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WCR Member Recruitment & Retention Kit


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Member Recruitment and Retention Kit produced by the Women's Council of REALTORS.

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WCR Member Recruitment & Retention Kit

  1. 1. Women’s Council of REALTORS® Recruitment and Retention Kit This Kit, originally created in 2001 was revised and updated in 2009. Thank you to all the members and chapter leaders that contributed their valuable time and ideas at the 2008 Member Network Strategic Forum meetings. Customizable tools included in this kit: • Chapter Business Plan for Recruitment and Retention page 4 • Member Preference Questionnaire page 7, 8 • Two New Member Orientation Agendas page 9,10 • Recruitment Venues and More page 11 • Ice Breakers page 12,13 • Member Retention Letter – for member that did not yet renew page 14 • Dropped Member Letter page 15
  2. 2. WCR Member Recruitment and Retention Kit A Few Words about Recruitment and the Link to Retention Recruitment can be exciting and has an instant payoff - new members and more $ for a chapter. Retention is tougher - because it is an effort that never ends. It needs to be an ongoing integral part of everything your chapter does. Develop a recruitment plan that fits your "recruitment" farm. A few hints...Recruiting brand new REALTORS® is a recipe for poor retention rates. Fifty percent of new REALTORS® leave the business in the first year. Be sure to take this into consideration as you develop your plan and to insure the best use of the chapter's resources. Don't make promises that you can't deliver. WCR can't be all things to all members. Try to reach the various segments of your membership with a variety of programs that accomplish the WCR Mission - but don't hold programs that will appeal to only a member or two. Find your balance. Incorporate Chapter Management Center Tools into your Retention Efforts The WCR Chapter Management Center originally came online in September 2001. In 2008 it was completely overhauled and now includes real time member data, PDF mailing lists and reports and much more. For example, during the all important membership renewal time period, you have the ability to go online and find out whether or not a member has renewed. Their phone number and e-mail addresses are also right there, so you can reach out immediately with a call or e-mail to follow up with the member. Why Members Renew - Defining Value Retaining members is one of the most challenging tasks for chapter leaders. Members renew (or don't renew) based primarily on their satisfaction with the benefits provided by the local chapter. Members renew because they get value from the organization. And the best way to access the value in WCR is to get involved. The Task is to Ask The "Task Is to Ask" Action Kit is about helping your members access the benefits of their WCR membership. Every great organization has at its core an intangible "something that" gives it its strength. At WCR this core is expressed in the Strategic Framework – Participation in the Women’s Council of REALTORS® is the opportunity to contribute to change, and to be changed, personally and professionally. This is the essence of who we are and what we stand for. The Benefits of WCR Membership begin to accumulate when you get involved! • If you decide to participate, even if only in a small way - we will help you define and reach your next level of achievement. 2
  3. 3. • If you attend chapter meetings - we will help you acquire new skills to meet the changing business environment. • If you make it a point to sit with people you don't already know - we will increase your referral business and sometimes become friends for life. • If you commit to attending at least one state meeting or regional conference - we will show you role models who inspire and mentor. • If you volunteer for something - we will give you meaningful, satisfying work that fits your schedule. • If you keep in touch with other members - we will encourage you when you are down and cheer you on when you succeed. • If you commit to attending one national meeting - we will amaze you with the power of the total WCR experience. Get Involved - It Pays!! When you ask members to become involved, you are helping them access this membership promise. Because it is through participation that members begin to discover and engage their potential. The "Task is to Ask" program will do more than get members participating. It will also help keep your chapter viable and vibrant for the long term by creating a pool of developing future leaders. A downloadable PDF version is available from the WCR Web site in the Member Center Chapter Tools page. The Member Preferences Questionnaire from the Kit is also included in this Kit. New Member Orientation Orientations build a stronger chapter. Members that don't get involved in chapter activities miss out on the full benefits of their membership and are less likely to renew. We recommend at holding a new orientation at least quarterly. At a minimum, hold at least two new member orientations each year. If you recruit members throughout the year, consider holding monthly orientations. Orientations can be short (30 minutes or less) or more extensive events incorporating networking, the WCR Web site and a Member Center demonstration, or even a special guest speaker. Have a list of all your committees and work groups with a tear-off form at the bottom so they can get started immediately on a committee or project. Sample Orientations are included in this Kit. New Members Consider providing each new member with this information. Some chapters post all this information on their web site – just send an email with links! • A Welcome Letter • Chapter Membership List (with their name on it) • Contact information for all Officers and Committee Chairs with descriptions of activities and duties. • List of Meeting dates and Programs for the Year • Recent Issue of Newsletter • Standing Rules 3
  4. 4. • Task is to Ask Volunteer Opportunities form In the first week after joining, National sends new members a welcome to WCR email. The email provides information on the tools members have to maximize their membership. It also describes the actions they should take to get the most value. Members that join online also receive an email thanking them for joining and inviting them to get their membership started right away by completing the Member Expertise Profile in the Member Center. Develop a Chapter Business Plan for Recruitment and Retention Just like you need a plan for your business, the chapter needs a plan for Recruitment and Retention. Before you work on the plan, gather all the information you need about your current membership activities using your Annual Report and the tools in the Chapter Management Center as well as any information you may have on prospective members in your area. Depending on your chapter size, your plan may schedule activities each month or quarterly. Here is a simple quarterly plan that you can expand on, adding time frames, target numbers, names of who will do the activity etc. Jan-March Participate in National Recruitment Contest. Target market membership to REALTORS® with at least 3 years of experience – they have made a commitment to the profession and are looking for the next step to advance their career. Review the list of Recruitment Venues and Opportunities created by the Member Network Strategic Forum (page 11). Select and schedule at least 5 of these activities, schedule at least 10 if you are a larger chapter. Plan and hold New Member Orientation. Participate in National Retention Contest. Invite new members to do the pledge or inspiration. Set up a phone tree – call members who miss meetings to tell them they were missed... and hope they will be at next meeting or event. Call each current member that has not yet renewed using the Not Yet Renewed Report from the Chapter Management Center. Encourage them to renew online – it’s easy and fast. Plan ahead – have applications available at every meeting, identify guests and invite to join – make it easy – have a computer with internet access available and invite them to join online instantly. April-June Hold a New Member Orientation. Schedule a phone tree using scripts from Chapter Tools page on the Web site to invite members to reinstate their membership. 4
  5. 5. June-September Hold a New Member Orientation. Review program evaluations from Jan-June and make changes or improvements to your programs if needed. Participate in State wide recruitment contest held by State Chapter (optional). Hold mixer or fun event – invite prospects to attend. Consider holding a WCR only House Tour. Extend personal invites to events. Ask your members “How are we doing?” Ask for their ideas and input for future programs and events. October-December Hold a New Member Orientation. Call every member and thank them for their membership by October 31. Hold a members only event. Assess results of your Recruitment and Retention Plan and pass on information for development of next year’s plan. Ice Breakers/Team Builders When you use an icebreaker or team building exercise, don't forget to identify the value the members received from participating in the activity. Sure they can be fun, but they should also provide value beyond entertainment. Does your icebreaker help build a team? Are members meeting members they didn't know before - and thereby developing relationships that will help them with future real estate transactions with this member? After each icebreaker let them know what value or benefit they just received from the activity. Sample Ice Breakers page 12. Good Programs Keep Them Coming Back That bears repeating. GOOD PROGRAMS KEEP THEM COMING BACK. Use the Speaker & Programs Message Board in the Member Center on the WCR Web site to share your successful programs and to get ideas from others on new programs you might try. Ask your members what they want. Review the evaluations from past programs. Use the sample questionnaire in the LPPM or create your own. Scan real estate publications for current issues and trends that would translate into great programs for your members. 5
  6. 6. Incorporate Testimonials into Chapter Communications Sometimes it's hard to describe the benefits of WCR in words that clearly express all the great benefits of belonging to WCR. Members join and stay for a great variety of reasons - so use your member's own words to help promote the benefits and value of belonging. Use the greatly expanded Marketing Action Kit on the Web site. Here are a few examples of testimonials that help promote the value of WCR: WCR has given me a wonderful opportunity to share, receive and give support to a group of women that hold the same goals and professional standards that I work and live by. Pat Matthews, Gwinnett (GA) Chapter. My WCR involvement challenged me to participate in my REALTOR® association as a leader, and gave me the tools to succeed. In the process I become more interested in real estate and more successful. Ruby Lewis, Verdugo Hills (CA) Chapter. I have accomplished so many things that I did not know I was capable of, and this was made possible by WCR members who saw the potential in me that I did not. Jackie Hartley, Cincinnati Area (OH) Chapter. WCR has inspired me to look within myself to grow professionally and always reach just a little bit higher. Mary Lou Schyberg, Greater Orlando (FL) Chapter. Marketing Action Kit The online Marketing Action Kit was greatly expanded in 2008. Here are just a few of the tools available to you on the Web site: Flyers and newsletter templates, brand ads, press releases, business cards and more, developed to promote Women's Council to prospective members, as well as the broader community. What to do if they don't renew Ask them why. At the very least, your chapter should send an e-mail, a letter and questionnaire, or even a phone call, to all dropped members. It is important to find out why they dropped their membership. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get them back. See sample Dropped Member Questionnaire page 15. 6
  7. 7. Copy and paste this Questionnaire into a Word document and customize for your chapter. The Women's Council of REALTORS® Member Preferences Questionnaire Member Name: ____________________________________ Daytime Phone: ____________________________________ E-Mail: ____________________________________________ Time Commitment Preferred: Best Time of Day: _____ A few hours _____ Morning _____ Ongoing, Intermittent _____ Afternoon _____ Year-long appointment _____ Evening _____ Interested in holding office _____ Doesn't Matter Thank you for asking me to become more involved. I'm interested in the following areas. I've checked all that interest me. (Please check AT LEAST TWO.) Chapter Meetings _____ Being a table host _____ Giving Pledge of Allegiance or an Inspiration _____ Introducing a speaker _____ Leading a roundtable discussion _____ Making an announcement or giving a report _____ Moderating a panel discussion _____ Serving as a panel member for panel discussion _____ Donating printing of materials (agendas, newsletters, handouts) _____ Working registration at a monthly meeting _____ Speaking at a meeting on the following topic(s): ________________________ _____ Conducting a workshop on the follow topic(s): ________________________ Membership _____ Awards & Recognition _____ Hosting prospective members at breakfasts _____ Preparing a mailing _____ Recruiting Campaign _____ Retention Campaign _____ Telephoning prospective members to invite them to meetings _____ Telephoning prospects after they have attended a meeting Newsletter _____ Desktop publishing, graphic design _____ Editing articles for newsletters _____ Proofreading _____ Helping with newsletter mailings _____ Maintaining membership database, printing labels, mailing renewals 7
  8. 8. Other _____ Budgeting, accounting, audits, financial planning _____ Bylaws, standing rules, nominating _____ Committee member _____ Community service project _____ Computer, database, Web site _____ Fundraising/Corporate Sponsorship _____ Helping put on a PMN Course _____ New member orientation & recognition _____ Writing and sending a press release _____ Use of my home or office for a meeting I've served as a leader in these nonprofit organizations in recent years: Please return in the envelope provided, or fax or email. Thank you! 8
  9. 9. Sample Three Hour Orientation/Event An afternoon Orientation featuring the WCR Web site Member Center. Time of event: 4-7 p.m. Place: Hold at a special location. Ask a member with a great house to "donate their home" for this event. Invite new and current members. List of jobs and actions: Host Member Center Expert(s) Greeters Presenter - have this person do a short presentation or two depending on the program format you use - talk about WCR and the benefits, upcoming events, special programs, etc. Prepare and distribute flyers or invitations Callers to invite new members personally in addition to flyers, invitation, e-mail, etc. Reservation list preparation Make new member stickers, committee chair and project chair stickers or badges Committee describers Project describers Take photos for publications, web site, publicity, etc. 3:00 p.m. Your volunteers arrive and set up. Set up the computer and login onto the WCR Web site at Set up an "Information" table with New Member packets, brochures, committee lists, recent newsletters, chapter rosters with their names already added, etc. If the event is sponsored, set up sponsor table 4:00 p.m. Greeters are at the doors to meet and greet everyone as they enter the room. Give new members stickers or buttons that shows they are New Members. Offer Refreshments. Take them to the "information" Table. Take them to the Computer area for the Member Center demo. Show them how to update their Member Expertise Profile and to use the Referral Center. Download from Chapter Tools, customize and present the Member Expertise and Referral Center PowerPoint. Have Committee Chairs and project coordinators wear stickers with their committee or project name. Have a form ready for them to sign up for committees or projects. If you are using a Member Preferences Questionnaire, have it there with plenty of pens and a table for members to sit and fill them out on the spot. 9
  10. 10. Continue networking. Have several members be responsible for insuring that new members are being greeted, introduced to members and included in conversations. 7:00 p.m. Don't forget to get evaluations from everyone. Have evaluations tied to a drawing Sample Short 20-30 minute Orientation Hold just before or after your regular meeting each month. Hold quarterly at convenient time and location. Have a Web site? Put new Member Orientation Information online. 1. Welcome 2. Handout out complete New Member Packets 3. Go over contents of Packet 4. Brief "hellos and please join us " from committee and project chairs 5. Q/A from new Members 6. Fill out Member Preferences Questionnaire or sign up form 7. Announce upcoming events, next program or speaker 8. Adjourn 10
  11. 11. Recruitment Venues & More One of Women's Council’s strategic goals is to be a magnet for career-focused REALTORS® with diverse backgrounds and high levels of professionalism. Use this list of ideas, which was created by the Member Network Strategic Forum, to identify and recruit successful REALTOR® members: • Use testimonials from successful Women’s Council members. • Promote concept that involvement in WCR leads to business development opportunities. • Join local board committees and “promote” Women’s Council. • Take the Board officers to lunch to discuss joint opportunities and to thank for their support. • Highlight achievement of successful members in REALTOR® community. • Have affiliates bring REALTORS® that they are doing multiple closings with. • Recruit at PMN and other designation courses. • Recruit influential brokers. • Invite top agents to speak at the chapter—and then personally recruit them. • Sponsor education programs with the Board or other organizations. • Offer education with CE for members. • Advertise Women’s Council programs in local Board publications. • If other Boards in the area, find out who their top producers are and contact personally. • Make sure that ALL the programs are high quality because career focused professionals believe in education. • Have a WCR Ambassador at each company to identify “talent” for chapter membership. • Have WCR membership value as an Agenda item at office meetings. • If chapter has a Web site, they MUST keep it updated with innovative programs and current meeting information. • Elevate the profile of the chapter by involving community leaders as speakers and members. • Welcome all guests/non members who attend programs and personally follow up when appropriate with invitation to join. • Raise the chapter profile by community involvement in Community Development programs and thru RPAC with the local Board. • Attend Sales meetings for brokers. • Have WCR “ambassadors” attend all tours. • Hold joint events with other REALTOR® groups (CRS, CRB, etc). • Have a blockbuster can’t miss program that is open to members only. • Social opportunities are important but must plan to network with non members. 11
  12. 12. Ice Breaker Ideas Use Ice Breakers to develop personal skills, build relationships and have fun. Be sure to communicate the benefit or value they received from participating in the exercise. Member Bingo - use prior to the meeting during networking time Prepare Bingo squares as in the Bingo board game. Put into each square some information about a member i.e., born in Alaska, has 20 children, speaks Spanish, PMN, etc. As members come into the room, give them a Bingo Sheet and tell them to "find" the member who matches the description in each square and have him/her initial the square that matches. They'll need to ask questions of the other members/guests to accomplish this. Ask who has the most squares initialed when the meeting is called to order. Value Received: Meet other members - and thereby develop relationships that will help them with future real estate transactions and perhaps friendships. Moves the member outside their comfort zone to meet new people and gain self-confidence. Famous Characters - use prior to the start of meeting during networking time Prepare sticky notes with the names of famous people on them prior to the meeting. Put a sticky note on the back of each person as they sign in at the meeting. Tell them to ask questions of the other members/guests until they guess the name of the famous person on their back. When they guess the name of their famous person, they move the sticky note to their shoulder. Game is finished when all sticky notes are moved to shoulder Value Received: Meet other members - thereby starting a relationship that will help them with future real estate transactions and perhaps friendships. Moves participants a little bit outside their comfort zone while having fun. Table Assignment with Colored Balloons and Dots - use during the meeting Buy colored balloons so that you have a different color balloon on each table- i.e., red, blue, yellow, green - and colored dots to match the balloon color Put colored dots on nametags to match the balloon colors for the number of members/guests that you have sitting at each table. When members sign in, give them a nametag with a colored dot on it and tell them to find a table with that color balloon on it. Don't separate member and guest from each other - assign them to the same table. Value Received: Moves members outside their comfort zone so they will sit with different people than those who work in their office. Meet other members/guests who they do not know or don't 12
  13. 13. know very well - and thereby develop relationships that will help further real estate transactions and perhaps another friendship. Introductions - use during the meeting Give instructions to interview the person to their left and find out something about them. Give them 5 minutes to do this. They will then stand up and introduce the member that they have just interviewed. Possible Interview Topics: What did you do prior to real estate? What is your favorite color and why? What is your "Trade" secret to success? What is something that no one knows about you? Topics are unlimited. Time the interview and then bring the meeting back to order. Have the interviewer introduce the person they have interviewed. The leader of this exercise may want to go first to give the members an example of an introduction. Have everyone do an introduction if you have a small number of members or pick a couple of people at each table. Value Received: Builds confidence by getting up in front of people to do a brief introduction in a nurturing environment. Get to know people better and develop business relationships and friendships. 13
  14. 14. Sample Retention Letter - copy and paste into a Word document or as an email message and customize for your chapter (Date) (Member name) (Member address) (City, State Zip) Dear (Name): Did we goof? Our records show that you have not renewed your membership in the (Chapter name) Chapter of WCR. Did our renewal notice get lost? Did you forget to mail it back? Did we do something to disappoint you? Whatever the case, we'd like to know what happened. Just jot it down on the back of this letter - we'll promptly get back to you. A pre-addressed envelope is enclosed for your response. If you'd like to renew now, it's easy! Just give us your instructions on the enclosed Quick Renewal Form and return it with your check or credit card information. I look forward to welcoming you back to the (Chapter name) Chapter. If you would like to discuss anything, please feel free to call me at (phone number). Best regards, (Personally signed) (President name) ( President (Chapter name) WCR Chapter 14
  15. 15. Sample Dropped Member Questionnaire - copy and paste into a Word document or an email message and customize for your chapter (Chapter name) Chapter Membership Questionnaire It is important for us to learn why you dropped your membership and what we can do to improve our services. Please take the time to complete this short survey and mail it back in the pre- addressed envelope provided. ( ) There has been an error; I paid my dues on __________. Please call me after you have followed up on my renewal. ( ) Please reinstate my membership. Enclosed is my check for $_______. I am resigning my membership for the following reasons: ( ) I am retired. I am Dissatisfied with: ( ) State, regional or national meetings ( ) Local Chapter programs ( ) Networking opportunities ( ) Services/benefits offered by local Chapter ( ) Attention/responsiveness from local Chapter ( ) Services/benefits offered by national WCR ( ) Attention/responsiveness from national WCR Other ( ) Too busy to participate ( ) Professional needs met by other organizations Please include additional comments and suggestions: Thank you for your time! If you have any questions, please call or contact (VPM name), our Vice President of Membership, at (phone number and e-mail). 15