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 __ %.

Here are some questions to ask:

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:

  1. Browse for an agent on the database.
  2. Qualify the agent.
  3. Create the referral paperwork.
  4. Introduce client to the agent.
  5. Client engages agent in agreement.
  6. Client buys/sells property.
  7. Escrow is funded.
  8. 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.


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre when they want to dramatically improve marketing, productivity, and sales performance with the latest technology. He is changing the way consultants consult, coaches coach, and trainers train professionals with his creative approach to using technology focused on business outcomes. The University of Missouri-Columbia Business School Entrepreneur of the Year, National Association of Realtors Business Specialties Hall of Fame Educator, and Certified Speaking Professional of the National Speakers Association brings a power-packed, innovative punch to managing organizational change outlined in his latest book Screen to Screen Selling™ : How to Increase Sales, Productivity, and the Customer Experience With the Latest Technology. Now Doug is focused on creating thought leadership on how businesses can use the Amazon Alexa platform to reduce operational costs and improve workplace productivity.

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