Rymer says Morrison's referral rate is 19.8% (new-home marketing consultants report that the national average is 6% to 7%). The builder's formula for boosting referrals is simple: make current customers happy and they'll bring in future customers. All buyers get a "Little Purple Book" to guide them through the home building process from foundation to rooftop, and from financing to the builder's unusually long two-year warranty.
Morrison doesn't have a formalized referral program, nor do company executives believe in paying cash incentives, says Rymer. But referrals are encouraged, through "Share Your Satisfaction" cards in sales offices that urge home buyers to "share it with someone they know" if they're happy with a Morrison home; sales agents who are trained to ask for referrals early in the buying process, and letters from division presidents asking recent buyers to spread the word about Morrison.
One recent buyer, Doreen Gottschalk, called in her mother, Judy, and brother, Robert, for advice about her prospective purchase. All three ended up buying homes from Morrison. Doreen also referred two co-workers who later bought houses.
"They made home buying easy and made me a part of the building process," says Doreen.
Morrison Homes builds in Florida, Texas, California and Arizona as well as the Atlanta area.