For decades, real estate agents have held buyer seminars to attract buyers. But have you ever considered holding a seller seminar to generate more listing leads for your business?
Greg McDaniel has been conducting virtual seller seminars as an important lead generator for his business. Here’s how you can employ this approach in your business.
Seller seminars are ideal for a Zoom meeting. If you don’t have a Zoom account, it’s well-worth it to set one up and become trained on how to use it. You will need a registration page to collect contact data as well as send them information after your meeting.
It’s also smart to invite a co-host such as a mortgage lender or title rep who will also co-sponsor your event. In terms of guests, you could invite a CPA to discuss potential tax ramifications, an expert on downsizing for seniors, or a city council member to discuss pertinent local issues.
Marketing the event
You can use multiple channels to market your event — postcards, Facebook ads, text messaging strategies, etc. You can also use Zoom to make a brief video about what your seller seminar will cover and post it on YouTube, Instagram stories and any other relevant marketing channels you use to generate leads.
In addition, McDaniel is working with Likely.AI’s predictive analytics tool to identify leads most likely to sell in the next 90-120 days. Once he identifies a lead, he uses a Facebook retargeting campaign where his ads appear whenever the lead opens Facebook.
Topics to cover
1. Selling during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant barriers to selling. Your seller seminar should address the following pandemic-related questions:
- What are the state-mandated protocols for conducting showings, and what documentation is required?
- How can my home be marketed virtually?
- Are prices increasing or decreasing due to the pandemic?
- Should I sell to an iBuyer so I don’t have to have people in my home?
- How can I find a replacement property when there’s so little inventory, especially if I’m concerned about going into someone else’s home?
2. Current market conditions
Be prepared to answer questions about local market conditions including:
Is now a good time to sell?
Yes! Low inventory and low interest rates coupled with a realistic asking price often generate multiple offers that help sellers maximize their sales price.
How should I price my home?
Since most buyers use their mobile devices to search for homes, price properties under $500,000 in increments of $10,000 (not prices ending with $99,000 or $95,000).
For properties $500,000 and over, price in increments of $25,000. For properties over $1 million, price in increments of $250,000. This is due to how the pricing sliders on most mobile apps work.
How quickly can I expect my home to sell?
Share the average days on market for your area.
What do I need to do to prepare to sell?
Gather your receipts for any repairs, appliance replacement, upgrades, permits, as well as a year’s worth of all utility bills.
Check out the Centriq app, which allows you to snap a photo of the serial number for each appliance and then receive the user manual, original product warranty, plus any product recalls.
If you have a loan, review your original loan docs to see if there is a prepayment penalty. If there is, negotiate with your mortgage lender ahead of time to avoid delays in closing your sale.
In case there’s a problem with any appliances or major systems in your home prior to closing, order a home warranty policy to reimburse your repair costs during the listing period.
Make duplicate sets of keys, change passwords you may have to share, make arrangements for your pets during showings, and safely secure your valuables and prescription medications where they can’t be stolen during a showing.
What do I need to do to make my home ready for sale?
Hire a physical inspector to identify both small and large problems. Determine how you will address each problem prior to putting your property on the market.
Eliminate clutter, remove as much as possible from your closets, and depersonalize your home by removing any photos or other personal items you’re not using.
You’re going to have to pack it all anyway, so get a head start on the process. As McDaniel says: “All the wonderful memories of your home don’t stay with the home — they go wherever you go!”
Make it light and bright! Paint walls a neutral color, open any shades or window coverings for showings, and turn on all the lights. Give each room a purpose — show buyers how to use each space.
Have your home and carpets professionally cleaned, keep the lawn trimmed, and make your landscaping look as attractive as possible.
Homeowners often believe remodeling is a good idea. This can be a two-edged sword. In many cases, the sellers won’t recover the money they put into the remodel.
On the other hand, updated properties command the highest prices. To determine which features are most in demand in your area and that provide the highest return, visit Remodeling.hw.net.
Not interested in remodeling? A different approach is to obtain bids from Home Depot or Lowe’s that estimate the cost of any remodeling project. Advise sellers to also obtain their computer-rendered drawings of the project. You can also use the same approach with pool contractors as well. Have the cost and the renderings available for any buyer interested in making changes to the property.
A different approach is to use virtual staging using tools such as BoxBrownie and iScape (for exterior landscaping).
How can you handle the contingent sale problem?
Although you could sell your home and rent until you find your next home, or obtain a high-interest rate bridge loan to purchase prior to selling your current property, there’s a third option to consider.
FlyHomes and the HomeLight Trade-In Program allow sellers to move only once by doing some version of the following:
- They make a guaranteed offer on the seller’s current home and determine how much the seller can pay for their next home.
- This allows the seller to make the strongest offer possible on their next home.
- When the offer is accepted, the company purchases the seller’s current home at the guaranteed price, giving the seller the cash to purchase their next property.
- After the seller moves, the company prepares their previous property for sale. In the HomeLight Trade-In model, if the property sells over the guaranteed price, the seller keeps the overage less the selling costs and program fees.
Send each person who attended a thank-you note and also offer them an “equity check-up” that includes your CMA, NARRPR reports and a report from HomeDisclosure.com. (If they want a more detailed report, either make an appointment to see the property, or have them walk through the property using a livestreaming app such as FaceTime or Facebook Live.)
For those who didn’t attend, contact them and say: “We missed you at the seller seminar! We recorded the meeting. Would you like me to send you a link?”
Buyer seminars have worked for years. Zoom provides a great way to do seller seminars today, especially in light of the restrictions that are still with us from COVID-19.
Check out this week’s video above. It’s packed with plenty of additional content and much more detail about exactly what to do.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateC