Gifts that Keep on Giving: Make Your Client Gifts (and You) Memorable

Gifts that Keep on Giving: Make Your Client Gifts (and You) Memorable

Open the utility drawer in a new homeowner’s kitchen and you may find a handy tool kit complete with picture hanging hardware.  It is a small thank-you gift from their REALTOR® who knew it would likely be used time and time again over the next few weeks and months. Every time the homeowners pull out the tool kit, they are reminded of their REALTOR’S® thoughtfulness.

Buying a home is a milestone life event and a gift to your client underscores the importance of the occasion and your shared experience.  Gifting clients also helps build long-standing relationships leading to repeat transactions and all-important referrals.   

How much you should spend on client gifts is up to you and may take into consideration the amount of the sale and your market.  “A good rule of thumb is to spend anywhere between 1-5% of the gross commission income for that deal on real estate closing gifts,” says  

While your gift-ability may hinge on your budget, here are some presents clients will love to unwrap:


Closing Gifts

Especially for first-time homeowners, think of personalized gifts related to their new home:  

  • personalized key chain 
  • comfy initial or monogrammed throw
  • artisan coffee mug 
  • monogrammed door mat 
  • inscribed cutting board 
  • handy return address stamp 

Keep in mind personalized gifts usually cannot be returned and require a bit of lead time and this is where a relationship with a local vendor or craftsman can come in handy.  For an extra special closing, consider a matted and framed watercolor of the client’s new home.  Local and online artists can create a special gift from a good quality photo.  

Gift certificates and cards for food are always welcome after closing.  Invite your clients to celebrate the closing with dinner on you at a nice restaurant.  Gift cards for steaks or take-out casseroles are welcome for new homeowners too busy to cook.  Grocery store gift cards always are appreciated.  Pro-tip:  Check with restaurants for discounts on multiple cards.  Many establishments offer $100 certificates for $80 or $50 certificates for $40.  You’ll look like a bigger spender than you really are.


Special Occasion and Year ‘Round Gifts

Spreading the impact of thank-you gifts throughout the year has merit.  These fun seasonal gifts are an on-going reminder of your appreciation and may cost as little as $100 for the entire year  

  • A champagne split to celebrate the new year  
  • Valentine’s Day candies, cookies or cupcakes to share
  • Flower or herb seed packets for spring planting
  • Coffee gift card for Daylight Saving Time change
  • Ice cream shop gift card for a summer treat
  • Fall mum to brighten the front porch
  • Christmas ornament to trim the tree


Local Flavor

Be a hero with your client and your local small businesses by purchasing client gifts from a group of local vendors.  Homeowners will appreciate gifts with a unique local look and you will be introducing them to a local business.  That’s a win-win.  Local businesses will thank you, too, by meeting your gift needs quickly and with attention to detail.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Local artwork (originals or prints)
  • Craft items from local woodworkers – cutting board, cake stand, plaques, kitchen accessories
  • Monogrammed kitchen or hand towels
  • Handcrafted candles or soaps
  • Wine from an area winery
  • Gift certificate from a local bakery or coffee shop
  • Locally famous spices, sauces, or canned goods
  • Gift basket from a local farmers’ market



Especially helpful for clients who are new to a city or state, experience gifts are both memorable and allow a client to meet new people and get acquainted with the area.  Experience gifts are easily adaptable to suit a couple or a family and often support local organizations.  Consider what experiences are available in your area and whether these tickets would be both fun and helpful to a newly relocated client:

  • Baseball games or other sports venues in the local area
  • Professional or community theatre performance
  • Zoo or wildlife park
  • Community tasting event featuring area restaurants
  • Symphony concert
  • Annual community carnivals such as a state fair
  • Art or science museum

Whatever gift you choose, follow up with a nice note and ask your clients to recommend you to their friends and on social media. Remember, your goal is to create a memorable experience so your clients will recommend your services to other people they know and look you up when they make their next move.  Your skillful guidance through to closing, coupled with a nice parting gesture, will leave a lasting, positive impression until you work together again.

Legal Disclaimer: Under federal law, gifts to a non-real estate licensee are not allowed for referrals. Gifts associated with a closing should be given in advance of or at closing and disclosed to all parties. No exception exists for de minimis gifts. Keep in mind that state license law distinguishes rebates from gifts, prohibiting rebates while allowing gifts.