Loop & Tie, a partner of Moxi Works, looks at the research behind gifting and its value
By Sara Rodell, Loop & Tie CEO
Gifts are communication. They’re how we express joy or appreciation, how we apologize and how we commemorate life’s milestones. After the exchange, a gift serves as a monument. The best gifts are lasting, so there’s a lot of pressure to do it right. Gifting is more than just a nice gesture. A gift can positively impact business relationships over time.
The Research of Gifting
We all intrinsically know that happy, loyal customers are good for business, but a core element of happiness and loyalty is rooted in the theory of how reciprocity affects business. The golden rule applies: treat your customers with kindness and they’ll do the same to you. Richard F. Beltramini studied the effect of reciprocity through gifting and published his work in the Journal of Advertising. He found that gifting and rewards create a dynamic of reciprocity and increase the lifetime value of customers. The perceived value of the gift dramatically increases future purchases.
Customer service remains a top motivation on customer decisions. A 2011 American Express for Business survey found that seven in 10 Americans are willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. The White House Department of Consumer Affairs calculates it’s six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one, so it makes sense to spend money on keeping customers happy and engaged.
Gifting and Real Estate
Given the personal nature of home sales, a culture of gifting runs strong within real estate. Our team at Loop & Tie surveyed homebuyers to understand their views on gifting and how it affects future business. We found that the most impactful time to send a gift is when the recipient is least expecting it. Low expectation yields a higher feeling of reciprocity. Clients are 30 percent more likely to send a referral when they receive a gift on a random date, as compared to at the closing. We believe that’s because being surprised with a gift makes them feel like their relationship with their agent is not just transactional.
At Loop & Tie, we also see gifting as an instigator for personal connections that can help real estate agents build authentic conversations. We found that by offering gift recipients the opportunity to send a thank you note right after receiving their gift, 80 percent are likely to write a custom note back to the sender, continuing to build the relationship.
Making Gifting Simple
The difficulty in buying gifts is often due to imperfect information and the need to follow unwritten social norms. No one wants to buy a gift that is unwanted or mismatched to the occasion, and the uncertainty of knowing what to buy can seem too large a hurdle to surmount. In feedback we receive from agents, they frequently say they know they should gift, but they don’t because it’s too tedious.
This is why we developed Loop & Tie, a service that lets gift givers send a thoughtful, curated collection of gift choices to recipients who can then select the item they value most. The online experience makes gift giving simple, while increasing recipient engagement and business returns. Additionally, seeing what the recipient chooses can help gift givers get to know them better.
In understanding gifting, why people gift and what drives value in the gift exchange, we’ve come to believe that gifting is a powerful, underutilized way to unlock substantial business growth. When gifting is done right, it builds better, more authentic business.
Sending Gifts Using Loop & Tie in Moxi Engage
Long & Foster agents can send their clients gifts through Loop & Tie by using the Moxi Engage platform. When working with a seller in the Pending zone of Moxi Engage, scroll down through the task list to find the Mail Closing Gift task. When you click Mail Closing Gift, a button will display allowing you to launch the Loop & Tie website and begin the purchase process. You can also visit the External Links section of Moxi Engage. Learn more about using Loop & Tie and Moxi Engage by visiting the Moxi Engage page of the Long & Foster Cafe and the Moxi Engage section of the LeadingRE Institute.