Direct client business thank you and gratuities

It’s not worth it to me. I just send a thank you email. If you do decide to do lunch or gifts. Here’s my thoughts on that. (I’m not an attorney or a CPA :)) Some meals are deductible from 50-100% but there are specific IRS rules. They need to be “ordinary and necessary” and the owner must be present at the time of the meal. If you are choosing something smaller, such as a gift. You need to make sure their HR department will accept them. Most companies have policies that state employee’s can’t receive them or they need to be less than $15. I see some people want to send gift cards. Those are even trickier. Anything more than $25 is usually subject to IRS tax and is paid by the recipient. Also, in order to write anything off, you need to track the cost, description, date of purchase, relationship to you and the purpose. Just my thoughts for you.

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How much profit do you gain from this? Your fee - all notary costs - the lunch/gift = ?
And how much of your time does it take? If you hire someone, please deduct their cost in time per office from the above formula.

I answered this already a few posts back.

I “somewhat” disagree here. There is a line between “bribes” and “advertising” via gifts. I can’t see anyone being accused of bribery for dropping off a $10 box of donuts (which were fresh at the time) and a few business cards for “advertising” their services. It’s all about the presentation. Now if an NSA was offering season tickets to the Laker’s for “business,” then they might be in trouble IMO. I guess at the end of the day, like everything else nowadays, it’s all up to interpretation!

Thanks everyone for the great replies. Excellent points on both the pros and cons. We have been in the mortgage industry for many years and I am completely aware of respa. My wife and I have seguated into signings over the last few years and work as a team and thankfully doing well. However the market is shifting as it has in the past. Our gifts are more of tokens of appreciation and small thank you-s usually under $25. And we normally hand out to current direct client employees who we’ve become to know well, as a small token of appreciation. And only occasionally, to executives. Our ROI has been phenomenal. But times will be different for a while. I was interested in everyone’s opinions on new direct business clients and I think we will continue with our word of mouth recommendations first and small gifts only as tokens of appreciation. Thank you all!

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Leverage your existing direct relationships for referrals to other title folks. Most of them have been in the industry long enough to give you a welcome text or email to make the intro convo easier.
Of course keep going wider as well, I do the same thing, new offices every week. Have a meaningful convo about their business, what they would improve, grab their business cards, put them in the CRM and they hear from me every week so when something comes up, I’m top of mind.

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