You’ve heard the old adage: You’ve got to spend a little money to make a little money. If you find yourself in just the right spot in your real estate business to make some additional marketing investments, then consider event sponsorship for a local event.
So, what exactly is an event sponsorship? For those of you unfamiliar with the concept (and please skip this if you know this already), when you sign up as a sponsor for an event sponsorship, you are essentially paying for exposure to the event’s audience. The level of exposure you receive depends on how much you contribute.
You probably see running events, for example, such as the TCS New York City Marathon. As the title sponsor, TCS paid thousands and thousands (and thousands) of dollars to have their name next to one of the most popular and most advertised marathons in the world. Besides the more than 50,000 participants who will see TCS’ logo and name splashed across all the event collateral, paraphernalia, signage and more, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) more will see them on the website, all advertising, on televised programs…the list is endless. They also receive a whole collection of exclusive sponsor benefits as the title sponsor that other levels of sponsors don’t get to enjoy.
Benefits can also include opportunities to speak at the event, product placement in event bags, prominent articles on the website and in newsletters, frequent promotion on social media or a booth at the actual event or pre-events.
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Why Sponsor an Event as a Real Estate Agent
First, real estate is all about relationships, right? So what better way to connect and foster new relationships than aligning your business with a cause, hobby or pastime the event audience loves or enjoys. If your sponsorship includes a booth at the event, even better. Now you can actually meet potential real estate clients, rounding out all that exposure you had in all the event collateral with an in-person presence.
Also, sponsorship is just another way of advertising your real estate business, so it’s not as “out there” as you think. In many ways, event sponsorship is the same concept as advertising in a newspaper or on the Internet. The only difference is how, where and when you reach your audience. The more you spend, the more variety and frequency of opportunities you’ll have to be in front of them. Or, if you can negotiate with the sponsorship manager, ask him or her for a customized sponsor package that will include only the benefits that you know will work for your business the most.
You can also get pretty creative with your advertising as an event sponsor. If you get an ad in an event booklet, for example, you can tailor your message to cleverly align with the type of event. Branded promotional items that you know event goers will love and use often will have you in front of them even after the event is long over. If you do an event booth, make sure you have interactive activities that showcase the homes you sell, do a raffle for cool prizes that have to do with homes (you could probably get them donated!) and make your booth stand out (maybe have an inexpensive house facade or mini playhouse for kids next to your booth to attract kids – and their parents?).
Types of Events to Sponsor
If you look around, you’ll find a whole gamut of events or even organizations to sponsor that fit perfectly with the real estate business model:
- Athletic events – You have a captive audience of athletes and (probably more importantly) spectators.
- Nonprofit Events – Besides supporting a cause that means a lot to you personally, you will have opportunities to hobnob with donors and other sponsors, making it a great opportunity to network and find leads.
- Schools – Many schools look for sponsors, especially through the PTA.
- Local Festivals – Catch people in the local community where you live and work at a happy, leisurely time.
- Local or Pro Sports Teams – Depending on how much dough you have to spend, you can support the Little League team down the street (lots of moms and dads!) or the local pro baseball team.
Finding Sponsorship Opportunities
Look on any event calendar for events that interest you and that you think would be a great fit. Their websites usually have a sponsor link, or you can contact the general email or phone number to inquire about sponsorship opportunities. You can also search on websites such as Sponsor Anything, SponsorMyEvent or SponsorBoat.
Event sponsorship as a real estate agent means more than just having your logo out there – it can mean making connections with the local community by showing your support and, otherwise, just giving yourself one more avenue to be in front of them.