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How Real Estate Agents Can Use Bonuses and Incentives to Get More Clients and Sell More Homes

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By Rob Minton

RISMEDIA, October 7, 2009—You’ve probably seen countless infomercials that include 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? 

I recently 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. 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 valued at over $800. which means you could offer an $800 incentive as a bonus for working with you in your marketing. Wouldn’t this be 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 to 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 a 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 laws 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, discuss this strategy and any disclosure requirements with your real estate attorney. 

Rob Minton, who reinvented his real estate sales business to sell 269 homes to a limited number of clients in one year, has written a very practical book on how real estate agents can sell more homes. For a limited time, you can download this book for free by visiting www.freerenegadebook.com. 

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