With the winter holidays fast approaching and homes still selling like hotcakes, we imagine that your gift-giving list is starting to look a lot like Santa’s. Buyers, sellers, colleagues, partner vendors… does it ever end?
Closing and holiday gifts show your appreciation to all of the people who help make your business profitable. A well-executed gift will keep you top of mind and can help you get more referrals in the new year.
So what exactly should you buy, well, everyone? You could buy a stack of Home Depot gift cards at the last minute and call it a day (everybody needs paint and light bulbs, right?). Or you could try something a little different, a little more memorable.
Without further ado, here are 10 gifts that will help you stand out this holiday season:
1. A (Chocolate) Dream House
Give the gift of a dream house, completely made of chocolate. Hershey’s take on the traditional gingerbread house is a fun gift for buyers, sellers, home inspectors and loan professionals with young families… or a powerful sweet tooth! Better still, it’s under $20. Buy it here.
2. Little Shirley
We’re not talking about Shirley Temple! Little Shirley is a handmade and hand-glazed vase, available in about a million (very slight exaggeration) colors. In addition to giving a completely unique gift for only $20, 10% of profits benefit change-making community organizations. Read more and choose your Little Shirley here.
3. Local Eats… or Drinks
If you have a buyer or colleague who is new to the area, treat them to a regional specialty, like locally produced jam. If you know that the recipient is a fan of adult beverages, you can also give the gift wine, beer or spirits. We imagine this is very, very common in places like Napa.
4. A Warm Welcome
Welcome mats have long been a popular real estate closing gift. Add a special touch by ordering custom mats that are personalized with the homeowners’ initials, name or address. There are several shops that allow you to order online, like Pottery Barn. Or try one with a witty welcome instead.
5. Memories that Last a Lifetime
Sometimes the best gift is not a thing but an experience. Tickets to a local sporting event, concert or wine tasting are a great way to show your appreciation.
6. A Picture that Lasts a Lifetime
Art can be a challenging gift. First there’s the matter of taste, then there’s the matter of framing. But when you get it right, it’s a wonderful talking point. Your name will come up every time guests ask about the piece in question. Increase your chances of success by ordering a custom aluminum print that’s easy to hang, lasts a lifetime and requires no extra fuss. Choose a vintage print of a buyer’s new home for a memorable and cherished gift.
7. A Whole Year of Gifts
Q: What’s better than one gift?
A: 12 gifts!
Give a gift that keeps on giving (and keeps you in their thoughts) all year round: a subscription service. Magazine subscriptions are very budget-friendly and can be tailored to suit anyone’s interests – from foodies to decor addicts to sports enthusiasts. If you want to spend a little more, there are all kinds of other subscription services, including bacon-of-the-month and hot-sauce-of-the-month clubs.
8. Homemade Pie
You don’t have to spend a lot to give a memorable and welcome gift. Just roll up your sleeves and make a pie! Here’s one of our favorite, easy recipes for a rustic raspberry pie from our very own Gourmet Housewife, Jacquelyn Bauer: http://www.gourmethousewife.com/2012/08/rustic-raspberry-pie/
9. An AquaFarm
If you have a pet or plant lover on your list, here is a unique gift that combines the two. The AquaFarm is a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food-bearing plants right out of the top. At only $59.99, it’s perfect for a home or office.
10. Lower Electricity Bills
Give your buyers the gift of peace of mind and get them a Nest thermostat or smoke alarm for their new home. The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself to suit occupants preferences and save energy; it can also be controlled from your smartphone. Learn more about both here.
And as for those gift cards, we’ve gotta admit, buyers love ‘em. If you suspect home improvement isn’t up their alley, try giving them a card to a coffee shop or local restaurant. A free latte or meal is always welcome during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
No matter what you choose to give, don’t forget to include a handwritten note or thank you card with your gift.
What do you usually give as closing or holiday gifts to your clients?