It’s not too late to reach out to your clients this holiday season. Designer Antoinette Fargo offers 12 gift ideas for now — or to take you all the way through 2023.

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Many of us are always on the lookout for fun and interesting items to give as gifts to our clients, whether they’ve just moved into the local market during the past year or they’re referral sources to whom we reach out every holiday season. 

Most of the time, you probably end up giving gift cards or generic gifts that will be forgotten almost as soon as they are received. Instead, let’s be brave this year and give something that will make an impact, with an emphasis on the area you serve. 

Here are some ideas for gifts that are a little more fun, a little more interesting, and that your clients will enjoy and use throughout the year.

1. The work of a local artist

Forget same-old same-old art on the walls or bookshelves when you give the gift of original art from a local artist. It’s a great way to introduce your client to something or someone new, especially if they are also new to the area.

2. A gift representing the local food scene

Whether they’re newcomers or not, they’re sure to enjoy a treat that’s also locally sourced. Give a basket of local produce or a pound of coffee from the local roastery.

Give a bottle of wine from your local vineyard, craft beer from a local brewery or a gift basket from your local gourmet shop. Put several items together to create a taste of [Your Town] that they’ll enjoy long after the holidays are over.

3. Tickets to a local event

Whether tickets to the local college’s basketball game, tickets to a concert, or tickets to a charity gala, giving the gift of an experience is an exciting way to help your clients get to know their neighbors and become part of the community.

If they’re new to the area, they’ll learn more about it. If they’re longtime residents, they’ll get to know a new aspect of their hometown.

4. Dinner from a local chef

Whether you have a delicious chef-prepared dinner delivered to a busy family or create an in-home gourmet experience for two, this provides a memorable and much-appreciated way to pamper your most treasured clients. This could be especially helpful for someone with a new baby at home or someone coming back to an empty fridge after holiday travel. 

5. Something uniquely suited to their hobbies

If you’ve gotten to know your clients well, you’re in a position to get them something that’s perfectly geared toward their hobbies and interests.

Avid golfers or tennis players? How about some new equipment from the pro shop at their club? Uber crafty? Get them talking about where they pick up their supplies, then ask the shop manager what they like.

6. Something you know they need

What came up during their home search that they had to put off? Do they need the front porch painted? Do they need new cabinet pulls? Do they need a lamp for that dark corner of the living room? A truly thoughtful decorative element will show how much you care about them and their new home.

7. Chic home goods

You don’t have to give the same old boring home maintenance kit to keep your clients’ homes shipshape. From tools to trash bins, there are a host of fancy-pants tools and homegoods on the market to choose from.

They’re pricey, but they make a big impression, even if you only give one or two items. And because they’re built for utility, you know they’ll get used multiple times each day.

8. Housekeeping, maintenance or landscaping services

Everybody’s got a honey-do list, especially this time of year. Help them cross off some items by hiring some help for an hour or two and gifting their services to your client list.

Give an hour of housekeeping service to clean out a closet or fridge. Give an hour or two of maintenance service to change out filters and return holiday decorations to the attic. Gift an hour or two of landscaping to haul away branches after a storm, or powerwash outdoor hardscapes.

9. Something uniquely connected to the history of the area

Look for something that speaks to the area where you live, whether it’s a vintage book or a historic artifact. If the home where your clients live has historical significance, try to find a newspaper or magazine clipping in the archives or at the local historical society and have it framed to hang proudly in their home.

10. Framed art depicting their home

Similarly, there are many artists who can create art depicting your client’s home in many different styles. Hire a professional photographer, use one of the listing photos, or have someone create a sketch or painting. This is an especially welcome gift for first-time homebuyers.

11. A guestbook

For those who love to entertain, a guestbook is an old idea that has come back around. Whether for dinner guests or overnight guests, it’s a wonderful way to remember parties, playdates, and even casual drop-bys.

This one from Rifle Paper Company has both lined and unlined pages so that guests can write their thoughts, sketch pictures or add anything else they desire as a memento of the visit. 

12. A vintage tea or coffee pot

By the time you’ve worked together to buy or sell a home, you’ve probably had a lot of coffee and tea dates. If your client is a coffee drinker, tea drinker (or both) gift them a fun, quirky, vintage coffee or teapot. Check out the selection at a local antique store, or look online for something truly unique. They’ll remember you with every cup.

Antoinette Fargo is the co-founder and creative director of DOORA Collective + DOORA Design in Ventura, California.

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