Hosting a seminar for first-time homebuyers can be a great way to establish yourself as a knowledgeable local real estate pro, as well as drum up leads and new clients.
Best of all? Those clients come with serious potential. Only on their first home purchase, there’s ample room to educate, impress, and make an impact, ensuring they work with you time and time again over the next few decades.
Are you thinking of hosting a first-time buyer seminar to connect with up-and-coming clients in your area? Here are some tips that can help:
Find the right partners.
The right partners can add value to your event as well as expand your reach when marketing it. Think about bringing a local lender, home inspector, or title agent into the mix and have them present a short discussion on their area of expertise. An inspector can go into the importance of home inspections, how it can save them money and hassle, and what is covered on the inspection, while a lender can go into getting pre-approved, credit qualifications, rates, and more.
Here are some partners you may want to consider bringing in:
- Local lenders, loan officers, and credit unions
- Insurance agents
- Home inspectors
- Title companies
- Home improvement and furniture stores
- Interior designers and decorators
You might also look into partners who can offer food, drinks, or a great venue for your event. The more you can make your event worth those buyers’ while, the better.
Real estate is incredibly local, and home prices, inventory, agents, and everything about the home buying experience varies from city to city. Embrace this, and try to truly localize your event. Focus on market-level education and bring in local pros that can help your first-time buying audience on their journey. Get specific and show them just how much of an expert you are in your market.
Give them take-home materials.
Buying a home can be overwhelming — even for experienced buyers. To ease the process for your first-timers, put together a packet of must-have info to take home. Be sure to include checklists, step-by-step processes, and contact info for you and any other partners you have at the event. You want to make the home buying experience as easy to understand as possible for these newbies.
Focus on the education.
Your seminar shouldn’t be full of sales pitches or marketing call-outs. Instead, focus on educating your first-time buyers, and the rest will follow. Use the time to show your visitors that you’re a knowledgeable, trustworthy expert, and they’ll naturally want to leverage your services once they’re ready to buy a home.
Choose your date, time, and location carefully.
You want to maximize attendance, so don’t host your seminar during the holidays or at 8 p.m. on a weeknight. For the most part, you’re dealing with customers that have full-time jobs, families, school, and other obligations. If they’d most likely shop for a home on the weekend, then they’d most likely want to be educated about the process on the weekend, too. Shoot for a Saturday morning or afternoon, and allow 2 to 3 hours. You want to be thorough, but not overwhelming.
Target your promotions.
Not all seminar attendees are created equal. One who is planning to buy in 4 or 5 years isn’t nearly as valuable as one who has already started touring open houses, so make sure you focus your efforts on the highest-potential audiences whenever possible. Reach out to lenders and have them promote your seminar with recently pre-approved buyers, and send out email invitations to your pre-qualified leads and existing clients. You can also run Facebook and Twitter ads on the event, but just make sure to target by age, location, and demographic to be sure you’re hitting the groups with the most potential.
Know your limit.
You, of course, want as many people to attend your seminar as possible, but don’t over-promote or over-extend. Your audience needs to feel like they have your attention, that they can ask questions if necessary, and that they’re getting the hands-on guidance they need to understand home buying. You also want to make sure there’s plenty of seating and refreshments for all your visitors to feel comfortable.
Test it all out first.
There’s nothing worse than a technical glitch bringing down your whole presentation. Make sure you have a “rehearsal” of sorts a few days before your event to prevent any undue difficulties. Test out the teleprompter, the microphone, the projector, the DVD player, and any other tech you’re going to use along the way. If any other partners will be presenting, try to have them in for rehearsal as well.
And don’t forget, be sure to have a method for capturing your visitors’ info when they arrive. Whether it’s via a simple sign-in sheet or an assistant with a clipboard at the exit, getting their phone number, email address, and other contact info is crucial if you’re going to help them buy a house. Make sure to have business cards available as well.