The real estate agent's ultimate closing gift guide: 135+ ideas

Unsure of what you should get your clients? Look no further

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Inman Connect New York | January 29 - February 1, 2019

You work with your real estate clients for months on end, and every conversation and appointment is an opportunity to learn. Their daughter loves dance class. Dad is a total movie buff. The most precious resource in this family isn’t money but time. They love anything lake-themed.

These little slices of life shared between agent and client build rapport and are also valuable intel if you listen, and most importantly, remember — because your thoughtfulness just might be the reason you’re remembered, too.

The first big opportunity to show you paid attention to who they are is the closing gift — something that must celebrate the win, express gratitude and help you stay top-of-mind all in a single gesture. 

Opt for practical, luxurious, edible or shiny — the personal touch is up to you — but here are 135-plus ideas for every type of buyer and seller.

135+ ideas for client gifts

Animal lovers

1. Custom bird house

2. Have tags made for the pets with the new address on it

3. Dog lover basket

4. Cat lover basket

Veterans

1. American  flag

American Red American Flag Flag Stars Stripes

2. Personalized water bottle 

3. Customized rustic signs

Owner and principal broker at Kingdom Realty, Gina Biedel Warner, has customized rustic signs made for her veterans that have the appropriate military branch logo and say “Thanks for your service.”

4. Flag made of whiskey barrels 

 

Tech savvy

1. Smart lightbulbs or light switches (compatible with smart home systems)

2. Amazon Echo/Dots

Guillermo Fernandes / Flickr

3. Google Home

NDB Photos / Flickr

4. Digital butler such as Hello Alfred

5. LIFX 1000 Smart Lighting System

LIFX Color 1000 from LIFX on Vimeo.

6. Flic Smart Button

7. Goal Zero Yeto 1250 Solar Generator Kit

8. Bluetooth speakers

Nan Palmero / Flickr

9. IKEA charging end table

10. Apple TV

11. Ring Video Doorbell 

12. Apple Watch

13. Nest thermostat

Courtesy of Nest

 

Hobbyists

1. Gardening supplies and flowers

2. Mason jar spice garden (or at least the know-how and supplies to do it)

3. Gardening book such as Indoor Kitchen Gardening: Turn your Home Into a Year-Round Vegetable Garden

4. Personalized flower box

5. Tackle box (for the fisherman, filled with all the fishing necessities)

OlegDoroshin / Shutterstock

6. Garden decor

Welcome Home Garden Sign Welcome Sign Garden Decor

 

Imbibers

1. Wine refrigerator

Incase / Flickr

2. Cork screw set

3. Wine

Tnarik Innael / Flickr

4. Champagne

5. Engraved champagne flutes

 

The practical

1. Snow blower

2. Homeowner’s insurance

3. One-year of pest control service

4. Lawn care

5. Cleaning

limpido / Shutterstock.com

6. A service

Realtor at Watson Realty Corp Jackie Frye said, “Sometimes I offer to pay for survey, repairs, inspections, cleaning or something to get to the table. If so that is my gift.”

7. Electrical work

franco lucato / Shutterstock

8. Movers

XiXinXing / Shutterstock.com

9. Home Depot gift card

10. Home warranty

11. Branded moving boxes

 

First-time buyers (personalized)

1. Household tool set

Gregory Gerber / Shutterstock

2. Personalized keychains for the new house 

3. Photo album 

What do you do with all those amazing professional photos you had taken for the listing? Put them in a photo album for the new owners.

4. Shutterfly or create a Shutterfly keepsake book for them using listing pictures

5. Home improvement book such as Black and Decker Home Planner and Logbook

6. Home design consultation

7. Personalized return address stamp

8. Personalized stamps with a picture of their new home

9. A personalized upgrade on their house numbers

10. A picture frame with the address printed on burlap

11. Home address plaques

12. Engraved door knocker

13. Housewarming gift basket (colander and other house hold goods – spatulas, measuring cups, dish towels, candles)

14. Home decor gift basket

15. Shop vac

Mike Mozart / Flickr

16. Cordless drill

Charles & Hudson / Flickr

17. Spa basket

18. Commission a local artist to do an ink drawing of the home

19. Hand painted sign

20. Personalized pillows

 

Recently married

1. Personalized cutting boards

2. Matching spa robes

3. Cooking classes

Uber Images / Shutterstock

4. Personalized coasters

5. Couples massage

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

6. Monogramed blanket

7. Galvanized ice bucket with family name on it

8. Personalized door mats

 

Kitchen dwellers

1. Personalized lazy susan

2. Door to table meals

Dinner-to-your-door delivery services such as Plated, HelloFresh and Blue Apron.

3. Toaster

4. Keurig coffee maker

WikiCommons

5. Magic bullet

6. Cutco knives

Foodies

1. Personalized seasoning

2. Wine tasting

stockcreations / Shutterstock

3. Local basket 

Include local bread, jam, honey, olive oil from the local store, etc.

4. High-quality chocolate

Brenda Carson / Shutterstock

5. Granite cheese plate

6. Gourmet basket

The Outdoorsy

1. Hammock

2. Barbecue grill

TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock

3. Barbecue tools

4. Fire pit

5. Park bench

6. Hayride

Jennifer Burbridge / Shutterstock

7. Baseball tickets

David Lee / Shutterstock

8. Wind chime

9. Misquito trap

10. Rocking chairs

11. Porch swing

Families

1. Game night basket

Fotyma / Shutterstock

2. Ice cream maker

vm2002 / Shutterstock

3. Popcorn maker

pkproject / Shutterstock

4. A tree to plant as a family

Matt Kay / Shutterstock

5. Hot air balloon ride

macknimal / Shutterstock

6. Picnic

S_Photo / Shutterstock

7. Theme park adventure

jirabu / Shutterstock

8. Family portrait gift card

9. Customized sign with the family name

10. Bonding time with the kiddos

Team One Group Real Estate agent Garrett Pancheri said, “I just bought one of my clients who is a single father of two little ones, three nerf guns and some extra nerf bullets. I got him a big boy gun and his two kids littler guns. I told him nerf guns are the best way to break in a brand new home.”

11. Movie basket

 

12. Pool fun

Take a pool beach bag and fill it with towels, toys, sunscreen and a steel tub with ice an beer — perfect for the new homeowners with a pool!

Ggeek / Shutterstock

13. Babies ‘R Us gift card — for the growing family

14. Family membership to a local attraction: zoo, museum, aquarium, etc.

FamVeld / Shutterstock

15. Maps and brochures of things to do in the state (especially for out-of-towners)

Anyone

1. Host a cocktail party to introduce them to influencers in the area

2. Monogramed table settings and napkins

3. Awe-inspiring table centerpieces 

It’s a real estate conversation starter when guests ask about it.

4. Luxurious bedding

5. A set of “Just Moved” cards sellers can use to notify family and friends of their new address

6. Amazon Prime membership

7. A subscription to quarterly.co

Give a themed gift box curated by different celebrities such as Bill Nye.

8. Monthly subscriptions: Harry and David

9. Crate & Barrel gift card

10. Move-in basket

Pack cleaning supplies, toiletries, toilet paper and paper towels, plastic dishes and silverware as well as a few ready-to-eat snacks or meals.

11. Beautiful bouquet of flowers waiting in the new home

NewSoul / Shutterstock

12. Personalized clock

13. Donate money to their favorite charity

“I shared with my last client how I volunteer at an animal shelter once a week. Not only am I an agent for people, I am an agent for puppies! Most of the dogs in the shelter are abandoned, abused or come from countries where many dogs are just left in the streets. [My clients] were very moved by my service, so I am bringing a donation check in their name to the signing as their gift,” said Phillip Salem of Triplemint in an email.

14. Magazine subscriptions

Jessica Spengler / Flickr

15. Gas card

16. High-end silverware

Ilizia / Shutterstock

17. Gift card for an in-home bartender to do their housewarming party

Rimma Bondarenko / Shutterstock

18. Housewarming party

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

19. A night out

happydancing / Shutterstock

20. Candle holder from Tiffany & Co.

Wikimedia Commons

21. Rekey the home

22. Personalized Yeti cups

23. Old pics of the home — framed

This is especially great for historic homes.

24. Homemade moving day dinner

25. Plant arrangement

26. Sketch of home 

27. Handmade and hand-painted welcome mats  

28. Seasonal baskets

In the spring and summer Gina Biedel Warner, owner and principal broker at Kingdom Realty, creates a barbecue basket with tools, sauces, rubs, spices, baked beans and all the fixin’s for s’mores. In the fall, she creates a harvest basket with local apple butter, maple syrup, candles and honey. In the winter, she makes a warm and cozy basket with a thick blanket, hot chocolate, coffee, cider, popcorn and a candle. 

29. Weekend resort stay

Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock

30. Edible Arrangements

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar / Flickr

31. Personalized soy candles

32. Water color of the home

This is especially perfect for buyers in the second home market.

33. Moving necessities

Box tape, markers, packing materials, stickers, etc., and a gift card for lunch on moving day.

 

34. Donate something in their honor

Broker/owner of Network Team Homes Realty, Gayle Zientek, said “We give bikes away at Christmas in honor of our clients. They get a card at closing with four-pack of brownies and a card with pictures of their home and a message that we are donating a bike in their honor.”

What makes a good gift?

As Nick Najjar wrote, a good gift meets certain requirements:

  1. Useful
  2. Leaves a lasting impression
  3. Quality

In The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be!, Gary Keller adds that the best gifts also have shelf life.

How do you figure out what to give your clients?

You can go the branded gift route — which will make the clients think of you when they see it — or you can give a gift that will make clients remember you forever.

Keller Williams Realtor Payton Shae Taylor said, “Play around with their interests!” For clients who were die-hard University of Kentucky fans, Taylor went to a locally owned woodwork shop and ordered a bourben barrel with the university’s logo on it.

The key here is getting to know your clients. Throughout your interactions, note their likes, their wish lists, their decorating style, the current events going on in their lives, etc.

Listen for any hints they may drop as to a need or wish.

With buyers, it’s pretty easy to listen to what they like and don’t like as you show homes.

With sellers, pay attention to their decor and what kind of activities they do. Do they have pets? Are there pictures of the sellers fly fishing in Montana on the mantle?

Coming up with original ideas will be easy once you open your eyes and ears for potential gift ideas.

How much do you spend on a client gift?

Let’s take a look at what other agents do.

“I think it depends on the sale price of the home,” said Realtor with Nexthome Advisors Buddy Scott. He suggests spending between 7.5 percent and 15 percent. So for a $200,000 home, you might spend around $200.

Keller Williams Realty Exclusive Properties Realtor Deb Hale Chakko agrees. She said she’d never go to someone’s house for the first time without a gift, and she considers a closing gift a housewarming present. She said she spends between $250-$500 and sends pizza or takes dinner on moving day.

Jimmy Mocci, Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices said, “I never spend more than 2.5 percent of my total commission.”

“You don’t want to go over the top, but a gift in the $100-$250 range is great,” Nick Najjar said in an email. Najjar advises that it’s best not to give a “cheap gift” after getting a big commission check. “Cheap gifts will often ruin the relationship,” he said.

Something to keep in mind as you search for the perfect gift is that the IRS allows you to deduct some of your business gift-giving. You can look at IRS Publication 463 for guidelines.

The general rule of thumb is that you can deduct no more than $25 for business gifts per person each year. But it’s up to you to check local, state and federal laws as well as gift-giving regulations imposed by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

A word of caution

Giving a gift to anyone should be a joyous occasion met with appreciation. However, not all gifts are perceived the same. For example, there are some everyday gifts, such as flowers, that in other cultures, have bad connotations. Read this article to avoid cultural snafus when gift giving.

Remember to give the gift to your clients in person at a reasonable time, and don’t make it all about you. This is their win — you’re just helping them celebrate.

Email Dani Vanderboegh