‘Tis the season! With the holidays right around the corner, SoftPro is preparing to show our customers gratitude for another great year of our partnership, and we know you’re probably thinking through the same ideas. While it’s the most wonderful time of year, sometimes coming up with that perfect gift isn’t always the easiest decision.
We’ve already had a few customers reach out to us for tips and suggestions on choosing gifts for their clients. SoftPro has been serving real estate, title and escrow professionals for over 38 years, so we like to think we’ve learned a thing or two about making your gift-giving count.
Leveraging the holidays (or any major milestone throughout the year) to show appreciation is a great move for several reasons. For starters, it’s the kind and generous thing to do! Everyone loves to be appreciated, after all. But it’s also a savvy marketing tool. While that’s not necessarily the primary reason to show generosity, the right gifts for the right clients can keep you top-of-mind and help foster a sense of loyalty to your company.
When it comes to sharing during the season of giving, here are four things to keep in mind:
1. Tailor it to your customer
This is the first and most crucial step. Generic gifts will likely end up in the trash, quickly forgotten. Consider your different customer types to make your gifts more meaningful and personalized, such as your REALTORS©, builders, lenders, investors or vendors. For instance, our team is located in Raleigh, and North Carolina is an attorney state, so we always encourage title companies not to forget about their attorney clients. An attorney likely appreciates a different type of gift than a REALTOR©, for example. The more personable you can be, the better. For attorneys, some personalized gifts could include a custom bobble head with their face on it, custom socks with photos of their pet, a nice set of pens for their office or a decanter for their legal team.
Realtor gifts can vary greatly. Since many REALTORS© spend a lot of time in the car, a nice custom gift could include an electric blanket that plugs into their vehicle, gift cards to their favorite coffee shop or restaurant, or a snack kit to enjoy on the road.
2. Be useful
What helps make your gift truly memorable? Making sure that it’s practical. Consider gifts that can solve a problem for your customer or their team– even if it’s only a small, inconvenient challenge. For example, for your REALTOR clients, consider items they’ll need while they’re out on the road showing homes, such as a portable power bank to recharge all their devices. Or help them with common services they render for their buyers, like a laser disc measure that can help them quickly assess whether or not furniture would fit in someone’s home.
3. Don’t overspend
Whether you’re going the utility or elegant route, don’t feel pressure to “keep up with the Joneses.” Focus less on the spend and more on the sentiment. While your gift is a representation of your company and will convey a message, it needs to be an extension of your worth, not a benchmark dollar amount you’re trying to reach.
Many businesses like to send gifts that don’t require a budget at all. Sometimes a handwritten thank you note or a video thank you with a personalized message to each individual customer can mean much more than any premium gift.
Other groups use this time of year to further give back to their community. You could use your holiday gift budget to volunteer on behalf of a client or donate to a local community organization on behalf of your customer’s company. This is even more powerful if it’s an organization that your customer is involved with like Habitat for Humanity, literacy coalitions, etc.
4. Consider the occasion
While sending your customers branded promo items or swag is an excellent opportunity to market your services, know the time and place. For instance, the holidays are a time to make your gift about the customer, not about you. If possible, personalize the gift to them and avoid putting your logo on it. If you do choose to send branded items, just be sure it’s meaningful. Try tying in a clever message that helps you stand out and plays off a unique dynamic you have with that customer.
Putting in the extra effort to send your clients the perfect gift takes thought, but our industry is all about relationships and connection. When you want to get more out of gift-giving than just the “warm and fuzzies,” you’ll want to take the extra time to personalize and tailor your gifts to your clients. Following a few simple guidelines will help you not only wow your customers and help them feel appreciated but also deepen your connection and help you stand out from the competition.