When your clients get the keys to their new home, it's a special day for you as well. Seeing a smile on their faces and the gratitude they have for your part in their journey is worth every minute of the process. It’s also an extremely busy day for the new homeowners! So, when do you, as the Realtor, stop in to say “Welcome Home” and deliver your closing gifts? For me, it really depends on the clients and the stress level of their move! I have found myself on moving day actually helping my clients move because their movers didn’t show up! Or I have been at my client’s home before they get there trying to clean when my cleaner cancelled the last minute.
As a Realtor, your work is never really done until your clients are fully settled into their new home. It actually is a life-long relationship you have and they will forever depend on you to guide them in the right direction with all of their future real estate needs.
This is why I strongly suggest doing something along the lines of a closing gift to show your appreciation for allowing you to be a part of their journey. Some agents opt out of it because they simply don’t know what to get or it is not in their budget to do so. Closing gifts do not have to be elaborate and expensive, but they do have to show your clients that you do value them and their business.
Here are a few ideas for client closing gifts that set you apart from the crowd:
“Welcome Home” Moving Day Kit
Trust me when I say that moving day is not always the most fun and don;t always run smoothly. There is always something to think about last minute and it almost throws the mood or the schedule off. On moving day, if my clients are doing it on their own and did not rent movers, I like to drop off a simple yet useful moving kit. I’ve added in a few little unique items which go past cleaning supplies. My moving day kit includes items such as:
- Paper Towels & Toilet Paper; Cleaning Supplies;
- Paper Plates & Plastic Utensils;
- Pizza Gift Certificate;
- Snacks such as potato chips, granola bars, donuts;
- A small cooler of cold drinks (if the move is in summer) or a brewed carton of fresh coffee in the winter; and
- Individual gift bags for their children with activity and colouring books, small toys and nutritious snacks to keep them occupied while the parents are busy moving.
Think about your specific clients and what their needs are. Do they have young children? Are they sick during the move? Do they have help? What exactly is the moving situation and how can you, as the Realtor, make it an easier process? Think about this and really make what you will do for them personal so they know that you really care about their move.
Sometimes, my clients receive their keys late Friday night and it is only one set of keys. I show up on the Saturday morning to their new home and get the keys from them to make additional copies. It’s the simple things to ease the frustration of moving that make you stand out against your competition.
However you decide to package this – make it look appealing to your clients! Add in a special welcome home hand written note or card and make sure that you brand the hell out of it!!! Branding is one thing that helps clients remember YOU and YOUR NAME. My brand colours are red and black and I like to use red ribbons and my branding flyers on all of the gifts I give out to my clients. Be sure to leave lots of business cards with your clients as your clients will have lots of people passing through the home in the first few days and they may be looking for a Realtor!
Cake & Champagne
I like to do something small and memorable for my clients at some point during the first week of being in their new home. I love cake and I love champagne; and what better way to celebrate your new home with just that? I get personalized cakes made from a very reputable pastry chef in my city. She writes, “Home Sweet Home” on the cakes and I deliver it to my clients with a bottle of champagne or wine with a hand written note thanking them for allowing me to be a part of their home process. (If you are a Realtor in the city of Toronto, I get my cakes from Roselle's. They are a huge hit with my clients!)
“Open When” Cards
I absolutely love this gift idea! I got this idea from Agents Web Online and used it once and thought it was absolute genius! But you can’t really give this gift to just anyone. The homeowners have to be really disciplined not to open all of the envelopes all at once! It’s the gift that keeps on giving and it is a constant reminder that you care.
A set of cards may look like this:
- Open on “Moving Day”: Handwritten thank you card with a gift card to get a pizza & gift card for the nearest beer store;
- Open “7 Days After the Move”: Include a note saying you hope they are all moved in and include a gift card to the liquor store for them to get their favourite wine to unwind after their moving day madness;
- Open “6 Months After the Move”: Write a note saying how you hope they are still in love with their home and depending on the season the six months will land on, include a gift certificate for ice cream at a local shop or coffee gift certificate for coffee when its cold outside;
- Open “1 Year After the Move”: Wish them a happy home anniversary and include a gift card to a local neighborhood restaurant;
Assemble the cards in a pretty little box with a ribbon around it. This will make your clients remember the cards and not forget to open them. In your calendar, put follow up notes and remind yourself to call or email your client to see if they opened the card. It’s a chance to reconnect and to make sure they remember to open the card!
If you don't want to leave the homeowners with all of the cards in a box for their "open when" moments, you can also mail them the gift cards or deliver them and leave the cards in their mailboxes or their concierge if in a condominium. You don't want to come across as a stalker after the sale has closed!
In addition to these closing gift ideas, I also send a birthday card to my clients with a gift certificate for ice cream of coffee. This is such a great way of staying in touch and reminding them of your services if they need it. For milestone birthdays, I also deliver a small cake or branded macarons in a nice box with a birthday card attached. It's these little things that go a long way with your clients.
Really take some time out to think about the personalities of your clients and the types of things they would appreciate. It has to really represent you and your brand. Make it special and make it something they will never ever forget.
Nikki | xo