A RESPA-Compliant Way to Give a Real Estate Agent a Gift Certificate

by Nick GromickoCMI®

Here's a way to cultivate positive relationships with real estate agents that doesn't violate InterNACHI's Code of Ethics or the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).  RESPA was established by the U.S. Congress in 1974, in part, to protect homeowners from agents engaging in kickbacks or other financial conflicts of interest.

  1. First, register a special domain name for this project. If your company is ABC Inspections, register the domain name GiftsFromABCInspections.com. If your company is Pumpkin Inspections, register GiftsFromPumpkinInspections.com -- you get the idea.

  2. Then, forward your special domain name to www.GiftsFromYourInspector.com

  3. Mask the forwarding URL (it's a common option when forwarding a domain name).

  4. Print off gift certificates with your special domain on them so it looks like it's an awesome gift from you.

  5. Give them out to clients, past clients, and local real estate agents.


This is a RESPA-compliant way to give gift certificates to a real estate agent because the gifts cost you nothing, so there is no exchange of money. You are merely alerting your clients and agents as to where they can find these bargains. And the link leads to a zillion deals and discounts that continue to be available whether the agents refer you more inspections or not, so you are not involved in any unethical or illegal pay-to-play scheme.