Tonya Eberhart is the founder of personal branding firm BrandFace, LLC. Michael Carr is a former BrandFace client-turned-co-author and partner. They focus on helping real estate professionals become the face of their business and a star in their market. Learn more at BrandFaceRealEstate.com.
Use Seminars to Attract More Qualified Clients
Hosting real estate classes gets you in front of prospects, but you have to choose the right topic to get the right client.
March 23, 2016
Hosting a home buyer or home seller seminar or teaching a real estate class in your community can kill two birds with one stone: It’s a great way to get in front of a room full of prospects while also branding yourself as a local real estate expert. But what are the chances that the people who show up will convert into clients?
Though your goal is to fill the seats at your seminar, remember that you want to fill them with qualified prospects. You’re not trying to appeal to thousands of people who want a free lesson on the basics of real estate. If that’s your audience, you’ll end up with a bunch of people who could be anywhere in the real estate process — and nowhere near making a decision to use your services. You should be seeking the type of crowd that will bring a few ideal customers who are in the market to make a decision now.
How do you attract that kind of audience? Your seminars are an extension of your marketing, and what we know about marketing is that you have to target a specific audience. So with your seminars, the more specific your topic and content is, the more you can target a particular audience — one that’s ready to make a move.
Most agents who have used seminars as a marketing tool promote broad-range topics such as a “First-time Buyers Seminar.” The target audience for that kind of topic is anyone who fits the bill of a first-time buyer, even if they plan on waiting years to make their first real estate purchase. The topic lacks a specific focus, so its effect is lackluster at best. But let’s say you specialize in lakefront properties: “How to Find the Perfect Lakefront Home” is a seminar topic that speaks directly to your desired audience and will likely attract consumers who are already in that particular market right now.
As you position your seminar around a specific topic, think about three things:
- What specific knowledge is your ideal customer seeking, and what knowledge do you possess that they might not even know they need?
- What is your point of differentiation? What do you know or do that sets you apart from every other agent in your market?
- What’s topical in your community right now, and how is it applicable to your ideal customer?
When you define these things, your signature speaking topic should become clear and more poignant. Let’s take a look at how we can modify general topics to become much more compelling in order to draw in a more qualified audience. Here are some categories and specific topics to consider:
Be Specific About the Resources
Seminar topic: “How to Buy Your First Home With No Money Down Using a USDA Loan”
It’s no secret that credit scores are not what they used to be, and this applies to older home buyers as well as younger first-timers. New lending resources are an excellent means of helping someone purchase a home, and sharing your knowledge about this can be an extremely effective way to get new clients. For added value and an opportunity to convert attendees into clients faster, bring in a lending professional as your partner.
Be Specific About the Audience
Seminar topic: “First-time Home Buyer Seminar for Teachers”
Many people in your sphere of influence are involved in particular organizations or come from specific professional backgrounds, such as the local school system. Why not host a session specifically for teachers? While the real estate process may be the same for them as most other prospects, focusing specifically on teachers will make it much more meaningful to that audience and set the stage for referrals within their community. In most cases, you’ll have more business than you can handle in just one category if you do it well.
Be Specific About the Area
Seminar topic: “What You Need to Know When Buying a Home in a Golf Course Community”
When seeking a home, most buyers already know the areas they’d like to consider, especially when it comes to upscale living. Golf course communities and waterfront properties are usually near the top of this list. If you are knowledgeable about a specific neighborhood or community, use that expertise to help people learn about existing homes, new construction, sought-after lots, association fees, and rules and regulations. The more exclusive the area, the more the buyer prefers to work with someone who has clear and specific knowledge of that area.
Be Specific About the Property Type
Seminar topic: “What You Should Know About Downsizing to a Condo or Townhome”
Condos and townhomes are an excellent choice for many people who prefer certain community aspects, a wide array of amenities, and, of course, less maintenance and upkeep than a traditional home. For those seeking this choice for the first time, you can become a tremendous resource. This “downsizing” topic mostly applies to empty nesters and those entering retirement age, but you can adjust the topic to suit a different audience, such as young professionals who travel often and prefer a lifestyle of low-maintenance living.