Up To 65% Of Real Estate Agents Business Comes From Referrals- Why Giving A Closing Gift MATTERS
How to Choose the Perfect Closing Gift
A recent case study involving top performing real estate agents discovered some important information: When it comes to keeping clients and getting referrals, your closing gift matters.
Ask any real estate where most of their new client business comes from, and most will say referrals.
In fact, 39% of sellers said they worked with a certain agent because of referrals from friends or family. That’s a huge portion of any agent’s business.
The really amazing thing is that this number is a little on the low side. According to an article published in the New York Times, referrals are responsible for an average of 65% of all new business.
That’s almost two thirds!
But it doesn’t end there.
Here’s the Most Important Part…
The study found that agents that gave a gift at closing saw 51% of their clients come back. Not only that, 62% of their clients referred them to friends and family.
Bottom line: Showing your existing customers you care is so important in the world of real estate.
And one of the best ways to show them you care is with an amazing closing gift!
But what gifts work best for real estate agents? How much should you spend?
Here are 4 rules to follow:
Rule #1 – Go Easy on the Branding
There’s always a temptation to throw a bunch of branded merchandise together and call it a day. For a real estate agent, that might mean tossing a few pens and mugs into a gift basket.
But there’s a problem with those types of gifts.
They’re clearly promotional items. Your clients will know it. They may still use the gift, but it does nothing to create a deeper connection between them and your agency.
Personalization is the key when you’re giving an important client a gift.
Yet so many agents confuse personalized and promotional. Imagine you’re at an exhibition. You’re going to be talking to hundreds of people during the course of the day. As part of your networking efforts, you’ll be handing out gift bags containing a bunch of merchandise.
If you would put it in a promotional gift bag, don’t give it to your client.
Your client already knows who you are. They don’t need your brand shoved in their face. They’ll appreciate something personal that they’ll like far more than your branded mugs.
Rule #2 – Make it Last Forever
If you don’t go branded, you might decide to go easy. A bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates seems like a great closing gift.
The problem with that?
Those gifts don’t last forever. The flowers wilt and the chocolates get eaten. That means they can’t serve as reminders of your company anymore.
Chewy.com shows us a way to do it differently:
An online pet food retailer, Chewy.com knows that its customers love their pets.
While browsing their Facebook page one day, they came upon an interesting post. One of their customers shared a picture of their cat lying in one of the company’s pet food boxes.
Most companies would just share the post with an appropriate comment.
Chewy.com decided to commission an artist to paint a portrait of the image. Then they delivered it to the customer.
It’s a gift that’s going to last a lifetime.
And it’s exactly the sort of thing you should go for with your closing gift.
You can combine the gift with perishables too. For example, you could send a gorgeous vase along with a bunch of flowers. The vase will get used over and over, long after the flowers are discarded.
Rule #3 - Make it Appeal to Them
The Chewy.com story offers a great example of creating a gift that appeals to the customer.
Laura M. offers another great example:
A real estate agent in the Greater Northeast, Laura used to do what every agent does. She’d close a sale and hand the client her business card.
A visit to a friend’s house after closing a sale changed her strategy.
She noticed that the friend had a set of engraved wine glasses. That’s when she remembered the client she’d just closed had mentioned a love of wine.
Laura got a pair of personalized glasses made up and sent them to the client. She received a phone call thanking her. The client expressed surprise that Laura even remembered the conversation about wine.
But it’s what came after that really surprised her.
Over the next month, her number of Facebook fans increased by 22%.
Word had gotten out about her gift and people started following her to learn more about her. Of course, that opened up new business opportunities.
Laura experienced such success because she followed the third rule of closing gifts:
Make it matter to the client.
Listen for any interests your clients might share and make sure your gift builds on that conversation.
Rule #4 – Avoid Common Gifting Mistakes
There are a few mistakes to be wary of when it comes to giving gifts.
For example, you should always give the gift after closing. Never when you’re negotiating with a client. In the corporate world especially, a gift during the tendering phase may get misconstrued. Some may see it as a bribe.
It’s also important to strike a balance between personalized and intimate. Going overboard with a gift may actually put the client off working with you again. If it’s not something you’d feel comfortable receiving from someone in a business context, it’s not the right gift.
Finally, don’t guess anything. If you don’t know how to spell a client’s name, use their initials instead.
Buy the Perfect Closing Gift
The gift you choose comes down to what you’ve learned about your client. However, your business and its budget are also factors.
If you’re giving a gift to a couple, consider items that come in pairs. For example, a monogrammed set of wine glasses or a decanter set work really well. A family receipt board is a great choice too.
Does the client enjoy a cigar every once in a while? If so, a personalized humidor is the sort of permanent gift they’ll appreciate.
Speaking of permanent gifts, how about something they’ll use every day? Take an engraved clock, for example. Once that’s hanging on the wall, it serves as a constant reminder of you.
When the customer looks at the clock, they’ll remember the pleasant experience of working with you. That means they’ll refer you to others and come back when they need your services.
Whatever you decide to buy, make sure you follow the four rules of closing gifts:
- Avoid branding
- Make it permanent
- Make it appeal to them
- Avoid mistakes that cause misinterpretations