Here are some easy to follow guidelines that can lead to you boosting your chances of getting referrals through that next closing gift that you hand to the lucky home owner.
Tip #1: The first filter through which you should make all gifting decisions is to ask yourself how can what I am gifting, get my story told more often in regards to what a good job I did, and how easy I am to work with?
Primary tip in one word, the magic is in storytelling!
Tips #2-5 will show you how to get your story told more often. When someone being told the story is buying or selling a home then this is when real estate referrals happen. They may also know someone in need of a realtor which has the same positive result for you.
Tip #2: What would your clients look at and immediately want to take a picture of so that they can share it with their social network?
Storytelling isn’t just done in person anymore, it also happens online. Cool part about social media channels is that you can get in front of hundreds or even thousands of people. Hard to get that kind of exposure in person. So what can you give that is picture and post worthy? You can also very graciously mention to them that if they post a picture of your gift ad link to you that it would be a huge help and immensely appreciated… sometimes you don’t get what you don’t ask for. Many people can throw a post down in less than 60seconds.
Tip#3: Custom engraving their last name on the gift. Nothing else.
Dale Carnegie said in a famous quote that, “Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” The biggest mistake I see those giving client gifts making over and over is to make the gift about themselves, the realtor, by plastering their name on the gift. Your gut reaction may be that I have to market myself. I agree that you do, but to make this strategic and work for you try to think of the referral goal you have in the context of these two questions below:
Would someone be more likely to post a picture of a gift on social media (to their hundreds of thousands of people they are connected to) if it has the realtor’s name on it or their last name? Is the benefit of writing off the gift on your taxes make up for the potential additional commission(s) that you could have gotten because if your gift was shared with others?.
- What do you think the first thing someone will grab to show their family (aunts, cousins, siblings, parents, etc.) when they come over to visit, a product with the realtor’s name on it, or one that has the last name they all share engraved beautifully? 20 years ago it may have made less sense from a marketing perspective because the client may have a hard time finding you again. This is no longer the case, today with email, super-phone contact cards, LinkedIn, etc., these people will be able to find you. If you make them look cool to their family, they will also remember you and tell your story gladly.
Tip #4: Try and find something that your clients entire family will be able to use 5 times a week for 5 years or more.
Buying food, wine, gift cards, are all easy and the clients will seem genuinely happy when you give it to them because they are delicious and or useful in the very near term. But going back to previous tips, will it get your story told often and for years to come? The answer is no. So try and find products that your clients families will use all the time, in the course of their busy lives, and personalize them. If the product is associated with a story or purpose then share that too so they can repeat it to their friends, family, and whoever else comes over for a visit.
Tip #5 Wait at least a few weeks after closing/ moving to give them the gift.
You can get them the coolest gift, engraved perfectly, useful, unique, with a great story, and it can be put in a box for years in the moving scramble. Have you ever had someone you liked that wanted your attention when you are really busy and distracted? No one wants to come off as rude so they will be gracious but then throw the gift in the back of the car and then be lost in thought about the crazy list of things they have to coordinate for the move. The alternative, by waiting a few weeks, is to catch them settled in and able to talk. By telling them at closing that you are having something special engraved for them and that you want to give it to them after the move madness they will feel both special and look forward to seeing you again…
The blog was written by Refresh Glass. We specialize in custom engraving glassware and other amazing and functional home décor made from wine bottles that we rescue as a part of our 10 Million Bottle Rescue Mission. You can see the current bottles saved counter at refreshglass.com. We wrote this post because sometimes it is more helpful to give people the questions to filter decisions through when making a choice. We have had a lot of real estate referrals received because of our engraved glasses as a result of one question that everyone has heard almost every time they visit someone’s home within a few minutes of arriving. That question is, “Can I offer you something to drink?” The beverages and storytelling flows naturally from there. We hope your referrals do too!
If you have any questions about a gift, project, or anything in general hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers ~ Ray DelMuro, Refresh Glass founder and owner