Whether it’s celebratory champagne, a swag-filled gift box or nothing at all, the art of giving a closing gift for a real estate client is one that requires more finesse than you might think.
A closing gift must be personal but not too personal, thoughtful yet not too thoughtful and, foremost of all, it must convey to clients that the gift giver is always willing to go above and beyond in a professional manner.
While some may find the tradition unnecessary, many leading luxury agents across the globe agree that this final gesture serves as one of the best ways to display a level of service and expertise worth repeating or referring to others.
Read on to find out how these top agents are threading the needle with their perfect closing gift.
To Each Their Own
For Teni Kalafian of Houston-based boutique brokerage, Baker & Co., personal gifts are a great way to show clients that you have built a meaningful relationship. However, the residential and commercial sales associate also stresses that gift etiquette must also be accounted for.
“I don’t have a specific go-to gift as there are many aspects that need to be thought over. Each gift is tailored to a specific client since each has unique styles and personalities, but things to consider are: is the gift culturally or age appropriate?”
Kalafian adds that if the professional relationship between client and agent is a good one, the process of choosing a closing gift should come naturally.
“The key message is—know your client! Listen and pay attention to the details. A great example is from my time in New York, where my client purchased a house with built-in shelves in the living room. Not knowing what she could do to decorate this space, I surprised her at closing with an ASSOULINE luxury coffee table book set.”
A Gentle Reminder
While agents like Kalafian find gifts specific to each client to be the most impactful, others like CEO and founder of luxury brokerage, MAISON Bahamas, Ryan Knowles, sometimes opt for an overarching go-to gift.
“My closing gift for high-net-worth clients is a Cartier key ring accompanied by a bottle of Champagne. It’s simple but oh-so effective.”
In addition to exuding luxury and quality, the key ring also serves as a daily reminder to his clients, says Knowles. “Every time they open the door to their new home, they’re reminded of the excellent service we provided throughout the transaction.”
Sharing a similar sentiment but with a bit of branding—literally—is Crissy Rumford of Vail Valley’s Slifer Smith & Frampton, who gifts her clients a personalized cutting board. “I source a master craftsman out of Tennessee, who burns our logo and any special message I have of thanks and congratulations onto the bottom side of the board.”
Like Knowles, Rumford says that the gift not only extends well wishes but also helps recall her and her service into her client’s minds on a regular basis. “My clients remember me and how grateful I am for their business each time they walk into their kitchen.”
Thinking Outside the (Gift) Box
For owner of Baker & Co., Jaime Baker, not all gifts need to be wrapped. “A home is a personal reflection of each individual, and we offer nontraditional services to help ensure a harmonious transition to a new space.”
Such services include numerology reports that detail the numerical significance of the address, as well as astrology and feng shui services, to make certain “that our client’s new residence resonates with their energy.”
Baker says that this unique approach is what largely separates Baker and Co. from the competition. “It’s this type of out-of-the-box thinking that elevates our service to an unexpected level.”
Selecting the perfect gift is only half the equation—you also have to deliver it. According to Diana Malk, of Willis Allen Real Estate out of San Diego, regardless of what gift you choose, the delivery method is equally as important—“Always personally deliver!”
Apart from the essential gesture of delivering the gift yourself, Malk also advises that it be accompanied by a personalized element. “Deliver the gift with an elegant white orchid plant and then attach a beautiful ribbon and a handwritten note card for a personal touch.”
Baker & Co., MAISON Bahamas, Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate and Willis Allen Real Estate are exclusive members of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes. Search the latest latest luxury listings here.