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I was meeting with a Realtor today to discuss blogging.  We were discussing low-cost marketing ideas to gain new customers and got onto the topic of public speaking engagements.

Now, I’m not necessarily talking big conferences, but more intimate discussions.  He has conducted several first time buyer classes with an average size of the class being less than 10, but he gets at least one transaction out of it.  He holds it in his company conference room and provides minimal refreshments.  The costs are less than $15 and the return is easily in the thousands.

This seems like a no-brainer to me.  In my day job, I teach several classes a week and have seen several customers use our company due to the education I have provided.  But I don’t see too many real estate classes in my area for consumers.  Maybe I’m isolated, but maybe not.  And the classes I do see are almost always first time buyer classes.  Why not get your preferred lender in to discuss loan types and terms?  Or an appraiser to come in to discuss improvements that will improve the value?  Or a home stager to give some quick tips?  You get the idea.

Again, marketing costs would be extremely low since many of these people you may bring in would probably do it for free in order to get the exposure.  The Realtor I met with today also uses a no-pressure sales technique – he leaves cards by the door and lets people know that if they want more information, they have to give him their contact information. Yet he still gets business without being pushy.

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I do understand that some people can sell incredibly well one-on-one or very small groups, but when you get in front of a group and behind a podium, it all falls apart.  I am very fortunate, when I was in college I became a SCUBA instructor.  My instructor one night told me I had to conduct the dive physics lecture.  ACK!  I barely remembered the concepts, but I prepped, went in, got grilled by the students and came out okay.  I moved on to a level where I was actually teaching others to teach and now I have no problem getting up in front of large groups discussing a variety of topics.

If that’s not you, I strongly recommend doing something about it.  If you can talk to thousands of people via your blog, shouldn’t you be able to talk to a room of a hundred?  I agree that real estate is all about face to face connections and education is a great tool to connect with people and prove your expertise.

Written By

Nick runs a new media marketing consulting company helping real estate professionals learn how to implement new media tools into their marketing arsenal. He frequently gives presentations on generational marketing, green marketing and advanced online promotion. Nick is active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Mariana Wagner

    March 17, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I love talking to people. I am currently working on being internationally certified to train for Keller Williams and will be on a panel for the 2008 Colorado REALTOR Rally on 3/19. I love sitting on panels and being up front, training agents. The larger the group, the better, IMHO.

  2. florida remax realty

    March 18, 2008 at 5:16 am

    I love this idea and it can help so many with questions. Should I sell now, what to do to prepare for a sale. For the buyer the lending process, finding a realtor, today’s market. All of these would be so helpful I wish they had it when I first bought me realtor lead me thru the process but being informed is the best way and why not classes. I think the lending and how to make your house stand out for sale in buyers market will be the best attended sessions.

  3. Gatlinburg Real Estate

    March 18, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Talking to a group is probably the #1 fear for most people. I have gotten much better and much more comfortable at doing it with small groups. 5 years ago I would have puked right where I stand at the thought of having to do any public speaking. It has gotten better with age and definately helps when you are confident in what you are talking about. Good tips on providing different speakers to discuss the many facets of real estate Nick.

  4. Toby & Sadie

    March 18, 2008 at 9:27 am

    The “buyer’s seminars” have run their course in Delaware. Lots of agents just used them as an “about me” time and didnt’ get a good response.

    I’m working on a “seller’s seminar” for next month that is looking pretty interesting. We have a home stager, a mortgage guy to talk about stream-lined 203b loans, a new home builder, title company, and myself. It should be interesting.

  5. Bill Lublin

    March 18, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Nick; You might want to check out the Library at realtor.org – There is some terrific material you can use that is not a “look at me” type of program, but a good checklist to use for any sort of consumer seminar. Our agents are doing buyer and seller seminars on a regular basis, and while the number of attendees vary, people are still interested in good information about buying and selling , and seem to react well to the knowledgable professional who presents that material to them in an objective manner

  6. Nick

    March 18, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    @mizzle – I am actually honestly amazed at the Realtors I see at the conventions I attend, it definitely takes some guts to get up in front of huge groups of attendees and frequently say things that push many outside their comfort boundaries. Do you do classes for consumers as well?

    Gatlinburg – That’s great that you’ve forced yourself to keep going instead of simply giving up. One of the parts of my life that helped the most was when I assisted in teaching people to actually teach SCUBA. We had to score our students on effectiveness, use of crutch words and general presentation skills. When you start teaching others, you see your own mistakes even more clearly and have to clean up your act.

    Toby & Sadie – if you don’t mind my asking, are you having to pay any of the outside pro’s a dime to be there?

    Bill – I’ve never been too good at navigating Realtor.org, a little help? Or do I have to be a NAR member to access the information you’re speaking of? I’m thinking of a Home Depot-like model where they have classes a few times a week on a variety of topics. Maybe I don’t care about tile, but I want to replace my sink. In Real Estate, that could be classes on how to Feng Shui your house, green living or basic landscaping. Same type of idea, if the Realtor isn’t the pro on these things, get a pro to come in to teach, but it still gives face time for the Realtor and the office.

  7. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Nick, this is a great concept we’ve begun pioneering here in Austin and you know what? It sure is a lot like a blog but in person! If you have a great partnership with someone like you in Title (preferrably the marketing department), a progressive new-fashioned Realtor, and a mortgage guy or gal, the process becomes much more fluid.

    Keep the great ideas coming! 🙂

  8. Matthew Rathbun

    March 18, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Great ideas, Nick. I will say, there are some very well written bloggers who aren’t that comfortable in front of people. I think a good place for these folks to start is in small, short sessions talking about what they are comfortable with.

    With the information that is all over the internet, agents could get a good response, if they began doing a better job of getting in front of the consumer. Most buyers use the first agent they encounter…

    Partnerships that provide a variety of information is a great place to start!

  9. Bill Lublin

    March 18, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Nick – Realtor.org is the resource for members of NAR, but you can get some of those design and architecture ideas from REALTOR Magazines web site – the direct link would be https://www.realtor.org/rmohome.nsf/pages/rmodesign and should not require a login (I tried it from my home computer, and unless I had a cookie I’m unaware of from an earlier login I think you;re good to go) And I have to agree with your analysis of how different related experts can work for would work for a REALTOR peoviding an educational opportunity for home buyers or sellers – Good ideas – In fact they might even have a tech person their to talk about smart homes and wireless networks 🙂
    Nick: I forgot to mention what a great link the toastmasters is for people without speaking experience- having taught and lectured and presneted in a variety of venues over the years, I tend to forget that people might need some practice the first time – and that seems like a great place to get that help – well done sir!

  10. Australian Toastmasters Champion

    March 21, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Speaking is one of the best ways to market yourself. the main reason why it is so good is that most people are afraid of public speaking. Therefore when they see someone speaking, the audience automatically believes that they are an expert! Therefore they must know what they are on about!

    Cheers

    Darren Fleming
    Australia’s Public Speaking Coach
    https://www.executivespeaking.com.au

  11. Martin Ng

    February 11, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Excellent business idea, and a great way to become familiar with public speaking, doing it for such small groups. In classrooms you don’t need a mic and can’t hear your own echo – much less intimidating.

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