It’s a monumental achievement to buy your first home. It’s no less of an accomplishment for homeowners to refinance successfully. Whether you are a loan officer with a mortgage lender, bank, or credit union, you’ve played an integral part in the transaction’s success, and that’s worthy of a celebration.
Often the milestone is celebrated with a closing gift. Usually, it’s a type of housewarming gift, such as a gift basket, gift card, wine or champagne, or memento of the home. However, the closing gift should also be the key to more business. In a recent FinLocker poll, 73.8% of mortgage professionals said they obtained new homebuyers for their sales pipeline from past customers.
Here’s how to select a closing gift that leaves a lasting impression and results in retention and referrals.
Closing gifts should be useful.
You educated, advised, listened, and provided exceptional service and communication throughout their homebuying process. Your closing gift should continue to reflect the impression you made and be a reminder of your service.
A useful closing gift will demonstrate that you not only listened to their short-term and long-term priorities, but it will complement their needs. When a closing gift is seen and used regularly, you’ll stay top of mind rather than neglected in a garage or attic or donated to charity.
Closing gifts should have a long shelf life.
Gift cards, wine, and food baskets are closing gifts that are often appreciated, but beyond their functionality, they are tossed out with the moving boxes. When a closing gift is useful for everyday life, it usually meets the standard of having a long shelf life.
Homeowners stay in their homes an average of 13.2 years, according to Redfin, so your goal is to find a closing gift that has a shelf life of at least ten years. Originators should supplement the gift with an annual mortgage review with each borrower.
Closing gifts should keep your company visible.
Once their mortgage transaction has closed and been funded, homeowners generally establish a long-term relationship with their loan servicer as they make their mortgage payment to that company every month. Real estate agents are remembered for finding the home, while mortgage originators often struggle to be remembered more than a year after successfully coordinating the financing of the home.
Keeping your company visible isn’t about printing your logo on every item in your gift basket. It’s about finding a way to integrate yourself into the homeowner’s everyday life.
Conventional closing gift ideas
Create a toolset for first-time homeowners to accomplish simple maintenance tasks and repairs. In a toolbox or tool bag, place a tape measure, hammer, multi-bit screwdriver, adjustable wrench, hex key set, utility knife, long nose pliers, level, pencil or marker, flashlight, paintbrush and tape.
The toolset concept can be adapted to meet the needs and interests of your homebuyers, for example:
- gas grill with a bbq tool set
- a set of quality kitchen knives with a wood cutting board customized with the family name and discreetly branded with your business name
- garden tools with a selection of herb plants or a gift certificate to a local nursery
- consultation with a professional landscaper
- coffee or espresso maker with quality coffee beans
- family membership to an art museum or zoo
You’ll leave a lasting impression with a closing gift that is functional, has a long shelf life, keeps you top of mind and connected – that’s how you create customers for life!
Conventional gifts like those listed above will show that you care but don’t provide meaningful, sustained engagement with your homeowners.
FinLocker meets the criteria for a similar cost. As new homeowners’ life and priorities evolve, your private-labeled FinLocker will remain useful, and you’ll be remembered for helping them achieve their next financial milestone. Additionally, the cost of a FinLocker for each of your homeowners is a tax-deductible business expense.
Here is how three companies decided to private label their FinLocker app to create the ultimate closing gift. Each company provides their homeowners with the core financial features and then customizes the app with their brand, so their homeowners never forget which company provided their app. At any time, homeowners can connect directly from the app with their mortgage originator, and it can be used as a practical tool for annual financial reviews.
Art of Homeownership
The Art of Homeownership platform was already popular with mortgage professionals to provide a meaningful long-term connection with their homeowners. FinLocker customized the Art of Homeownership app with their platforms’ home concierge, moving, relocation and renovation services. Supplementing FinLocker’s financial and real estate tools gave the company a unique app for their mortgage professionals to provide homeowners to help them maintain their investment and sustain homeownership.
HomeScout appropriately named their private-label FinLocker app Vida, which means “life” to home buyers and homeowners to achieve their life-enhancing financial goals. HomeScout was already powering the real estate search in FinLocker and realized that private-labeling FinLocker would enhance their HomeScout Pro platform for their mortgage professionals to provide their home buyers and sellers.
As one of the nation’s leading mortgage lenders, Synergy One saw the value in private-labeling FinLocker to create their S1 FinFit app to support the modern mortgage experience they provide their borrowers. The app offers a meaningful way for their mortgage originators to stay connected with their homeowners and a practical tool for homeowners to use to plan their next financial milestone and refer to during their annual mortgage review.
Ready to create a closing gift that will keep you connected to your homebuyers for beyond the duration of their mortgage term? Watch our online demo or schedule a 1:1 consultation to have your product questions answered.