For decades Realtors have held buyer seminars to attract buyers, but have you ever considered holding a seller seminar to generate more listing leads for your business?
With a dramatic drop in inventory in markets across Massachusetts and the nation, this could be an important step to take to help keep your business strong during the pandemic.
First: the basics. Seller seminars are ideal for a Zoom meeting. If you’ve managed to avoid the software over the last six months, it’s worth become trained on how to use it.
It’s 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 down-sizing for seniors, or a city council or select board member to discuss pertinent local issues.
You can use multiple channels to market your event – postcards, Facebook ads, text message strategies and more. 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 lead generate.
Lastly, you will need a registration page to collect contact information and other data on attendees, as well as to send them information afterwards.
Topics to Cover
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant barriers to selling. Your seminar should address some key pandemic-related questions to help set potential clients’ minds at ease.
First, outline what state-mandated protocols you and other agents follow when conducting showings. Beyond those, detail how you market homes virtually. These two topics can immediately reassure sellers nervous about contracting the coronavirus during the sale process.
Be prepared to answer questions about local market conditions. Show them how prices are changing thanks to the pandemic, and how the combination of low interest rates and low inventory often results in multiple offers that allow sellers to maximize their sales price. And share the average days on market for your area. How quickly can they expect their homes to sell?
Many sellers are also worried about finding a replacement property when they’re so little inventory. Rather than selling and then renting while they search for a replacement property or obtaining a high interest rate bridge loan that allows them to purchase prior to selling their current property, there’s a third option. iBuyer-like services like Fly Homes and HomeLight’s trade-in program make guaranteed offers on sellers’ homes but hold off on closing the sale until the seller’s offer is accepted on their new home. The company then sells the home themselves.
Get Ready to Sell
Potential sellers will also need to know what they need to do to be ready to sell, from paperwork to more potentially emotionally challenging steps.
If they have a loan, sellers should review their original loan documents to see if there is a prepayment penalty. If there is, they should negotiate with their mortgage lender ahead of time to avoid delays in closing the sale. Sellers should also hire a physical inspector to identify both small and large problems. In your seminar, you should work through how they might address these problems prior to putting the property on the market.
In this age of virtual tours, it’s important to present homes well. Alert sellers to the need to declutter and depersonalize their homes. All their wonderful memories of the home will stay with them, even if that means removing photos and personal items they aren’t using. Paint walls neutral colors, have the home professionally cleaned and make plans to keep the lawn trimmed and landscaping attractive. You can also give sellers an overview of virtual staging options like Box Brownie and iScape, using examples from their websites.
Last of all, don’t forget to follow up. Send each person who attended a “Thank You” note and also offer them an “equity checkup” 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 live streaming app such as Facetime or Facebook Live.
If anyone doesn’t show up, contact them and offer a recording of the seminar – just make sure you alert participants at the start of the event that you’re recording it, in line with Massachusetts’ two-party consent laws.
Buyer seminars have worked for years and Zoom provides a great way to do seller seminars today, especially in light of the market disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Bernice Ross is a nationally syndicated columnist, author, trainer and speaker on real estate topics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.