Monday, October 15, 2018

Whether or not to give gifts to real estate clients at or after closing is an often-debated topic.

Those in the “yes” camp struggle with coming up with a gift that is personal, but not too personal, and whether or not the gift should include the agent’s branding.

It’s a tall order, but, thankfully, we’ve checked with our agent network and, as usual, have some brilliant real estate closing gift ideas to share.

Stop hating on gift cards

No, a gift card isn’t highly original and whether or not to choose one as a gift depends on your relationship with each particular client. But, it is sure to be a welcome and much-appreciated closing gift for clients on a strict budget (maybe your FHA buyers?).

You can’t go wrong with a gift card from Lowe’s or Home Depot or any of the large home décor stores. If your client is an avid gardener, check if your local nursery offers gift cards. And, if you’re still stuck for ideas, how about a gift of delivery service with an Instacart or Uber gift card? The latter can also be used for Uber’s ride-sharing service. 

Artwork

Snap a photo of your clients and their kids and/or pets standing in front of their new home. Then, send it to an artist who can turn it into something family-room-wall-worthy.

Or, have the portrait made into “Just Moved” cards for the clients to send to friends and family. Pre-stamping the envelopes, by the way, is a thoughtful step that they won’t expect.

The internet is the best place to find talented, reasonably-priced artists who specialize in creating portraits from photographs. And, you can often find one who will do so in your preferred medium, from pencil to watercolor to oil.

Here are several websites I found while doing some online sleuthing:

  • Paint your Life
  • Portrait Painting
  • Instapainting
  • Portraits on Demand
  • A number of artists on Etsy offer portraits from photos 
The gift that keeps on giving, keeping you top-of-mind

How can a former client forget you when, each month, something amazing is delivered to their door?

No, they aren’t cheap (although some are surprisingly affordable), but subscription boxes are appreciated.

  • Meal boxes (there are a number of choices, such as Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh)
  • Fresh flowers
  • Bagels
  • Bark Box or Rescue Box (for the dog “Mom” or “Dad”)
  • FilterEasy (yes! No more schlepping to Home Depot to pick up HVAC filters)
  • Gardening
  • Beauty items (for female clients, Birchbox is among the most popular)

Find other popular subscription services at impactbnd.com.

Consider keeping it local by gifting several hours of services that you know your client will use. These include:

  • Dog walking
  • House cleaning
  • Landscaping
  • Pool cleaning and servicing
  • Handyman
  • Organizing
  • Errand running 
Techster clients will love these

I joined my neighborhood’s forum on NextDoor.com and the most popular conversations among neighboring homeowners involve home security. Most of the homeowners either own or are interested in purchasing the Ring video doorbell. They’re offered at a variety of price points, with the least expensive starting at about $100.

Google Home Mini for less than $50 (a smart speaker with Google Assistant built in) is so popular that the folks at Google say they’ve sold “more than one device every second since they started shipping in October” of last year.

Instead of the keys to their new home, imagine handing your homebuying clients a smart lock instead. Yes, they’re pricey, but the popular 3rd generation of the August Smart Lock sells for only $129 and the Kwikset Kevo Blue Tooth Deadbolt is priced at slightly less than $150.

While the topic of whether or not to gift your clients at closing seems to be a matter of personal preference, most agree that if you will be giving a closing gift, keep your branding off of it.

Then, put some thought behind it. If it’s a gift card your clients truly need, then, by all means, gift them with one. If not, we hope our list helps guide you to the perfect real estate closing gift.

With client appreciation on your mind, right now is the perfect time to all of your incredible clients with a Customer Appreciation postcard.
Send the All My Thanks postcard to all of your past clients and let them know just how much they mean to you.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you STILL CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

Congratulations to our $250 Gift Card Winner of our September Door Hanger Challenge!
Barbara Adams!

Here’s what Barbara had to say about how she responded to our September Challenge!

“Right after I read your email, I looked up FSBO’s online and personally dropped off several door hangers.”

“I also followed up with one FSBO prospect who had his email address on his For Sale Flyer. The homeowner called me and was so impressed I have a new listing!”

Now that’s the way to respond to a challenge! Great job, Barbara and congratulations on your NEW LISTING!

By the way, Barb used the I Have More Buyers Door Hanger to snag her NEW LISTING!

For more information on our NEW October Strategy Challenge, Go Now!

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you STILL CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!

New October Challenge

There is no better real estate agent marketing strategist than YOU! You are in the trenches, fighting the fight every day, win, lose or draw. Therefore, for our October Challenge, we are asking you to post one of your marketing strategies on our Facebook Page in the comments with the hashtag #agentstrategychallenge.

This is the perfect win-win scenario. Your strategy will help inspire others to continue pushing hard to finish the year strong. And, you have a chance to win the first prize, $250 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card!

To Enter:
  1. Post one of your marketing strategies on our facebook page in the comments.
  2. Use hashtag #Agentstrategychallenge in your post (that’s it).

Are you in? Then, don’t wait. Share your strategy now, Go Now!

And the Winners are…

First, we want to thank everyone for your incredible feedback in September! We really appreciate the time you take to give us your thoughts.

Our Winner of the $500 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is  – Liz Rubin Fendler

Liz shared her experiences using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“ProspectsPLUS! has always delivered great quality products! They are easy to use and impactful!”

“My sellers love when they receive the postcard in the mail advertising their home.

Liz’s Latest Marketing Purchases  Luxury Marketing Brochure, Just Listed and Just Sold Postcards

Winner of Our $250 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is – Amy Call

Amy shared her experiences using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“ProspectsPLUS! makes their postcards easy to send out! And I love that they save my client lists to my account.

Amy’s Latest Marketing Purchases – Just Listed and Just Sold Postcards and Holiday Postcards

Take the lead from Liz and Amy and send at least 100 direct mail Marketing postcards to an area where you want more buyers or sellers!

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

How to respond to client fears

Your clients and potential clients are getting an earful from the media about the housing market. “Pending home sales stumble as housing market momentum wanes.” “NAR Sees Overheated Housing Market Starting to Cool.” And, from our favorite Debbie Downer, Market Watch’s Diana Olick: “Housing market is showing signs of cracking.”

Then there were the reports recently about a brewing recession. Zillow teamed up with Pulsenomics to survey various economists and real estate professionals and concluded that we’ll see a recession by 2020.

So, is it any wonder that the “how’s the market” questions are coming on faster and more furious?

It’s easy for real estate consumers to buy into all this pessimism and to be confused about what it means for them as individuals. The first thing you want to remind them is that these stories are coming from those who don’t fill the “boots on the ground.”

Journalists and economists don’t actually sell real estate, which is why they are typically the last ones to know when a market is truly changing.

Agents are the first to know. Let your clients know that and it will go a long way in dispelling some of the fantasies they are reading.

Now, not all the news is wrong. We’ve been hearing from our agent clients across the country about changes in days on the market, less traffic at open houses, price drops and far less competition for desirable properties.

Whether these conditions are merely indications of the typical after-summer slowdown or a change in the housing market remains to be seen.

Your buyers have little to worry about

Home prices are falling across the globe, from Sydney to Vancouver, Hong Kong, and London. In fact, the latter has seen its “biggest monthly fall for six years,” according to The Guardian.

While there are signs of a slowdown here in the U.S., home prices are still rising. Yes, they’re rising at a slower rate, but rising is rising when you long to buy a home, right?

Many homebuyers are so discouraged, they’re either dropping out of the market completely or taking a break. Interviewed by Jeff Collins with the Orange County Register, one of these buyers bemoaned the high prices and stated that “I don’t ever see them coming down.”

When met with this type of pessimism from your buying clients, point out that prices are beginning to soften and conditions will get better for them. As more buyers drop out of the hunt for a reasonably-priced home, prices will begin falling.

Urge those who are on the cusp of affordability to buy now. Conditions in certain parts of the country are turning in their favor with price drops and increased inventory becoming more common.

For instance, Collins claims that “Southern California listings increased to nearly 46,000 homes by Aug. 23, up by nearly 7,100 — or 18 percent — from the same period last year.”

So, while we aren’t yet in a buyers’ market, conditions right now are much better, at least for some buyers.

Calm potential home sellers

Homeowners are more concerned about a possible recession than a softening real estate market. Those who are considering selling, however, should be paying closer attention to the market because it may not be this good for very much longer.

Sure, they’re sick of hearing that “now is the best time to sell,” but this time you have some stats to back up the claim. Any homeowner who is thinking of selling but waiting for prices to peak is crazy – and you should let them know that (in a nice way).

As for recession concerns, they have little to worry about. The experts predicting a recession seem to all agree that this time around it won’t be prompted by the housing market. In fact, according to Zillow research, “the most likely trigger for the next recession is monetary policy.”

Remember, the Great Recession was a bit of an anomaly; home prices actually increased during the previous five.

“The housing sector should be one of the leading sources to come out of the recession,” forecasts Mark Fleming, First American Financial Corporation’s chief economist at usnews.com.

Yes, there are signs that the housing market may be changing. And, as stated earlier, we all know that it’s a wait-and-see thing at this point. We rather like curbed.com’s Jeff Andrews’ take on the situation:

“The economy is booming. The stock market regularly hits new all-time highs. Unemployment is at record lows. Aside from a small recent downturn, the housing market is as hot as ever.”

Get your buyers out of fear mode and back to inspired seller by sending out at least 100 Free List of Homes postcard from the Free Offer Series.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 2 free ways we can help you STILL CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero. BTW, you also get a $25 Gift Card too (now that’s what I’m talking about)!