December is here and, if you’re like most of us, you’re scrambling to find gifts for colleagues or that special real estate agent in your life.
First-year agents may appreciate spare cell phone batteries and industry-related reading while the veterans may prefer a stylish personalized gift to decorate the office. But, when in doubt, a fancy agenda or planner for 2020 is almost always a good bet. Everyone knows that real estate professionals can never be too prepared.
To get you ready for gift-giving season, Inman has put together a gift guide for every type of real estate agent out there — from the first-year agent to the architecture and tech junkies. If you hurry, you’ll be able to snag some of these items as part of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals over Thanksgiving weekend.
FOR THE FIRST-YEAR AGENT
Real Estate Reading
Any first-year real estate agent needs to get both boots-on-the-ground sales experience and read up on the classics. Gary Keller’s book, “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” is considered a must-read for anyone who works in the industry — chapters delve into the “Three Ls” of real estate (leads, listings and leverage) and subjects such as the economics of running a real estate company, broker and agent organization and time management. Originally $25, the hardcover is currently selling for only $10 on Amazon.
Cell Phone Battery
A rookie real estate agent is probably yet to learn just how much he or she will be on his phone all day — and just how quickly a phone battery can drain to zero after a day of work. The options among external battery packs are wide and plenty — from the Ring Quick Release Battery Pack ($29) to the Omars Battery Pack Power Bank ($15.99) to the Aukey 8000mAh Sprint Wireless Charging Bank ($29.99). Tech brand Anker is also offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on all of its battery products throughout Thanksgiving weekend.
A first-year agent will need to quickly learn how to manage time and keep track of all the showings, open houses and client visits they need to do each week as part of the job. While some choose to do it digitally, a stylish notebook planner (for example, the Moleskine 12-Month Planner or the Custom Horizon Planner from Papersource) will also always be appreciated. Prices range from $19.95 to $49.95 depending on style and will be marked down as part of several Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend deals for both brands.
Inman Select Subscription
And of course, any first-year agent should be introduced to Inman and its community of real estate agents. To celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday, our Inman Select annual subscription is on sale for $99 from Wednesday, November 27 to Tuesday, December 3 — sign up the newbie in your life HERE.
FOR THE REAL ESTATE TECHIE
Working in a freezing open house? Sweating during door-to-door walks in the Florida weekend? Designed by MIT engineers, the Embr Wave bracelet allows you to get a blast of heat or cold air through your arm and into the rest of your body. The bracelet’s thermal waves sense the skin and work to alter body temperature when a room is too hot or too cold for your liking. The bracelet normally sells for $349 but will be selling for $60 less from November 20 to December 3 for an extended Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale.
You’re behind the times if you haven’t yet discovered the joys of video doorbells, which allow you to see who comes by the house on your phone. A recent study found that a majority of homebuyers now look for smart home features when they shop for newly-built homes. Of course, agents who are always learning the latest trends in the industry will appreciate this type of gadget for their own home. Ring doorbells will be on sale on Amazon throughout Black Friday for $59. Best Buy will also be slashing prices of its Ring, Nest and Arlo doorbell products by up to 30 percent.
Any agent who hasn’t played around with drone photos and videos is missing out — some of the best property photos these days are taken using fly-over photography and drones. For the agent who takes a lot of pictures, something like the DJI Mavic 2 Pro ($1,379) is considered top-of-the-line when it comes to image and video quality, flying sensors and battery life. Be sure to use it carefully, though, as drone rules on what can and can’t be filmed will vary widely depending on where you live.
New Apple Watch
This fall, Apple released the next generation of its Apple Watch series — a particularly popular device among agents since it allows one to see notifications without having to look at one’s phone when with a client. The watch’s new functions include a redesigned face, a compass and a display that, unlike older models, always stays lit without draining the battery. Prices starts at $399 but will be marked down for Black Friday and Cyber Monday — both on Apple’s website and on other sites selling technology, such as T-Mobile and Best Buy.
FOR THE REAL ESTATE HIGH-FLYER
A Fancy Pen
Many a luxury lover has drooled over a classic, collectable pen for the ages. If it’s an extra-special agent (or if you just have money to burn), the Montblanc Meiterstück Le Petit Prince Pen fountain pen is the epitome of elegance. Less expensive options include the Wordsworth Black Fountain Pen. Retailer Pen Chalet is also offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from Wednesday, November 27 to Tuesday, December 3 — ballpoint and fountain pens, notebooks and inkpots are all discounted by more than 50 percent.
There is no shortage of occasions during which an agent may need to use speakers — from the background music played during an open house to PowerPoint presentations. For luxury lovers, the Devialet Phantom Reactor 600 Speakers ($1,090) are considered to be some of the best on the market — 600 watts, 21 kilohertz, sleek black design and crisp sound at all volume levels. Similar speaker models also come in white, silver and gold.
Alessi Crevasse Flower Vase by Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid is considered one of the most iconic architects of this generation. The Maxxi Museum in Rome and the Olympic Aquatic Centre in London are some of her most iconic creations. But if you live too far from Hadid’s buildings, the architect also has a number of namesake home décor pieces. Hadid’s Alessi Crevasse Flower Vase ($350) is stainless-steel creation that mirrors some of the the architect’s buildings: sleek, futuristic and at once elegant and trendy. Any architect or architecture junkie will be sure to appreciate one on their dining-room table.
Business Card Case
Real estate agents need to stock up on business cards like no tomorrow — one never knows when a prospective client will come along. A trendy business card holder by Michael Kors, Tory Burch or, if you’re in the mood to spoil your agent, Valentino, is a fashion piece in its own right. If you’re doing your holiday shopping early, go on the Nordstrom or Macy’s websites for deals throughout Thanksgiving weekend — most men’s and women’s accessories will be marked down by at least 20 percent during the Thanksgiving weekend.
FOR THE ARCHITECTURE JUNKIE
Frank Lloyd Wright Biography
Released in October, a new biography of Frank Lloyd Wright delves deep into the life of America’s most iconic architect — exploring both his early life and revealing mostly ignored secrets such as the fact that Wright sometimes couldn’t help himself from entering his residential commissions after the owners were gone.
At $35 on Amazon, the book, “Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright,” is an intriguing read for anyone interested in Wright and his architecture. And if you’re lucky enough to be selling one of Wright’s houses for millions of dollars, it’s also a stylish accent piece to place on the coffee table during showings.
City Building Models
Building blocks and toy models aren’t just for children — even less so if the adult in question is a fan of architecture and real estate. The LEGO build-it-yourself New York City Skyline ($35) lets you put together a model of some of the city’s most iconic buildings in a few hours. Similar LEGO skylines exist for most major cities such as London, Paris, Shanghai, Chicago and even Las Vegas. But don’t think that they’re mere toys! Such city models also, when fully constructed, look particularly sleek on any real estate agent’s desk.
3D Printing Pen
3D Printing, or creating real-world items by printing out layer upon layer of plastic, has been a hot topic among forward-thinking real estate agents. In some parts of the world, full houses have already been made through 3D printers. While we still have a few years until one can dream up a house and order it to be printed, an architecturally-inclined agent will be sure to appreciate the Tecboss 3D Pen and filament set ($43.99) — use it to draw up models of everything from a model home to a dream car version and then print it out in a 3D version.
Frank Lloyd Wright Prints
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation sells archival prints of the architect’s sketches and drawings. This framed print for $269.95 portrays Wright’s sketches of Taliesin II, his studio in Wisconsin. The prints, which are available for a number of Wright’s buildings and creations, show how the architect originally envisioned some of his Usonian-style buildings. A great fit for anyone who can tell the difference between what makes a Hollyhock and what makes a Robie — because they know Wright’s designs obsessively.
FOR THE BROKER/OWNER
A stylish calendar should grace the desk of any broker or head of a real estate company. When shopping for gifts, consider an artsy tablepiece calendar that can be used year after year, such as this Perpetual Calendar from the New York Museum of Modern Art shop ($45), a traditional wall calendar ($24.95) with a fun theme or a smaller desk calendar ($18.95) with space to write in various appointments and meetings.
A Nice Briefcase
Briefcases are much more than just the thing you use to carry your contracts and other documents — they are a style statement, a status symbol and an accessory that any self-respecting broker needs to have. From the practical Bellroy Slim Work Bag ($189) to the extravagant Salvatore Ferragamo Gancini Pattern Briefcase, briefcases come at all price points. They will also be one of the things on sale during Black Friday and Cyber Monday at department stores such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.
A Good Pair Of Headphones
With so many headphones on the market, it can be hard for any holiday shopper to choose what kind are the best fit for your friend or loved one. Some agents prefer sleek and wireless (for example, Apple’s Airpods starting at $159) while others like noise-cancelling headphones such as the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 for $349.95. If you’re planning on buying headphones for the agent in your life, you’re in luck — they’re usually the first of all tech items to be dropped down for Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts. The Best Buy sale, which lasts from Thursday evening until the end of Monday, takes up to 50 percent off prominent headphone producers such as Bose, Sony and Beats by Dr. Dre.
A Box Of Fancy Chocolates
And if you’re feeling fresh out of good ideas, you could always go with the time-tested tradition of giving a box of chocolates. It will be much appreciated by both an individual agent and a broker who will share it with colleagues. Godiva lets you pick from a box of as little as eight to as many as 140 pieces. Dark chocolate truffles, ganache hearts, almond crunch candies and chocolate-dipped strawberries are some perennial favorites. The company can also arrange to deliver the box you buy to an office or home.