This post was last updated Nov. 11, 2022.
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The law of reciprocity says when you give something, people want to return the favor by giving you something. Every single top-producing agent has a steady stream of referrals and business coming from their past clients. This is achieved by consistently showing their clients how much they genuinely appreciate them.
The following are 22 unique ways to make sure your clients and sphere of influence know how much you appreciate them.
1. Donate to their favorite charity in their honor
If your client has a charity they passionately support, donating to their favorite charity is an extremely personal way to honor the appreciation you have for them and their business. It shows you’re paying attention to what is important to them and making it important to you as well.
2. Have a personalized coffee mug or tumbler made
Sometimes the small, unexpected gifts mean the most. Social media has become a storage place for some of our favorite family memories through the pictures we post.
Imagine the impact of taking the time to pull a few photos from someone’s Facebook post and creating a personalized photo coffee mug or tumbler. I recently received a personalized mug with pictures of my family with the text, “family – our reason for everything we do.” I will never forget that recognition of my family and the person that sent that mug.
A company like www.mamigon.com can produce and ship these mugs and tumblers for between $20 and $40. An inexpensive way to surprise someone with a personalized gift that will keep you top of mind for years to come.
3. Create a personalized jigsaw puzzle
Turning a photo into a jigsaw puzzle has never been easier. A puzzle made from a photo of the home someone bought, a family photo from a vacation, or a photo of someone’s children is another great way to stay top of mind.
Companies like www.puzzleyou.com or www.pictorem.com can produce and deliver a personalized jigsaw puzzle for $25-$60. It’s as easy as uploading a photo, choosing a design, and having the finished product shipped to your client.
4. Host a housewarming party for buyers
This is a great way to celebrate your client’s new home with their friends, family, and new neighbors. The party involves you offering to handle all the party details, including invitations, food, and drinks.
By requesting the name, email address for delivery of invitation, and phone number for RSVP, you can now follow up with your buyer’s sphere of influence a few times prior to the event with party reminders and after the party thanking them for attending. Inviting the neighbors to the party is a great way for them to meet their new neighbors and for you to meet them as well.
The cost of the food, drinks and any invitations will be minimal depending on how elaborate you decide to make it. You can also utilize sponsors like the lender they used, the title company, the inspector, etc., to help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
5. Host a going away party for sellers
Similar to the housewarming party mentioned above, the main difference is that this is a great way to meet the neighbors of the home you just sold, providing an opportunity to build a relationship with additional homeowners.
6. Have a painting of your client’s home created
Most areas have local artists that would love to paint an original painting of your client’s home. They can even put the family in the painting to make it more personal. This is a gift that most homeowners will cherish for years to come.
If you can’t find a local artist within your budget, a site like www.fiverrr.com is a great place to find an outstanding artist that can create this extremely personal gift for a reasonable price.
7. Recognize an achievement of their child
If you do something for me, I will be grateful. But, if you do something for my children, I will never forget it. Social media provides us the ability to know when our clients are excited about the accomplishment of one of their children.
This could be a milestone achieved, an academic or athletic achievement, or maybe even recognition by an organization or club the child is involved in. Sending a handwritten congratulations card to a child of someone is a great way to make the child feel special, and it can also deepen your relationship with the parent.
Including a gift card that the child might enjoy is an added touch that makes it even more memorable for the child.
8. Provide a handyman/landscaper/house cleaner for a day
One of the biggest stresses homeowners face is taking care of little details like changing the locks on doors, touching up paint after moving furniture into the home, or small maintenance items that always seem to pop up right after closing.
Hiring a handyman for the buyers can relieve them of that initial to-do list and the stress that it brings.
Also, many new homeowners could use a little help getting the yard freshened up or cleaning the home after moving in. Hiring a landscaper or house cleaner for your clients is a great way to help them out and solidify your long-term relationship with the buyer.
9. Have a personalized wood cutting board crafted
Cutting boards are an essential tool in most kitchens. The ability to customize them with your branding or a quote with subtle branding in the corner is a great way to keep you top of mind.
There are several companies that can personalize cutting boards, including but not limited to www.personalizationmall.com, www.foralgifts.com, and www.etsy.com.
10. Have a home anniversary cake baked
Most happy events, including weddings or birthdays, are celebrated with cakes. Why not celebrate a home anniversary with a cake?
Many bakeries can bake a customized cake with a photo of the home on top. Imagine the surprise if you personally delivered or had someone else deliver an anniversary cake with a picture of their home to your client’s office or home.
11. Systemize your follow-up with cards and gifts
As your business grows, one of the biggest challenges is staying consistent in your follow-up with past clients. Systemizing communication and gifting are very helpful for the agent that has many past clients.
Companies like www.sendoutcards.com provide the ability for you to submit your own handwriting so that the cards can be produced electronically in your personal handwriting font. Gifts can be added to the cards, and the cards/gifts can be scheduled for special occasions like birthdays or home anniversaries.
This is a great way to schedule annual home anniversary cards and gifts for years to come, then let the system automatically deliver them in the future.
12. Hold a family photography event
This is a group client appreciation event. It involves hiring a photographer and setting a schedule where clients could book a time for their family to have a 15- or 30-minute photo session.
A few options are for you to pay for a photo package from the photographer. Or you could simply provide the setup, one photo, and they can purchase packages from the photographer if they would like.
Sponsors can help offset the cost of the photographer, but many up-and-coming photographers love the opportunity to meet and provide value to several families while having the opportunity to expand their client base.
13. Hold a pet photography event
People love their pets, and the uniqueness of a pet photography day is a great way to stand out with your pet-loving clients. Pet photography events are very similar to the family photography events mentioned above, and they create another layer of relationship that is not soon forgotten.
14. Host a pre-Thanksgiving pie day
Thanksgiving is a time when families gather, remembering all they are thankful for from the previous year. Providing a pie for your clients around Thanksgiving is a great way to be a part of this beloved tradition.
I’ve known agents that baked the pies themselves and others that purchase pies from local bakeries. The distribution is usually done on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and either by personal delivery or having a pickup location for the clients.
15. Buy tickets to a local event
Whether it be a local sporting event, a theater production, or any other event in your community, purchasing tickets and offering them to clients is a great way to show them your appreciation. Buying group tickets is another way to have multiple past clients join you, your family, or your staff in a fun, non-business environment as well.
16. Host a movie theater event
This is a client appreciation event that has been around for a while. Classics rarely go out of style, and in the case of movie theater events, post-pandemic, these are gaining momentum again. Renting the theater for the playing of a certain movie at a certain time brings several of your clients together and creates the opportunity for you to continue to be their agent of choice.
This idea also lends itself to bringing in sponsors, like vendors you utilize, if you are looking to keep your budget reasonable. You could have sponsors for the popcorn, the drinks, and more. This is the type of event that creates a sense of community for your clients and is rarely forgotten.
17. Send fresh-cut flowers for special occasions
Fresh flowers have a way of making every mood and room brighter. Flowers also connect on an emotional level with the sender and the receiver. If you know your client has a family wedding, graduation, or celebratory event coming up, sending flowers is a great way to celebrate the occasion with them.
18. Buy them a local membership
Membership to a local art gallery, gym, or club is a great way to support a local organization or business while helping your buyers assimilate into your community. By identifying a membership the buyer would enjoy based on his interests, you’ve made this gift even more personal.
19. Provide a babysitter for a night
Moving is a stressful event for families with children. One way to show your appreciation is to provide a babysitter so the parents can celebrate the purchase of their home as a couple without the distractions children can bring.
A kid-free date night might be just what the doctor ordered after a stressful move.
20. Host a personal chef dinner for clients and their friends
This is an upscale way of showing appreciation that is most often utilized with luxury or influential clients due to the expense. The normal process is to either host the dinner at your home or the buyers’ new home. Encourage the client and spouse to invite two other couples for a celebratory personal chef-prepared dinner with you and your spouse.
An intimate dinner with 6 to 8 people is a great way to expand your relationship with the clients and to create new relationships with some of the most important people in the lives of your luxury clients.
21. Give them a local gift basket
Whether it be a closing gift, home anniversary, or thank you for a referral, providing a basket with several local items is a great way to show your appreciation. Local bags can include shirts or hats from a local business, local food or specialty items, locally branded tumblers or coffee mugs, or any other items characteristic of your area.
By providing these local items, you help your client feel an even stronger bond with your community.
22. Send handwritten notes with gift cards
This may sound simple, but handwritten notes are still valued by recipients. Personalization and taking the time to handwrite a note is becoming less and less the norm. If you can include a gift card to a favorite restaurant or store, then all the better.
These 22 ideas represent several different ways for you to show your appreciation. The key is to develop a habit of consistently saying thank you in whatever way is most authentic for you. When we focus on showing our gratitude, we ultimately are rewarded with people providing more for us to be thankful for.
Jimmy Burgess is the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.