Building Relationships through Personalized Gestures
If you want to become the go-to agent in your community, you’ll need to become excellent at building relationships. There are many tactics for doing this, from participating in local events, to flyering, to knocking on doors. At Local Leader®, we advocate for strategies that lead with adding value first, because in the long term, those are the things that work. One tried and true tactic that can help you stand out and leave a lasting impression is the art of gift giving. This can be a more expensive strategy in geo farming. However, if done thoughtfully (and sparingly), a personalized gift can really help you connect. This article will explore the art of gift giving in your geo farm. Included are all the important considerations, what not to do, and the top creative gift giving ideas for 2023.
Before we dig in, a quick refresher on geo farming
Geo farming is a form of marketing and prospecting in real estate where you hone in on a geographic location. The ultimate goal of geo farming is to close deals. However, on your path there, you may have many other goals such as growing your personal brand, increasing your subscriber base, capturing leads, and so on. We cannot overstate the importance of geographic farming as it truly is the best way to build a personal brand. And, regardless of tactic, the best personal brands in real estate are built through relationships. For a deeper dive on geo farming, check out this article, featuring best strategies for 2023.
The Importance of Building Relationships
The goal of every investment you make in your geo farm (including gift giving) is to build relationships. By sending a personalized gift, you show that you see them for who they are and are thinking of them. It can also help establish trust and showcase your expertise in the area. Moreover, it can serve as a reminder of your services, which increases the chances of them reaching out to you when they’re ready to make a move.
The Art of Gift Giving
It’s important to keep in mind that not all gifts will have the same impact. In order for gift giving to be effective, the gifts should be personalized and add value to the recipient. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing gifts:
- Avoid generic gifts. Generic gifts, such as gift cards can feel impersonal and may not be as well-received as something that is tailored to the individual’s interests or needs.
- Personalize it. Personalizing a gift can make it feel more special and thoughtful. A small gesture such as adding a note or taking the time to wrap it nicely can make all the difference.
- Focus on adding value. A gift that adds value to the recipient’s life, such as a guide to the best local restaurants or a book on home renovation, can be well received and serve as a valuable resource.
- Keep it small. Small and thoughtful goes a long way. You don’t want to obligate the person or appear frivolous in your spending. Afterall, gift giving is more about the gesture than it is about the gift itself.
- Timing, timing, timing. Knowing when to give a gift can make all the difference. You’ve heard of closing gifts, but they are expected. What about referral gifts? Or gifts for the special occasions that happen in the lives of your community members?
Creative Gift Giving Ideas for Your Geo Farm
While there is no inventory of gifts you can sign up for that will always achieve results, good gifts have things in common. At minimum, they do two things: They say “I see you” and they reveal a bit about who you are. If they are successful, they help you forge a foundation for a strong and lasting relationship. Because you are an integral half of any relationship you forge in your geo farm, make sure there’s a little bit of “you” in everything.
Here is a list of our favorite gift ideas that real estate agents can use to nurture and grow their geo farm:
1. Welcome Basket
Create a basket filled with locally-sourced items such as snacks, coffee, or candles. You may include a personalized note and a brochure of your services. This is a phenomenal way to welcome someone to the neighborhood. And it helps you start the relationship off on the right foot. It’s clear that they may not need your services for a while since they just moved. But, they may very well have a friend or family member who could be interested in joining the neighborhood. With this tactic, you help to establish yourself as a local leader, a resource, and a friendly neighbor.
2. Local Shops & Services
We really like geo farming techniques where you can pull more than one weed with one yank. Consider the following: Collect an inventory of local businesses in your community and offer them up, as needed, to the residents. You get to give a thoughtful gift, promote a local business in your area, and strengthen your relationship with all parties involved. Here are our favorite businesses that offer goods and services that make for great gift giving opportunities:
– local crafts like art, pottery, etc.
– window cleaning
– snow removal
– lawn maintenance
– local painters
3. Virtual Tours
Communities have personality because they are made up of the people who live within them. Give them something to feel proud about by producing a virtual tour of their neighborhood. You can include your favorite hot spots, community events, and people who make a difference. This is a wicked idea that not only offers value to those who receive it, it also allows you to shine a light on the businesses and community organizers who matter. Plus, video production is becoming more and more accessible every day. You can capture a lot of the footage yourself and you can solicit some clips from your community. And when you’re ready, you can easily hire someone from fiverr to help you edit it all together.
4. Seasonal Gifts
Celebrate the changing of the seasons with locally relevant, seasonal gifts. A holiday card or small ornament can mean a lot to someone in your neighborhood. And it doesn’t have to cost much. Consider making a point to visit local craft festivals and farmer’s markets for great inspiration here.
5. Conventional Tricks & Treats
Chocolates, flowers, and wine never go out of style for a reason. Yes, they may be generic in concept. But if the recipient wasn’t expecting it, they can also be flattering to receive. What is important here is to make sure that they reflect your unique personality and relationship to the recipient.
We’ve heard of a real estate agent gifting a squash and leaving an impact! It worked because the agent was able to connect with the homeowner over gardening. We challenge you to get out into your neighborhood IRL, as the kids would call it! Get to know the residents and make a list of things about each person you connect with that you could turn into a thoughtful gesture. Do they have kids? A dog? A garden? Knowing who they are and what they care about is the first step.
The Secret to Gift Giving in Real Estate
Gift giving can be an effective way to build relationships with your geo farm and deliver value. However, the ultimate secret is to keep it personal. As such, it’s rare that a gift will serve anyone well if it doesn’t come with a foundation of a budding relationship. Remember the tips and tricks outlined here to help you in building out your gift giving strategy.
For strategies on how to become a local leader without buying gifts, check out how Parkbench has cracked the code on prospecting.
Or, cut to the chase and book your free demo by following the link below. Only one agent per neighborhood is allowed, so don’t miss your chance.
Spoiler: Parkbench is all about giving back and paying it forward. Their prospecting system works in large part because they’ve figured out a way that you can give back to your community. In fact, it works so well they guarantee that you will close at least six transactions in your first year alone. Or… they’ll double your money.
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