realtor closing gifts

3 creative closing gifts for real estate agents

Despite putting in the arduous hours to find your clients the perfect home, your job isn’t over. As most successful agents understand, leaving each client with a positive impression is key. Considerate and practical send-offs deliver two-fold benefits. First, your gift acts as a continuous reminder of a notable experience. Providing a memento allows previous clients a means to keep your name top-of-mind for the next deal. Thus, those initial lead generation efforts produce double the yield with minimal extra expense.

Referral encouragement is the second and perhaps more proximate of the two. A job well done may attract a positive online review. But, an extraordinary experience leads to personal and direct referrals. Show your clients you care and they are likely to reciprocate.

Face it: a bottle of red wine is bound to end up in the recycling bin. Consider the following unique closing gifts to nurture repeat business and referrals.

Branded Moving Supplies

Every buyer, renter, or seller needs boxes to ease their cross-country or intrastate move. To cut relocation costs and promote your business, opt for branded moving supplies. Printed boxes and packing tape rolls are more than sensible gifts. Clients may decide to keep a few boxes in the garage to store lesser-used knickknacks. Aptly-placed contact information makes reaching out in the future easy. Or, your broker-branded boxes could transfer to friends, family, or the Craigslist free stuff section. The potential new leads are limitless.

Engraved Cutting Board

Keep things a little more personal and persistent with an etched cutting board. Heavy-duty cutting boards act as countertop décor in one of the most used areas of the home. Such a gift compels past clients to think of you regularly. Be careful with the design, though. Overwhelming and loud logos might tempt clients to hide or part with your present. Your clients’ names or home addresses should be at the forefront. Meanwhile, delineate the bottom right corner for a subdued, minimalist logo.

Home Portrait

Many buyers move more than once, but nobody forgets a home sale. Paintings of homes are memories to keep for a lifetime, particularly for first-time buyers. Even if your transaction is not their first, each sale marks a major life and financial milestone. Scenic illustrations communicate recognition of their achievements. And, such consideration establishes a respective relationship for the long term.

Final note: Although closing gifts contribute to your bottom line, be sincere. Tacky branding strategies may push clients toward more subtle avenues.


Image courtesy of Flickr user Shari’s Berries


3 simple ways to make your home feel European

I love to travel. And although I haven’t nearly tackled as much as the globe as I wish or need to, the sheer thought of exploring new places is enthralling to me. On each of my short-lived journeys thus far, I’ve managed to soak up the beautiful architecture and stunning interiors.

Take Europe, for example. They’ve managed to maintain old world charm while staying relevant with new trends in clean lines and modern techniques. If you’re struggling to decide between a luxe, vintage vibe or minimalist decor, European interior design might be a mood board to replicate.

Parisian-style homes, in particular, often feature warm herringbone hardwoods, clean white walls and luxe furnishings. By incorporating these eclectic-like design choices, you can successfully achieve a classic home with contemporary appeal – often without breaking the budget, should you choose the physical hunt over the click-and-buy route. And remember, even small changes have the potential to make dramatic impact in small spaces.

Consider these three easy ways to transform your home from dull to dazzling, inspired by international culture.

1. Paint window trim black

Black window trim is sleek and sophisticated. When combined with stark white walls, the dark accent pops without closing off the room. If you have smaller windows, black trim draws the eye and helps create a focal point without constricting the space. Paint isn’t just for the walls, so don’t be afraid to change the shade of your molding, too.

2. Mix rustic with modern

French country kitchens are cozy and classic without appearing overly rustic. Traditional shaker cabinets seamlessly flow with black or quartz countertops and a patterned backsplash. Ceiling beams are the perfect touch in larger kitchens, but be cautious when installing them in smaller spaces as they may limit vertical height. Natural wicker baskets are strategically spaced to add just a hint of texture without detracting from the large island.

3. Incorporate travel-inspired accessories

Although not necessarily European, Persian rugs are commonly seen in Parisian and Mediterranean abodes. Even the most modern spaces are perfectly complemented with a colorful Middle Eastern inspired staple. Some Oriental and Persian rug outlets charge thousands for a handcrafted rug, but even authentic runners can be found in thrift stores worldwide.

While these changes are small, they don’t go unnoticed. Minor upgrades can have a dramatic effect on the overall style of a home, successfully transitioning even the most basic interiors into classic European homes. Brew a cup of hot coffee and bask in the elegance of travel-inspired interiors while planning your next trip abroad!


Image courtesy of Flickr user Moyan Brenn

4 high-rise apartment gardening tips

Living in an apartment isn’t always ideal – the obvious reasons being lack of outdoor space and privacy. Luckily, our rental is equipped with a generous balcony, some overhang gravel space and plenty of sunshine. Although I don’t have the strongest “green thumb,” I thought I’d share a few tips to plant thriving flowers – thirteen floors up.

1. Don’t skimp on the soil

We purchased the most expensive soil, costing around $6 more than the cheapest brand. It comes packed with nutrients. Yes, flowers eat too! The biggest benefit to premium soil is quicker water absorption, which is pertinent for flowers placed in direct sunlight.

2. Purchase plastic planters

You don’t want to be lifting heavy, ceramic planters after every lease comes to an end. There are plenty of faux ceramic options that come in lightweight, durable materials. While they look extremely grand, they only weigh about five or so pounds a piece, making your apartment move a breeze.

3. Water often

I live in Seattle, and my garden dries out quickly. My tomato plant is seriously struggling right now due to the constant summer sunshine (not complaining). I water it at least every other day to make sure the existing fruits remain plump. When leaves die off, pick them. Although dried out, dead leaves soak up particles of water that could otherwise benefit the living portions of the plant.

4. Be weary of crows and blackbirds

Birds prey on plants, especially if placed on an obvious balcony or patio. Believe it or not, we have half-eaten tomatoes scattered all over our outdoor space. And sometimes, the crows sit on the railing and stare – it’s quite eery. Although you can’t really stop them from eating your fresh fruits and veggies, unless you opt for aerial fencing, I would advise you keep your other belongings inside. Once they realize food is near, they might take anything without realizing it’s not edible. One crow recently snatched a tube of expensive sunscreen off my patio table, presumably thinking it was some sort of afternoon snack.

Happy [apartment] gardening!