Lunch and learns are popular among Financial Planners, but I say why not for Real Estate Agents too? You guys have lots of great information to share and this is a great way for you to meet new people. If you go into it to truly provide value and not looking for a sale you will be rewarded!
Interested in doing a lunch and learn? Here are 7 tips to get you started:
1. The People
Typically Lunch and Learn’s are started by the fish bowl. The host will place a fish bowl at a local restaurant or business and ask people to drop their business cards in to win a free lunch. This is a great way to get invitees and has been proven to work. Plus it is a good way to connect with local businesses.
Here’s another idea for you. Look through your client list. Identify people that work at mid-size companies or small businesses that might enjoy a Lunch and Learn. Even better if you have a client that is an HR Manager at one of these companies because typically it is the HR Manager that sets up these events. Connect with your clients. describe your offer and then give them 3 dates to choose from when you are talking to them. By offering the dates it makes it more likely that they will “book” a Lunch and Learn with you.
My biggest piece of advice about picking the subject is to not pick the obvious one or the one that you think you should talk about. Do some research. Look at Twitter, look at Facebook and find out what people are talking about when it comes to real estate. Interview your clients and find out what questions they have about real estate. If you spend the time beforehand figuring out what people really want to know about real estate, what their real issues are and then do a Lunch and Learn around it, it will be more successful than if you pull an idea out of thin air.
Please don’t just walk into your presentation with a basic flyer. Please give it some thought and add graphics, create lists and use headlines where appropriate. People love lists. They are easy to read and easy to digest. Really give your collateral some thought before you walk in there with a typical real estate flyer.
Anyone can host a Lunch and Learn by picking up sandwiches at the local sub shop, but what about doing something more fun? What if you brought a taco bar or breakfast for lunch? Think outside the box when it comes to food to make it more fun. This will make your Lunch and Learn more memorable which will help when you get to point 7.
What are you going to give the attendees to walk away with after the Lunch and Learn? And yes, I am talking tchotchkes here. Anyone can hand out a stack of customized sticky notes. Do something different and more fun. Since you are holding it at an office what about a small photo holder for their desk or a stand for their cell phone? Give them something that will make you stand out, but will also be useful.
6.The Follow Up
Before you even hold your first Lunch and Learn, have a plan in place for follow up first. I suggest doing everything you can to get their email addresses. You can follow up personally via email to see what they thought about your presentation, you can add them to your email newsletter list and you can use their email address to invite them to future Lunch and Learns. Make sure that you have a solid follow up plan in place before you host your first Lunch and Learn.
7.The Rinse, Recycle and Repeat
The great thing about putting together a Lunch and Learn, is that once you have a system in place, you can easily repeat it at different companies. But taking it one step further, if you do a good enough job at one company, you may be invited back for more Lunch and Learns on different topics. If you are memorable, really show that you know your stuff and aren’t there just to sell them a house, you may be invited to present again. Many employers love to provide their employees with value added services. If you do a good enough job, your presentation just may be one of them!
Lunch and Learns can be a great way for you to earn new business and to sharpen your real estate skills. Most importantly you are providing a service to the community and educating them about real estate. Any time you can educate people and really provide them value is a win-win for everyone.
Have you ever hosted a Lunch and Learn? Please tell me in the comments below what you learning about the process when you did it.