In a referral business, we all know the importance of cementing your place in a client’s memory. The home buying process is fun, exhilarating, rewarding, and you really get to know your client. But by the time the closing date rolls around, it’s often the end of a long road. Client gift? Let’s be honest–we’ve all defaulted to a Home Depot gift card and a handshake. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But with a little extra effort, the gift can be a thoughtful way to celebrate the clients’ new home, celebrate their personal style, and nurture the business relationship.
So how to be personal and thoughtful without breaking the bank or requiring a personal shopper? Here are some clever ideas:
Art Attack–Work with an artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece celebrating the new home. Go the traditional route with a charcoal sketch of the home’s exterior, or have a print made of the family name for clients with more contemporary tastes.
Stock the Fridge–Spend an hour in the grocery store buying snacks and noshes to be enjoyed during move-in day. Consider pre-cut veggies and dips, a small basket of fruit, soda and beer, crackers and good cheese, a few bottles of water, a selection of salami and sausages, and their favorite pop/beer/wine. Don’t forget the corkscrew–which will live in the silverware drawer after the snacks have been enjoyed, and throw in a half dozen cloth napkins for posterity.
Eat Local–A gift basket of local favorites: chocolate from B.T.McElrath, Chocolat Celeste, or Just Truffles; a 6 pack of Surly, some pepper sticks from Hackenmueller’s Meats, an interesting local read, some in-season local produce, and a gift certificate to that hot new restaurant down the street.
Go Go Gadget–Cozy and homey may not quite be the right tone for a tech-loving client. Consider the Keyport –which consolidates a pocketful of keys–including the one to their brand new home–into one nifty gadget. You can even have it engraved.
Remember that Home Depot gift card? Just because it’s a classic doesn’t mean it’s not a great gift. Here are two more that are tried and true:
Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself–They’re common because they’re just great gifts. Realtors have used them for years, but you’ll never go wrong with a personalized welcome mat or a return address stamp.
Ticket, Please–Sports fans or theater buffs will always appreciate a pair of tickets to a big event. Whether it’s a Twins game at the lovely new Target Field, or the Wild at Xcel Center, or the touring production of the hottest Broadway show, you’ll be remembered. It also gives you a great reason to check back in just prior to the event.
Do you give closing gifts? What’s been your most-appreciated token of appreciation?