Phil (one of my Canadian mortgage friends :) recently shared this with me...
This is one of the best ideas that I heard of and I am going to implement.- it came from one of my real estate agents- granted they usually make more on a deal than a mortgage agent- at least in Canada
On each anniversary of the purchase she delivers a small gift, and than again at Christmas. Its the personal touch and she actually gets to see the person. They get to know you.
She delivers personally, as well as sending birthday cards and newsletters. She has done this for 4- 5 yrs and the referral business is tremendous- every once and a while someone strays but not very often.
Now... I agree that Realtors have greater income on a deal and perhaps have the ability to spend more per client, but the basic premise of doing something with a personal touch is what stands out to me. I am a big advocate of a closing gift and love the idea of delivering it in person AFTER the closing. You will have greater impact and be remembered. And isn't that the best way to grow a referral-based business?