CLOSING GIFTS: Good or bad idea?

By
Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196
http://actvra.in/nT2

CLOSING GIFTS: Good or bad idea? 

There are opposite trains of thought on this.

Don’t give!

One side wonders who dreamed up this concept of a closing gift anyway? When one thinks about it, just how many presents have you received from your own service providers?

My accountant gives me a bill. So does my doctor. My dentist. My insurance guy may buy me a cup of coffee. Lenders have taken me out for lunch, or split the cost of dinner when taking out our mutual clients. 

But we’ve never expected anything from our service providers. All I can hope for is referrals.

 

Give! Gift

The other side explores all kinds of possibilities for a closing gift.

I once heard about a REALTOR who gave his high end clients gifts of brand-new furniture.  There are those who throw housewarming parties for their clients.  Some give Home Depot cerrtificates. Others look at certificate for fine dining for two.

I personally prefer giving house warranties --- until I ran into a buyer who was miffed that I didn’t give her packing boxes instead.

Isn't a thank you card enough?

 

What do you think/do, and why?

There have been questions posted on various sites about ideas for closing gifts. 

It isn’t protocol. It isn’t even a tradition…or is it?

close

Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tim Hill 11/30/2011 01:00 PM
  2. John McCormack 12/01/2011 07:33 PM
  3. Joe Jackson 12/02/2011 08:08 AM
  4. Irene Wertheimer 12/02/2011 03:59 PM
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California Alameda County
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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
661,295
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Tom and Luisa -- a portfolio makes a very nice gift. Good idea.

Patrick -- delicious analogy!

Kimo --- your newsletters should keep you front and center

Lyn -- it's sad when people forget about a simple "thank you". I once gave a Home Depot check to buyers who demanded that I rebate my commission since they made it easy for me by walking into my open house. They were a horror from the beginning to the end. I send them an email from time to time, and still have them on my distribution list for American Lifestyle Magazine. Not a peep!

Karen -- I think fire extinguishers are a good idea...not everyone thinks of getting one.

Dec 01, 2011 02:18 PM #121
Rainmaker
661,295
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Jayson -- Harry and David gift boxes are always nice.....but pricey!

Gayle -- when time permits and the location is good, I will take my clients out to dinner or lunch after signing.

Jirius -- have to think of clients as future friends when giving something to commemorate the occasion. I hope they never look at me as Santa Claus.

Gene -- someone gave me a door knocker with my initials on it. I never put it up, and don't know where it is.

Mike -- I used to give Entertainment Books (local)....but I don't know that people bothered to use it. So I stopped

 

Dec 01, 2011 02:22 PM #122
Rainmaker
661,295
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Jim --- I can count how many vendors/suppliers have given me gifts or tokens of appreciation. Very few. When I had major surgery, at least I received follow up calls. No gift.

Cheryl --- I did receive flowers from sellers...that was a surprise!

 

Dec 01, 2011 02:24 PM #123
Rainer
19,833
Brett Richman
Summers/East Coast Realty Group - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Louisiana Real Estate

I give gifts to buyers but, not sellers.  My gift to my sellers is that I just sold their house.

Dec 01, 2011 03:59 PM #124
Rainer
125,666
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

I think a gift to a client who has stuck with us through the sometimes not so smooth sailing of a real estate transaction is a nice touch. Nothing outlandish. I try to avoid personalized gifts with people's names on them. The only time I gave a young couple a personalized memory book as a house warming gift they got divorced two years later. OOPS...

Dec 01, 2011 04:17 PM #125
Rainmaker
661,295
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Brett --- I remember giving champagne to sellers to celebrate the sale and their move to another state. When they came back, they used me again to find them a house, and also referred me to another buyer whose purchase, to this day, is my biggest escrow yet.

Sylvia --- Good thing to keep in mind about the longevity and permanence of a gift and a relationship.

Dec 01, 2011 05:31 PM #126
Rainmaker
132,973
Liane Thomas - Corona & Riverside Real Estate
The Jet Team, Allison James Estates & Homes - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

I give a gift basket filled with goodies that runs about $50 total, wine, 2 glasses, new towels for the kitchen, entertainment guide, a stack of my notepads and pens.

Dec 01, 2011 07:30 PM #127
Rainmaker
962,124
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 TheHomeFunnel.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Yikes! I'm number 128, good job Pacita! I used to give gifts now I just give a bottle of wine if they're wine

lovers or if it's a young couple a gift certificate to Home Depot. I'm not consistent it all depends on the deal.

 

Best

Dec 01, 2011 07:40 PM #128
Rainmaker
634,406
Stephanie/Bob The Ruiz/Miller Team
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Wow Pacita, This is easy for me!  I too never received anything from those I pay for a service!  I am a professional also!

Dec 01, 2011 07:46 PM #129
Rainer
196,305
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton

Dear Pacita,

Good question. Something small, like the key chain that Melissa suggested seems like a good idea, especially, if it has the contact info on it. If clients loose their keys, they might be returned, but not give away, where the client lives. Then you can send an email to all clients to see, who lost their keys, unless they are encoded somehow & you know, who they belong to.

Dec 01, 2011 10:21 PM #130
Rainmaker
661,295
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Liane -- if I received this kind of gift from you, I'd be so happy!

Adrian -- more and more, I think it will depend on the relationship cultivated with the client.

Bob -- when I did receive something from my vendors/suppliers, I tended to give them more business.

Dorte -- I like the key chain idea....but like re-keying the house even more although that could get very expensive.

Dec 01, 2011 11:39 PM #131
Rainer
55,770
Linda Gurtel, CRS
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Glastonbury, CT

There are two things I like to do.  Get the house new keys and for others have the housewarming party. I also do a video of the house when we do the walk thru and email this to their friends with their new address. This works well when they send the email to people out of state.   

Dec 02, 2011 10:13 AM #132
Rainmaker
356,443
Sylvie Stuart
Keller Williams Check Realty 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagstaff, AZ

I am happy to give closing gifts, if you give gifts that last, it will help them think of you when their friends and family are ready to buy, too!

Dec 02, 2011 10:24 AM #133
Rainer
34,841
Dan Pinson
International Realty Partners - Phoenix, AZ
Broker,ABR,GRI,RSPS,SFR,TRC

I like to give Lowe's gift cards if they're buyers. For sellers it all depends on the client.

Dec 02, 2011 11:41 AM #134
Rainmaker
149,452
Mary M. Kandell
Russell Real Estate Services - Sandusky, OH

Pacita,  For years I have been giving my clients Welcome Mats at closing.  They always seem surprised and I:) very often see them being used when I stop by for a visit

Dec 02, 2011 02:33 PM #135
Rainmaker
661,295
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Linda -- fabulous ideas. I'm sure the buyers are thankful whichever they receive.

Sylvia -- gifts that have a long shelf life and are very visible will certainly go a long way to keeping you to your clients' top of mind when it comes to realtors.

Dan -- Buyers alwasy have something to buy at Lowe's or Home Depot --- paint, cleaning supllies, picture hangers, shelves, etc. This is always a good gift. Hope you at least get a thank you from them!

Mary --- This is one time when you won't be offended if they associate you with a door mat ;)

Dec 02, 2011 02:42 PM #136
Rainmaker
258,070
Tony Lewis
RE/MAX of Valencia (Hall of Fame) 30 year Valencia Resident - Valencia, CA
RE/MAX Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Santa Clarita

I haven't given out closing gifts in the 15 years in real estate.  It would be great to give something from the heart but there hasn't been something affordable and meaningful that would make it worthwhile.  Besides, my doctor and lawyer doesn't give a gift in fact it would be more appropriate for me to give them a gift upon their success.  We claim to be professionals so is us giving the gift the right answer?

Dec 10, 2011 01:57 AM #137
Rainmaker
661,295
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Tony

When I started in the business, the senior agents told me that we are "supposed" to give closing gifts....and I was following the example of the more successful agents. Little did I know it's not a requirement.

 

Dec 10, 2011 10:30 PM #138
Rainmaker
150,171
Dale Taylor
Re/Max All Properties New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

I try to give them a gift of value to them while I am working with them.  It also depends on how they have treated me on whether they've earned a gift.  When I buget affords it, I will send a gift to all my past clients once a year.  It is usually something inexpensive to me, but of value to them like a coupon book. 

Jan 15, 2012 12:31 AM #139
Rainmaker
128,626
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
www.professionalinvestorsguild.com
Obviously its not a requirement, and it's certainly up to the agent, but I can't imagine making $3,000-$5,000 (or more) by helping someone buy a house, become friends with them in the process, and then not at least get them something as a thank you. I usually do gift baskets, but I have also purchased Movado watches, crystal clocks, and high-end kids clothes for clients who have purchased multi-million dollar properties from me.
Jun 11, 2012 09:03 AM #140
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
661,295

Pacita Dimacali

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
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