Building a business using Events is a strategy that works like a charm.
The most important asset in your business is your database and having one enhanced will result from your success in event building. Your database is the people you know, and should include every single person who fits into that category, including your family and friends. It should also include your SOI or Sphere of Influence – if you’re not sure what a Sphere of Influence is, it basically means anyone that you’ve ever “touched” personally or professional in your lifetime. This can include past clients, current clients, client prospects, and pretty much anyone breathing. Your babysitter, veterinarian, grocery store clerk, nail technician, garbage man, children’s teacher, and even the guy that washes your car can all be within your sphere of influence.
A lot of agents resist adding people to their database because the person is not looking to buy or sell at this time. This is a huge mistake. It doesn’t make a difference if they are buying or selling now or not. For starters, the majority of your database is not filled with people that may ever buy or sell, but they each know about 200 people they will become comfortable in referring you to. For those that do buy or sell, it is likely they will have multiple transactions with you by keeping yourself top of mind. So, to put it another way, 15 % of the people that you know will buy or sell this year, and 100% of the people that you know will know someone else who will buy or sell this year. Don’t discount anyone’s value or delete them from your list simply because you’re assuming are without value.
The best way to reach people is in a way that makes them “stick”. A top way to pull this off is to have events.
Events are an amazing way to build your business database. Here are a few ways to make your event the best business builder possible:
Build your Brand – Do you know what Kleenex is? How about Ziploc bags? What about Styrofoam? What if I told you that every single one of these was a brand name, and not a product name. For example, most people will say “binder”, “hole-puncher”, “pizza”, or “can opener” because those are products that do not have very strong brand recognition. But if someone says “Sharpie”, you know that they mean a permanent marker that comes in a variety of colors and sizes. If they say “Velcro” you know that they mean a type of fastener. These brands have dominated the market so thoroughly that people reference their name and instantly everyone else knows what they’re talking about. You need to strengthen the daylights out of your brand so that you’re the “Cindy Bishop” of real estate agents in your market. I’ll have future posts on how to build your brand if you want to read more about this topic.
Invite Everyone – There are all types of events so you should have no problem picking one that fits your style that a variety of people would want to come to. You can even have multiple events. The most important thing is to invite every single person you know and encourage each person to bring guests, so that you can expand your network and meet people you don’t already know. You can also invite local businesses as well. A friend of mine has “appreciation parties” for people in her area that are often not thanked enough for their jobs and service to the community. She has had events for the military, teachers, nurses, and other such first responders and school and hospital support staff. These people love to attend her functions because it makes them feel welcomed, appreciated, and important.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – So many people get so caught up into the details that they sweat the small stuff and don’t plan their party. Don’t become overwhelmed, don’t worry so much about the appeal of the event that you’re unable to start executing it. Just start doing something, take an hour or so each day to devote to the planning of your event, and the rest will fall into place. The most important thing is to just make it happen.
Make Your Brand Luxury – Your network is going to become a Fan Club if you do this thing right. Whatever events you have need to be top shelf. You shouldn’t spare any expense because this will be how you are remembered (or how you are not remembered). People will think more highly of you or more poorly of you based on how you made them feel at this event. Plan it out and estimate the cost high, then find sponsors to pay for it. You shouldn’t have to put a dime into it, your contribution is your time that it took to organize and plan each detail of the event. Collect the sponsor fee’s in advance of committing to anything. Make sure you are giving them their money’s worth with a program guide, a displayed banner, or some other kind of mention of their name and services. Be careful here, if you’re promising someone that they can display or present at your event, that’s all you can do- you cannot promise them that your clients will use them for services, as that is unethical and illegal in many states. Check with your broker if you have any questions about what you can and cannot do regarding “trades” and “marketing.”