I love the Holiday season! The holidays are a wonderful time of year for so many reasons, and I have started looking around for great gift ideas for my team. With all of the festive music on the radio, hot cocoa and apple cider, peppermint bark and holiday confections — even the tacky holiday sweaters — how can you not be a great and giving mood right now?
There can be a lot of stress associated with the holiday season, however — much of which can stem from not knowing what to buy for the people around you. In my mind, a great gift is one that is super useful, and that I would love to have myself! Maybe I already have it and can’t live without it and want those around me to have the same. Maybe it is a new idea or gadget or even a gift card to get all the best apps that I have started using. Either way, gift giving can be hard and stressful, but I have a few ideas to make it easier.
Whether you’re a real estate investor looking to buy for someone else in the business (whether it’s your assistant, property manager, realtor or other associate) or looking to buy for an investor, in my mind you can’t go wrong with a few of these holiday gifts.
From quirky gifts to useful tools, here are a few of my ideas…
9 Great (and Useful) Gift Ideas
Want to give an innovative notebook this year? This whiteboard notebook includes transparent, erasable pages that can be backed with whiteboard pages or used to create overlays and charts for a unique approach to note-taking and organization. I love it because it is easy to use at job sites or in meetings when I need to take notes and reminders for followup. I also like to use it to draw or diagram when I am trying to explain something that may be abstract. There are more expensive versions, but I would start with this one to get used to using this kind of quick note notebook.
Leave the calendar behind. This notepad doubles as a mousepad and offers nearly a year’s worth of tear-off pages for weekly planning that won’t leave your desk or your sight. I leave this one in my office right in front of my keyboard. I haven’t used it as a mousepad because I use a track pad, but others in my office do. Others also make quick reminder notes or appointments directly on it for me so I have quick notes for calls or other tasks right in front of me.
Do you have a coffee lover in your life? This travel french press is ideal for folks who like their roast fresh. All you need are ground coffee beans or loose tea leaves and some hot water. Great for a hot drink on the go!
I know, I know…you may be thinking, “What does this have to do with real estate?” We can grab a sugar-laden Starbucks anytime! Well, I can tell you from experience that working out of your car is what a lot of serious real estate investors go through on a daily basis. Sometimes a little comfort remedy like a fresh cup of good coffee is needed. It takes the edge off and can reinvigorate you to keep pushing. Nothing against Starbucks… but I’ll choose a french press any day.
Do you know a real estate investor who enjoys music? Even if they already have a Spotify subscription ($10/mo.), or perhaps especially if they already have a Spotify subscription, a great gift can be paying for a few months of ad-free, unlimited tunes.
Nothing can bring a smile to most faces and make a day go faster than some great music… especially when you choose the music that makes you happiest. Spotify can let you create custom playlists and stream it over your phone, your car, your tablet… you name it. And it can be done without the pesky ads, which makes spending time in your office/car much more enjoyable.
5. A New Phone Charger
Like I said, real estate investors are always on the go — and keeping the ol’ smartphone charged is vital! Getting someone an extra, innovative phone charger can be an amazingly practical gift. For instance, check out the Prong PocketPlug (starting at $40), an i-phone case that can charge your phone at any available outlet. I love little gifts like this one. As investors, most of us spend a lot of time on the phone and like to stay in contact at all times. Nothing is worse than losing an iPhone battery and finding out you missed opportunities because people could not reach you.
Speaking of staying powered up — I love the Mophie Powerstation XL for many reasons, but the biggest selling point to me was that I could charge multiple devices at one time. I could also charge those devices multiple times before the Mophie would need to be charged itself. Here is how this little gadget really helps. I have mentioned multiple times about officing out of the car. As investors we are constantly on the go and in neighborhoods. We are far from a wifi signal so many of us use our smartphone as a hotspot. Nothing drains a battery faster than using a phone as a hotspot.
With the Mophie, you can charge your iPhone on the spot (or any other cell phone) and charge your laptop at the same time. Both stay energized, and the iPhone provides the needed wifi signal. It is a very, very practical gift for a real estate investor who likes to work while on the road.
7. Practical Beauty & Hygiene Products
Don’t get me wrong here; everyone loves to pamper themselves. But this is about more than just pampering, and for both men and women, hygiene and beauty products can be well-received. Burt’s Bees, for instance, has a great selection of products, including sets of chapsticks, face washes, scrubs, hand lotion and other high-quality products that anyone can appreciate without once thinking you’re hinting at something.
On more than one occasion, I have walked out of a house thinking that I can taste the bad smells in my mouth! I know I carried the stench with me out of the house, and I have loved having a hygiene kit in the car. Nothing like washing my hands, maybe using some hand lotion or sanitizer to get the smell off, and after a long day, for some, a kit like this can come in handy. Before a meeting with one last homeowner as you are trying to buy their house, isn’t it nice to throw a breath mint in and maybe freshen up a bit? It sure builds the confidence knowing that you are not smelling like you have been on the road all day!
I have an amazing ability to misplace things. First, I am a man, so I am at an automatic disadvantage. I tend to place things right where I am, which may not be anywhere near where they belong. I received a set of Tiles, and they are a life saver. I clipped one to my keys. I slipped one into the pocket on my iPhone holder. Another one goes with my iPad, and finally, I tossed one into my work bag. Everything I know I must have and cannot live without, carries a Tile.
If I happen to misplace anything, I just jump onto the Tile website or open my iPhone app, and there it is. The app leads me right to where I last left whatever I was missing. I have also thrown one in my bags when I travel, just in case a bag comes up missing at the other end. They make a great gift.
9. Amazon or iTunes Gift Card
Now, I know this is nothing more than a gift card, but most investors I know are using smartphones and tablets to do a lot of their work. I already mentioned that many are in their cars all day traveling around the city, either looking for deals or partners or checking in on jobs. There are a ton of useful apps available to all smartphones that all can make the life of a real estate investor and entrepreneur much easier. Give them the gift of picking and choosing whichever apps they need to keep moving forward!
As I enter this time of year, I always take some time to get myself re-organized for the new year. I take stock in what worked for the past year and what I can do to make things easier or better for the new year. That is what this list is all about. The car becomes the office for many real estate investors, and they spend long hours on the streets of the city they are investing. Make those trips a little easier, and help the real estate investor in your life stay a little happier in the new year with some of these great gift ideas!
I would love to hear what items or apps you use as an investor that would make great gifts for other investors. Now is a great time to share!
Readers: Don’t forget to leave a comment below!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.