It’s always a good time to say thank you to your most loyal clients and referral sources. Oklahoma agent Jilian Gardner offers ideas for showing your appreciation with style.

New markets require new approaches and tactics. Experts and industry leaders take the stage at Inman Connect New York in January to help navigate the market shift — and prepare for the next one. Meet the moment and join us. Register here.

(Editor’s note: This is not an advertisement for any services, but rather a strategy that this agent has had personal success with.)

A closing gift is one of the most common ways agents thank their clients and that has been a staple throughout my 17 years as a real estate agent. Another time we typically show our appreciation is when one of our past clients refers us to a new client, and I don’t miss an opportunity to express my gratitude for these important business-building connections by sending a gift card or personalized gift.

Closing gift services

But about eight years ago, I started to up my game. I knew that there was considerable ROI in regularly connecting with my sphere, so I decided to start using an Oklahoma-based, national gift marketing company called Resonate Gift Marketing Co., which gives me the ability to continue to thank my clients all year long. This is what I have found works for me, but there are plenty of other options.

The premise is simple. I set up different levels within my client database.

  • Platinum clients receive four gifts a year
  • Gold clients receive three gifts
  • Silver clients receive two gifts
  • Everyone else receives one gift annually

I select the gifts in each category, and the vendor tracks who receives what over time, so there is never a repeated gift.

Each gift is accompanied by a handwritten note signed with my name, though I do not actually write or sign the notes myself. That is part of the service that is provided, therefore it saves me time and is an incredibly efficient outreach program. 

I complete about 90 to 105 deals a year. Approximately 60 of them are new clients who receive a closing gift, three other gifts and an anniversary gift one year after their closing. Then, they are assigned a category. I also have the ability to send one-off gifts for birthdays, promotions, wedding anniversaries and more.

My standard closing gift is a beautiful, monogrammed marble charcuterie board with cheese knives and some yummy goodies. One of the most popular gifts this year was a fortune cookie kit, while a Fouth of July-themed ice cream scoop was a popular stand-by.

My personal all-time favorite is the gratitude jar. Family members can write down things they are grateful for throughout the year and put them in the jar. Reading all the cards at the end of the year is a wonderful experience, which I can personally attest to.

Overall, I love that the gifts are memorable and that I don’t have to wrack my brain to come up with ideas. 

The beauty of this program is that my outreach is consistent. Not only do my clients receive the gifts but following up to see how they liked them is an authentic reason to check in and create another touchpoint. I receive a list each month from Resonate letting me know who is getting what and when so I can check in with each of my clients. 

Gifts cost between $25 and $50, and the total annual spend can be written off as marketing costs. I recommend this marketing program to anyone looking to make a lasting and consistent impact on their clients. 

Client appreciation events

I use my client categories for client appreciation events, too. I have about 35 Platinum clients, and every year, I host a special party for them. This year it was a private wine and food-tasting event with the executive chef cooking right in front of them.

I also host an annual event for all of my clients in November, complete with food trucks and a professional photographer who takes complimentary family photos. I even give out $50 Shutterfly gift cards so my clients can use the family photo taken at the event for their holiday cards. 

I love a good client event as it creates wonderful and personal opportunities to connect and further cement relationships. I also offset a lot of the costs of these events through sponsorships.  

Client loyalty program

I introduced a new thank-you program this past year called the Client Loyalty Program, which is given to all of my clients who close with me. They can choose between a season family pass to the local zoo or two club-level tickets for the Oklahoma Thunder NBA team.

In addition, they get “Gardner Bucks” redeemable at local businesses that I partner with, such as a roofing company and a repair person. They can also redeem $50 worth of babysitting services from my two teenage daughters. It’s a family business for sure.

And as an extension of client loyalty, every December, I host a Christmas Cash Giveaway with a local sponsor. Clients are encouraged to submit reviews, and for every review they submit, they receive an entry into the drawing, and the winner wins a cash prize. It’s a great way to build my online presence and attract more clients.

Remember, it’s always a good time to say thank you. Coming up with creative ways to say it can go a long way in building a successful business now and well into the future. 

Jilian Gardner is an agent with Jilian Gardner Homes at ERA Courtyard serving Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma County. Connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

| new agent | referrals
Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription