2014 Gift Guide: 11 Budget-Friendly Ideas
2014 Gift Guide: 11 Budget-Friendly Ideas
Find inspiration for unique holiday gifts — all for $25 or less.
Why Give a Gift?
The holidays are the perfect time of year to reconnect with past clients or prospects and get yourself back on their radar by giving them a little gift. So put on your Santa hat and offer your clients a token of appreciation for their business or referrals this year. Whether it’s hosting a holiday party for your special clients, sending a handwritten holiday card, or offering up a small gift delivered to their doorstep, you can show your clients that you’re remembering them this holiday season (and all year long).
Make a Flashy Holiday eCard
Inject a little humor into your holiday card. Use your webcam or grab a photo of your smiling face, and have your photo pasted on a dancing elf that sings holiday classics such as “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” or “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” You can have your entire brokerage take part in a digital holiday disco. You’ll need to sign up for a yearlong membership in order to access the cards, but that gives you the opportunity to send cards marking other special occasions, including birthdays and other holidays.
$18 for a yearlong membership; JibJab.com
Give Your Clients a Plan
Help your clients get an organized start to the year so they’ll be able to keep all those New Year’s resolutions. They can stick this magnetic memo board to their refrigerator and plan out their week or month. The 8.5-by-11-inch board is printed on card stock with magnets on the back, and it features a seven-day outlook or full monthly review, depending on the design. Clients can jot down their to-dos with a dry erase marker on the memo boards. The boards can be branded with your photo, logo, and contact information. Choose from several designs, such as graphics featuring houses or sunsets. (Dry erase markers are not included.)
$1.39 each for 100; MagnetsUSA.com
Send Flowers in a Unique Way
Send flowers in a nontraditional way with a Grow-a-Note ornament. The plantable ornaments have wildflower seeds inside of them, so once you take it off the tree, you can plant the ornaments and watch the flowers grow. The ornaments, made of 100 percent recycled materials, can include your logo along with a message. Growing instructions for the ornaments are printed on the back. Choose from several ornament designs, such as doves, snowmen, snowflakes, and more.
Starting at $3.95 for a pack of three; GreenFieldPaper.com
Bring Frosty to Town
Get your clients and their children to play in the snow by gifting this favorite holiday tradition: building a snowman. This snowman-making kit includes five buttons, a carrot stick cloth nose, scarf, and hat. The snowman’s outfit comes packaged in a 14-by-8-inch tote, which you can imprint with your company’s name or logo.
$4.15 each for 100; 4imprint.com
Instant Gift Finder
Need a gift in a hurry? Shop for the perfect gift from your smartphone or computer, and send it instantly to your clients via Facebook, e-mail, or text. Download the Yiftee smartphone app or visit the website to search for a gift from local merchants or big-box stores, whether you’re looking to give a free cup of coffee or a day at the spa. If you’re not sure what to give, choose the “Let Them Choose” option, pick the amount you want to give, and a gift card e-voucher will instantly be sent to your prospects, alerting them to their special gift. Recipients can go to local shops to redeem the gift card. If they don’t redeem within four weeks, your money will be refunded.
Choose the amount to give, starting at $5; Yiftee.com
You’re Starting to Rub Off on Them
Each quarter, you can send out a custom gourmet rub to your clients, selecting from all-purpose seasoning, beef, blackened, and southwest. Then follow up on your social media channels, blogs, and newsletters with fun recipes that incorporate the seasoning (weekly recipe ideas are available at the Real Estate Rub website). Real Estate Rubs was created by Leah Masten, a broker with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson South in Spokane, Wash. Your photo and company information is displayed on the packaging of the seasoning.
$6 per spice; RealEstateRubs.com
Pick a Pie
Give them a taste for your business. Traci Jennings, broker-owner of RE/MAX Real Estate Center in Ames, Iowa, gifts her 100 most engaged customers with pies during the holidays. She teams with a local bakery to distribute gift certificates, which she prepays at about $10 each. She’ll send the certificate as a postcard in the mail, telling her clients to “pick a pie.” The gift certificates are mailed out in mid-November, and they have until the end of the year to redeem it for a pie of their choosing, whether that be pumpkin, pecan, peanut butter, fruit, or another flavor. “Our clients love it,” says Jennings, who has been gifting the pies for the last four years. “I love the fact that they can go in to get their pie during the holidays any time they need it.”
Keep Them Charged Up
Give your clients an extra charge this season with the Bolt Aluminum Power Bank, a pocket-sized charger for powering up smartphones, MP3 players, and more. Customize it with your logo so they’ll remember you’re the one who saved them from an empty battery. The device has a rechargeable battery so they can use it again and again.
$12.99 each for a minimum order of 50; AdcoMarketing.com
Put a Home on the Tree
Decorate your clients’ holiday tree by sending a custom ornament they can treasure for years to come: an ornament featuring their home address and the year they bought it. During the holidays, Tammy Bordeaux Smith, broker-owner of Bordeaux Smith Realty in Durham, N.C., sends an ornament to all her home buyers who bought that year. She purchases the house-shaped ornaments through Ornamentshop.com. She also includes a special card designed by her friend, which attaches to the ornament.
Starting at $13.95 for house ornaments; OrnamentShop.com
Key to a Special Touch
Jessica O’Connell with Chinowth & Cohen, REALTORS®, in Tulsa, Okla., delivers her home buyers a handmade gift, including holiday cookies topped with a golden key. She purchases Gold Ornate Key Ornaments from Hobby Lobby and uses the glittery keys to decorate personalized tins. She paints tins in holiday colors, writes the buyers’ names on them, and fills them with homemade treats. The holiday gift includes her logo, “Let’s Get Moving,” and the key is in her company’s colors of gold and black. She spends about $25 each, which includes the tins, treats, and ornaments.
$7.99 for 6 Gold Ornate Key Ornaments; HobbyLobby.com
As they’re mailing out a bundle of holiday cards this season, your clients will be sure to thank you for giving them a time-saving home address stamp, which will also add an elegant touch to their envelopes or stationery. A self-inking personalized address stamper can feature your client’s last name surrounded by the home address. It’s a gift they can use every time they need to mail a letter. There are several designs to choose from, and they’re available in five ink colors: black, blue, red, purple, and green.