Why conduct a home buying seminar — (the benefits)
Seminars are a perfect complement to your personal marketing program. They're educational, popular and much more personal than any marketing piece. They can also position you as an authority, which can easily lead to future clients.
And who knows, you might even have some fun and meet some nice people along the way!
Where to conduct a home buying seminar — (the venue)
One of the first steps in conducting your seminar is to identify a location. When scouting out the location, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
1. What will the venue cost?
Sometimes you can find an excellent location at no cost. If you happen to know the principal of your local high school, for example, you may be able to use the school's auditorium for an evening seminar. Otherwise you'll have to rent some space. But the potential gains far outweigh the small price you'll pay!
2. Can the venue support your presentation?
When you've identified a possible venue for your presentation, visit the site to see what it offers. Does it have adequate parking? Does it have a PowerPoint projector (if you need one)? How many people can it hold? Is it conveniently located? (Giving directions will be much easier if it is. )
3. Can the venue support “repeat performances”?
I recommend making your home buying seminar a regular event. Word spreads over time, and your audience will likely grow as well. Of course, you might have a “standing room only” situation on your first performance. It happens.
Following a regular schedule can also help with PR. Imagine the favorable exposure you would get if your local news did a spot on you for their real estate or home-buying segment! Conduct regular sessions and send press releases to the media, and that's exactly what could happen.
Some places you might look into as a possible venue:
- The meeting room at your local library
- Local YMCA or community center
- High school or college auditorium
- The meeting room of a nearby restaurant or hotel
How to conduct a home buying seminar — (logistics and delivery)
It's usually best to follow a logical timeline of the home-buying process. This makes the presentation easier to follow.
Also, if you have co-presenters (a mortgage professional, for instance, or maybe a home inspector), be sure to group all of their slides together. That way, each presenter can take his or her turn and be done. The overall presentation will be more organized that way.
Deliver your presentation consistently, using your slides as cue cards. Don't let questions throw you off track. Answer questions briefly and politely, and then remind everyone about the Q&A period that will follow the presentation.
I recommend having a opening and closing script that you follow pretty closely, and then improvising through the middle. The reasons for this are two-fold:
First, the opening and closing are important parts of your presentation. Memorizing a short script will help you remember everything you want to say.
Secondly, improvising the middle part will make your delivery more natural and keep you from having to memorize large amounts of information. Remember, your slides will serve as cue cards to help you stay on track for the bulk of the presentation.
Promoting Your Seminar
How do you get the word out about your seminar? In short — any way you can. Do you have a farming area that you send marketing mailers to? Well that's a great place to start.
Some other promotional ideas:
- Promote the seminar on your website.
- Add a blurb about it after your email signature block.
- Mention it to clients (they're likely to have friends or colleagues in the market to buy).
- If you have co-presenters, share the marketing. Multiple channels are better than one!
- Mention it to former clients still in the area (an excellent word-of-mouth channel).
- Announce it to the media in the form of a press release.
- Conduct direct mail campaigns to apartment complexes* in your area.
*Apartment complexes are a great place to market your seminar for two reasons:
First, you can select apartment complexes by their average monthly rent, meaning you can loosely qualify the recipients based on income.
Secondly, most people living in apartments would love nothing more than owning a house; but many of them falsely assume that home ownership is beyond their reach. Show them otherwise!
Paper clip a business card to each of the audience handouts. Place a handout (and business card) in every seat before people arrive.
Limit the attendance. This will help you strengthen your call to action when promoting the seminar: “Seating is limited, so sign up today!” It will also help you keep the Q&A session to a reasonable length, and will prevent scenarios where 40 people are vying for 20 seats.
Have an RSVP plan in place; accommodate as many people as you can, but don't overdo it. You can always put people on the list for your next seminar!
Arrive early. Having to rush is no way to start your seminar — it will set the pace for the rest of the presentation. Set up early and have everything in place ten minutes before the advertised start time. Also, if people show up early, it will give you a little chit-chat time with them (and clients can come from that).
That's all there is to it. Now get out there and wow them!
About the Author
Brandon Cornett has worked as a copywriter and advertising manager within the direct mail industry. He now dedicates his time to helping real estate professionals market themselves effectively. His home-buying seminar kit is available at: http://www.ArmingYourFarming.com/products