The last thing you do will influence the next thing your client does, explains Ladybird Gifts CEO, Bev Barnfather.
We’ve been in the business of gift giving for over 11 years and we have seen a shift in the importance of gifting clients when purchasing/selling property, Ms Barnfather explains.
The gift completes the sale circle and when done properly it elevates the relationship, creating “memorable moments”. However, done poorly, it can be a negative in the relationship.
When to gift?
A buyer: As crazy as it sounds, a week or two after settlement is what we have found works best. Your buyer is moving, they have a lot going on the day of settlement and the “all to common” bottle of wine/bubbly is often placed on the shelf while they are busy getting organised. It’s important to acknowledge to your buyer that you have a gift, “Congratulations!! We have a gift for you, but understand it is such a busy time for you. May we please give you a call in a week or so and catch up then?” That way the gift becomes the centre of the next conversation and allows you to gain feedback on what went well and what didn’t throughout the process.
A Vendor: At the time of unconditional exchange. We have found that agents are not always gifting vendors moving out of the area, but remember they are still in the home for 4-6 weeks and will spend that time saying goodbye to family and friends. It’s essential to keep in mind the high points in the transaction. A buyer is most excited at the time they pick up the keys, while a vendor’s high point is the unconditional exchange moment.
What to gift? We encourage agents to include an item of permanence in their gift. Something like a quality cheese board/platter with a knife, or a beautiful carafe that can be used when entertaining friends and family will have more use and create more conversations around the dinner table than a once off bottle of cheap champagne. The gift then sits in a marketing and referral space
It’s such a competitive market out there at the moment and every little bit helps you to stand out and make a difference.
Ditch the branding: Corporate branding promptly converts a gift into an advertising and promotional space, significantly devaluing it. Your clients know you by settlement stage. They don’t need your logo glued onto a bottle of wine, or a candle. This is an opportunity to say “hey, I’ve really enjoyed working with you on the sale or purchase of the property. You mentioned that you liked entertaining at home, so I thought with a new outdoor entertaining space you could use a new cheeseboard and knife or these new wine/champagne glasses to host your house warming party with”. This is going to show that you have listened and paid attention to them throughout the process. It’s sure to earn you a few points in the loyalty bank.
Bespoke Media Group CEO, Nic Fren explains that he was introduced to Ms Barnfather by the Director of Corporate Events for DiJones, Rod Fitzgerald late 2020 & supported her at the Women In Real Estate conference last month as Ladybird Gifts was a key sponsor. 2020 was a difficult year for a lot of people and Bespoke Media Group wanted to do something that said “thank you” at Christmas. I wanted our clients to know that our company really appreciated the support they had shown us through one of the hardest years we have faced, and I didn’t feel an off the shelf item would convey that, Mr Fren says.
Each gift was selected to suit the individual client, based on what I’d learnt about them and in discussions with Bev. Like many agents and business owners, we get busy and leave this kind of thing until the last minute. What I found invaluable with Ladybird Gifts was the selection of gifts available to suit everyone AND it came in around the same price range that I would have spent on a client anyway, but was much more personable.
Mr Fitzgerald has worked with Ms Barnfather on a few projects, including the recent DiJones Kickstart event, where Ladybird Gifts was one of the key sponsors.
In his words Rod says “Bev and the whole Ladybird Gifts team are truly the best in the business. When you have a Ladybird Gift to give someone you simply know they are going to love it. I have used Ladybird Gifts to thank people, to present to award winners and as speaker gifts and they have NEVER let me down. Truly bespoke gifts, first class service and a knowledge of gifting that is unparalleled. Truly the best in the business.”
When asked the biggest tip Ms Barnfather has for agents she said “plan early” for your settlement gifts, Christmas, a valued staff member who is leaving or has a birthday. Put that little bit of time in. Everyone wants a great experience with the people they work with. Ms Barnfather shares her biggest tip. “Make sure the gift is in line with your client’s spend. Experience has shown that your gift should reflect approximately .02% of the purchase or sale value. This ensures your client will feel truly valued and appreciated. So always keep in mind that
“The last thing you do will influence the next thing your client does”