Dos & don’ts of settlement gifts


Settlement gifts are a pillar of strong client-agent relationships and fostering return business.

With the new year well underway, now is a great time to take stock and reflect on all your current marketing practices.

Have your clients been pleased with the settlement gifts they received last year? Have you seen a lot of repeat and referral business from satisfied old clients? If you answered no to either of these questions it may be time to reassess your gifting strategy.

The idea behind giving a settlement gift is to show clients your genuine appreciation for their business by leaving them with something to remember you and your business by.

A secondary objective is that by delighting clients (both vendors and buyers) with a gift you’ll encourage word of mouth referrals and loyalty by showing your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Giving gifts to people that are buying into your service area is especially important for your leads pipeline too. Remember the buyers of today are the vendors of tomorrow, and gift giving will promote the trust and loyalty you need to keep clients coming back.

Investing time and money in the right kinds of settlement gifts will potentially reap you rewards for years to come. Here are some of the key dos and don’ts of client settlement gifting.

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Do make it personal

You don’t have to spend a fortune when selecting unique presents for clients. When it comes to memorable gifting it really is the thought that counts. 

In every interaction with your clients listen out for clues to guide your choice of a suitable personalised gift. Ask open-ended questions like 'How do you spend your weekends?' and 'What amenities do you need close by?' to learn more about them.

Make notes in your CRM as you go to refer to later to tailor your gift to suit their personality, stage or life and interests. This will ensure your client is all the more thrilled on settlement day when the gift arrives.

For example, if they mention how much they enjoy swimming laps you could get them a membership at their new local pool. If they’re a keen foodie a voucher to a cooking class at a local bistro would be a winner.

Giving each individual gift that little bit more thought gives the impression you've spent a great amount of time and care to choose the right item. This will make your client feel much more valued, appreciated and listened to, and indicates the care and attention to detail you bring to your business relationships.

Don’t assume one size fits all

It’s important to be strategic when choosing the right gift for each of your clients.

Keep in mind not everyone drinks alcoholic beverages for personal, cultural or religious reasons. Unless you know your client is a craft brew aficionado, it can be a safer option to steer clear of alcoholic gifts altogether to avoid a faux pas.

Also, once the bottle is finished, the memory of the gift disappears into the recycle bin. So, something for the house or garden can be a wiser choice for longevity. A gift that your old client uses, walks past or has to water every day becomes a talking point and a fond reminder of the great service you provided, bolstering repeat business and referrals.

Don’t go corporate

It’s best to give corporate branded gifts a miss for settlement pressies, as clients view these as generic and lacking thought. They'll be more likely to appreciate and be wowed by something they can use long-term or with a voucher for fun day out.

If you find out your client is a rev head, a hot lap in a V8 car would blow their mind.

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Something they can hold onto and appreciate over time or the memory of an experience will help reinforce your professional bond better than any branded mug or calendar ever could.

Do opt for practicality

If you’re unsure what to gift a particular client, you can’t go wrong with something practical that you know they need.

If you're aware that your buyers are planning on renovating their new home a gift card for the local hardware shop or whitegoods store will be sure to come in handy. For an elderly client, perhaps you can put them in touch with a local gardener and cover 6 months of lawn maintenance.

This shows clients just how much you care about anticipating their future needs and how you can best help them even after the sale is done.

Don’t hire a courier

The best form of client gift giving is in person to cement your bond. That way you can gauge their reaction and learn how different gifts are received.

Hand delivering also gives you a chance to touch base and subtly ask if they know of any friends, neighbours or family looking to sell or buy.

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If you’re unable to hand deliver a gift, a thoughtful hand-written note from yourself goes a long way to show you care and take time out to personally communicate with your clients.

Do think local

Support local business at the same time as introducing your clients to a speciality item or hotspot from their new suburb to make the gift that little bit more special and personal.

A hamper featuring goodies from local artisans and food makers always goes down a treat. Add a platter or cheese knife set to use at their housewarming party, so they’ll still have an item to remember you by once all the edible items are consumed.

This is the perfect way to welcome newbies to the neighbourhood and showcase your good local relationships and knowledge of the area.

According to Realtor Magazine the most common settlement gifts include flowers, plants, hampers, home accessories, alcohol, food and then sweets. We believe the best settlement gifts are the unusual ones with a personal touch that have a longer shelf life than food, flowers and champagne...

Out of the box settlement gift ideas-

  • A family photography voucher.
  • Wine glasses.
  • iPad with an engraved thank you message on the back.
  • Google Home Mini.
  • An experience voucher (e.g. hot air balloon ride, tickets to a gin making class, gold class film voucher).
  • A practical voucher (e.g. for the hardware store, a local café or restaurant).
  • A magazine subscription in your client’s favourite hobby or area of expertise.
  • A tree seedling.
  • A family pass to a local zoo or cultural attraction.
  • A house plant.
  • Coffee table books.
  • Local produce and homewares hamper.
  • A homebrew starter kit.
  • Luxurious bath products.
  • A charitable donation.
  • A fire pit.
  • A bocce set.
  • Flowers and a vase.

We hope you've found these recommendations useful. Are there any sure-fire winners you frequently gift to your clients? Please share them in the comments below.

For more ways to grow your referral business and build customer loyalty take a read of our tips to show appreciation for client reviews and the best ways to ask for referrals.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

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