub anymore
Gift Cards. Don’t hate ok? They are actually kinda thoughtful if you don’t know what someone really wants AND they’re easy. Here are some ways to take gift cards a little further though:
- Gift Card for something delicious: Ice cream or coffee work for most occasions
- Gift card for local business: Support local bakeries, cafes, ice cream shops, etc)
- Car wash voucher: Hey if you have a client that’s super practical, this may be a great one…oh and you’re supporting another local business
Actual Physical Gifts. Yes that’s always an option.
- Uncommon Goods or Etsy: Variety of creative and fairly priced items
- Artistic Home Renderings: Watercolor renderings of the home, framed as a special keepsake.
- Address Stamps: Address stamps paired with personalized stationery, enhancing clients’ correspondence.
- Pet-Friendly Gifts: Gifts for clients’ pets, such as toys, treats, or a doggy bed, recognizing the importance of pets.
- Holiday-Themed Gift Baskets: Unique baskets themed for holidays, filled with items like tools, essentials, or hot beverages.
- Seasonal Gifts (e.g., Snow Blower): Items like snow blowers for regions with heavy snowfall, tailored to clients’ local needs.
- Monthly Memberships: Of-the-month club memberships (plants, flowers, gourmet food) for a year-round delightful experience.
Services and Entertainment. Do your recipients prefer “experiences” over “things”? Well try these:
- Movie tickets: Variety and enjoyment
- Meal Subscription Services: Subscriptions to food delivery services, offering convenience and variety in meal choices.
- Local Attraction Tickets: Tickets to local attractions or theme parks, encouraging clients to explore the area.
- Local Memberships: Memberships to local clubs or attractions, helping new residents connect with the community.
- Dining Experiences (Night Out): Paid dinner at a local restaurant, allowing clients to enjoy their new locality.
Client Gifting Services for Real Estate Agents
Want to outsource all your real estate client gifting? Well believe it or not there is an app for that. Actually there are several solutions that may work if you’d prefer the “hands off” approach to gifting:
- Service Description: An online service where you can send a digital candy store experience. Recipients choose their preferred treats from a wide selection, including candy, cookies, popcorn, and more.
- Key Benefits:
- Customizable messages.
- Wide variety of treat options.
- Puts the recipient in control of their gift.
- Ideal for any occasion, including welcoming new team members.
- Price Range: $16.50 – $95 (Taxes and shipping included).
2. Client Giant
- Service Description: An automated client concierge service delivering thoughtful, themed gifts and experiences. Offers recurring gifting options themed to different times of the year.
- Key Benefits:
- Automated and consistent gifting.
- Seasonally themed gifts.
- Serves as a reminder for timely gift-giving.
- Price Range: $10 – $300/month.
- Service Description: A custom mixology drink kit service. Offers a subscription or one-off gifting with boxes containing recipes and cocktail ingredients (minus the alcohol).
- Key Benefits:
- Engaging and interactive experience for recipients.
- Exposes clients to new cocktail flavors and combinations.
- Customizable to recipient’s preferences.
- Price Range: $40 – $50/month.
Legal Concerns with Real Estate Agents giving Clients Gifts
The legality of real estate agents giving gifts to clients is often surrounded by misconceptions and rumors. One such rumor is that agents cannot legally give gifts to clients, or that the gift value cannot exceed $25. However, this is not entirely accurate and needs to be understood from three perspectives: the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), mortgage fraud considerations, and IRS regulations.
Firstly, RESPA does restrict certain types of unilateral giving and exchanges. It prohibits agents from giving or receiving any fee, kickback, or thing of value in exchange for business referrals related to real estate transactions involving federally related mortgage loans. Simply put, an agent can give a gift to a client as a token of appreciation without any strings attached, but they cannot offer something of value in exchange for a business referral. For example, an agent cannot promise a gift certificate for referring new clients, but can present a gift at closing as a gesture of gratitude.
Secondly, in terms of mortgage fraud, the FBI defines it as any material misstatement or misrepresentation relied upon by a lender in a real estate transaction. In this context, it’s allowable for an agent to resolve a contract dispute by adjusting their commission, but not by offering a post-closing gift to sway a decision.
Lastly, from the IRS’s standpoint, there’s no restriction on agents giving gifts to clients, as long as the taxes are appropriately handled. The IRS allows agents to deduct up to $25 for business gifts per person. Gifts with the agent’s name on them, viewed as advertising, are not subject to this limit.
In conclusion, real estate agents can give gifts to their clients as long as these are not in exchange for referrals or business favors, and they adhere to tax regulations. Such gifts, given out of kindness or to foster good relationships, are perfectly legal and a common practice in the industry.
Thriving in the real estate industry involves more than just getting the transaction done. Nurturing relationships is vital to develop long lasting referral and repeat business sources which is why, client gifts are definitely worth considering.
In the realm of real estate, where
What’s key here is thoughtfulness which means: empathy, goodwill, and authenticity. Personalization or some occasion-specific relevance are also important factors when selecting gifts for clients…but note that budget is not critical.
Remember, people may not recall every single detail of a transaction, but by introducing positive moments during gift giving you’ll leave a positive imprint in their mind which can last much longer.