Category Archives: Follow Up

Closing Gifts: A Personal Touch

One of the biggest concerns realtors have is the idea that once you’ve found, or sold, a home for your client, how do you thank them for their business? Do you do anything? A lovely muffin basket? A quick handshake and a ‘thank you’? After all, your job is done and it is now time to part ways. You’ve spent a good amount of time with them, you have learned their likes & dislikes and you’ve likely gotten close to the whole family. Now you must move on. It’s almost bittersweet. But let’s be realistic… You would love the reference to their friends & family. Word of mouth is quite possibly the best marketing tool we have.

For many realtors, one of the key ways to thank clients for their business is to give what is called a closing gift. In a survey of 1000 real estate agents, 43% spend upwards of $60 on a closing gift, while 18% keep it between $30-40, depending on the amount of the sale. But what does one give? That’s really the question. Gift ideas will vary from agent to agent; there is no standard. Choose a gift certificate to a home store, a bottle of wine with glasses, or better yet, something with a personal touch. Something tailored to your client is creative gesture to let your clients know that you’ve enjoyed working with them and look forward to continuing your professional relationship down the line.

The best way to do this is to customize your gifts. Maybe your client loves the ocean. Put together a gift basket with oceanic things you know they’d enjoy. Or perhaps go with something personalized, like an engraved keychain, to celebrate their new adventure. It really isn’t about what the gift is. It’s the idea that you’d like to give a simple gesture to say thanks. And as with anything we do for others, the more personal we make it, the more it is appreciated. Whether you choose something small or extravagant, the adage is true: It’s the thought that counts.

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It is a Great Time (Really!!!) to List a Home

The ongoing joke is that to the real estate agent it is always a great time to list, no
matter what the time of year or the state of the economy. Tradition has it, though, that
spring and summer are the optimal seasons to list. But in this Sunday’s Los Angeles
Times, Kenneth R Harney, in an article on the nation’s housing, makes a case for winter
as an even better time to list a house. Based upon a two year study on listing, price and
time on the market by Redfin, a real estate website, the research shows that listing a
home in December, January, February and March will yield a better chance for sellers to
get more than the asking price for their homes. “During the last three years, listing
during those four months has produced higher percentages of above -asking-price sales
than listing during any other months, other than April or May.” Listing a home in
February takes the biscuit for selling quickly, i.e. within 90 days.

What makes winter more of a real estate wonderland is that the home buyers during those
months tend to be serious buyers, and the competition is less as there are overall fewer
homes on the market. So a seller can be a big fish in a small pond during the winter.

What does this mean for you, the real estate agent? You might want to step up your
marketing during the winter months. Let your potential clients ( farm area and sphere of
influence) know that this would really be a good time to list ( and why) and that you are
there to guide them through the process.

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