Most real estate agents understand the importance of building a long term relationship with their clients. Good agents give clients a small gift when a deal closes. The most successful real estate agents give flowers.
Why are flowers so much better than the other standbys – things like wine and gift cards?
Start with wine. Most people are sitting on a few bottles at any one time, but they don't have any flowers. Which is more likely to be noticed and appreciated?
The bottle of wine quickly gets tucked away – out of sight, out of mind. If it is a really good bottle most people won't know enough to appreciate it. Anything less than a great bottle will be dismissed by people that are serious about wine. And those that don't drink wine... thanks for nothing – it just gets put into their re-gifting rotation.
Compare that with flowers. Flowers bring beauty and warmth anywhere, and where would that be more appreciated than in an almost empty space filled with moving boxes?
Flowers immediately transform a space, instantly making it something much closer to home. And unlike the wine that quickly disappeared flowers keep on looking great and bringing comfort for days. And every single time the client sees them they think of the agent that helped them find this new, suddenly warmer and brighter, home.
As for gift cards... remember the idea that a gift should never have a price tag on it? Hard to avoid with gift cards, and it draws a lot of attention to the disparity between that amount and the enormous commission you just generated for the agent.
Flowers are different, classier. They are far more effective at solidifying the long term relationship between agent and client.
Successful Real Estate Agent
I’ve been selling residential real estate for almost thirty years and I’ve given every client I’ve ever had a gift.
Lots of agents like to give wine, or maybe even champagne but it’s a lousy choice. If the client doesn’t know wine then they don’t appreciate a good bottle, and the more they know the less likely the are to like what you gave them. And of course lots of people don’t drink, or at least don’t drink wine. You can’t win.
Gift cards are worse. They’re tacky. What’s the first rule of gift-giving? Remove the price tag. But you can’t do that with a gift card. I just closed a $600 K deal and made a $10K commission - how can I hand over a $50 gift card? It just looks cheap.
But I’ve never missed with flowers. Maybe it’s because people don’t get them very often and it’s always exciting. Mostly I think it’s because any arrangement makes the house they just bought look so much better. A place can be in complete chaos – moving boxes everywhere, nothing on the walls - but add in flowers and suddenly the place looks great and they feel better about the deal they just did with me.
Real Estate Agent Office Manager
I’m the manager of a real estate office with eight very successful agents. Part of my job is to order flowers for the client every time we close a deal. These agents have all been in business for a long time and are adamant that they don’t want to give anything else. They know flowers are the best possible thank-you gift in real estate, and that a happy client is more likely to refer them to friends and family.
Real Estate Client
One of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received came from my real estate agent. We had just moved into a new house and, right at that moment of ultimate despair, when the movers have left and all you can see are boxes and the work ahead and you’re wondering why you hadn't just stayed at the old place which suddenly seems like the best house ever… our agent showed up with a beautiful flower arrangement.
Nothing else would have been as good. I was worried that this new place would never look good as we thought it did when we made the offer, that it would never feel like home, and those flowers changed all that. We were days away from unpacking anything nice and the house looking presentable… but suddenly it did look beautiful, and it felt like home. Our home.
I have always remembered the kindness and thoughtfulness of that real estate agent and have given her countless referrals.
Real Estate Client
I remember the night my wife and I moved into this house. Shortly after the movers had left and we were looking at another six hours of moving boxes on our own before we could even think about going to bed we got a call from our real estate agent. He said he was coming by for a quick visit.
My wife rolled her eyes and said “here comes the bottle of wine we don’t want” and I laughed. It was our third move, and it seemed like the agent always brought us a bottle of wine. It was a nice enough idea, and I know they weren’t cheap bottles, but we rarely drink at the best of times, and we definitely didn’t feel like drinking when we still had so much work ahead of us.
The agent surprised us though. He brought a really nice flower arrangement. I’m not a flower guy but they were beautiful and made the whole place look better right away. It was so thoughtful and so perfect we were both a little taken aback. Over the next few days, we moved the flowers around to whichever room we were working on to help remind us that the house would be looking amazing before too long.
My husband and I don’t drink wine so we’re thrilled any time we get a gift that isn’t wine. Most of our friends know we don’t drink so we rarely get wine in social situations, but we were genuinely surprised and delighted when our real estate agent brought us fresh flowers instead. It was the perfect thank you present.