How to Use Bonuses & Incentives to Get More Clients & Sell More Homes

You've probably seen countless infomercials that include a one or more special bonuses if you purchase the product being advertised. Here are a few examples for you to consider:

1. Snuggie Blanket – Bonus is a reading light
2. Sham Wow Towel – Bonus is a second set of Sham Wow Towels

There are countless other examples. If you study infomercials, you'll find that almost every one includes a bonus included with the product being offered. Why?

Because they increase sales

If bonuses increase sales, why don't real estate agents use them in their marketing? Don't know …

Yesterday, I had a private phone call with an agent I coach. She was considering offering commission discounts or rebates to attract new clients. She wanted to know my opinion. I told her not to move forward with her idea. We work very hard for our commissions, and we shouldn't make a practice of discounting in order to get clients. There are numerous other ways to attract new clients without discounting your commission.

Simply copy the infomercial formula and use bonuses in your marketing. You might be surprised to find that you can offer some very attractive bonuses with high perceived value that don't cost a great deal of money.  

As an example, I've used vacation getaways several times in my marketing campaigns to increase response rates. This strategy would be even more effective today because of the economy. Many families have decided to skip their family vacations to save money. Well, you can use this situation to your advantage simply by offering new clients a special vacation.

In the past, I've used Travel America to buy vacation packages at attractive prices. They offer various vacation incentive packages at very low prices. You can purchase vacation packages for:

  • 5-Day Caribbean Cruises
  • 3-Day Las Vegas Getaways
  • Deluxe Cancun Getaways
  • Disney Weekend Trip Packages

Depending on how many you were to purchase, your price for a three-day Las Vegas getaway package would be under $200. This trip is getaway is valued at over $800. This means you could offer an $800 incentive as a bonus for working with you in your marketing. Wouldn't this a better long-term option to attract new clients when compared to a commission discount?

In addition to using incentives to attract new clients, you could also use them to re-activate old clients or unconverted leads. There are multiple ways to use incentives to drive home sales. Be creative.

The key to using incentives and bonuses is create urgency to take action. You can see this displayed in infomercials when they limit the bonuses to a certain number of orders or a certain time period. Someone interested in the product has to act quickly to get the special bonuses offered. Don't use a bonus or incentive without a time limit or restriction on the number of bonuses available.

As an example, consider the following:

– The first three sellers to list their home within the next two weeks will receive a four-night, five-day Caribbean Cruise vacation getaway.

– The first three buyers who register to attend my special home buyer workshop will receive a weekend trip to Disney World.

WARNING: If you decide to use incentives as marketing tool for your business, be sure to disclose any incentives offered when selling a home. Incentives would be considered an "inducement" and must be disclosed, according to licensing law in many States. This disclosure shouldn't be anything difficult. Simply add a clause to the contract indicating that the buyer or seller received a special vacation package as part of their purchase or sale. As usual, please discuss this strategy and any disclosure requirements with your real estate attorney!

8 Comments

  • Terri Hattaway

    Reply Reply March 4, 2010

    RESPA forbids loan officers from offering referral even as a “thank you”. Real estate agents are not permitted to pay referral fees to someone who is not licensed. A real estate agent can offer an incentive to a buyer or seller, as long as it’s disclosed.

    Nice post Rob. It’s one of those, “why didn’t I think of it?” moments!

  • Colorado Realtor

    Reply Reply February 2, 2010

    Doesn’t this violate RESPA? if not why not?
    Thanks,

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply February 2, 2010

      Nancy,

      I’m not an attorney so you should always check with your attorney before using bonuses and incentives in your business. From my understanding, you can use bonuses and incentives in your marketing as long as they are properly disclosed to all parties. The best way to disclose an incentive would be to include the disclosure in the purchase agreement. This way the buyer and seller both see the incentive provided and acknowledge it as part of the sales agreement. Hope this helps and be sure to discuss this idea with your attorney!

      Rob

  • island vacations

    Reply Reply January 16, 2010

    You are a very brilliant person!

  • Burton Haynes

    Reply Reply January 11, 2010

    You all make me wish I was in Anguilla.

  • Rob Minton

    Reply Reply October 29, 2009

    Thank you for taking the time to write a comment. Your feedback is extremely valuable to me. Hopefully the information helps in some way!
    Rob

  • Sea World

    Reply Reply October 28, 2009

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading about disney world. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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