Hosting a real estate webinar or seminar is one of the best lead generation techniques, but it’s one that most agents and brokers overlook. This is because of the time and planning that setting one up generally takes. However, the rewards of hosting a well-attended educational session can be immense since you know anyone attending has a strong enough interest in your topic to sit though your discussion. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering hosting an educational session.
Seminar vs. Webinar
The primary difference between a seminar and a webinar is whether it’s held online (a webinar) or in person (a seminar). Because seminars take place in person, it can be easier to make a personal connection and gauge your audience’s interest and engagement. Seminars also don’t require much technological know-how, just your classic sales techniques with some free information added in.
On the other hand, a webinar can have many people or just a few attend without affecting proceedings. You don’t have to worry about finding or renting space, setting up chairs, or brewing coffee for anyone but yourself. You can also invite guest speakers to join your webinar and present their topic from anywhere in the world. You may miss out on some of the relationship building that happens when you’re face to face with someone, however.
Real estate agents aren’t the only ones who earn business from real estate transactions. Builders, mortgage companies, movers, and home security companies are just a few of the people and industries who also benefit. Ask someone from one (or several) of these industries to team up with you to host your educational session. They can help with expenses as well as supply valuable information about what a home buyer or seller should expect to switch on their utilities, qualify for a mortgage, etc.
Before you approach a potential partner, think about what sort of things they may be able to share. You don’t want your educational session to turn into a sales pitch. You and your partners should make usefulness the first priority; if you do that, the leads will follow.
Promoting your educational session in the right place and with the right people is critical. You can’t convert leads that never materialize. Leverage past clients to spread the word with shareable social media posts and emails. Your partners should have a list of people they can invite to the session, and HOAs can help spread the word about seminars targeted toward homeowners. Other options include buying radio ads or leaving flyers around town at places like apartment complexes.
Create a landing page on your website with information about your session and a registration form. Once you collect someone’s information, be sure to send them follow-up emails reminding them there’s a week, day, and few hours until the session begins.
*Tip: Remember to collect your attendees’ contact information. Without it, you have no way to follow up and convert your leads.
Types of Educational Sessions:
Before you start advertising anything, you need to figure out who your target audience is. To do that, determine what type of leads you want. Do you want to connect with buyers? Sellers? Are you trying to reach more people who want to do both? Or are you looking for people in search of a vacation home or thinking about buying an investment property? Do you want to host a seminar for FSBOs? Go for it! Find tips and sample outlines to target various types of leads below.
First Time Buyer
First time buyers need a lot of guidance. Be the one to offer it to them and there’s a good chance they’ll want to work with you. Just remember to let your session guests know they aren’t obligated to work with you or your partners, but that you would be glad to help them find a home. Your first time buyer seminar or webinar could look something like this:
- Sign in/Welcome/Introduction
- Is buying a home right for you?
- Renting vs. buying
- Cost of homeownership
- How much can you afford?
- Are you ready to buy a home? (A mortgage partner could cover these topics)
- Different types of mortgage
- Qualifying for a mortgage
- What not to do before you close on your house
- The home buying process
- First time home buyer programs
- What to look for in a home
- The importance of homeowners insurance (another great topic for a partner)
In an ideal world, your FSBO session will convince attending homeowners to list their properties with you. However, you should build your session around helping them do it themselves. Be sure to give plenty of genuinely helpful advice and build your CTA around the idea that real estate is a tough business, so if they have any family or friends who don’t want to go it alone, please send them your way.
- Figuring out how much your home is worth
- Repairs/upgrades with the best ROI
- Staging basics
- Listing photo tips
- Listing and marketing your home
- Showing tips/working with the buyer’s agent
- How to determine if you have a legitimate offer
- Negotiating an offer/counter offer
- Closing on your home
- Liability issues (you could partner with an insurance agent for this)
People don’t always look for the same things in an investment property that they do for a home they’re planning to live in. Value and easy upkeep are typically higher on their list of must-have features than granite countertops or a certain number of square feet. Focus on helping attendees figure out how to spot a good buy, what they should expect from the transaction, and how to turn their investment into a profit.
- Why invest in real estate
- How buying an investment property is different than buying a home
- Down payment
- Property taxes
- How to finance your investment
- Single family vs. multi-family vs. townhouse/duplex
- How to identify a profitable investment
- Rental history
- What to do with your investment: flipping vs. renting
*Tip: Be sure to make a slideshow presentation for your attendees to follow along with. Check out our article on creating a custom theme in Google Slides here.
Turning Your Attendees into Clients
After spending a couple of hours in their company, whether online or in person, you should have had a chance to build rapport and a foundation of trust with your attendees. Now it’s time to start converting. Some people will be ready to work with you right away. Have a copy of your calendar with you so you can schedule a meeting or listing appointment for those leads as soon as possible.
Other attendees may still have steps to take before they’re ready to commit to a specific agent. Try taking polls throughout your session to determine what each attendee’s transaction timeline looks like. In a webinar format, have them type in their answers and keep a written record to refer back to. In a seminar, you may just have to remember or set aside a few minutes to go through it with each person and help them figure it out. Once you know when they’ll be transacting, you can set up an appropriate follow-up plan (this can be anything: phone calls, text messages, social media outreach, emails, direct mail). Keep in touch with each of your attendees, even the ones who may be farther from a transaction than they (or you) may have hoped.
You can also consider making branded parting gifts for your attendees. If you make it something they’ll actually keep around, they’ll have your contact info easily available for when they are ready to transact.
There you go! You’re ready to start planning your first educational session to generate leads. Another way to generate leads is by partnering with Homes.com. We have a wide range of marketing and advertising solutions that will help you reach local buyers and sellers. Contact us to find the best solution for your business!
Have you hosted a seminar or webinar before? What worked for you? What do you wish you’d done differently? Share your tips or advice in the comments below!