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Ken Badertsc…, Real Estate Pro in Newton, MA

As an agent, do you give gifts to your clients after a deal closes? If so, what? If not, why?

Asked by Ken Badertscher, Newton, MA Wed Nov 7, 2012

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A closing gift is definitely recommended... a gift card or some flowers can go a long way.

The best gift will be something you personally know the client will like! So, pay attention when working with them, and ask questions. If they like wine... well, that's an easy one. If they like a sports team, how about some tickets?

I had a client tell me they were interesting in learning how to brew beer... so my gift was a beer brewing kit for $25... get creative.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012

Interesting, I see that in some states it may be a violation of their real estate laws to give a client anything of value. I question if this is so? What about zip realty? What about redfin? as two examples. Do they do business in your state of Oregon?

In Massachusetts an agent can give a party (buyer or seller) of the transaction anything they want. So if you wanted to give your buyer 100% of the fee it is allowed.

I use to, but now I just get them the house they want at the best price I can, or get the seller I represent the most money I can. And let them rest assured they are getting the most professional service available and that no detail is overlooked.

When was the last time your Attorney, Doctor, Accountant, Insurance Agent gave you a gift?
5 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
I think it is very good etiquette to give a gift for a buyer of a house. This is one of the biggest transitions in one's lifetime - owning a home and having property. And by the way, yes, I have heard of accountants and attorneys giving gifts to clients when a legal transaction has been one of significance. How old are you? I see your point, but it is quite shallow. I think when you have been in the business a little longer, you will see that gifts for experiences such as buying a home (especially a first home) is about building relationships in the real estate business.
Flag Sun Aug 2, 2015
Our real estate agent did not give us a gift, and rest assured, when it's time to sell our house in the next couple of years, she will definitely NOT represent us.
Flag Mon Jun 23, 2014
I may not be an agent but I am a recent home buyer. My realtor had an artist sketch our new home and had it framed for us! It was really amazing. She also sent us a year anniversary of closing card too!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 20, 2012
I give a donation for buyers and sellers in their name to the Chidrens Miracle Network, a card is sent to them telling that a donation has been made in their name. I also give buyers a gift card usually to lowes.
I think house warming gifts are a customary tradition in our society in general, and as we are a part of the act of buying the new house it is appropriate for Realtors to do. its not at all the same as comparing to dr.s accountants etc.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Good point John....Without getting too deep into reasonings, that is such a lame comparison/excuse about doctors, lawyers, accountants etc. R.E. agents are in the sales business and it is always helpful to say thanks after a sale is made. (By the way, attorneys do not usually purchase gifts for clients but they do pay up to 10% of their billings to people that refer them clients - of course only in jurisdictions where it is legal).
Flag Fri Mar 28, 2014
We give them a gift and also set them up on a drip campaign and a bi-monthly delivery of a high end magazine to stay in touch with them better. We also encourage our agents to call them every quarter.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
Yes I do. It is personalized and is something that they can use, address stamp, letter opener, change of address cards, etc. if they are new to an area I'll pick up togo menus at surrounding restaurants, dry cleaners, pet salons, vets, etc., and see if the business will offer any introductory coupons and tuck those into the basket. Some vendors offer discount on changing locks, cleaning carpets and those go in as well.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 20, 2012
Yes and the IRS only let's us write-off $25 dollars per client.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 20, 2012
I give gifts as well, and as mentioned before it depends on the client. My latest client was a first time home buyer and I new he would immediately start personalizing his place so I got him a gift card to Home Depot enclosed in a personal note. For my clients I just sold their house, I got them gift cards to restaurants so they could go out and celebrate. I hope that this helps.

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 20, 2012
Those are interesting responses.
I think it is interesting that real estate is a business where gifts are given to clients.
Louis had an interesting comment along those lines.

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Absolutely! If it were not for my clients entrusting me with the sale or purchase of a home, I would not be in business. God gives to me and I wish to share with others, giving is a beautiful thing :)
My gift normally depends upon the individual. Many buyers in my area are purchasing second homes or investment properties and close from abroad. Those clients I send gift cards to (master, visa, etc)
I also frequent a local gourmet food and wine deli that custom makes me awesome gift baskets. And gift cards to some great local area restaurants to new comers. At the end of a stressful sale, funds have hit the bank, the sweating and nervous stomach subsided, the gift giving is definitely a fun part I truly enjoy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Giving gift to your clients is a really nice thing to do. Its a big decision and someone trust you big. Not only an agent is professionally responsible to keep the trust and work for best interest, but also show thanks by giving a memorable gift. I would say 5% of the agents earned, will do a lot.

A good agent will continue a relationship after the transaction just in case something comes up after a few months; who else is better to advise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2015
I answered this on another RE forum with a comment. I have bought three homes in my time that were all new homes in nice neighborhoods that were deed-restricted; however, I never received one gift from any of my realtors. Not a card, not a lunch, nothing. I do not consider this good service etiquette - especially since all the realtors earned nice commissions and good client transactions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 2, 2015
Great info here. I personally give gifts that last and are a pleasant surprise. Mailing labels are a great way to customize a gift too, and are inexpensive.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 28, 2012
Depending on the clients and on your relationship at the end of the deal, I try to customize the gifts for each client. I think this is a good idea as it lets your clients know that you appreciate their business and if you have done a good job they will always remember your generosity and the the help you was able to provide to them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 28, 2012
Some do gifts some do not the important thing is to be consistand and not selective.

Try client parties:) with prizes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 25, 2012
I try to give what is appropriate to the new home owner, some times it is a Gift Certificate to a Restaurant that they like. Sometimes it is a special bottle of wine and other times could be champaign. It all varies depending what I learned from my clients and what I think would give them a special moment of joy!

Endre Barath,Jr.
Prudential California Realty
Beverly Hills, CA

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 24, 2012
Yes, we try to recognize our appreciation for them allowing us the opportunity to serve them. We try to make the gifts practical to them and their home's needs. Gift certificates to local building supply stores, homegoods or restaurants, having a locksmith rekey their locks, a day of helping them get moved in, etc. We find that our customers appreciate an effort to personalize whatever is given and will remember it.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
All about the house warming party. Use some of that commission to cater a house warming party where you can meet and greet some of your clients sphere of influence. Tons of potential leads especially since the client is still excited about the purchase there more apt to sing your praises.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2012
I think Louis had a great point also.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
I will customize the gift to each client. Sometimes it is a gift card to the country club restaurant or golf course, a case of wine for their new wine cellar or a bottle of Dom Perignon to celebrate the big move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
The best gift is one that is a constant reminder of the great service you provided your clients. One of my favorites is a high quality monogrammed door mat with the buyers initial. Every time they enter or leave their new home, they think of me!
Susan Gregory
Newman Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
yes something solid that will be a reminder of me. I get a little country sign that says "love" or our house or I bought some nice curtains for my privacy client. I don't for rental properties of bank owned that was a lot of work. Don't know why...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
Closing gifts should be given so the client will remember (and hopefully refer) you every time they use the item. Gift cards and fruit baskets are great but forgot once used. Give a gift that will last and be showcased in the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Hi Ken,

I will give a gift such as plates, gift cards to Home Depot, etc. i try to make a donation to worthy cause such as the Red Cross, Breast Cancer, local charities too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012

If they're moving to Leominster, I usually give them a $50 gift certificate to "Central St. Meats & Deli" a local butcher shop.

If they need to do work on the house, $50 gift certificate to Lowes or HD.

If they like DD or Starbucks, then a $50 gift card.

If I come across something I know they need or would love, then I do that. I sold a small horse farm once and gave them a chainsaw carved horse head - they loved it.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Very true... best to go with something that has no defined dollar value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Yes, but we have to be careful in Oregon because anything of real value can be considered commission sharing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
It all depends on what your clients like.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
Yes, a house warming gift is a nice touch from a broker to their clients. The gift usually depends on the clients and what they have or what they want.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
As the financing part of the transaction, I do. Usually a Lowe's/ Home Depot gift card for $40 or so. And then usually a little something(wine) for the Realtor if it is a new relationship.

Scott McCauley
Licensed Mortgage Planner
Regency Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #174108
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2012
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