I had a great conversation yesterday with a leader for an organization who is trying to figure out what makes them different from anyone else. Their existing value propositions consists of professional development opportunities, a database you can search from to find referrals, and networking opportunities to attract more referrals.
How is that different than any other type of membership?
Sadly it’s not.
It is what every other type of membership proposals without any point of distinction. It wouldn’t push me over the edge to contribute my time or energy into one organization because I know I can find the same thing in multiple places.
So what would I recommend?
Take one of the existing value propositions and take it to a level most people won’t. What I mean is think beyond what people want at a deeper level that adds sales, productivity and eliminates stress.
Let’s take the referral database and networking opportunities as an example.
If a real estate agent makes a referral to another agent they could earn __ %.
What part of the referral process and professional development opportunities would make an agent be more productive, make more sales or reduce stress, etc?
What would give you more confidence in sending a referral that would increase the likelihood you were paid?
The problem with most referrals is that you hope to find a good one and through email exchange your fingers are crossed that they are being treated like you would treat your clients. Also, you hope that the transaction closes because the agent you referred executed their obligations and closed the sale on time with no or little stress involved.
If I live in Naples Florida and going to send my client to New Hampshire I want to make sure they are taken care of and would like a regular update on their progress so I can be confident in the decision for which agent I referred.
Currently there is transaction management for real estate transactions that have progress/status bars that shows the timeline for a transaction.
How about a referral management program that tracks the steps involved with sending the referral so that each broker knows the progress of client being referred.
Steps in the referral process:
- Browse for an agent on the database.
- Qualify the agent.
- Create the referral paperwork.
- Introduce client to the agent.
- Client engages agent in agreement.
- Client buys/sells property.
- Escrow is funded.
- Referral check is sent.
You can add or remove steps in the process but it simply doesn’t matter.
What I would want more than a database is the confidence during referral process that I’m going to get paid for my referral and I would be willing to join an organization that does that.
So instead of trying to fight over the scraps of who can put together the best class, make the database more searchable, or host more events and try to strategically solve the problems that others have right now in the marketplace.
You might just see an increase in membership, increase in revenues, increase in participation, and increase in satisfaction as a result.