5 creative ways to thank your clients at the end of the year

Build your network and encourage referrals with year-end thank-yous that stand out

The holiday season is traditionally a time for connecting with friends, family, and coworkers and showing appreciation. The end of the year is also the perfect time to reach out to clients.

The holiday season is traditionally a time for connecting with friends, family, and coworkers and showing appreciation. The end of the year is also the perfect time to reach out to clients. Whether you did business with a customer in January or November, now is your chance to convey how much you enjoyed working with them.

It might seem like a small gesture, but the right gift can be hugely meaningful. Here are five ideas for closing out your year on a grateful note.

1. Let your gift reflect your service

Your relationship with your clients is defined by reliable guidance and knowledgeable insights, so give a gift that really adds value. It can be lighthearted and humorous, but it should have a purpose.

“Think of something you would want to receive or something you have found surprisingly useful,” suggests Allison Jackson, a REALTOR® with Atlanta Fine Homes, Sotheby’s International Realty. “I often receive follow-up texts from clients saying their gift really came in handy.”

2. Remember gifting doesn’t have to be a one-time thing

Gratitude shouldn’t be limited to one holiday. “Rather than doing one big year-end gift, I try to thank my clients with little things throughout the year,” adds Jackson. “I always do something for Valentine’s Day, a home maintenance spring cleaning guide, and a holiday gift wrapping kit.”

If brainstorming gifts throughout the year isn’t in your wheelhouse, let a recurring gift do the work for you. With so many subscription-based services — from personal grooming kits to healthy snacks to pet products — there’s never been a better way to stay in your clients’ good graces. This is thoughtful, but it’s also strategic: the ongoing contact helps you remain top-of-mind so that the next time your clients need a real estate agent, they get in touch with you directly.

3. Make it social media memorable

Give presents that your clients will want to show their friends and family. “I like to give something memorable or funny, says Jackson. “For Valentine’s Day this year, I gave heart-shaped sunglasses to my clients — and received plenty of selfies in return.”

Photogenic gifts are a great way to spread joy — and win free marketing from your clients. “The kind of response I most appreciate is when they post on social media about their experience or tell their friends about me.”

4. Plan well in advance

Don’t let the gift-giving season catch you off-guard. “I try to include client appreciation ideas in my business planning for the year,” notes Jackson. “My clients have come to expect some items year after year, like a gift wrapping kit, so the execution isn’t too time-consuming.”

Advanced planning also lets you personalize — another key component to a good gift. “Taking the time to put your own twist on your client gifts and customize them to your clients’ needs will make the biggest difference,” says Jackson.

5. Always hand-deliver

A gift reassures your clients that you’re there for them whenever they need you. “Many first-time buyers have a lot of questions, and they want to feel that they still have access to you after closing,” says Jackson. “For clients that haven’t bought with you yet, it lets them know that you’re thinking of them and you value their business and referrals.”

Therefore, it’s always best to bring presents right to your clients’ doorstep. “Delivering the items in person can take some time, but I think the face-to-face interaction is too valuable to skip.”

Now is the season of giving, and a thoughtful, personal gift can go a long way towards building a lasting relationship between you and your clients.

About Sotheby’s International Realty

Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty® network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 22,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 960 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. In 2017, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $108 billion USD. Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.