Want to create a gift that is memorable and will bring you repeat business and referrals? You, as the real estate agent, are their first gift, as getting to the closing table can be an arduous process. Then comes something fun, creative, unique and memorable that will set you apart and potentially win you repeat business and referrals.

Many real estate agents have said that they prefer to call it a Housewarming Gift and have it personally delivered when the buyers move into their home. Any way you choose to call it, a thoughtful gift in addition to your outstanding service will be welcomed and remembered by your clients.

 

Get Personal

 What makes your closing gift stand out will be the level of personalization. Personalization does not just mean their name on it. Though your name and logo can work for some products.  It is so much more.  It comes from truly listening to your clients and getting to know them. What are your clients’ hobbies? Do they enjoy cooking? Which part of the home is most important to them? Learn their preferences when it comes to their tastes, likes, and dislikes.

What is important to them when it comes to their living environment and personal surroundings? Are safety and security a primary concern? Do they love the kitchen the most in their new home?  If not, which is their most important room? Do they like to collect “things” or have a home that is clutter-free, spacious and open?

 

10 Ideas

Here are some practical as well as creative gifts that have won acclaim from the clients who brag about them to their friends and neighbors:

 

1. Medeco residential deadbolt – $228.00 – $357.00

The first thing to suggest to your clients once the sale is completed is to make sure their deadbolt and all locks on every door are changed. Safety and security are a prime concern to most clients. Security is essential even when there are other types of security in place such as guard gates, and security patrols. This applies when living in a condo or gated community as well. What one of my favorite locksmiths continually says is that when you purchase or rent a home, anyone who owned the home, plus their friends and relatives, could still have keys to the property.

According to Medeco they offer a product that is as close to pick- proof and bump proof as possible, so consider gifting your clients with this. And when working with a local locksmith, ask if they offer a discount or coupon for your clients, if you refer them.

www.medeco.com

 

2. Google Nest or smart thermostat – $169.00 – $249.00

Nest, which was bought out by Google last year, offers the convenience of monitoring and regulating the temperature of the inside of your Buyer or Sellers home while they are there or away.  This is a welcomed app and device enjoyed by clients who own second homes, travel a lot and who have kids living at home.  Nest will learn how homeowners like the temperature of their home and will begin to adjust it automatically once it gets to know them.

Some large locksmith companies are offering specials to real estate agents upon closing so ask when you contact them. Also, check with your local board for their preferred vendors.

Could be free!  Many real estate agents have received texts upon closing from ADT. They have specials where they offer the Nest thermostat to clients for free if the Buyers sign a 12-month agreement, which offers both the thermostat and home security at the same time.

Please check your local area as these offers may differ by state.

Click here for other brands of smart thermostats.

 

3. Gift basket featuring local goodies $35.00 – $100.00

Fill a basket with yummy treats for the whole family. Find a local bakery or store and fill the basket with items that emulate the flavor of your local area. The basket can include, home-made bread, cupcakes, cookies, embroidered dishtowels, local candles, plus a book that highlights the top things to do in the area. You can also include a gift card to a local restaurant depending on how much you want to invest in the basket.

 

4. A custom photo of buyer’s new home on a wine bottle $15.00 – $45.00

Do your clients enjoy wine? Purchase their favorite bottle of wine and have a custom label made with their new home on it.  One new homeowner was raving about her real estate agent when she received her wine bottle and was showing off the photo of it on her phone.

You can either order a bottle from a local shop and have a custom photo made online or order online and have it shipped directly to your client.

https://www.icustomlabel.com/category/Housewarming-Wine-Labels

 

5. For animal lovers $35.00 – $90.00

 Animals are such an important part of the household, and the move can be a bit stressful for the loved animals of your clients. BarkBox.com will send your clients either one gift box or a monthly themed gift box filled with animal goodies.

Chewy.com  offers treats for all types of animals, fish, reptiles and yes, humans.  Have a pet that is gluten-free? No problem. They offer a wide selection.  Check out the page of wine glasses for the pet owner. They have some glasses that may delight your Buyer.

 

6. Personalized welcome mat – $24.99- $90.99

The welcome mat is a creative way to welcome guests and friends to your client’s new home. Welcome mats can be located at the front entrance or directly inside the home. They can be designed with a photo or saying and be also changed seasonally.

PersonalCreations.com

 

7. Consultation with a local landscape architect – $100 –

The first impression to a home is the care and design given to the landscaping. A well-designed yard with the emphases on trees, shrubs, and flowers which are native to the state in which the new home is located also saves on water.

Plus, it can be designed to be a haven for native birds and butterflies if that is something that is important to your buyers.

 

8. Hire a local organizer for a few hours – $50.00 – $100.00 per hour

One of the most stressful parts of moving is packing and unpacking. Having a person available to help for a few hours to organize the home room by room can be a huge relief for the new owners. Ok, that may take days, yet a few hours are a good start with a great organizer.

 

9. A portrait of your client’s new home – $70.00

A unique portrait of your client’s new home can be a beautiful piece to showcase in the entryway of the living area of their new home. It is also a creative way to generate referrals when people ask about the portrait when they are at home.

Giveamasterpiece.com

 

10. Food delivered to the door the day of Move-In – $35.00 – $50.00

Eating often gets overlooked the day of moving as it is all about being there on time for the movers. If the Buyers are moving the furniture themselves, that can be even more stressful. Find out what type of food they like and have a local restaurant deliver a meal to them. Or better yet, you can drop it off yourself and say hello.

 

Purchasing a gift for your clients that is personally tailored to them is a thoughtful reminder that you are the local real estate expert. As their real estate agent, you are the door opener to the journey which begins with their new home.  One that will always be remembered.

 

Written for Form Simplicity by Janice Zaltman, a Realtor, LEED AP, Marketing Coach and Writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields.

Halloween is right around the corner. It is a perfect way to bring fun, sweets and treats to your community and build your business.  Many real estate agents wait until the big holidays. Why not begin now? Want to get known in the community or a neighborhood? This is a great time go begin.

Here are 13 spooktacular ideas that are fun and can be put together quickly:

Continue reading

Millennials have become the largest share of homebuyers. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) research department, as of 2018, millennials are 36 percent of homebuyers, with 65 percent of those also being first-time home buyers.

The question now becomes: how do you reach this tech-savvy swath of homebuyers?

A majority (59 percent) of Millennials are active Instagram users. While Facebook is still the most used social network among millennials, that figure is declining. Instagram on the other hand, is increasing its market share amongst millennials.

 

Using Instagram to Reach Millennial Homebuyers:

 

Create a professional page

The first step to creating a successful Instagram that will help you reach the Millennial market is creating a professional Instagram page. If you look at some of the agents that have found success on Instagram, they all have one thing in common, their pages are professional and reflect their brand cohesively.

Although posting photos of your past and current listings is a great first step, don’t forget to incorporate the aspects that highlight what makes the neighborhood that your listing are in so special.

Another good tip is to always stay authentic and approachable. Posting a mix of professional photos of listings with behind-the-scenes content of you at listings or with clients is a great way to put a personal touch on your social media.

 

 

Post engaging content

When it comes to Instagram, there’s a variety of content types to choose from. There are posts you can share to your newsfeed, story posts, and live video. You also have a number of mediums in which you can post content, like videos, photos, boomerangs, and carousel posts.

Choosing a good mix of these types of content outreach strategies will allow you to keep your audience interested in what you have to say and show. Whether it’d be tying back to your specific area of real estate expertise or the actual neighborhood that you have listings in, try to have a cohesive theme throughout all of your content that ties back to what you want your audience to remember about you.

Some examples of great content that Millennials will undoubtedly pick up on include photos and video of local coffee shops, restaurants, and unique things to do that are iconic to the neighborhood you’re listings are in.

 

 

Don’t just post — engage!

In a time when consumers and clients look for personal connections to the brands, causes, and professionals they choose, the best approach isn’t always marketing to people, but engaging with them.

Building a community of people who know and trust you requires you to have conversations with them, especially on a platform that can turn as impersonal as Instagram.

Commenting back to those who take time out of their busy lives to comment on your content gives you the opportunity to reveal your personality to your audience. It also communicates that there’s a real person behind the pictures and videos.

Conversely, go out of your way to find other agent’s Instagram profiles and engage with them! You never know what kind of professional bonds and referrals you might get from simply commenting on other real estate agent’s content.

The most important thing to remember about engaging on Instagram to build relationships with your audience is that it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be patient and constantly engage in order to reap the benefits of engaging on Instagram.

 

 

Use hashtags effectively

Remember how I mentioned finding other agents and engaging with them on Instagram is a great way to network on social media? Well, hashtags are how you find other agents and how they find you! Not to mention, people looking for listings will be searching these hashtags as well.

Using hashtags helps you increase your exposure and searchability. Instagram allows 30 hashtags, so make sure that you’re using the full 30 for maximum visibility!

Use hashtags like: newly sold, newly listed, your specific neighborhood or location, amenities, the brokerage you work for, and various other trending real estate related hashtags. Placing the hashtags in a comment on your post as opposed to in the actual caption of the post allows you to keep the caption clean and easy to read.

In the end, reaching a Millennial audience isn’t rocket science. Simply be authentic in everything you do and highlight all of the great aspects of working with you as an agent and you’ll be building your Instagram reputation with Millennials in no time.

Remember the famous childhood rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me?” Well, think again. In today’s digital age, words matter, and more importantly, what people are saying about you can make an impact on your business’ reputation.

 

What are people saying about you?

When was the last time you searched your name to see what came up? Take some time today to search your name on different browsers such as Google, Firefox, or Safari if you are a Mac user.

 

Why is knowing your business footprint important?

According to NAR statistics, 99% of Millennials search online websites compared to 90% of Boomers.  Whether you receive a large amount of your business from referrals or friends, rave reviews and testimonials can catapult you to the top. They can also create strength and value as to why clients should choose YOU.

 

A 2018 survey reveals how consumers search and what is important to them. Here are some key statistics from the survey:

  • 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34)
  • 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 80% of 18-34-year-olds have written online reviews – compared to just 41% of consumers over 55

 

3 steps to getting testimonials with ease.

Continue reading

When buyers are searching for properties online, photos and property descriptions are vital to gaining exposure and showings. The same is true when agents are searching for properties to show their clients. But should the descriptions for both audiences be the same?

The answer is no, because you are appealing to two different needs, with different perspectives when viewing the information.  Let’s review the best way to communicate with each audience.

Continue reading

So you finally have your real estate license and you’re ready to kickstart your new career as a real estate agent. What do you do now?

While launching a career in real estate can be daunting, the following are a few ways to ensure you position yourself for long-term success in the industry.

Continue reading

When real estate agents think of social media marketing, the sites that come to mind most often are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, a recent study shows that, while sites like Instagram and Facebook are great for getting your audience to get to know your business, LinkedIn is the proven king of lead generation.

Coming in at a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74 percent, LinkedIn has a conversion rate that is three times higher than both Twitter and Facebook.

The reason LinkedIn works is because you are reminding your circle of your professional expertise.  You are showcasing to your friends, family and acquaintances your knowledge in a way that is not pushy or overbearing.

This doesn’t mean that you should abandon your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter efforts; it means that you should be actively nurturing your LinkedIn presence in addition to the other social sites in your lead generation mix. Today we’ll be showing you how to make the most of your LinkedIn page, so you can maximize lead generation and get more clients.

Continue reading

Ah, the dreaded headshot photo. Some love it, most hate it.

 

Many real estate agents take one when they first become agents and use it for the rest of their careers. If your photo is outdated enough, it’ll make it so that when you meet with your clients, they’re greeted by someone who looks nothing like the person they envisioned from the picture on the website.

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a headshot photo that leads to a property sale could be worth several thousand dollars. With potential home buyers doing 80% of their home search online, having a photo on your website is extremely important.

 

Headshots will also make you appear more honest to potential clients searching the web for potential realtor candidates. Although showcasing qualifications and experience matters, a biography page without a photo makes it harder for clients to trust you as an agent.

 

Headshots are also important in building your personal brand. After all, your business is you.

 

Get your best headshot yet with these picture perfect tips:

Continue reading

Like most real estate professionals, your marketing strategy most likely consists of using Facebook pages to post listings, using Instagram to promote your brokerage, handing out business cards or sending out mailers.

 

While these tactics are tried and true, here are 5 other techniques you can start incorporating into your strategy to set your marketing efforts apart from the crowd to win more leads and grow your business:

Continue reading

Once an online lead goes cold, it’s a guessing game for realtors to decide if they should put effort into re-engaging with the lead or if they’re better left cold.

The majority of online leads are usually people you haven’t met face-to-face, and because the line of communication between you and the lead has weakened, there’s no way of knowing what stage of the home buying or selling process the potential lead is in anymore.

This makes it harder to market to them, and it also means that when you do try to market to them again, you’ll most likely be just another online realtor headshot to them.

Seems discouraging, right? Still, it is important to follow up with these once-hot leads. Just because the lead has gone cold doesn’t mean it can’t be revived. The question is: how do you best re-engage with someone stuck in this stage?

Continue reading