“Do you know anybody looking to buy or sell a home?”
This is the age-old question Realtors use to ask their network for referrals. After all, an agent’s sphere of influence accounts for over 60% of their business.
As a broker in Colorado, Andrew Batson sought a way to leverage his existing referral base and grow it rapidly. Not interested in cold calling or door knocking, he developed an innovative employee homeownership benefit program.
Andrew explains, “I knew that a number of my clients either owned small businesses or worked in human resources. These businesses needed benefits to attract new talent and keep their current employees happy. And I needed to grow my pool of potential buyers and sellers.”
So he put the two ideas together and YourHomeBenefit.com was born.
YourHomeBenefit is a brokerage-neutral portal web site that can be fully white-labeled for any employer and Realtor. Andrew points out, “Although any Realtor could put together an ‘incentive program’ for a local business, I found much more success in presenting the program as brokerage agnostic. Rather than showcasing my own brokerage or agents, YourHomeBenefit is purposely silent on the agent and focuses on the benefits to the employer and employee. This eliminates objections from the employer that doesn’t want to endorse one specific agent.”
Help a business owner you know offer value to their employees
Human resources directors and small business owners alike face the very real challenge of providing competitive benefits that prospective hires will enjoy, but that won’t add to the company’s expenses. According to SHRM, retention (72%) and recruiting (58%) were the top reasons for increasing benefits. And per Willis Towers Watson, 78% of workers would likely remain with their employer because of the benefits it offers.
Some provide free gym memberships. Some make discounts on technology available. Now with YourHomeBenefit, they can help their employees on the path to achieving their dream of homeownership. And unlike most benefits, there is no cost or administrative burden to the company.
“We’re a software development firm and it is very competitive to attract top talent,” said Jeff Schroeder, founder of Zing Studios. “I had worked with Andrew and his team before so when he introduced the YourHomeBenefit program, it was a no-brainer to offer this free homeownership benefit to my employees.”
The mechanics are fairly simple. YourHomeBenefit provides a personalized website to the employer. The agent that enrolls the employer continues to nurture that relationship and reach out to the employees.
When an employee uses the program, a YourHomeBenefit move coordinator receives the application and notifies the agent. If the employee is local, the agent will be introduced to the employee as the preferred local agent. For out of state employees, a referral is made. The agent agrees to credit .25% of the sales price to the Buyer as a closing cost credit/concession. For example, on a $350,000 sale, the agent would credit the buyer $875. The credit equates to around 9% of the agent’s gross commission and there are no other referral fees aside from a $200 processing fee to cover the move coordinator’s time.
Grow your sphere. Deepen relationships. Build trust.
Most agents know a handful of small business owners, managers or HR professionals. A program such as YourHomeBenefit allows those agents to leverage a single contact into dozens or hundreds of new prospects.
The YourHomeBenefit program isn’t just marketing automation. It should be used as a unique opportunity to make valuable, authentic connections with local home buyers and sellers. For example, after setting up the portal, the agent may host First Time Buyer seminars for employees. Agents should capitalize on these opportunities to connect with the community as a trusted advisor.
YourHomeBenefit can also be a source of referral income, connecting buyers and sellers to out-of-state agents. By enrolling a business, agents aren’t limited to local employees. Out of state offices can also benefit and the agent will profit from the referral fees as employees are referred to other trusted agents.
Now accepting a limited number of beta testers
Why open this up to other agents? While it’s true that Mr. Batson is expanding his own team nationally, YourHomeBenefit is just one of the tools he provides to his agents. You can read about how his team has created a niche in new home sales.
Andrew explains, “I found early on that cold calling businesses is not a successful way to grow this. We were more successful when leveraging our existing contacts, and to that extent, we really aren’t competing with other agents. Someday we may want to charge a small monthly fee, but for the foreseeable future, we just want to give this away to other agents and continue to improve the system based on their feedback.”
The platform really is a win-win-win. The employer has a tool to help recruit and retain employees. The employee is connected with a trusted agent — and saves money. And the agent creates a pipeline of contacts and value in the community.
Learn more and apply to be a YourHomeBenefit beta tester here.
Andrew Batson has been an innovator in Colorado’s real estate and mortgage scene for twenty-five years. In 2019, he is expanding his real estate team nationally. Interested agents can learn more at careers.yourwayhome.com. Beta testing the YourHomeBenefit program is open to agents from any brokerage.