Seminar Planning Time! Get Ready for an Educational Fall

Renae Virata | August 3, 2016 | Best Practices

Seminar Planning Time! Get Ready for an Educational FallThe summer has no doubt been a busy one for many real estate agents. With the cooler weather, return to school and “normal life” come September, you can bet that fall will be a great time to host a seminar for your real estate business.

Hosting a Real Estate Seminar

Open houses are old hat for most real estate agents as far as events go (although there is always room for improvement). However, a seminar, which has more of an educational bent and is, in essence, less “sale-sy,” can be a great way to build trust amongst and relationships with potential clients.

Depending on the topic at hand, you could invite everyone on your email subscriber list to your seminar. Such topics that both sellers and buyers would like to attend:

  • Education on their particular market
  • Both sides of the transaction process – pick a specific sub-topic such as the financials, negotiations, among others
  • Overview of home purchase and selling process – separate these for buyers and sellers if you have time to do two seminars and promote them on the same marketing materials)

More specific topics could include:

  • Preparing your finances before buying a home
  • Preparing a house before selling it
  • Are you ready to purchase a home for the first-time?
  • Are you ready to sell your home? – could be separate seminars for growing families, Baby Boomers or other groups

Partnering Up

Can you think of any mortgage lenders, appraisers, inspectors and more with whom you work all the time who would be great to partner with on a specific seminar? Call them! Introducing additional speakers lends more credibility to the seminar, provides your guests with even more information than you can provide alone and also expands your promotion of the event by leveraging your speakers’ networks.

Planning a Seminar

Your seminar should be no longer than an hour to 1.5 hours in most cases, and, if it should run longer, allow for breaks with plenty of refreshments.

Plan your seminar with your seminar partner, if you have one, well in advance. Decide on an outline that includes the topics to be covered in the order they are to be covered. Include introductions and breaks, too. Leave at least 10 minutes for questions at the end or keep a timer to make sure that you follow your outline as closely to the time allotted for each topic so as not to run out of time.

If you have worksheets, make sure they are not cumbersome, align well with your seminar and will prove useful for your attendees. Brand it, too, with all speakers’ logos and information for more promotional visibility.

Promoting a Seminar

Finally, it’s time to promote your seminar! The easiest ways to promote your seminar at little to no cost:

  • Newsletter lists of all parties involved
  • Social media posts one month, two weeks, week of then day before the seminar
  • Mailed postcards to a specific neighborhood and/or demographic
  • Postcards distributed by your network of real estate service professionals
  • Facebook ads
  • Blog posts on all websites
  • Online and print event calendars for local publications (be mindful of submission deadlines)
  • Send a press release with some great facts related to what you will cover to your local media, including neighborhood newsletters (again, be mindful of submission deadlines)

Not Done Yet!– After the Seminar

Your work does not end after the seminar does. It’s important to get feedback from your guests to know how helpful your seminar was. A quick survey at the end or emailed to them immediately following the seminar is a great way to gain feedback to improve future seminars and know what other topics they would love to have covered. You can use a free online survey tool like Survey Monkey to not only capture but also keep track of answers to questions with an overview report.

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Renae Virata