Taking a Closer Look at Closing Gifts: A Comparison of 5 Popular Options

How do properly thank clients that put food on your table? If you’re like most agents, a closing gift is one of the ways you show appreciation.

But good closing gifts are more than that. They can serve as a physical reminder of the relationship you’ve formed with them for years to come, opening the door to repeat business and referral opportunities.

A good closing gift should be unique, thoughtful, and representative of the value you place on the relationship. Here’s how a few popular items stack up.

Cutlery

KnifeHousehold items are always popular choice for closing gifts, and knives are among the most popular items in the category. Many brands also offer the option of engraving a special message.

Pros:

High value. Cutlery has a substantial feel to it, which adds to its perceived value. It’s easy for the clients to think, “wow, this is a nice gift.”

Repeated exposure. Since people use household items like these regularly, they are reminded of you often—especially in the first few months.

Cons:

High cost. Nice knives aren’t cheap. You’re looking at around $75 on the low end, and many options will set you back even more. It could pay off if you continue to stay in touch, but don’t expect to recoup those costs in the short term.

Potentially dangerous. If your client accidentally cuts himself with your gift, the positive association you are hoping for will be replaced with a painful memory.

Limited visibility. Cutlery spends most of its time in a drawer or cabinet, out of sight, and out of mind.

Doormats

As with the cutlery, doormats are home-related items that can be personalized for each client.

Door MatPros:

Ties in with occasion. A welcome mat literally welcomes clients into their new home. So it’s a timely gift.

Cost effective. Even with personalization, doormats are on the lower end of the cost scale when it comes to closing gifts. You can find nice options in the $20 – $25 range.

Cons:

Can become worn or faded after a while. Over time, the elements and repeated use will take its toll on even the sturdiest doormat. The personalized message will become less visible and inviting.

Quickly forgotten about. How often do think about your doormat? If you’re like most people, only when you’re wiping muddy or snowy feet before you come inside. That’s certainly not the strongest brand association for an agent.

Artwork

There are many forms of artwork, from sculptures to paintings to charcoal sketches. Any could be a closing gift, but the most popular seems to be a painting or illustration of the house the client just purchased.

Pros:framedart

Visibility. Artwork is meant to be displayed. It usually earns a prime spot in one of the most heavily used rooms in the house.

Emotional connection. Depending on the subject, this gift could tap into client’s emotions. For instance, first time homebuyer may feel proud looking at a painting of their house.

Cons:

People stop noticing. The benefit of the high visibility diminishes over time. Clients become so used to the decorations in their homes that eventually they hardly notice them anymore, let alone think about where they came from.

Price. The cost of original artwork varies depending on the artist. But anyone who is any good will command a sizeable fee. For paintings, don’t forget that framing adds to the total cost as well.

Long lead time. You have to account for the time it takes an artist to do the work. That means you could have to commission him or her months before closing. If the transaction falls through within that time, then you have to eat the cost of the artwork.

Matching décor could be challenging. This is especially true with framed artwork. You often don’t know what is going to go with their furniture, other artwork, or even individual tastes.

Gift Card to a Local Restaurant or Shop

Gift CardsMany agents like to give gifts that have a local tie-in, especially if they specialize in certain geographic areas. Gift certificates to neighborhood restaurants and shops fit the bill.

Pros:

Useful. A night out can help client’s relax after the stress of buying a home. And if they are new to the neighborhood it’s a great introduction to one or more local establishments.

Cons:

Short lived. Once your clients use this gift, it’s gone. So you miss out on having that visual reminder that many of the other closing gifts offer.

Subjective. Depending on your clients’ tastes, they may not like the restaurant or shop that you pick out.

Impersonal. Just like with your family and friends, gift cards can give the impression that you didn’t take the time and effort to choose a personal gift. Gift cards are often seen as the easy way out.

American Lifestyle magazine

American Lifestyle Magazine and Tear Out CardFor agents who are looking for a closing gift that keeps giving, this forty-eight-page, coffee table-quality publication can be customized with an agents photo, contact information, and even a personal letter.

Pros:

Great bang for the buck. Most people assume that American Lifestyle magazine costs than it does. It gives the appearance that you publish your own professional magazine.

Continual value. Every eight weeks a new issue brings fresh content, renewed interest, and additional opportunities to start conversations that could lead to referrals.

High visibility. American Lifestyle magazine often end up on the coffee table, around where family and friends gather.

Broad appeal. With articles on travel, design, and art, as well as flavorful recipes, American Lifestyle magazine has something for nearly everyone.

Often shared with others. The articles and recipes in American Lifestyle are often shared with other members of the family, friends, and neighbors. The magazine even includes Tear Out cards, customized with the real estate agent’s name and contact information, to make sharing easy.

Cons:

Address may be taken already. ReminderMedia provides mailing address exclusivity. So if another businessperson is mailing the magazine to one of your clients already, you won’t be able to use this tool with them.

May fit better as an ongoing retention solution. While American Lifestyle can be used as a closing gift, (many agents do), that’s not its only application. Many agents choose to provide a more traditional closing gift and then follow it up with American Lifestyle magazine to keep the momentum going and stay in regular touch with their clients and sphere of influence.

The perfect closing gift for one client may not resonate with another, so make sure you choose your gifts on a case-by-case basis. It’s also important to remember that closing gifts are effective in the short term. Make sure you have a long-term plan to stay in touch with these people to make your investment pay off.