Real estate agents can be a tough group to buy gifts for. With more than 1.5 million Realtors nationwide, their preferences are going to span a broad range.
But there are some needs and interests that many agents have in common. That’s why Inman is stepping in to help, with a quick guide to shopping for the real estate agent in your life.
So whether it’s for your colleague, a close friend in the business or an agent you worked with in the past, check out our list of gift ideas below, and see if it helps jump-start your holiday gift search.
For the agent who’s constantly on the road
1. Audiobook service subscription
It’s easy for an agent to take for granted the amount of time they spend on the road. Whether it’s navigating to a showing, heading to meet a potential client or simply making the commute to and from the office, agents can spend a lot of time driving, often through stressful traffic. Anything an agent can do to make better use of this time can be a big quality-of-life improvement.
For agents who wish they had more time to read books, an audiobook subscription might do just the trick. Audible has gift subscriptions that give the reader a range of books to choose from, including one free book selection each month and access to the service’s Plus Catalog.
2. Steering-wheel laptop desk
Agents are used to having to frantically check and answer emails between showings, but sometimes a mobile device just isn’t up for the task at hand. If you know an agent who’s had to whip out their laptop on the go on more than one occasion, this steering wheel desk can make an inexpensive — and useful — gift.
When a car is safely parked, this device from Lebogner hooks up to a car’s steering wheel and gives the agent a comfortable platform to work on their laptop. Consider bundling this gift with a hotspot as well — they’re going to need it.
For the agent who craves peace of mind
3. Low-profile safety device
An agent’s job can take them across an entire metro area, sometimes into unfamiliar territory, and often on short notice. If you know an agent who has ever felt unsafe on the job, the Invisawear line of safety devices may give them some peace of mind. Meant to be worn as unassuming necklaces, bracelets, keychains and other accessories, these devices allow the wearer to discreetly ask for help if they’re feeling unsafe. A double-click sends a text message to up to five emergency contacts with a link to the user’s location. Some devices can be outfitted with an optional “call 9-1-1” feature.
For the agent who needs a tech upgrade
Perhaps more than in many other professions, these devices can be a lifesaver in real estate. You’re in a showing with a client, but your other clients — or your boss — are trying to reach you. Constantly checking your phone for their messages can be a bad look, especially when the client you’re with expects your undivided attention.
On a smartwatch — like this Apple version or an Android equivalent — you can stay on top of these messages in a discreet way, saving your phone time for only the most urgent ones. If you know an agent who has yet to take advantage of this, it might make a quality gift.
5. Digital camera
The quality of the photos can make or break a listing, and yet still, many homes hit the market with dark or blurry images for buyers to peruse. If you want to help out an agent in your life in a way that can really impact their business, you might consider getting them a DSLR camera.
The most affordable versions of these cameras can run you several hundred dollars, so make sure it’s someone you know well. Once they have their heads around proper settings for different lighting environments, they’ll be well on their way to impressing their clients — and beefing up their social media game.
6. Portable phone charger
An agent’s phone is their lifeline to clients, colleagues and other agents. If it runs out of battery, it can cost the agent peace of mind, and even revenue. One solution for this is a portable charger that doesn’t need to be connected to an outlet to recharge their phone. The Anker Portable Charger is one popular option, and makes for a relatively inexpensive gift.
For the agent constantly pushing to learn and improve
7. Online real estate course
With the rise of the internet, there have never been more opportunities to learn about a topic. If an agent you know is interested in investing in their self-education, a variety of online courses can help scratch their itch for knowledge. Many of these courses are free at sites like edX, but some specialty courses can be purchased and provided as a gift to an agent you know. This Masterclass course featuring Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass, is one such example.
8. Inman Select subscription
Real estate is a constantly evolving field in which knowledge of the latest market trends, tech innovation and changing business models can give an agent a leg up. An Inman Select subscription can be a valuable resource for cutting through the market uncertainty. If you know an agent without a subscription and enjoy our coverage of this constantly changing industry, consider gifting them access to our coverage.
9. Inman Connect New York virtual ticket
Staying on top of the latest industry news and trends is a must for every agent, and our staff goes to great lengths to make sure Inman Connect conferences are well worth the time. If you know an agent who can’t make it to our upcoming conference in New York City, you can buy them a virtual ticket. While you’re at it, consider coming to the conference in person to hear from industry professionals and network with other agents and brokers. We’d love to meet you.
For the agent who was instrumental in helping buy or sell your home
10. A 5-star review
This list is mostly full of gadgets and gifts for the agent in your life. But if you’re a client reading this, and you’ve enjoyed working with your agent, one of the best things you can do to help their business is to leave them a 5-star review. This not only helps new clients find the agent, but it gives you a chance to share what the agent’s specific strengths are, which can help those potential clients make an informed decision as well.
There are several sites that people turn to, from real-estate-specific portals like Zillow and Realtor.com, to more general sites like Google, Facebook and Yelp. Consider leaving a review for the agent on one or more of these services.