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.
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.