Select Page

Elevate your business: The value of hosting workshops

For any real estate business to succeed long-term, you need to get in front of people, not over a screen, but in person. 

Ask any top producing agent, and they’ll talk about the value of in-person. As someone who has built multiple businesses on the back of digital marketing, I 100 per cent agree.

Workshops are one of the most undervalued tools in a real estate agent’s toolbox for accomplishing this. It’s the perfect bridge between online connections and meeting in person for the first time. Especially in younger generations, people are nervous about meeting salespeople and getting sold on doing something that might not be in their best interest. 

Whether that’s a rational fear is irrelevant. That’s how many of them feel, and you need to take that into consideration in your sales process.

Workshops are the perfect way to alleviate this fear. They allow you to get in front of potential clients, deliver them value and establish your expertise, build a personal relationship, and give them a “safety in numbers” feeling where they have more control. 

Relationship building

 

Workshops are great for relationship building from two different perspectives:

 

1. You’re meeting with potential clients, and they’ll get to know you in a comfortable environment. You can showcase your professionalism and expertise, and once you’ve met someone in person, they’re more likely to engage with your digital efforts. 

You can build rapport a lot faster in person, even if you’re speaking to many of them at once.

 

2. Workshops provide an excellent tool for building relationships with other service providers. Lawyers are always a huge draw; co-hosting with them also helps them build their businesses. Mortgage brokers or bank representatives are great. 

When I was still selling, I co-hosted with our local RBC branch, and they even provided the venue and invited some of their clients. We advertised it, and it even had other local banks reach out to see if we could host something similar with them. 

Leverage workshops to build relationships with other service providers. You help grow their business, and they’ll invite their network, which also helps grow yours. 

It’s a win-win for every party.

 

Brand building

 

Workshops are a great way to build your brand in the community. Even for people who don’t attend, if they see you hosting a workshop, it helps establish you as an authority. It’s similar to writing a book on a topic; even if people don’t read it, they believe you’re a subject matter expert. 

Now, you will have to deliver on that expertise to maintain that belief, but workshops are a shortcut to establishing your authority.

Every step of the workshop aspect helps build your brand. From your initial marketing, the emails confirming attendance and reminding them of the event, the venue, the content, the follow-ups, etc. All of these are moments that will help you build your brand. 

You need to think about every touchpoint someone will have with you during the process and how that will make people feel about you.

People want to work with experts, and workshops help establish you as one.

 

Converting Leads

 

Many people view workshops as a tool for generating leads, but it’s important to remember it can also be a tool for converting leads. If you’re generating a lot of leads already, you need something to move them off the fence and into an in-person meeting. 

For most real estate agents, that means either a consultation or a showing, though those are one-on-one meetings that can intimidate potential clients if they think it might be too early in the process for them.

Invite all your leads to your workshops. Tell them what they’ll learn and what to expect. Tell them who’ll be presenting with you and the venue. They’ve already put their hand up that they’re interested in real estate, and now you’re narrowing that group down to those willing to take another step in the process. 

You can get an even better feeling from the workshop of which leads are ready to move forward. Tailor your follow-up to what you learn about them from the process. For example, if you’re hosting a first-time home buyer workshop, you can easily ask at the beginning, “Out of curiosity, who here would like to buy a home in the next 12 months?” 

Now you know which to follow up with more than others. You can use questions to the room to prequalify those you should try to convert now. 

 

Tips on running a successful workshop

 

  • Pick a relevant topic

Do you work more with first-time buyers or seniors? Or families looking to move up? Maybe investors? There are a lot of different topics you can do workshops on. The more topical, the better. Has there been a change in the rules around mortgages? New programs for first-time buyers? 

The more timely it is, the more potential value people will see, hopefully leading to higher attendance.

  • Venue

Try to pick neutral locations, not at a sales office. This can be a rented event space or a local restaurant with a private room. Hotels often have meeting rooms that work well for this type of event. 

I’d recommend picking a venue space with visibility to the public; that way, people who aren’t attending can see the event happening and might get curious enough to inquire and attend the next one.

  • Fortune in the follow-up

When someone registers to attend, don’t assume they’ll show. You need to remind them to come. I’ve seen agents host workshops where they don’t send reminders after an invitee has RSVPd, and then they’re surprised when nobody shows up—others who use a specific sequence have over 80 per cent attendance rates.

Send a confirmation they got a post, call them to thank them for registering and what they should bring with them, have another follow-up telling them its more fun to do these things with friends so they can invite one if they like, a few days out if you have a decent number of people attending send an email saying space is running out so if someone can’t make it to let you know so you can open the spot for someone else, and then a final reminder the day before the event with everything they need to know.

  • Post-event follow up

While at the event, you should be creating a list of who will be moving soon and would make the most likely potential clients. Follow up with them first. Thank them for attending and moving to the consultation step with them. 

Personalize these as much as possible based on what you learned about them. If you have an admin or team members you work with, have them attend so they can take notes and gather information about who is there and their situation.

 

Workshops allow you to generate new leads, get more business from your database, and build your brand. It enables you to get more contact with people by having something to invite them to that leads with value. 

If you’re not quite ready for in-person workshops, consider hosting some on Zoom to start. It will help you strengthen your presentation skills and still boost your business. Work towards the goal of hosting in-person; they convert at higher rates. 

Have you hosted workshops before? What have you found helps make them better?

Share