In order to stand out some real estate professionals are looking beyond the traditional bottle of champagne as a closing gift, in favor of something more unique and memorable.
Some examples include custom-made bobblehead dolls of the family, commissioned artworks and even pet dogs, the New York Times reported.
Jason Walker, a real estate pro with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York, rescues dogs in his spare time and sometimes gives them to clients as closing gifts. Recently for example, he gave one client a mixed-breed dog that was rescued from China and brought back to the U.S. The client also received a full year of free canine day care in his new neighborhood.
According to Walker, such a unique closing gift not only shows his appreciation towards his clients but also raises awareness to support a bigger cause. Walker claims to have rescued almost 50 homeless dogs in China in the last year.
Pamela Liebman, the president and chief executive of the Corcoran Group, concurred with that view, saying that closing gifts are not just a lovely gesture, but also a “thoughtful way to say thanks and memorialize an often daunting process… Successful closing gifts are ones that commemorate a positive transaction and growing relationship.”
But to be successful, creativity and thoughtfulness are essential ingredients, agents say. Jonah Katz, another agent with Corcoran, related to the NYT how one of his clients was a Peanuts fan and collector of Snoopy memorabilia. As such, Katz commissioned a print of Snoopy from the Peabody Fine Art Gallery.
“A closing gift is a very personal thing,” Katz said. “It should be every bit as unique, thoughtful and original as the person you are giving it to.”
Closing gifts don’t have to be physical items per se, however. Christophe Tedjasukmana, a real estate agent with Citi Habitats, decided that instead of a gift he would throw a housewarming party for his client. He covered the costs of catering, alcohol and waiting staff for over 80 guests. In total he spent over $1,000 on the party.
“I wanted my client to able to focus on having fun while showing off the home I helped him find,” Tedjasukmana said.