Do you give a gift to new homebuyers at closing? If not, you should seriously consider doing so.
You can give up to $25 of gifts to each client, each year as a valid business expense. Just be sure to keep records on who you gave the gifts to, and the cost of the gifts.
However, this particular 'expense' goes much further than just the closing. In my particular case, when I closed on my home, my realtor gave me a bottle of champagne as a closing gift. My lender gave me a food basket (crackers, cheese, etc.) The food basket went pretty quickly, and we honestly didn't give the lender a second thought. The champagne, however, made a different impression.
Every time I looked in the refrigerator that first year, I saw the bottle, thought of the closing day, and I thought fondly of my realtor. On our one year anniversary of closing on the house, we opened the bottle of champagne and celebrated.
While this is a happy story, I urge you to go one step further...
Give your client a bottle of champagne at closing, and ask them to keep the bottle on ice for one year.
10 to 11 months after the home purchase, remind them of the upcoming anniversary, ask them if they still have the bottle on ice, and is there someone you should reach out to with help in purchasing or selling their home. (You could also send a few business cards to them).
This does several things:
- Every time they open the refrigerator and see the bottle, there will be a building anticipation of the one-year anniversary.
- Every time they open the refrigerator and see the bottle, they will think of you. (Think about this: how many times do YOU open your refrigerator in a week? This constant reminder is priceless.)
- As their anticipation grows, they will think of others that they can refer to you, telling of the great experience they had with you.
What happens if they don't still have the bottle after 11 months? Offer to replace it! You can expense $25 of client gifts each year.
Remember that it is far less expensive to get referrals from happy clients than to get new ones.
This idea might be different than what you are used to, but consider it as a way to grow your referral network.