Going to the dogs: Brokers get creative with closing gifts

NYC agents have adopted chickens and commissioned custom dollhouses for their clients

TRD New York /
Dec.December 26, 2017 06:55 PM

Selling or buying a home can be a grueling process, and the months-long relationship between agent and client can lead to a friendship. So after closing a deal, some brokers want to leave their clients with more than just a celebratory bottle of champagne.

Douglas Elliman broker Jason Walker, for instance, gifted his client a mixed-breed rescue dog and a year’s worth of doggy daycare. The client, J.J. Hill, a single lawyer who’d just bought a loft in Tribeca, agreed that a dog was just what he needed.

“Weekdays can be lonely for a single guy,” Hill told the New York Times. “You want somebody to come home to at the end of a long day.”

Gifting pets is a trademark for Walker, who has rescued nearly 50 dogs in the last year alone, giving four away to clients.

Another animal-friendly gift came from Corcoran Group agent Jannette Patterson, who shared a passion for veganism and animal rights with her client, Jane Velez-Mitchell. Patterson sponsored a Cornish Cross chicken named Rebecca, that had been saved from a meat factory farm by Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, in her client’s name.

Other brokers have surprised their clients with even more personalized gifts. Jonah Katz, another Corcoran agent, found out his client was a Peanuts fan and Snoopy lover, so he got her an original print of Snoopy by the only artist authorized to paint the character.

Citi Habitats agent Christophe Tedjasukmana decided to forgo objects altogether, and instead threw a housewarming party for his client, Kevin Chang. Tedjasukmana paid for the catering and alcohol for more than 80 guests.

Meanwhile, Ryan Serhant of Nest Seekers International gifted his client’s daughter. After closing on a $17 million Upper East Side condo, Serhant had a four-story dollhouse custom-built for the young girl.

“I take closing gifts very seriously,” he told the Times. “You’re building a lifelong relationship with your clients.” [NYT] — Chava Gourarie

Related Articles

250th Issue

The Real Deal celebrates 250 issues

From left: Publisher and founder Amir Korangy, Editor-in-chief Stuart Elliott and VP of Corporate Development Yoav Barilan

TRD’s founders share war stories from over the years

56 Leonard Street (Credit: iStock)

He invested more than $130M into 4 Manhattan condos. Now he’s taking a hit

Due to relatively high income levels and low transportation costs, New York City is the eight most affordable of 20 major cities (Credit: iStock)

NYC is the 8th most affordable big city in America*

53 West 53rd Street, 885 Park Avenue, 70 West 45th Street (Credit: StreetEasy)

Five priciest homes to hit the market last week all over $22M

118 East 76th Street and Developer Joseph Chetrit (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Manhattan luxury home market off to worst start in seven years

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

De Blasio to test brokers, owners for housing discrimination

Buyer sentiment was strong at the close of 2019 (Credit: iStock)

Home buyers start 2020 with drop in mortgage rates