If you read our last post and watched our last video, you’ll know that the past few months have been spent prototyping the projects we plan to batch out! We’re looking for simple, yet high quality designs that can be built quickly and in a very organized and repeatable way!
Now that we’ve figured out our charcuterie board process, we’ve moved on to the cutting boards we plan to sell to realtors as closing gifts for their clients.
Before we started the process of nailing down exactly what these boars will look like and exactly how we’ll make them, we needed to figure out if we had any restraints to work within. We needed to talk to ACTUAL realtors and people who worked in that world to find out what a realtor even WANTS in a closing gift.
- What is their goal with a closing gift?
- Do they want the homeowner to keep it for a long time?
- Do they use closing gifts as a form of advertisement for themselves?
- How much can they spend?
After talking with a couple realtors, we found some pretty good answers for the first 3 questions and an EXTREMELY HELPFUL answer to the last question. We learned that the realtors want their clients to keep the gifts and actually use them if they have advertising information on them.
For example, the homeowner throws a party in their new house and the cutting board they pull out has the realtor’s contact information on it. All of a sudden multiple people know who sells houses in the area.
It’s also a daily reminder to the homeowner of how to get back in contact with the realtor should they want to sell the house. The realtor wants a nice gift that makes the client feel happy and gives them a positive experience having worked with them.
But what cost were they allowed to attach to this “positive experience”? Well….we found out that for many realtors, it’s about $100. Mostly because that amount is what they can write-off as a marketing cost for themselves! Any more than that and they couldn’t afford the product we were making them – no matter how nice it was. Much lower than that and we simply couldn’t give them a product that was high quality enough for a customer to hang onto for years to come.
And lastly, how do we create a positive emotional experience with the board? Well…we plan to do that through a visually satisfying unboxing experience. Our packaging will be luxurious, sleek, and solidify in the homeowner’s mind that they’re receiving a high quality product from their realtor AND from US!! Because remember…..the box will be covered in OUR marketing. Reminding the homeowner that we build quality items to fill their new house with! (kind of the whole reason we’re getting into the closing gift game!!). Packaging video coming soon!!
So there we had it! We determined the restraints for our cutting board prototype.
- It must look high quality so the homeowner wants to keep it
- It must have the realtor’s contact information engraved on it
- It must result in a positive emotional experience through unboxing
- It must cost $100 or less
We decided to use strips of 4/4 hardwoods glued together with edge grain facing up as the basis of our design. This idea was inspired by Bruce A. Ulrich, who makes his boards in a very similar fashion! He’s got some fantastic build videos with tons of other ideas, so be sure to go check out his channel!!
(After the fact, we decided we’d actually prefer to use 8/4 hard wood so that the cutting and gluing process would go a bit faster.)
As much as we WISH we could use some nice varying strips of purple heart and padauk throughout each board – we found out very quickly that it would not be cost effective for our $100 price constraint. For this prototype we went with mostly maple with stripes of cherry near the top. It gave us the color variation we wanted without breaking the bank!
After the board was finished, it went right into the laser engraver (which we are absolutely LOVING, by the way!!). We did some sample text on the back of the board where the realtor’s marketing information will go, and on the front of the board where the home owner’s last name, initials, etc. will go. Personalizing the product is another great way to create an emotional experience for the client…it shows that the realtor actually took the time to give an individualized gift! Which makes our boards overall more enticing for the realtors. It makes them LOOK GOOD!!
And lastly, we added some small rubber feet to the bottom of the board just to add to the sturdiness – making it feel strong and high quality.
Overall, this prototype turned out really well and we were able to create some solid procedures for the ones we build going forward! Next up will be the packaging we use to create a “wow factor” in the client’s unboxing experience!
This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!