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6 Tips for Mortgage Closing Gifts That Earn Return Business

Nov 30, 2023

While loan officers disagree on whether to give mortgage closing gifts to borrowers, it’s unlikely that gifts for clients have ever lost anyone a return customer. On the other hand, unless thoughtfully selected, these gifts don’t necessarily earn repeat business either. This is true for loan officer closing gifts as well as real estate agent closing gifts. 

The best real estate closing gifts for buyers go beyond merely thanking customers to creating lifetime clients and solidifying your business now and into the future. If that’s what you hope to accomplish, consider these six tips. 

Tip #1: Select a mortgage closing gift that welcomes the client to their new home. 

You want your borrowers to associate you with homeownership, so the ideal gift will be one they use in their home or to evokes the concept of home. 

A gift certificate to a local coffee shop or local restaurant might be nice, and they may even keep you top of mind next time your borrowers visit those places. But borrowers should associate you with the actual product you provide, which is the ability to get them into the home—and home loan—of their dreams. 

Kitchens are perhaps the easiest room to think about here. Everyone uses their kitchen (although some of us may not enjoy using it as much as others), and every home has one. Many treasured memories are created around foodits preparation and its sharing. 

The number of options for housewarming gifts outnumbers the items in your kitchen junk drawer. Good housewarming gifts include coffee to enjoy on the first morning in their new home (or a subscription that keeps the coffee coming), a nice bottle of wine or champagne, chocolate-covered fruit or a gourmet gift basket. For more longevity, knives, glassware or cutting boards they’ll regularly use for years are good options. Many gifts can even be engraved with a special message like “Enjoy your new home” or “From your Real Estate Agent for Life, Jane Doe. 

Take a mental tour of your own home to come up with original gift ideas. What do you love and use often? If you’re setting up a home gift basket to give at every closing, you’ll want to avoid options for use outdoors. Some homes, like condos, may not have exterior spaces or entryways. 

Tip #2: Choose mortgage closing gifts with a long shelf life. 

According to the National Association of Realtors®, Baby Boomers make up the largest share of sellers at 42%. Younger Boomers will typically own their home for 13 years before selling, while older Boomers will own their home 17 years before selling, the association notes in its 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. That’s a long time to remember a mortgage company or one particular agent! 

Loan officers always hope their borrowers will refinance in the interim. Refinancing rates depend significantly on the interest rate environment.  

In a high-rate environment like we’re in now, overall refinances are down significantly from just a year ago, according to data group ATTOM. Most homebuyers will wait an average of 33 months before pursuing a refi, notes Freddie Mac. However, that’s still a long while for a borrower to remember the person who financed their loan. While gift cards, flowers and food and drink gift boxes are popular, they may not help buyers and sellers remember your name many months (or years) down the road.  

And one thing is for sure: the market won’t be down forever. You’ll want to be top of mind when homeowners are ready to put their homes on the market and buy another, or refinance to start enjoying some of their home equity. 

Tip #3: Personalize your mortgage closing gifts for buyers. 

There are a couple of reasons for providing gifts that are personalized. First, it shows the recipient that you took extra time and put some thought into the gift. It’s not just something you ordered two dozen of last year and dole out when a new loan closes. For example, there is a difference between closing gifts for first-time homeowners and closing gifts for second-home buyers. 

Second, if the gift has their name, their initials or their name and address, they’re less likely to toss or donate it. And when the time comes to purchase another home or to refinance their mortgage, the gift will still be there, reminding them of the great service you provided. 

Many home-related gifts for clients can be personalized with first and/or last name, an initial, or a full monogram. Personalized stationery (yes, people still use that!), return address labels and address stampers are examples of closing gift ideas that can include the borrower’s new home address. Engraved cutting boards or prints may even include an image of the borrower’s new home. Address plaques can show the street number and last name of the owner (remember your borrowers who don’t have exterior entryways, though). 

Tip #4: Give a practical gift that your borrowers will actually use. 

It’s one thing to give something your borrowers will keep. Take it a step further to offer something they will incorporate into their lives. That’s why kitchen-oriented home gifts work so well. Still, you don’t want your gift thrown into that junk drawer or pushed to the back of the pantry. 

Think about the kitchen items you use the most in daily activities. Can any of those be turned into a meaningful gift? Cutting boards, knives, glasses, and pitchers may fit the bill. 

Don’t stop in the kitchen. What about the home office? Even if they don’t have an official space, every homeowner has to set aside a time and place to manage the household, and this offers excellent opportunities for personalized gifts, such as the address stampers and stationery, as already mentioned. 

Tip #5: Incorporate your branding into your mortgage closing gifts, even if it’s subtle. 

There are lots of sides to this discussion, and perhaps there is no right answer. 

Critics argue that branding cheapens the closing gift. Put your face and logo on the label of a bottle of wine? The recipients aren’t likely to perceive it as a nice selection. And they’re not as likely to display or perhaps even use household items branded for a mortgage company. 

On the other hand, one of the main purposes of a closing gift is to keep you top of mind, particularly if your goal is to earn repeat business. Be sure to consider your gift choice and the type of branding you do carefully.  

For items that might be on display or in regular use, you might add your logo in an inconspicuous area, like the back of a cutting board. For home office items that will be tucked away when not in use, you can be more obvious. 

Tip #6: To build your business, use mortgage closing gifts consistently. 

When you give a closing gift, your immediate purpose is to express thanks to your clients, of course. If that were all you were doing, it might be nice to plan one-off gifts based on the borrower and their preferences when you have time to think about it. You can even go the extra mile on a gift when you have an exceptional experience with your borrowers. The downside is that gift-giving is hit-or-miss. Some borrowers may be overlooked. 

For business-building purposes, you’re going to want a consistent gift-giving program. The easiest way to do this is through marketing automation. 

Using mortgage CRM software like Surefire℠ CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine, integrated with your LOS, you can select your preferred timing for gift giving. After closing or at funding, for example, an order for your standard closing gift (with customization) can be triggered. In classic set-it-and-forget-it style, buyers and sellers will receive housewarming gifts on time, every time, with no extra work from you. 

Surefire Takes Mortgage Closing Gifts Even Further 

When you put the tips together, you’ll settle on a home-related mortgage closing gift that is personalized, tastefully branded, utilitarian and can be delivered consistently after every closing. 

Surefire has choices to fit the bill. Our most popular closing gift is a stamper with the borrower’s new address. The loan officer’s logo and contact information are on the handle. Loan officers regularly report that repeat buyers make requests for a new stamper with their next purchase. 

Surefire also offers several choices for wood cutting boards engraved with the borrower’s name on the front and the mortgage company’s logo tastefully engraved on the back. A modern magnetic spice rack also features prominently engraved names and subtle logo placement. 

At Surefire, the mortgage closing gift is just one part of a full Client for Life campaign that delivers a combination of email, text and postal messages to each borrower over the course of five years. Again, the set-it-and-forget-it nature of marketing automation means consistent long-term follow-up with each borrower, every time, with no extra work from you. 

To learn more about Surefire’s set-it-and-forget-it opportunities, Client for Life Workflow and closing gift ideas, schedule a tour. We’d love to show you around!

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