Hosting events that educate real estate investors will increase your visibility in the local community, position you as an expert, offer major credibility, be a potential boon for referrals, as well as get you in front of an ideal customer. Needless to say, it is a great way to drive new business, and we have an excellent guest that will offer their advice on how you can successfully use it for your property management company today.
We bring in Douglas Skipworth, Executive Broker at CrestCore Realty in Memphis, TN. Douglas has found seminars to be a great way to establish trust in a very competitive market, and this has helped CrestCore Realty grow into the business it is today.
About Douglas and CrestCore Realty
Douglas got into buying rental houses, and that evolved into managing property and helping other people buy homes. Today, his company owns 800 properties, and they manage around 2,600 homes in the Memphis area. He believes he is a better property manager because he’s an investor and he is a better investor because he’s a property manager.
Investor Education Topics of Discussion
Putting together the content of your presentation is both an art and a science. When you’re trying to set up a class or a meet-up, choose topics that will attract people. You can:
- Go based off FAQs.
- Poll people and see what interests them the most.
- Think about what you wish you had known, what you want to know, or what people are asking you. Teach people what you have learned yourself. If something fascinates you, start digging. Then, share it.
When you find a topic, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to your current circles and recruit some of your best investors to talk. People can learn from any expert who has deep-seated experience in real estate investments.
Use Data and Statistics
Your presentation will need to include data that is applicable to the topic. The data might be trends in specific areas of your local market or what you’ll see over the next 12 months. You can:
- Talk about what financing looks like and pinpoint where foreclosures are.
- Look closely at price points and determine whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market.
- Report on areas that are really performing and providing cash flow.
CrestCore makes sure to report back statistics they’re reading or data they have internally that they can relay to potential investors. They give them lease rates and rental rates and how much turnovers are costing. They’ll talk about evictions and challenges or how long properties are on the market. You can get as detailed as you want and provide ideas per neighborhood for returns and trends. Potential investors will find this information very valuable.
To Pitch Your Services, Or Not to Pitch?
For a property manager, you can occasionally pitch your services. You’re building your business by making these relationships and providing your content. You don’t want to sell your own services too hard in these types of events. Get in the frame of mind of doing your best to help people, this will indirectly help you. You are helping people become investors.
But if pitching works for you, go ahead and pitch. Sometimes you want to sell and that might work for you. Figure out what you’re comfortable with and create something that fits. It’s possible to gain hundreds of houses a year, and many of those will be related to your investor education. CrestCore Realty grew by 700 houses last year, and probably at least 30 of those came through these educational opportunities. Then, there were indirect conversions. Ten to twenty percent of his new business can be tied to that investor education.
The Not-So-Obvious Reasons Local Investors Benefit From These Seminars
Providing crucial insights and knowledge isn’t the only benefit your attendees will gain from these educational events. Think about this:
- You’re sharing knowledge and materials as well as resources. There are reference materials so they can take deeper dives on their own.
- They are also getting contacts with peers. One of the things that’s most important for newer investors is they get confidence. They learn that it’s not rocket science. Provide a friendly environment, contacts, and resources, and people will feel they are capable of becoming real estate investors.
- You can see if people are ready to buy properties by sharing specific deals. There could be deals that close or get started just from your presentations. It’s a great way to help people become financially independent.
No matter the location, people will always be interested in learning about real estate in their local area. Holding educational classes helps you stand out from your competitors, especially if you are just breaking into the property management industry.
Getting People to Join Your Investor Education Event
The fun part is gathering the investors to your event. You have something you want to share – so, use word of mouth, email lists, and invite former attendees. Be active in newsletters, reach out to friends of friends, and invite everyone. Use social media and suggest that everyone you invite bring someone. People who don’t have a list and want to try this for the first time can start small. Invite your clients, leads, employees, real estate agents, and those who referred you to others to your seminar.
Maybe in a room of 20 people, you know 19 of them but at least you have one new person. It starts like dry leaves that become twigs and branches and then eventually it becomes a fire. You don’t start with 200 people. You start small and you build. This will also give you an opportunity to vet your content and learn as you go.
There are services like pmleads.com where you can buy a list of landlords and investors who own rental property in the areas you want to manage. You could cold call them to invite them to your presentation. Tell them it’s free for investors and you’re going to teach them about a specific topic. From that one list you’ll maybe end up with four or five attendees. You can also run a Facebook Ad campaign specifically targeting landlords in your area and generate leads that way. For invitations, there are many avenues. It’s a good idea to have a website splash page where attendees can go to sign up.
Where to Hold the Investor Education Events
You can hold your investment presentations anywhere. Living rooms, offices, conference areas, restaurants, coffee shops, and places where you can have a lunch and talk about real estate investing. Use larger venues if you have a national speaker coming in. Action is a big part of your success here, you’ll be surprised at the locations that will let you host an investor meet-up.
You work with vendors like maintenance companies, banks, insurance agents, and attorneys. Their space is a great location if they have boardrooms. They may be happy to host, as the audience you’ll be bringing in will be great for them as well. They might pay for food or provide space and materials in order to get that exposure. Leverage your partnerships.
Costs of Setting Up Investor Events
You can pay for speakers and rent venues or provide food and books, which may cost up to $1,500. However, in most cases, you can get by for just paying for materials like copies and brochures. You can provide cookies and drinks or appetizers or sandwiches, which will keep you under $100 to do something small. The majority of the time, you don’t spend a lot.
The cost isn’t high, but you will spend time on it. The biggest time investment is the content creation. Getting the course together and making sure it’s usable will take up a few hours. You want your attendees to feel like they got a benefit from attending. So make sure you invest some time into it, and they will think about you going forward.
How to Market Your Event Once it is Completed
Once you have your presentation, that’s evergreen content you can continue to use. Have someone record a high-quality video, put it online and write up an article for it. Or you can use it as a webinar and collect email addresses. Lots of opportunities are there. A five-day investment in building top notch content is worth millions in the future of your business. It’s reusable and you’ll get a lot more visibility through the Internet.
Pro-Tips for Even More Success
Make sure you’re not one expert who does everything and gets overwhelmed. Let other people take the stage and speak about topics they are interested in and know about. When your employees participate, they will be able to invest in preparation and become experts in these areas. This will help inspire confidence in not only you, but your company as well.
When it comes to your current clients, stay in front of them with this new information and help them grow, even if they don’t attend. They’ll think of you as thought leaders in the industry. That leads to referrals and new opportunities.
Hold these events. To stay in the loop for future episodes of the Property Management Show, be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes. And if you have any questions about how to get started or how to leverage your content to build your property management business, contact us at Fourandhalf.