By Dave King
My most effective marketing strategy is a two-hour class entitled “Mortgage Update Course,” which I developed and is approved for continuing education credits for Realtors by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. It’s not for everyone, but for those who possess the knowledge and the ability to present and speak in public, it works wonders.
Every state is different but most are similar enough that this will work. I inquired with the Colorado Division of Real Estate as to how to get the class approved. I then submitted a class summary, key points and my list of personal qualifications and the class was approved within a matter of days. The beauty of a class like Mortgage Update is that the course is different every time I teach it, so agents can get the two hours of credit each time they attend. There is no charge for the class, we serve refreshments and most of all we make it fun, incredibly informative and a great reunion for the Realtors who don’t get to see each other very often.
The class itself is on a PowerPoint slide show and has plenty of visual aids and funny pictures to keep people involved and entertained. I like to start the class with an introduction of myself that is full of self-deprecating humor and then talk about the economy in general before we get into the heavy lifting and specifics of the mortgage world. My only caution here is that since most of the news and changes in our industry have been bad (i.e. tougher lending standards etc.), I have to be sure to make the most of the positives and try not to accentuate the negatives, other than to help them avoid the pitfalls. The real benefit is when they start asking questions, because it is the answers that provide the most benefit in their day-to-day business.
It is amazing how many agents tell us that it is the most informative two hours they had all year and how nice it was to see all the others there—their colleagues, former colleagues and competitors alike.
I have partnered up with a few local title companies who have my class as a part of their offerings for Realtors but we get the best attendance and the best people at our classes when we promote them ourselves to those agents who already know and love us. One key that I have learned with Realtors is to never invite them too early. If you do, they all say “yes” but then things happen and it is amazing how many “yes’s” turn to “sorry I can’t make it.” So we don’t usually send out invitations until about two weeks before the class and then we offer the class on consecutive days to give them a choice and the attendance rate among the Realtors we work with is outstanding.
I can’t make sales calls like I did in the “good old days.” First, because I don’t have the time and I am most productive when I am in the office and secondly because so many agents work mobile or from home that it is hard to find more than one or two of them when you walk into a real estate office. I have found this class to be the best way to get in front of my referral partners, give them value and have them leave wiser and thankful that I am their lender.
Dave King is a loan originator at WR Starkey, Boulder, Colo.