“Congratulations, ma’am! We’re presenting you a chance to visit ____ plus free accommodation at our hotel. Kindly come to our office so we can present your incentive travel certificate…”

Have you ever received such a phone call? A lot of people have, and most of them say that it’s all thanks to trips to the mall and acquiescing to the demands of sales reps roaming around, aiming to collect people’s phone numbers. The call comes out of the blue and the opening spiel is very enticing. Seriously, who wouldn't want incentive travel certificates?

But, of course, there’s a catch.

The reality here is that it’s a powerful marketing tactic that a lot of real estate development companies are using. When you give them your phone number, they reward you with a travel experience — on them. However, before you get your incentive travel certificate to present at the accommodation they have picked, you need to sit through, say, an hour or two with one of their sales representatives. The reps will pitch a property to you in such a convincing manner that even if they repeatedly say you don’t need to buy anything from them or to commit to the project they have, you may just walk away afterwards with a lease on a new luxurious condominium unit, or a new property to your name. As for the incentive travel certificates, they really are — if you end up leasing a property — gifts with a purchase.

It’s not a bad tactic because if you’re not keen on buying, they will still give you the incentive travel certificate since you gave them a few hours of your day. You can travel and enjoy absolutely free accommodation at the property they've set up. It really is all up to you if you’ll get swayed by their carefully crafted marketing spiel or not.

The opportunity to relax and see a new place is something that so many people want, and to get it for free? Most would be more than willing to have someone talk to them about an investment that they had never before entertained in their mind. This is why incentive travel certificates are becoming popular marketing tools for real estate development companies.

So, don’t be surprised when you get a call from a particular office one day, telling you that they have wonderful news for you because you have been picked for free travel. Don’t shut them down, even if you know it’s a marketing strategy to lure you into investing, because all you really need to do is to give them the time of day. Buy, lease, or hold off — whatever your decision may be, you will still get the incentive travel certificate to use for a quick getaway.

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