Closing gifts are unique to the real estate industry. You won't find insurance sales agents or lawyers giving clients gifts after closing deals. There's still much debate over whether these gifts are practical or even necessary. They can be a meaningful way to say thank to a client, but they can also cost agents quite a bit of time and money.
Should you give closing gifts to clients?
If You Are Going to Give Gifts:
The Timing Needs to be Right
If you're going to give a closing gift, the timing needs to be right . Agents often don't understand the purpose of a closing gift or they feel obligated to give one because it feels like the right thing to do.
In those few weeks after closing, you are still in the forefront of your client's mind. Your name will come in up just about every conversation they have about their home-buying experience. They don't necessarily need to be reminded of your service right now.
If you did your job right, your client will be raving about you. If you did a poor job, no gift in the world will change their opinion of you.
Consider waiting four to six months to give your closing gift – right around the time your name will be fading from memory. Include a nice note. Call it an "anniversary" gift.
Suddenly, you're right back in the forefront of your client's memory for a few months.
Be Smart about the Gift
Don't just give a generic gift. Put some thought into it and make it personal. You know your clients; choose gifts that suit their personalities. And make sure the gift is relevant to the sale of the home. A beauty basket with an expensive anti-aging serum and other high-end beauty products may not be appropriate. But a gift basked loaded with pantry staples or cleaning products is appropriate and every member of the family will enjoy it.
Other great gift ideas include:
Monthly subscriptions – A timely reminder of your name.
Gift cards – Clients can use the money however they please.
Organizing services – Clients can organize their homes right from the get-go.
The gift possibilities are endless. Whether you choose to brand these gifts is up to you, but there's a good chance that your logo-emblazoned gift will wind up at the local thrift store or in the attic.
Reasons Not to Give Closing Gifts
If you're going to give a gift, you have to time it right and be smart about what you give. But many agents argue that it's not really worth the effort to give a gift.
For starters, other industries don't give gifts when they close deals. If you do your job well, clients will mention your name when people ask them for recommendations.
The truly memorable gifts are often the most expensive, and many agents say that the benefits aren't great. Your gift isn't a guarantee that your name will stay in the forefront of the client's mind any longer than it would have otherwise.
Ultimately, it's up to you whether you give a closing gift. It may be worth testing the results of giving and not giving to see if it's having any real effect.