This is a wonderful post that I think everyone can benefit from. I've had success with doing seminars for different groups in the past. Have any of you done something similar for your business?
Now go out there and be helpful!
In 2001 I had finished renovating a high-end home in the Mt. Helix foothills in East San Diego County. It was the first non-average home I had ever renovated, so I wanted some help in selling it. I sent an email to 33 Realtors asking the simple question, "Why should I list my home with you?" and providing the address.
This was in the 2001 boom years remember. Only six Realtors responded, three by email, one by messenger, and two in person. Basically, then, only two were interested, and I interviewed both of them, proceeding to choose the wrong one, in retrospect. I should also say that I found out that she died on December 20, 2011, which is what inspired this post, and it's not even a post about bad Realtors.
Rather, it's about public speaking. The other Realtor I interviewed was a guy, and he stuttered.... badly. It's a condition that he hasn't conquered yet, but he's still one of East County's most successful Realtors.
I also was a stutterer, a bad one, all the way through the end of my sophomore year at Texas A&M University. I placed out of my first semester of English, but my second semester of English was public speaking. My teacher asked me to come into her office after class one day, told me that I could conquer my stuttering, and that there was a group on the Texas A&M University campus that could help me. That group was the Texas Aggie Toastmasters. Never before in my life had I received such great advice — free! — and, at Texas Aggie Toastmasters, such great support. A year later, I had conquered my stuttering. It was just a matter of slowing my brain down so that my tongue could catch up with it. I had to synchronize the brain and the tongue.
Toastmasters is about more than just stuttering, though. It's about public speaking, and if you get the jitters when you are speaking, especially one-on-one, as we self-employed Realtors and home inspectors often do, try Toastmasters.
Once you've conquered those speaking jitters, and we all have them, it's time to put it to good use whenever and wherever there are speaking opportunities. Those opportunities exist at your professional organization (put on a seminar for your Association of Reators or Chamber of Commerce), community education centers, college extension services, adult education centers, trade shows...
Approach the largest corporations — i.e., those with the most employees! — and do a seminar for them. I guarantee you you'll get lots of business if you do a great job.
Smaller businesses can also be a windfall, although you might find it easier simply to drop an appropriate number of helpful flyers — not sales flyers — for their employees. Stop by, introduce yourself, talk to the owner/manager, find out how many employees they have, and leave that number of helpful flyers for them.
Government groups are another great way to practice public speaking, as are non-profit organizations, social and service clubs (Rotary, Jaycees, VFW, ,etc.), high schools (especially senior classes), college alumni meetings, and all the clubs for singles and hobbyists in your area.
You'll have to make an effort to seek them out, though. It's highly unlikely that they are going to come to you. Businesses and organizations love it when someone knowledgeable about something that everyone wants volunteers to help their employees and members.
My caveat is not to sell youself. Instead sell your helpfulness. Make it about more than the real estate market, number of home sales, and real estate prices. People can get that simply by doing a Google search. Provide something that is much more difficult for them to find.
People will believe that if you are helpful now when you're not getting paid, imagine how helpful you will be when you ARE getting paid by helping them buy or sell a home.
Now go out there and be helpful!
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