Originally published LinkedIn PULSE, August 15, 2016)
My own commitment to senior communities as a specialty came as the direct result of a Tampa, FL realtor’s professional handling of listing and sale for my mother’s home, and the equally smooth and excellent transition team that packed her house and distributed it with the loss of a single coffee cup. That Mom’s happy in Charlotte is what I expect everyone wants their folks to be, so holding myself to that standard of almost fault-free process drives me as a realtor in Charlotte, NC.
‘Happy’ and the subject of welcome baskets came up recently with a friendly sales-marketing resource, and most of 10,000 realtors in the Charlotte region have favorite ways to say, “Thanks for trusting me with your previous home, and let’s celebrate the new life here.”
- A 3-pack of Ferrero Rocher won’t cause anyone’s diet to explode, and a split always makes celebrations legitimate. One always thinks of chocolate and champagne– or appropriate sparkling whatever, some communities require a doctor’s note that alcohol isn’t a hazard– and possibly towels or candles as standards, yet standards exist for a reason.
- Flowers vs. plants: Colorful works every time, unless you actually know tiger lilies are someone’s favorite. How big/kind of a plant is relevant to a client’s space and taste; a nice bouquet is on point and lasts a week.
Every minute of every discussion, there’s an opportunity to show others just how dedicated to serving clients you can be.
Keeping the good feelings of a successful sale going shouldn’t make gifting a financial burden, and being memorable is still better than expensive. Practical is a consideration—seniors downsizing from five bedrooms don’t want or need tchotchke.
- The basket in picture is solid vs. cheap, with a decorative stamped-copper band; the bright purple pocket square, rescued from a drawer, can be re-tasked by a creative recipient.
- The blue hanger represents two free items of dry cleaning, so having a few qualifying discussions with local vendors who might consider welcome baskets an ‘in’ should be considered. There is almost certainly a salon in the neighborhood that will do a makeover to impress new clients.
It took just over two hours to assemble the above ‘something thoughtful’, three hours of effort including talks with vendors. Personal touches are a picture of client’s recently sold home, a small quantity of coins, and a miniature hoe-rake-shovel set. They’ll have pictures of the Olde Homestead, but a clear, evocative one is still fine, and however you phrase it, pennies or change translates to “Certain small things you paid attention to for years, and now you’ve got all the Goodness right here.’ The tools? A small reminder that their new lifestyle doesn’t include maintenance chores, unless they want to putter.
FYI– Having made the effort of a basket, I’m proud of both classy black-with-red KW cards I have, and writing good notes.
Editor Note: I picked up a potential client at Rite Aid while hunting for basket supplies, one of the blown-away-in-2008 people who are emerging as buyers again. Always remember, every minute of every discussion, there’s an opportunity to show others just how dedicated to serving clients you can be.