Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Attracting clients and buyers in a down market

It’s a buyer’s market; you just need to know where to look for the good values. If you are a real estate agent, you may be able to use this information to attract quite a few clients. In addition, if you can communicate this information effectively and organize a seminar to educate your prospects about the current opportunities, you may be able to garner a lot of attention within your community.

Now for the challenge; how do you educate your prospects on where to look for opportunities when they are few and far between, and how do you drive them to a seminar where you can share that data? We’ll start with the latter challenge because without people to listen to you, what’s the point in creating the lesson?

Driving people to your seminars takes a lot of local marketing. Many of the techniques will be described in later blogs or have been discussed previously, but for this type of seminar print and flyers tend to be most effective. An approach that I find very effective is papering local community centers with your flyers in addition to placing an add in the local PennySaver. Paper your flyers on community bulletin boards at Starbucks and local juice stands as well as at the grocery store and library.

In looking at the message in the flyer be as non-commercial as possible and have a clear call to action. In addition, remove some of the resistance initial resistance that people will have by communicating that this seminar is not necessarily a sale pitch. Use a call to action that creates interest and does not sound trite with sub-headers that describe why the seminar is important. A possible example would be:

Capitalize on the Changing Real Estate Market.
Free to Oceanside residents
that feel that they have missed the opportunity to make money in real estate.

For descriptors in the text of the advertisement, include topics that appeal to home buyers and investors. These may include how to choose a property that will maintain its value, the added value of mortgage interest deductions, or possibly the average buy and hold timeline that is expected to yield a positive return. In the text for investors include descriptors about how to find and value properties as well as how to value a property based upon its cash flows.

The text in the advertisement is up to you. Just be sure that your ad generates interest and covers points that you will deliver on. Do not over-promise and do not include information that you will not be addressing in your presentation. Finally, remove some of the objections by stating that due to seating limitations you would ask that No Real Estate Agents attend the seminar.

Moving on to capitalizing on the down market with your seminars… People are still looking for value in the market and if they become educated about how to locate and buy the right properties they can still enjoy a nice return on their investment. The days of double digit appreciation may be gone, but those that can buy investment property based upon cash flows an acceptable cap rates can still substantially increase their wealth over time. It is time to teach people to go back to investing basics and teach those that were never aware of the basics how they can capitalize.

My personal thoughts for the lessons in this type of seminar:

-Home Buyers: Choosing a home that will maintain its value over time; location,
features, upgrades, current pricing.
- Home Buyers: Tax advantages of home ownership; going through the numbers.
- Home Buyers: Negotiating a purchase in a buyer’s market.
- Investors: Buying on value and cash flow, calculating your rate of return.
- Investors: Fundamentals of pricing an investment property. Cap Rates 101
- Investors: Finding motivated sellers.
- Investors: Basics of buying a HUD home.

That’s all I have for today. I’m going on vacation so I will not be posting for a while. In the mean time my blatant promotional plug is as follows: Visit for a complete system to attract more clients and close more sales.

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