For homebuyers and even those homeowners who have just closed on a refinance, their transaction seems monumental. In fact, the cliché phrase of it being the largest financial transaction of their lives rings true in almost every instance. And indeed, a finance or refinance is not typically a small feat, especially in their eyes.
When you’re an integral party to making that transaction happen, be it as their mortgage professional or real estate agent, you may feel that you’ve already given them the gift of closing. Yet marking what will often be a more celebratory inkling on their side with the addition of a more conventional housewarming gift is a greater and grander way of saying, “Thanks for your business! I’m happy to have helped.”
While there are as many reasons a closing gift can leave a lasting impression as there are home gifts, here are 5 reasons why you should be indulging your clients regardless of what you choose to give:
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You were the go-to person. You counseled, educated, listened, learned, provided and made your client happy to have done business with you. They may have come to the closing with a gift for you to thank you for all that you did to help get them there. The last thing they may be expecting is a gift from you, so when you do make an effort regardless of the relatively nominal expense, they will likely be very pleasantly surprised.
Going above and beyond for your clients then capping off great service with one more totally unexpected thing can seal the perception they will walk away with — that you over-exceeded their expectations by over-delivering on your promises. That, of course, is where clients for life are earned.
Let’s face it. Your business is built on trust and, ultimately, the expression of that trust in you as a service provider by clients who will feel comfortable referring you to their friends, family and co-workers. Once you’ve earned that trust and delivered what they wanted – to close on their home or new loan – saying thank you is the best thing you can do.
Saying thanks not only in person but also with a gift that speaks volumes on its own makes your gratitude ever more genuine. Truly appreciating your clients for being the lifeblood of your business is key to building a self-sustaining career.
Purchasing or refinancing a home can be a stressful process for most homebuyers or homeowners. It’s far from something that they do every day. You’re a professional and have all that experience that makes it seem normal, yet it’s often foreign and confusing to them.
They will focus on the end result, not so much on the process. Once the closing is over, the memory of your managing this whirlwind of documents, inspections and the alphabet soup of industry acronyms become less important. They now just want to enjoy their home and relative peace.
If you’ve never worked at making sure that your clients never forget your name, you probably know what it feels like to learn that they listed their home years later with another agent. Or they refinanced with another lender. Not fun.
The best thing you can do to avoid that ever happening is to keep a database and a first-class CRM (client relationship management) software system set to regularly send follow-up and helpful information. This keeps you top of mind and your name on the tip of their tongue.
Yet to start that journey of keeping your client for life, giving a gift at closing that will end up in their hands every day, on their refrigerator, countertop, wall or front porch, etc., is well worth the thought and effort to keep you in mind for whenever a referral opportunity or need for service arises.
4. Closing Gifts That Are Functional
Common closing gifts include flowers, a bottle of wine, a gift certificate, etc. While these are still appreciated, they don’t offer much functionality beyond their short lifespans. Thinking a bit more outside the box can enhance the impact and appreciation for your gift.
What about a lantern for that occasional power outage; a key chain that has a flashlight or small multi-tool element; or a cutting board that’s used regularly? There’s no shortage of customarily used items in and around the home from day to day that can be a regular reminder of you and your service that any client would love to have. Things that last, especially when they’re of high quality, to begin with, are safe bets.
5. Closing Gifts That Are Conversation Starters
You should always share with your clients that their appreciation is of the utmost importance and that your success comes in large part from their sharing that appreciation with others.
There’s rarely a better referral for you than when it comes from a happy client telling their friend in need that you’re the best, and they’d be crazy to work with anyone else.
When your client offers their friend that referral during a conversation started over a closing gift that you provided, all the better. At that moment, you not only receive your client’s endorsement, but the referred party is seeing that you were also sufficiently thoughtful and appreciative of your client that you even gave them a gift of thanks.
What are the best closing gifts to give?
The ideal gift is useful, has longevity, bears your name, and is common enough of a household item that almost everyone can and will appreciate it. Finding the perfect personalized gift doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it’s really easy.
An old standby is an address stamper with the client’s new address as the stamp and your contact info on the shell. Key racks are a gift idea sure to be seen and used every day. A gift box with common kitchen accessories is another great idea. Anything laser etched with their name or address – personalized cutting boards, canisters, coffee mugs, glasses, cookie jars, utensils, drink coasters – there’s a whole world of custom products available if you’re willing to invest just a little effort to order these so they’re in hand at the time of closing. You can even order custom watercolor house portraits that are surprisingly inexpensive.
Another closing gift idea is an outdoor gift that can be personalized. Consider personalized welcome mats or plaques bearing the new address and/or owner’s name to post outside the front door or on the mailbox post. How about a personalized wind chime that’s sure to be a regular reminder of your generosity and more of a unique gift that sounds every time there’s even a slight breeze?
Conventionally, things like a gift basket, bottle of wine, gift card, movie pass, etc., delivered at closing or on moving day are still all great, yet they lack the permanence of all the items mentioned above. Real estate closing gifts should be genuine, but to get the most sustained impression from them, should be things that will last indefinitely. And ideally, since it’s all about the home, something to do with the home or home decorating is likely the best category to target.
Managing all this gift-giving doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’re already a mortgage CRM user in the first place, it should be easy to track your transactions and even to create a step in your pipeline workflows for ordering a gift that’ll be available at the time of closing.
The Surefire CRM platform from Top of Mind even has its own closing gifts that can be ordered right through the system, and these include items that can be personalized for your clients. If you haven’t seen this kind of dedication to your industry in a CRM program before, go ahead and set up a demo today. You can soon thereafter start incorporating a closing gift plan into your business and experience firsthand the added benefits to your clients and, ultimately, to your own prosperity.