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. 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
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.
3. • If you attend chapter meetings - we will help you acquire new skills to meet the changing
• 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
• 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
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
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.
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
• List of Meeting dates and Programs for the Year
• Recent Issue of Newsletter
• Standing Rules
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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: ____________________________________
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.)
_____ 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): ________________________
_____ 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
_____ Desktop publishing, graphic design
_____ Editing articles for newsletters
_____ Helping with newsletter mailings
_____ Maintaining membership database, printing labels, mailing renewals
_____ 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!
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
Invite new and current members.
List of jobs and actions:
Member Center Expert(s)
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
Take photos for publications, web site, publicity, etc.
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
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.
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
Have Committee Chairs and project coordinators wear stickers with their committee or project
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.
10. Continue networking. Have several members be responsible for insuring that new members are
being greeted, introduced to members and included in conversations.
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.
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
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
• Promote concept that involvement in WCR leads to
business development opportunities.
• Join local board committees and “promote” Women’s
• Take the Board officers to lunch to discuss joint opportunities and to thank for their
• 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
• 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.
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
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
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
14. Sample Retention Letter - copy and paste into a Word document or as an email message and
customize for your chapter
(Member name) (Member address) (City, State Zip)
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).
(Chapter name) WCR Chapter
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
( ) 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).