A Jackpot of Customer Referrals

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Luring prospects into sales offices costs builders and developers big marketing bucks, and many overlook their best and most economical resource: their customers.

October 01, 2003
Homeowner Kelly Clodfelter tries her hand at the party's slot machines.

 

Luring prospects into sales offices costs builders and developers big marketing bucks, and many overlook their best and most economical resource: their customers. To cultivate referrals from its homeowners in three Jacksonville, Fla.-area communities, LandMar Group, which develops residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in the Southeast, recently ran a four-month program that culminated in a "Viva Las Vegas" party. More than 60 homeowners attended.

"We like to let our residents know how much we appreciate them spreading the good news about our communities," says Jim Doyle, vice president of marketing. "Our customer satisfaction is the most flattering form of advertising."

From April through July 2003, any homeowner whose referral resulted in a visit to a LandMar community received a certificate worth $10,000 in poker chips to be used at the party. Partygoers saw "Elvis" perform and exchanged their winnings for raffle tickets. The raffle's grand prize: a trip to Las Vegas.

The referral program resulted in 73 new visitors to LandMar communities. "Our residents are our best salespeople," Doyle says.

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