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Build Your Real Estate Business with Seminars

One of my favorite interviews at our recent Mega Camp was Gary’s chat with Jim and Jeff Reitzel of Kitchener, Ontario. Among the Reitzels’ best business-building tools is holding investor and first-time home buyer seminars—a lead generation strategy that helped them do more than 120 transactions and over $67 million in business in 2009. And they are on pace to have a much better 2010.

So what are the keys to success?

1. Be Predictably Consistent – More than anything, the Reitzels attribute their success to predictability and consistency. For example, they hold their monthly investor seminar at the same place, at the same time on the third Tuesday of each month. After a while, interested buyers don’t need an invitation or directions. They just show up. It’s like the old Batman show: “Tune in tomorrowsame Bat time, same Bat channel!”

2. Persistence Pays Off – The Reitzels count on word of mouth to market their seminars. They invite every client. They invite fellow agents to bring guests. They invite just about anyone they meet. Over time, this simple message of “every third Tuesday” has sunk in, and the numbers have grown from the early days when Jeff might have gotten the opportunity to practice the ninety-minute presentation for Jim alone, to today when their investor seminars average 80 to 120 attendees!

The repetition of our marketing for these events combined with the word of mouth they can generate can be quite powerful. Jeff shared that one investor bought 22 townhomes on their second meeting. The investor had never actually made it to one of the seminars but, because Jeff was always holding them, he felt like Jeff must be the expert.

3. Big Audiences Are Great, Motivated Audiences Will Do – Even when only a handful show up, it can still be a success. Jim shared that this summer he taught a first-time home buyer seminar and only three people showed up. “I thought, ‘Oh great!’ but you know, one of those three became a buyer!” Similarly, you don’t have to start with a 100-seat training room. A coffee shop will do. When my wife Wendy started her business, she used

Facebook to send monthly invites to talk wealth building through real estate over a morning coffee at “Millionaire Mocha$.” Some weeks, she has a crowded table; others, she has a hot cup of joe and works her database. Regardless of the attendance, in just a year the messaging has sunk in—everyone now knows she’s in real estate, and sometimes a friend of a friend will show up who Wendy didn’t personally invite.

4. Build on the Success of Others –Jeff began teaching investor seminars in 2003. He created his own material based on his investing experience. After seeing an hour long presentation on The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, he adopted The Millionaire Real Estate Investor Client Workshop and made it his own. When the Your First Home Seminar became available, he adopted it as well. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Adopting an existing presentation is much easier than creating your own from scratch. The same for marketing materials like the brand new 7 Reasons Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Home.

Similarly, Jeff coached another agent to simply tell Jeff’s investing stories since he didn’t have any of his own. It worked.  For the record, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor has more than investor profiles at the back of the book, and Your First Home tells a different tale of first time home buying between every chapter.

5. Follow-Up Matters – Don’t get people excited and just cut them loose. In 60 to 90 minutes, you likely won’t get far beyond the basics which means motivated buyers are likely to have questions. Get them on the phone and set a time for a personal consultation. When Gary taught seminars, he would stand by the exit with his calendar setting appointments as attendees left the room. That’s following up for the appointment!

The last time the National Association of Realtors posted their numbers, 38% of buyers were first-time home buyers and 19% were investors. By the way, that’s more than half the market. Astonishingly, going back to October 2008, these two groups average 59% of the market! Don’t miss out. Start using seminars to market yourself as the expert.

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  • http://www.youdrivethesuccess.com Brent Mitchell

    Wow, Jim and Jeff are rocking with the seminars! Before I got the the part about the MREI presentation, I was thinking how difficult it would be to come up with one of my own. It’s just another thing that KW is doing to help all of us succeed in any market. Thanks for sharing…

  • chrisangell

    Inspired by Jim and Jeff with seminars and John Davis talking about the tax credit and the need to drive buyers in this market, KW Spokane decided the put on its first city wide Buyer and Investor seminar. Costing the Market Center nothing this seminar is sure to bring company dollar and more agent comissions this Winter. More at http://www.SpokaneHomeBuyerSeminar.com Great Mega Camp. Can’t wait until Family Reunion.

  • http://BestoftheSouthBay.com leewilliams

    Good stuff. Anyone have success with doing these online?

  • kwmt

    I’d love to see something about balancing meetings with work – sometimes it feels like people meet more about getting work done than do the actual work!

    Keller Williams MT Realty
    http://www.kwmontana.com

  • http://www.AbigailSells.com Abigail Herrera

    Well I am a new agent so I cannot host a seminar by myself yet but I will definitely talk about it with my Associates.

    Thanks for posting! GREAT business strategy…

    http://www.abigailSELLS.com

  • Jay Papasan, VP of Publishing and Executive Editor

    Chris, I can’t wait to hear how your seminar goes! Please come back and share. Lee, I think Webinars are good but harder to convert potential leads to appointments. Face to face is a great medium and people tend to leave the event pumped. If you try an online seminar, I’d be systematically calling attendees that same day to capture appointments. My two cents! KWMT, noted. Abigail, look for a partner. Maybe someone in your office would be willing to host and have all the agents bring their clients. Good luck and thanks for your comments, y’all.

    Jay Papasan
    http://www.MillionaireSystems.com

  • anthonydazet

    Great Article!

    I now have my Home Buyer and MERI Seminars In Baton Rouge scheduled every month for the rest of the year.

    Cant wait to crack this niche, Thanks…

    http://www.eventbrite.com/event/987205759

  • Jay Papasan, VP of Publishing and Executive Editor

    Congrats, Anthony! Let us know how it goes!

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  • marcellis

    This is motivating! Ironically, I have new plans to teach a class monthly and just finished the model.

  • parley

    I just met with an accountant and financial advisor. We’re setting up our first seminar for investors to be held right after family reunion. After that, once a month and I’ll refer them out. I already have a buyers agent in mind.

  • clengquist

    I use seminars every now and again and they always work. Guess that means I should do more! :)

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