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The Power of Giving Holiday Gifts to Your Commercial Real Estate Clients

By Jim Gillespie | November 18, 2010

The Holiday Season is upon us right now. And when I was a kid growing up in Santa Monica, California, my mother used to tell me that we’d start seeing the Holiday decorations in the stores soon after Thanksgiving. But these days I’m seeing decorations in some of the stores by mid-October, which makes me wonder if hearing the term "Fourth of July Christmas Sale" might be just around the corner.

The Holidays are a great time for you to reconnect with your clients–the people you’ve already closed transactions with over the years. And one of the reasons I’m writing this article at this exact time, is to give you plenty of time to buy Holiday gifts for your clients and get the gifts into their hands, especially if this is something you normally haven’t done.

Giving gifts to your clients is a great way to show them how you feel about them, and show your appreciation for the business they’ve already brought to you. But at the same time, a lot of commercial brokers don’t understand how much gift-giving can lead to constant, repeat business for them over the years. Which is why I’m including the following dollars and cents analysis in this article.

Let’s say that you have a client who closes one transaction every five years, and you earn approximately $10,000.00 in commission every time you close a transaction with them. And let’s say that you give them gifts twice a year, for a total of $100.00 that you spend every year on gifts for them.

So when you’re giving gifts twice a year to your past clients, this represents tremendous insurance towards having them work with you again on their next transaction. It’s simply too difficult for most people to receive two gifts a year from someone they’ve done business with, and then turn around and do business with their competitors instead. Yes, there are people like that out there, but they’re definitely in the minority.

So in getting back to our example, if you spend $100.00 a year on gifts for your client for five years, and then you earn and get paid a $10,000.00 commission when closing their next real estate transaction along with them, that’s a solid rate of return on your money. Anytime you can spend $500.00, having it lead to you getting paid $10,000.00…is a solid return on your money.

All of this assumes, of course, that you continue treating your clients appropriately along the way, and that you continue being the solid commercial real estate professional they’d still want to work with.

(And yes, I know. There’s still the problem of you parting with the $500.00 and buying the gifts!!!)

Now compare what I’ve described here with what many commercial brokers do instead, which is close a transaction with someone, drop out all communication with them for 1-2 years or more…figuring they won’t have any real estate needs during that time, and then they find out that they’re competing all over again with all the brokers in their territory to represent the client again on their next transaction. All because the broker never did what would have solidified their relationship with the client, and position them to close more transactions with the client again in the future.

So you have a choice this Holiday Season, and you can now choose to do things differently. If you recognize the value in giving gifts to your clients, then go out and make it happen during this Holiday Season. You’ll feel great, your clients will feel great when receiving the gifts from you, and you’ll be building the bond that will help ensure you’ll be representing your clients again on their next transaction.

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