Your clients deserve better than a gift card for the holidays.
If you’re looking to stay top-of-mind with your clients and earn future referral business (which of course you are!), you’re going to need to up your gift-giving game. And we have some brilliant tips to help you do it on our 2018 holiday gift guide!
In this post, we’ll give you some genius ideas for holiday gifts for all your past and current clients. And we’ll do it with your budget in mind. Whether you’re a new agent watching every penny or a luxury agent hoping to meet the exceedingly high expectations of your distinguished clientele, we have some perfect gift ideas for you!
5 Holiday Gift-Giving Rules
Before we dive into the holiday gift guide, let’s go over a few important gift-giving ground rules.
Rule #1. “Affordable” is fine; “cheap” is not.
Affordable means high-quality at a low price. Cheap means low-quality (whatever the price!).
Of course, you need to keep your budget in mind when buying holiday gifts for past and present clients, but a cheap gift is actually worse than no gift at all. Whatever your price range, make sure your gift is top-quality. Something you’re proud to give and your clients are thrilled to receive.
And don’t worry, we’ll give you some perfectly affordable gift ideas in this post!
Rule #2. Be careful with your branding.
Back in the day, real estate agents would make sure their names and faces were front-and-center on all client gifts. While it’s great to stay in front of your clients, it does make the gift seem more about you (and less about them). And that’s not what you’re going for.
It’s ok to include your branding, but it doesn’t need to be in-your-face. After all, you’ll be reminding your clients of your existence throughout the year with community newsletters, blog post notifications, and personal hi-how-have-you-been emails, texts, or calls.
Remember: no one is going to use a phone case with your name or logo on it. But if you get your clients an impressive gift, they’ll think of you every time they see it, whether or not your face is on it.
Rule #3. Consider the shelf-life of the gift.
Speaking of your clients thinking of you when they see your gift…
How often will your clients be able to use your gift? And for how long?
Gourmet gift baskets are always fun to receive, but once the food is gone, there’s no reminder of your thoughtful gift left.
This is why calendars and fridge magnets have always been a hot marketing mailer for real estate agents. Your clients see them daily for a year or more!
Rule #4. Personalize when possible.
People love personalized gifts! Because we all love seeing our names on stuff. And we appreciate gift-givers for taking the time to have a gift personalized for us.
Whenever you can personalize a gift for a reasonable price, do it! It’s easier than ever now, thanks to websites like Etsy that specialize in personalized gifts.
Rule #5. Be sensitive to unique needs and preferences.
A bottle of champagne with monogrammed flutes might be a welcomed gift for many of your clients. But this is clearly the wrong gift for any clients who don’t drink because of religious objections or because of a personal issue with alcohol.
How well do you know your past and present clients? Social media can be a great place to learn more about them. If you see Facebook photos of your clients out enjoying dinner with wine or drinks at a bar, champagne should be fine. If you see a post celebrating their 3-year sober anniversary, find something else!
Bonus tip: keep notes on these personal preferences in your CRM (Client Relationship Management) Tool so you’ll have them for future reference.
The Holiday Gift Guide: Genius Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Clients
So what exactly should you get your clients for the holidays this year?
We’ve broken down our gift guide into three budget categories: 1. Low-budget, 1. Moderate-budget, and 1. Bigger-budget
And we’ve decided on a Top 3 Gift Ideas for each budget. Enjoy!
Top 3 Low-Budget Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Clients
When you’re a new agent, there’s probably not a whole lot of room in the budget for client gifts. So maybe it’s good news that you have fewer clients to buy for than more established agents!
More good news: you can still get quality gifts for your clients when you’re on a tight budget. Here are three brilliant ideas for client holiday gifts under $10:
1. Personalized Mugs
Sure, everyone has several coffee mugs and teacups. But we still love them! Especially when they have our initials or our names on them.
You could also include your branding subtly on the bottom of the mug. Your client will see it every time the mug is turned upside down to dry.
Most of us still like to put pen to paper every once in a while. A notebook with a trendy cover design is a great gift that will likely be used, and it gives you the opportunity to include your branding on the back cover. You could even write a quick note to your client on the inside cover to make the gift more personal and less corporate.
3. Personalized Holiday Ornaments
Here is a killer idea for all your buyer clients from this past year. Get them a personalized holiday ornament with the property address and/or closing date inscribed. The custom ornament will be used for decades to come. Side note: it’s probably better not to brand this item. Let this gift be just about your buyers and their new home. Consider including your branding on the ornament box so they’ll see it when they unpackage and repackage the ornament.
Top 3 Moderate-Budget Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Clients
If you have a little more wiggle room in your budget, you can upgrade to some slightly more impressive gifts. But we still have your budget in mind. You can find any of these gifts for around $20.
1. Personalized Photo Frames
In a paperless world, we still like to have photo prints around our homes and offices. Giving your clients a frame that says “The Miller Family” is a thoughtful gift that will be displayed year-round.
2. A Bottle Of Champagne With Monogrammed Flutes
Help your clients toast the new year with a bottle of champagne. Include monogrammed flutes to give your gift a longer shelf-life.
3. Family Wall Calendars
Here is a modern take on the old-school real estate agent calendars. For your clients with families, get a personalized family wall calendar. These family calendars include columns for each member of the family so everyone can see (at-a-glance) who’s doing what and when.
Your logo in the bottom corner of each page would serve as a gentle reminder of where the gift came from, and you can include your full contact details on the back.
Top 3 Bigger-Budget Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Clients
If you’re a luxury real estate agent, your clients will expect more from you. Keep that in mind when you budget for client holiday gifts. Here are some perfect ideas for more expensive client gifts.
1. A Family Photo Shoot
In our Instagrammable world, photo shoots are in demand. They can be expensive, but you might be able to score a discount by partnering with a photographer to do all your clients’ shoots.
Your clients will be reminded of your generosity every time they look at one of the resulting photos. And as an added bonus: your clients will likely post the photos all over social media, and might just give you credit for making the shoot happen. You’ll look like a rock star to all your client’s friends and family.
2. Personalized Wall Art
Home decor is a great holiday gift idea because it is up all year-round and appreciated every day. Plus, there are tons of different options. You could get something like, “Welcome to the Asher Family Home”, or “The Jones Family Home, established 2018”, or even just the longitude/latitude coordinates of the home, which is especially trendy right now.
And your clients won’t be the only ones noticing this gift. Guests to your clients’ homes will ask where they got that wall art. And your name will naturally come up!
3. Personalized Dishes
In a similar vein, you could get personalized dishes for your clients. Just like with the wall art, your clients’ guests will inquire about the dishes, and your clients will get to tell them about their awesome and thoughtful real estate agent. Personalized casserole dishes are popular (and, in addition to the events hosted in your clients’ homes, they get taken to potlucks where more people can ask about them!). Cheese boards are also a hot item. Because who doesn’t love a good cheese plate?
Whatever holiday gifts you decide to get your clients, remember:
- Your gift should be about them; not just marketing material for you.
- You don’t need to spend much to impress your clients; your thoughtfulness matters.
- While the gifts are client-focused, they are a reflection of you and your brand; choose carefully!
- Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season. Enjoy this season of giving!