Re: Getting New Members to Make a Commitment
From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 06:24:25 -0700 (PDT)
We are a 24 unit community that moved in in 2000. We had various incentives in place that I think were VERY effective. I've copied our old Membership Incentives agreement below.

We had a pretty strange thing happen a year or two before move in. We had been getting about 1 new member every few months or so with a whole bunch of associate members (no commitment) waiting to make their decision. For whatever reason, all of the sudden a wave of urgency swept through the associate members as they realized that there were perhaps a dozen pretty serious associate members and only 9 member spots left. The urgency turned to panic and the associate members stampeded. That is, they all scrambled to complete their final membership requirements and as project manager I had to scramble to create guidelines to fairly queue up the stampeding associate members. As it turned out we got 10 new member households in 10 days. We sold out and started a waiting list. The family that went on the waiting list was very disappointed, but after just a little while, they too got in because one of our members dropped out.

So, keep the faith. Strange things happen. Another lesson to be learned is that even after you're sold out, keep on selling. You can expect maybe 20% drop out before you actually move in.

Good luck and keep after it.  It's worth it.

BTW, we required a $6000 nonrefundable deposit to become a member.



Membership Incentives are offered for a number of reasons:
To reward Members that join early for the high level of risk inherent in the development project during the initial phases. To reward Members that join early for the use of their money for a longer period of time. If it wasn’t paid to HC, it could be earning interest somewhere else. To reward Members that join early for the extra work that they put in at the beginning. To encourage Members to sign up early, especially at critical points in the development process. Our Membership Threshold Goals must be met for us to move ahead with development.

The order in which households become Members is the order in which they will get to choose lots.

To avoid any misunderstanding, it should be understood that lots will be priced differently depending on their relative market values (views, trees, topography, etc.). These prices will be determined before lots are chosen.

Equity Credits are awarded to Members based on when they join during the development project. A Member household that joins before the following development milestones and is current in their stock purchase payments receives the following Equity Credit:
Site Control (under contract for land)  May 22, 1997            $5000
Land Purchase   May 22, 1998            $3000
Preliminary Plat Approval               December 21, 1998               $2000
Beginning of Construction               August 12, 1999         $1000

So a Member household that joined after May 22, 1997, but before May 22, 1998 and is current with its payments would receive a $3000 discount off the price of their lot. If that Member selects a $54,000 lot, they would only pay $51,000 for the lot. The credits are used at the time of final lot purchase.

Mac Thomson

Heartwood Cohousing
Southwest Colorado

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
      - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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