Direct client business thank you and gratuities

Anyone using this down time to call on current and or new client business? Maybe bring in lunch or coffee gift cards in contrast to offering such things when business is good. Especially in light of the bleak origination forecast, I’m guessing many will back off from client retention gratuities. Interested to hear anyone’s opinion, advice or what they do for their direct business clients.

It occurs to me that bringing in lunch for TCs and EC that have no business to give us is not going to be beneficial. I think of it this way:

  1. Bringing in lunch for 3 or 4 people can be costly and who knows if they even like it or will eat/enjoy it.
  2. Feeding people who may not be there in another month may be counter-productive. Layoffs will abound in the summer months, I fear.
  3. Business is not going to get better for a while, so the effort may be forgotten or wasted.
  4. Gift cards seems a little desperate to me, but I may be wrong about that.
  5. I’d start thinking about how to approach the elements of the real estate industry that handle HELOCs, short sales and foreclosures. That’s where a lot of the business will come from in my view, sadly.

I learned my lesson on this gesture a long time ago - at Christmas I sent a cookie basket to a title company (located in Florida) that had sent me a lot of business throughout the year

The schedulers and my contact person never saw it - it never got farther than the front desk…Never again.


Thanks, Linda. The cookies were delicious :innocent:

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@LindaH-FL => I, like you, learned that hard lesson first-hand a number of years ago. Nearly identical circumstances & turnout. :astonished:

To all, if one finds this is a beneficial method for expending the Marketing Budget, go for it. I’ve attempted it a few times over the years & all with the same outcome as LindaH-FL has noted above.

I’m in :100: percent concurrence with the projections that potential future layoffs will more than likely circumvent any benefits . . .

As noted in most scenarios within this Business Sector, specific results may be different from city-to-city as well as from state-to-state & individual-to-individual.


I don’t think spending additional money on marketing to TC’s is very smart right now. They are wondering if they may loss their jobs :woman_shrugging:t5:


Yep, they are working with skeleton staff! Their staff may want to join you as an NSA! :woman_shrugging:t2:

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New prospective clients I drop off a gift basket with dollar tree ingredients(whether it’s slow or busy).
Existing large clients get lunch once a month vis door dash. They can pick exactly what they want, I have lunch and chat with them.

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Good luck to those NSAs or Signing companies who are trying to take your clients away from you! :joy:

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As previously mentioned in another post, I always brought in a dozen donuts (no strings attached). Whether as a thank you for prior/existing business, or trying to solicit new. It resonates whether you get a call or not. On a side note, people are funny with “food stuff” since COVID. So I went with sealed Entemann’s or Crispy Kreme’s from the store. Cards on the major holidays are always the best bet to keep yourself on their radar!

They’ve got their work cut out for them. :sunglasses:

Are you able to calculate an ROI on those efforts? Or, is it just chalked up to “goodwill”?

On the baskets for prospects:
$10 basket. I close about 30% of the time.
Each client uses me on average 6 times a month at $165/appt=$980 client.
So if I do 10 trips a month(I do more) that’s $100 spend to net me $2940 in revenue($980 X 3 new clients) 29X my investment. Now you know why I do this a lot, lol.

On the lunches for clients, I take 5% each month on what they’ve paid me in orders and buy them lunch. That part is relationship building. If I only gained clients but never kept them, that would be pointless


As a tax guy yourself, cant we write off the donuts as advertising/business expenses?

I could be wrong but I don’t think title company can accept any thing of value such as full-blown lunch, gift baskets, etc but they can take small item like donuts and coffee and things like that once in a while without violating RESPA.

They can’t accept things in exchange for kickbacks for settlement fees, which is why closing costs are disclosed to borrowers ahead of time and they’re made aware of what they can shop for.
In no way related to what I’m doing.

If they don’t call or text your with orders, it not because you didn’t send them a gift basket and/or cookies, it that they don’t have the orders to give you… So no gifts are going the change that. Got it.

If your the Very Best at what you do, in your area, they will contact you first.

That’s my final answer.



I have talked with people who work in escrow offices about that. They say that such tactics as coming with bribes to the office really don’t work. They end up having plates full of stale cookies and donuts laying around the office and it’s a myth that a notary will get hired as a result of their “thoughtfulness”.


I’m tending to go with error-free signings and simple relationship building as the chief inducement for getting work.


I too learned my lesson years ago doing these kinds things and found that most didn’t even know that See’s candy was from me nor did they care. My experience has been that if you perform high quality work that is what gets you business. All the Escrow and Mortgage professionals I have worked for over the years wanted a clean error-free close. If a Notary has errors all the time no lunch or doughnuts are going to get him/her work. Mentioning work, like many have noted. If there is no work then there is no orders to hand out. People will probably start getting laid off or leaving out of fear of being laid off. I’ve been in slow times before and the thing is that Signing Agents forget they are Notaries and probably another skill that can produce income. Instead of buying lunch for someone who does not have any work I have instead looked at other income producing options and market my “mobile” Notary services elsewhere.