Brokerage @home Real Estate is giving out a gift designed to bring back warm memories of the services provided by the company and its agents every time the holidays roll around: Christmas tree ornaments that commemorate homes that its agents have helped clients buy or sell.
The Alexandria, Va.-based firm, winner of the latest #madREskillz contest, custom designs each ornament with a hand-painted image of a client’s home or former home on one side, and the @home logo on the other.
“It’s designed to be like a keepsake that they will always treasure,” said @home agent Peggy Kammen, who cooked up the idea when brainstorming Christmas gift ideas with colleagues. “They will find the ornament and go, ‘Oh, yeah,’ and hopefully that will spur a lot of great memories of the time they lived in their home.”
@home pays $25 to Kammen’s sister-in-law, Milford, N.J.-based artist Amy Hansen, to craft each ornament. Working from photos that @home provides, Hansen has created about 20 ornaments for the brokerage’s agents to hand out to clients.
“It reminds them, ‘Oh yeah, we had a really great Realtor that took care of us,’ ” Kammen said — keeping the brokerage top of mind when it’s time to buy or sell again, or recommend an agent to friends.
The gift illustrates @home’s focus on innovation, a message it also seeks to convey with its Internet-themed name.
Instead of a conventional office, the brokerage operates what it describes as “the world’s first real estate lounge and design center,” where “guests are welcomed to enjoy a latte by the fire while taking virtual tours of potential new homes.”
The office even has a children’s play space.
“You want to recharge your phone — whatever you need to do, you can in our lounge,” Kammen said. “The whole point is to come in, recharge, make yourself at home and let us help you.”
On the second floor, visitors may browse samples of remodeling materials provided by local remodeling firm Foster Remodeling, and ask for cost estimates for projects.
@home is also active on social media. One homeowner saw the ornament @home created for her on Facebook before she received it because the brokerage posted a photo of it on its business page.