For first-time buyers, the homebuying process is fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. Today’s homebuyers are looking for education and guidance to help them prepare for one of life’s biggest decisions. While many people turn to the internet for advice, there’s no replacement for hands-on training from a trusted pro. And that can be you.
Hosting a live seminar offers a one-stop-shop for prospective clients to learn about the homebuying process, while providing a space for them to get questions answered. This not only instills confidence in their buying decisions but also positions you as an expert that they’ll want to work with. Best of all, it’s a great way to drum up new business, since the people attending your event will be qualified leads who have an intent to buy.
Why Host a Homebuying Seminar?
How to Host a Successful Seminar
1. Team up with a partner or sponsor.
The more expertise you can offer, the better. Bring in local pros who can educate the audience on other parts of the homebuying process, such as home financing. This will help you present a unified front and show clients that they’ll be in good hands throughout every stage of the process. Bonus: Finding a sponsor who’s willing to share some of the event cost will ease your financial burden while providing them with extra brand exposure.
2. Narrow down your topic.
There’s a lot of information you could cover in a first-time buyer seminar, so home in on the main points you want the audience to walk away with. Remember, you’re asking people to take time out of their schedules to attend, so make sure the information is valuable and not something they could just find online. For instance, you could include a market update where you provide insights into local market trends and show off your expertise. Just be sure not to turn it into a sales pitch. Keep the focus on educating others, rather than promoting your services.
3. Speak their language.
You live and breathe your business every day, but the people attending your seminar don't, so you may need to change your vocabulary. Avoid using industry jargon or terms that will leave your audience guessing. Break your content down in a way that’s clear and easy to digest. Make sure you practice your presentation and prepare handouts and visuals that enhance your presentation. As you think about how to promote your event, position it in a way that resonates with the audience’s wants and needs. For example, "What they didn't teach you in school about buying a home" might attract more attendees than "Homebuying Essentials Workshop."
4. Choose the right time and location.
To maximize attendance, aim to schedule the event outside of typical business hours, such as on a weeknight or weekend morning. If your office has enough space to hold a large group, host the event there, or ask your event sponsor if you can reserve a conference room in their office. You could also check with local libraries or community centers or reserve a meeting space at a hotel. If you prefer a more laid-back vibe, like a local coffee shop, just make sure it’s a dedicated space where you can present and take questions without interruption. (You don’t want to be yelling over blenders and coffee grinders.)
5. Spread the word.
Even with the best presentation and location, your event is only as effective as your turnout. Get the word out by sending invites to your targeted email and direct mail lists. Encourage past customers to tell their friends and family. Ask your mortgage partner to share the event with pre-qualified borrowers. Promote it on social media (purchase sponsored ads if you need more exposure) and neighborhood sites like NextDoor. In addition, hang posters at local businesses, and be sure to feature the event on your website. Finally, collect RSVPs through sites like Meetup.com or Eventbrite so you know who's planning to attend.
6. Create a follow-up plan.
Now comes the most important part. Everyone who attends your event is a potential lead, so make sure you capture each participant’s contact information. You can do this when people register via an online signup form, and also have a sign-in sheet at the front door for walk-ins. Following the event, send an email to everyone to thank them for attending, and include a survey to gather their feedback. In the survey, include lead-qualifying questions to help you determine which contacts are ready to buy and which relationships need further nurturing. If a prospect seems ready to move forward, reach out with a phone call to discuss next steps. For those that aren’t, assign them to an automated lead-nurturing campaign, where you can develop your relationship over time by sending out informative and educational materials on a regular basis.