April 25, 2018

Will Pricey Gift-Giving Win You More Clients?

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Will Pricey Gift-Giving Win You More Clients?

Closing gifts are common in the real estate industry, and some agents – particularly those courting high-end listings – are getting more lavish and creative with the gifts they’re giving. By giving costly gifts, these agents are hoping to stay top of mind with their clients.

These extravagant gifts have reportedly included everything from bicycles to Buddha earrings and custom dog portraits.

Chrisophe Choo, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills, gifted his recent buyers a chartered jet bound for Las Vegas. The couple had purchased a $15 million Los Angeles home and Choo spent about $30,000 to accompany his clients on the all-expense paid weekend in Vegas.

Choo says that he gives over-the-top closing gifts to clients who spend over $10 million.

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“My business is 70 percent repeat clients,” Choo tells The Wall Street Journal “Creating memories is important.”

The budgets for closing gifts in luxury sales is getting supersized. Danny Hertzberg, an associate at the Jills at Coldwell Banker in Miami, says he budgets between $250 and $1,000 per family member, along with a $500 donation to charity.

After selling a condo to a couple, Hertzberg gifted them with a pair of bikes so they could ride to the beach and he also purchased bells, locks, and baskets for the bicycles.

Florian Jouin, an agent at One Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami, offers his closing gifts within two weeks of a sale because that’s when clients often share the news of a purchase with friends and associates. Last year, Jouin flew to Monaco to personally deliver to a client the keys – on a Tiffany & Co. key ring -- to his just-purchased $1.2 million Miami condo. He also gifted a new bracelet when he noticed his client was wearing a discolored bracelet in a meeting.

“I’m trying to create a spark,” Jouin says. “They can buy everything they want.”

Brian Buffini, founder of a coaching company for real estate agents, however, discourages agents from spending more than $50 on closing gifts. Buffini instead urges agents to spend their money on follows up later on.

Source: “Real Estate Agents’ Over the Top Gifts for Home Buyers,” The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 10, 2015)