Successful real estate agents recognize that the closing gift is often the final touch they’ll have with their client until their next transaction, and that the gift they choose needs to be just as memorable as the service the agent has provided throughout the process.  These are the top 5 tricks premier real estate agents know about creating closing gifts that generate referrals.

They make the closing gift about the client, not their own brand

As fun as it can be to have “a thing” — a round framed photo of a mouse sticking out of a hole, a set of spices with your lovely headshot on each of them (these are actual ideas you can find in “best closing gift” roundup articles) — those types of gifts are about the agent, not their client.  And their clients will see right through it.

Top agents know that the key to referrals is delighting their clients, not infiltrating their logo somewhere in the clients’ houses where others might discover it.  A closing gift is the last touch they’ll have with a client for a while, so they make the gift about the client’s thing, not theirs. It’s a little more work but working harder is what made these top-tier agents successful in the first place.

And they don’t put their logo on the items inside the gift.  The data is very clear that in today’s environment, gift recipients see items with logos on them as marketing swag, not gifts.

They turn their gift into an experience

Top agents look for gifts that evoke an experience…the outdoor party a couple envisioned in their new garden, a luxurious evening in her new soaking tub, or the perfect whiskey-tasting gear for his study. It turns out that this gut instinct to give an experience, not just “stuff”, comes from a deep place in our psyches.

According to Tom Gilovich, Irene Blecker Rosenfeld Professor of Phychology at Cornell, experiences yield more and better stories, become a bigger part of who we are, and connect us more to each other. So by taking the time to evoke an emotion, experience or situation with their gifts, they’re creating stronger long-term connections with their clients.

They build a story around the gift

A gift tailored to the tastes and lifestyle of the client is a great starting point.  The icing on the cake is the story attached to it.  Successful agents don’t skimp on the gift message; they tell their clients why they chose this particular closing gift, maybe even when during the transaction process it occurred to them that this would be perfect for them.

Top agents know that — unlike physical goods — a good story lasts forever.

They invest for the future

Top agents treat closing gifts as an investment in the future, not an expense of the past.  They look at their commission and ask themselves what three more sales just like it would be worth to them. Then they invest accordingly.

They have a sous chef

Real estate agents are busy people.  And the more successful they are, the busier. As much as they might like to drive all over shopping for the perfect gift, it’s not the best use of their time.

Top agents have a go-to gifting solution provider with the range, flexibility and service orientation to make their closing gift ideas a reality. No one other than the agent can determine the right gift at the right price with the right story, but just as a master chef has a sous chef, top agents rely on proven experts to implement their winning gift recipes.