Closing gifts are a year-round tradition for real estate agents, making these professionals experts in choosing just the right token to show you really care. As the holiday season approaches (Bring on Black Friday!), we reached out to two of the nicest real estate professionals we know for gift-giving ideas.
“One of my favorite gifts for a first-time homebuyer is to host a house-warming party at their new home once they are settled in,” said broker / owner Kristy Gonzalez of ERA Evergreen Real Estate Company in Bluffton / Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. “My client can invite friends and neighbors and I provide the food and beverages. At one of these house-warming parties, I ended up showing the house across the street to my client’s friends and sold it to them!”
Not an agent but like the idea? After new neighbors move in, host a holiday-themed “welcome to the neighborhood” party at your own home. Welcome your local friends for an evening get-together and invite your new neighbors as the guests of honor. It is a great way celebrate the holiday season with friends – new and old!
Too busy to host? Drop off dinner from a favorite restaurant or pizzeria. You’ll introduce them to local fare while making life a little easier during their un-packing extravaganza.
“I love to drop off dinner from some of my favorite restaurants while clients are moving in,” said Gonzalez. “A lot of my move-up buyers are families and helping to provide a meal during a move is one less thing they have to worry about.”
“I love celebrating the new home with first-time homebuyers,” said broker associate Rosemary Buerger of ERA Strother Real Estate in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “I give them personalized, pre-stamped “We have a new address” postcards so all they have to do is fill in the names and addresses of their friends and family and drop them in the mail.”
Your gift recipient doesn’t have to move to make this a great gift. Instead of new address postcards, purchase personalized thank-you notes or everyday notecards and include a book of stamps. Stationery is always a great gift and the stamps are a time-saver (goodbye long holiday lines at the post office!)
Another great option is a custom, yet useful, gift for the home. “Since most of my market is made up of military families, I often pick gifts that do not require addresses,” said Buerger. “Rather, I’ll give them a cutting board personalized with their initials and wedding anniversary.”
“I work with quite a few second home buyers,” said Gonzalez. “For those buyers, I love to give them something for their home that reminds them of the area. My favorite gifts include coffee table books that feature beautiful pictures of Hilton Head Island or artwork from a local artist (see the sign at right). These are items they can leave at their vacation home as a decoration or take back to their primary residence to remind them of their vacation memories. They are also great gifts for sellers moving out of the area.”
No matter what the reason, choosing a gift from a local shop or vendor that capitalizes on the memories of your recipients’ time in a certain location is a sure-bet. You provide them with a unique memento of a favorite place while supporting local entrepreneurs –it’s a win-win!
Give the Gift of Time Together
“I love to give my move-up buyers the gift of food, movies or wine,” said Buerger. “We have beautiful custom wine glasses from ERA Strother Real Estate that I include in a wine basket or I’ll create a movie basket for families, complete with popcorn and movie tickets. Items such as these are actually a gift of time because they give my recipients the tools to spend quality time with others.”
Like the basket idea? Consider this tip from Buerger – find out things that interest your recipient and try to customize a gift to fit their passions. Pick and choose a few options that match their likes and wrap them up into one neat little package.
“A personalized Christmas ornament is a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays with friends,” offered Buerger. “An outdoor holiday flag or indoor floral arrangement is another great option.”
Many people appreciate a little help getting their homes holiday-ready so go ahead and consider adding to their holiday décor collection. Here’s one of my favorite personalized holiday gifts for families – a snowball fight in a bucket! It’s a great way for little ones and adults alike to get the sillies out before bedtime.
A Final Word of Advice
“Gift giving is all about listening to what people like and what hobbies they enjoy,” said Buerger. “Then take those insights and incorporate them into a personal and unique gift. I love making my clients, friends and family feel appreciated with this gift-giving technique.”