3 Bay Area Real Estate Agents Share Client Holiday Gifting Advice

The holidays are a happy time for new homeowners, and real estate agents can make a lasting impression on their clients not only by finding them the perfect home for their Christmas tree or Menorah, but also personalize their work with a gift. But what’s an appropriate gift? What will get across the right message that will show appreciation – and hopefully bring back more business in the future? A calendar, magnets or address stickers is one way to go, but certainly doesn’t scream “Happy Holidays.” Propertybase spoke to agents in the San Francisco Bay Area to see how they thank clients for their patronage over the winter break.


Dale Warfel of Keller Williams Realty in San Jose sends all of his recent clients a personalized, handwritten greeting. His goal is to not be intrusive or appear as though he is trying to buy their continued business. “I send a Christmas card wishing them the best in the holiday season and New Year,” Warfel said. “I have no ulterior motive but to wish them a happy holiday.”

Dirk Kinley of Climb Real Estate Group in San Francisco, finds the perfect gift for each homebuyer during the holidays once the sale closes. “I try to look for something meaningful to the client,” he said. “A stamp with someone’s name on it just comes off as hokey,” he said. “If the client is a developer for Google, I will look for the latest Flash drive with solid-state memory. If someone is moving to a new neighborhood, I’ll try to find an art store and get them a nice gift certificate. The key for me is one (gift) does not fit all.”

Of course, not everyone has enough time to shop for a personalized gift. But creativity and the holiday season still presents options that are both fun and practical. Judy LeMarr of Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty, which has offices in Mill Valley, Greenbrae, Sausalito and Tiburon, gets first-time homebuyers battery-operated Christmas tree ornaments that sound an alarm if the tree were to catch fire. “It’s about protecting their first big investment in their lives,” LeMarr said.

If you have ever given a thoughtful or fun gift to a client over the holidays please leave a comment and tell us about it.