Those of you that have been following the comments on my “Four Part Series On First Time Homebuyers” know that Dena Stevens in “First Time Homebuyers Seminars…..Part #3”,asked the following. “My question to you (everyone) is how do you get these people to show up for the seminars? Several have been held in the Pueblo area lately with poor results.” Dena’s question was a very good one, because no matter how good a Seminar you put together, and how informative it is, if people do not show up it has not accomplished what it was intended to do. I responded to Dena’s question in my Post, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt that I needed to go into it a little more in depth.
We at McCue Mortgage, have a State Wide Radio Advertising Campaign that is directed at “First Time Homebuyers”. We have been doing this for almost three years now, and it has been very effective for us. The first message that we used on our Radio Advertising was for “First Time Homebuyers” that they needed to get “Pre-Approved”, and to work with a “Professional Realtor”. Our radio spokes person for these ads is one of the local female basketball heroes, Rebecca Lobo, who was on the University of Connecticut’s first National Women’s Basketball Championship Team in 1995. Rebecca is also a Sports Commentator on ESPN for both women’s College and Pro Basketball Games. She is very well know in Connecticut, and has done an excellent job for us.
When we decided to change our message, we felt that we still wanted to target “First Time Homebuyers”, and so the idea of doing the “First Time Home Buyer Seminars” on our own, on the first Thursday of the week was born. These ads are on several times during the week at prime commuter times. The ads also instruct the “First Time Homebuyers” who plan on attending one of these Seminars, to go to our website to see where the closest Seminar to them is being held, and to register for it. Those who want to attend can also call our 800 line if they do not have access to the website and register that way. By having those attending register on the website we now have there contact information, and can follow up with them on the week of the Seminar to remind them about it.
Along with the radio advertising each Loan Officer than advertises their Seminar in the area that it is being held, by placing Posters in public places, and in businesses like Laundromats. We also mail out flyers to local apartment complexes, and inform the Realtors that we work with about them, so if they have a Buyer that they would like to attend they can give them the information.
When we do these Seminars with other Real Estate Professionals, like Realtors, Attorneys, and Home Inspectors, we do all the things that we do for the Seminars that we do on our own, plus everyone involved does mailings to there clients, and we all share the cost of advertising in the local newspapers.
Eli Magen also offered some suggestions in the same Post. Eli is holding a Seminar on January 27 and February 10 at the Fidelity National Title, 1603 South Hiawassee Road, #130, Orlando, FL. Eli is doing the following advertising for his Seminar:
- Local Radio show in Orlando. (today on the first radio talk - 4 people called and reserve a seat!)
- Hundreds of flyers to public places in 8 mile radius of the seminar...
- My own newspaper, with distribution of 35,000 in South Orlando & Kissimmee.
- Posted a new page on all of my 3 web-sites.
- Mail-out to apartment renters, and homes absentees.
- And the "big" one ...posted a blog about it on AR.
There is no guarantee that if all or some of these advertising methods are followed that there will be a large turn out, but they will significantly increase the chances of having a successful Seminar. Each and every Seminar is different, and where and when they are held has a lot to do with how successful they will be. It is important to find a location that will be viewed by “First Time Homebuyers” as a neutral site. They work best if they are presented as an “Educational Seminar”, and not as a “Sales Seminar.” It may take some experimenting to figure out what works best in your area, the important thing is to not get discouraged if the first one you do does not produce the results that you were hoping for.
Info about the author:
George Souto is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or firstname.lastname@example.org