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What Is the Right Real Esate Closing Gift

Being a real estate agent in PA, it had been drummed into my head that we needed to find a way to get our clients to remember us. The huge thing with the four walls, roof and windows just wasn’t enough. Postcards, closing gifts, telephone calls were all suggested. I did all the above, but had some trouble coming up with closing gifts that were appropriate.

The gift of wine was my first choice. Personally, I like wine for its medicinal purposes as well as its taste. One day I was running out the door to attend a friend’s dinner party and grabbed a bottle of wine from our wine rack. As I looked at the bottle in my hands, I asked myself “Where did this come from?”. The label wasn’t familiar, not a brand of wine I had bought before. Was I possibly re-gifting this bottle of wine? Who had given it to me in the first place? Then the horror dawned on me, was it possible that the $50 bottle of wine I had given my clients was sitting lost among other bottles of wine in their wine rack. Or worse yet, had they unknowing re-gifted it to someone else not remembering that I was the great realtor who gave it to them! O.K. so I scratched wine off my list of closing gifts.

Gift cards to restaurants and gift baskets also were “deep sixed”. What if the meal at the restaurant was terrible? Even good restaurants have bad days. Well, they probably would remember me then, but did I want them to remember me as the Realtor who gave them a terrible meal? At that point restaurant gift cards seemed a little chancy. As for gift baskets, we all know what happens after the all the good stuff is gone. The rest languishes around for awhile and may-be gets stored in the pantry until it is thrown away. Once the basket is gone, do you really think it could have been that memorable that they will remember me when it comes time for them to move? Most people only move every six to seven years or so.

Then it hit me, what about a portrait of the new home they had just purchased. I know they are really excited about the home and loved it even before they move in. Would they like a home portrait? Would they hang it? I wasn’t really sure, but I found an artist who did home portraits. At my next closing I presented it to my clients. They told me they loved it! What else did you expect them to say to my face? Several months after they moved into their new home, I received phone call from them. They again thanked me for the portrait and told me how many nice comments they received about it during their housewarming party. I then decided to give my past clients from the past year portraits of their homes for Christmas. These I just dropped by during my travels. Most of my clients were not even home. Much to my amazement, I received thank-you notes from almost all of them.

From now on I would give home portraits as closing gifts. The only problem was the expense. With an engineering degree and having taken art classes since I was ten, there must be a way I could figure out how to do them on my own. Well I did. Although, I still practice real estate occasionally, I am now running my own business Gift of Portraits and have been providing realtors with affordable home portraits to use as closing gifts ever since.

Choosing the appropriate closing gift.

Jeanna Nelis


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