Education-based Marketing: How to Make Lunch & Learns Work for You
Save time, make more money: There’s no better value proposition that mortgage companies and loan officers can offer to real estate brokerages and agents.
The craving for knowledge among Realtors is almost as intense as their desire to make money; they know they need to go beyond the minimum activities required to maintain their licenses and increase their success. In an effort to assist and propel production, brokerages and office managers are always looking for fresh material to motivate and support agents. But fresh concepts and content take time and aren’t always easy to ascertain.
Companies and MLOs can bridge this gap with all kinds of education-based marketing that helps Realtors build their business instead of just asking for it. A great way to engage in education-based marketing is the “Lunch & Learn.”
Many lenders have ordered a bunch of food, drawn Realtors into a room, spoken for as long as they were permitted to and then doubted the ROI of Lunch & Learns or written them off completely. The key to reaping great results from this type of marketing is deploying it effectively.
Choosing and Executing Content
Time is money, and when it comes to Lunch & Learns, less is definitely more. Even though you’ll be presenting during the “lunch hour,” your presentation must be a maximum of 15-20 minutes. Realtors are always short on time and their attention spans are even shorter.
Your presentation should offer a useful tool, such as a “Top Producer Playbook” full of tips and processes centered around best practices. This is a large topic that would be difficult to squeeze into 15-20 minutes, so it could be a multi-part series with “chapters” like lead management, increasing conversion rate, time blocking, reducing pain and friction in the buying and selling processes, and business planning.
If building a playbook sounds intimidating, start with one topic and build a great handout or download focused on one producer pain point like lead management. It’s fine for a lender to mention a product or program at a Lunch & Learn, but it won’t have the desired effect unless you present it in a way that resonates with your audience that day.
Event Organization and Follow-up
Work through the broker, manager or team leader of the group of agents you’re targeting. Briefly explain the value of the Lunch & Learn in their terms: Your presentation will help agents increase lead conversion, capture more business at open houses, etc. Emphasize that your talk will last 15-20 minutes and verify that providing lunch is acceptable within their compliance guidelines. Get an agreement on the sequence of how potential attendees will be notified of the event, location, access and other details.
To get the most out of a Lunch & Learn, make sure you do the following:
- Create pre-packaged content (handout or download) that summarizes the presentation and helps Realtors execute what you are teaching.
- Set up a landing page or create a quick video to be emailed that outlines the value agents will get from your presentation.
- Set up a sign-in process. Total Expert’s Event Registration App can help you capture attendee contact information and easily automate a drip campaign to further cultivate these relationships.
- Design – and commit to – a consistent follow-up program to capitalize on the good will you build at the event.
In addition to excellent content, attention to detail and a seamless event, your Lunch & Learn should add value to broker management by meeting a need and saving them time. Staging an exceptional event positions you as an expert and a resource that will put you in a position for more and better access to Realtors in the future.
The Importance of Patience
Don’t expect an instant return. If you add a great deal of value to your audience, you’ll benefit from their inherent feeling of responsibility to reciprocate.
If you’ve effectively drawn Realtors into the room who you haven’t done business with in the past, don’t try to “close on the first date” with a hard sell in your presentation. View education-based marketing as a long game and stay focused on helping Realtors make an immediate impact on their business and that sincerity will make you a more attractive potential business partner.
MLOs and the Realtors they seek to partner with share the craving for increased production and more business. Solid referral partnerships benefit lenders and agents, and education-based marketing is a smart way to satisfy ongoing business needs. Make Lunch & Learns part of your marketing plan and feed the cravings – literally and figuratively!
Watch for Total Expert’s 1-Page Business Plan for MLOs and Realtors coming soon!