Gift Card Blog
My wife and I built our “dream home” recently, with a green-circled backyard, a beautiful porch overlooking the trees, and lots of space for our large family.
Our effort to work through financials (I’m self employed, and hence nightmarish loan conversations) and watching the house grow through daily visits to see what the builders had accomplished, making design decisions that would shape our living space, and then to get to a final, finished product that we felt deeply invested in was a great experience. We ended up with a home that we were proud of, that we are proud to live in every day, and that we are looking forward to raising our family in. But in all the things I remember about the experience, all the great things that we received out of building our own home, one thing stood out to me, being in the incentives space.
The gift basket was terrible.
I mean—I was grateful that there was a gift at all, I guess. However, after all the stress and long nights working on financial statements, making life-impacting decisions, and finally the three hours it took to sign my mortgage (still in paper form).
The gift basket was wrapped in cellophane, and had the following items:
It did seem like this had been ordered from the warehouse and installed on our kitchen counter, just like the carpet and plywood, and appliances around us.
Seriously, there’s got to be a better option. It is very challenging to personalize a gift for every home buyer, and giving these baskets is a traditional and simple way to say thank you to clients, especially in an industry that survives on referrals. When done poorly however, the last impression falls flat.
As a professional in retail experiences, I say—make a statement at the end of the builder/client relationship. At the end of my builder experience, I was very happy with the home, but the lack of thought on the gift was notable, and felt forced and like we were just another client. The box had been ticked.
Gift cards are the #1 gift for consumers, and continue to grow as an industry, even during global pandemics. Around 90% of consumers in the US will give or receive gift cards this year, and gift cards are among the top desired gifts. I would make the argument that tapping |into this trend is highly needed within the home builder client gifting space.
Imagine giving a $50 or $100 gift card, so the client can purchase some new furniture, could celebrate their new home by going out to eat, or could start their dream garden in their backyard. Sportswear gift cards for a new pair of shoes or equipment for their home gym. Real Estate agents have superior access to their clients, and good ones know their clients enough to choose a brand or theme that would suit them and their home plans. By giving agents choices about what they gift their clients, home builders are enabling the referral machine—a final, great gift for trusting their agent and investing in the home.
Look at those gift baskets you have ordered and ready to deliver on closing day. Wouldn’t it be better to gift something you know the client will enjoy and have a positive experience that will carry through to the next client?
This article is featured in our Summer 2020 CR80 publication. Click below to read the full magazine!