Resident Referrals: Sometimes you just have to ask!

Communities with robust resident referral programs know that resident referrals don’t magically occur – you have to ask. Statistically, a prospect who is referred by a resident has a much higher likelihood of converting to a sale. Yet too often communities spend little time and few resources to encourage or reward resident referrals. Some communities are reticent to offer financial rewards for referrals, and some residents are reluctant or even affronted by the idea of being paid for a referral.

In general, we find that resident referral programs work well if they have two key elements:
1) the program is visible and continuously promoted
2) residents feel their efforts are recognized and appreciated

That doesn’t necessarily mean they should be paid for their efforts, but recognized in some fashion, whether it’s a personal note, a bottle of wine, flower arrangement, gift certificate or other small token of appreciation.

For Solutions Advisors, a structured resident referral program is always an important marketing strategy. At one community, just under 5% of total inquiries are from resident referrals, yet they account for 27% of sales, the highest inquiry source for all sales. The difference is that resident referrals cost a fraction of what other leads cost and have a much higher conversion rate.

Here are some ideas for enhancing your resident referral program:

Of course, the ultimate success of any resident referral program hinges on having happy and satisfied residents. If your resident approval ratings are low, it’s a good idea to work on increasing satisfaction levels before implementing a referral program.

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