Going to the dogs: Brokers get creative with closing gifts

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

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.

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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

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