Marketing

How (and why) to host a real estate event

Face time with past clients, sphere of influence is key to staying top of mind

There has never been so much creativity in marketing, and that goes for event marketing, too. Whether it’s a small-scale luncheon or a large-scale charity event, the name of the game with event marketing is engaging consumers and elevating your brand. As CEO of a boutique real estate brokerage, I have hosted many events over the years, and I’ve put together my top reasons why you should be hosting them, too.

Top seven reasons real estate companies should host more events.

1. Face time

Hosting events gives you the chance to provide value to your past clients and sphere of influence by being with them in person. You’ll get to meet their kids, pets and loved ones. Face time is critical for staying in that top-of-mind position.

2. Support

It gives you a chance to highlight a charity you care about. Done properly, you can wrap almost any event around a cause. You can bring awareness, raise funds and use your influence to bless others.

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3. Mailing lists

Events give you a chance to capture email addresses. We create events through Facebook and event sites such as Eventbrite asking people to RSVP. This allows us to build our database of emails, and it also helps for planning purposes.

4. Agent outreach

They help your agents. Events give you a chance to show what the company does to help agents reach their spheres creatively. From a broker-owner perspective, I love the chance to create an event for my agents to use.

5. Personal touch

You can use video and photos to capture the event and then send photos afterward to your past clients. Everyone loves a great photo of their family, and what a great excuse to write a handwritten thank-you note or post on a past client’s Facebook wall.

6. Content, content, content

You can do an entire online campaign around inviting people to the event or as a retrospective to it. You can write blog posts and utilize Facebook, Instagram, email and YouTube to tell the story.

7. Exposure

Your event can highlight what you are passionate about — family, the outdoors, historic preservation, fashion, etc. You are limited only by your own thinking. This is different than the charity you might highlight. This is more of a window into the lifestyles that your company serves. Serve your niche.

Now that you are seriously thinking about hosting events, here are some tips for hosting a successful event:

  • Have a kick-butt team. The more enthusiastic people to pitch in and help, the better the event.
  • Keep it as simple as possible. The less food the better.
  • Budget carefully. The first time you do an event, you’ll just have to ballpark. You’ll underestimate — just accept it and move on.
  • Get a great graphic or flier designed for the event, and use it all over the place. A logo design for a repeating event can be fun. Make sure the size will work across multiple platforms.
  • Create an agenda for the event so you know when to speak.
  • Make sure you have adequate audio support if you plan to make any announcements, etc. We like to have live music. It creates ambiance, it’s usually economical, and then we have a mic and an amp for speaking.
  • Make sure the entire team knows their role. If the team is supposed to come to the front while you welcome guests, make sure they know this ahead of time and call them up if they are in a conversation.

Need an event idea?

In the past, we’ve done neighborhood pop-­up parties with an ice cream truck, a champagne hour to celebrate a print marketing unveiling, luncheons to celebrate other awesome real estate agents, gratitude brunch for our clients (we got this idea from Mary Maloney at Hometown Realty), business book club, training classes for using iPads in business, and, finally, an Easter egg hunt for kids of all abilities. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook and hear your ideas for marketing your company through events.

What events are you doing in your community? How are you refining the process and bringing value to your clients and team members? Please share in the comments section below.

Stephanie Lanier is the founder and CEO​ of Lanier Property Group, a boutique real estate firm in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Email Stephanie Lanier.