Kymber Menkiti, president of sales with the Menkiti Group, has spent 11 years building a dedicated, passionate team of real estate professionals in Washington D.C. Last year alone, the team achieved nearly $100 million in production and 209 closed units.
The foundation and primary vehicle for their business has been first-time home buyers. Since home buyers eventually become home sellers and bring repeat and referral business, the ultimate payoff can be immense.
“First-time home buyers have been an anchor for our business,” Menkiti shares. “A lot of agents build their businesses with this demographic in mind and then shift their focus to higher price-point buyers. By continuing to have a presence in this space, a lot of opportunities have opened up for us.”
The Menkiti Group’s expertise with first-time home buyers shined during the shift in 2007.
“When investors were unable to sell their properties, they came to us; sellers were as well. Our development business boomed,” she recounts.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, more than one-third of all homes sold are going to first-time home buyers. And, a more staggering statistic – 87 percent of all non-homeowners expressed a desire to buy.
In order to tap into this captive audience, an agent must be the local expert in their community, Menkiti advises. Buyers may be misinformed from TV shows, the internet, and well-meaning friends and family.
“They need agents, like you, who are uniquely qualified to walk them through the home-buying journey. We are competing with a lot of data points. How are you positioning yourself as the local expert?”
A great way to do this is through first-time home buyer seminars, which are an effective and low-cost resource for education and lead generation.
The Menkiti Group has been hosting these seminars for a decade – an idea that came naturally to Kymber and her husband, Bo.
“When we started in real estate, we were first-time home buyers ourselves. We were sharing what we were learning with other people in our network and saw a natural need to educate others. Education is a core value to us.”
Now, the team delivers two to three home-buyer seminars per month. These sessions are usually an hour in length and held on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening, or a Saturday morning during non-winter months.
A few critical components of holding successful seminars include preregistration, securing key partnerships (as well as the right location) and marketing.
Here are five ways to promote your seminar:
- Call your sphere.
- Email your database.
- Distribute fliers.
- Feature your event on your website.
- Post on social channels (e.g., Facebook ads, events, etc.).
Looking to target millennials? Just follow the Menkitis’ lead:
“We took the home-buyer seminar and spun it,” Kymber says. “The title wasn’t attractive, so we changed it to ‘investor’ seminar and decided to get creative with the location. We’ve hosted them at condo buildings and other properties to get buyers interested in the real estate we want them to purchase. Sellers love it!”
The group’s spin made a huge difference. They found that many millennials are interested in becoming investors first and want a less-permanent lifestyle commitment that still generates cash flow and equity.
Ultimately, to connect with a number of demographics, do the following due diligence:
- Customize the Your First Home PowerPoint, flier, email templates, and handouts provided by KWU.
- Practice, practice, practice!
- Know your audience – ask attendees to share one thing they would like to get out of the seminar so you can tailor the presentation to fit their interests.
- Make it memorable – e.g., include a live testimonial.
- Become familiar with the KW Mobile Search App and share it.
Kymber details a novel way of incorporating this last bullet point into your seminar: During your session, have everyone download the KW Mobile App to their phones together as a group.
Finally, in your presentation’s closing, make sure to wrap things up powerfully.
Kymber advises being clear and direct … in a heartfelt way. She suggests setting up with the following: “This is what happens next. Talk to your real estate specialist – me – about the next step in your home journey. I want to be your real estate consultant for life.”
Bringing their statement home, the Menkiti Group concludes their seminars by offering free, 20-minute buyer consultations immediately after the presentation
Win Big with Seminars: Your First Home
To support its associates, KWU has released a complete one-stop seminar package, Win Big with Seminars: Your First Home. The package is complete with:
- A scripted PowerPoint presentation to help you present to first-time home buyers.
- KW resources to offer seminar attendees.
- Marketing resources to spread the word about your seminar.