By: Kara Macdonald

October 9, 2018

Realtors, are you having regular events? If you aren’t, you are missing opportunities. Whether it’s an open house, a client appreciation event or a happy hour, you should be having some kind of consistent event to connect with your community and clients. I have held hundreds of events over the past 5 ½ years. In this post, I will explain my process.

Step One: Decide what kind of event you want to have. Some ideas include movie nights, autumn festivals, happy hours, homebuyer seminars and open houses.

Step Two: Pick a date & time. Keep in mind you almost always need 30 days to promote (except for open houses).

Step Three: Decide on a budget.

Step Four: Decide on a venue (this will usually depend on the budget).

Step Five: Decide if you want a photographer. You can hire an amateur photographer for about $100/hour. Being able to add the event pictures to Facebook and other social media channels afterwards is priceless. Hopefully, you can tag most of the people that attend, which gets you so much extra exposure. This expense is non negotiable for me.

Step Six: Identify sponsors. As an agent, you refer a lot of business to a lot of different companies. As your title partners, lender partners and home inspectors to chip in. Be sure to keep your sponsors in the loop at all times. If it makes sense, ask them to help you promote the event.

Step Seven: Decide whom you are going to invite.

Step Eight: Decide how you are going to invite people. If you do an electronic invitation, you can use a service like eventbrite, evite or punchbowl. If you have a larger budget, you can create a postcard or invitations to mail. You should also promote your event on social media. In addition to sending an electronic invitation out to your database, create a Facebook Event (you can insert the link to evite or eventbrite into the Facebook Event so people are redirected from Facebook and all your registrants are in one place) and share it regularly on Facebook, Instagram, anywhere you are active online.

Step Nine: Decide if you need any marketing materials. Think through the event. Picture yourself there. I have a stand up banner that I invested in about three years ago. The cost was approximately $475.00. Perhaps you want to give people a parting gift of some kind. The last thing you want is to realize you need something three days before  the event and it’s too late or it will cost you three times as much to get it rushed.

Step Ten: Make a list for “other” items. Depending on what kind of event you are having, some things you might need are name tags, pens, food (perishable and non-perishable), balloons, utensils, napkins, plates, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), games for kids, games for adults and brochures. One more thing to consider is audio visual equipment. If you’re going to be doing a presentation, ask the venue if they have A/V and make sure to ask the cost. Some venues include it in their fee to use the space. If they charge extra, you’ll want to know the amount ahead of time so you can decide if it’s in your budget. If you’re going to be doing a lot of events, it may be worth it to invest in your own projector and screen.

Step Eleven: Shop for everything in step nine. Think through every aspect of the event AGAIN.

Step Twelve: HAVE THE EVENT & ENJOY YOURSELF! The less nervous you are, the more people will be attracted to you and want to work with you in the future.

Step Thirteen: FOLLOW UP! Send a very nice, hand-written card to every guest that attended. If there are any nice pictures from the photgrapher, I would print them and include them with the card.

Step Fourteen: Post the pictures. Create an album on your Facebook Business Page. Upload all the pictures, add descriptions and tag people. Share the album to your personal timeline and say something like “Thank you to everyone that came out to our first annual __________________ event. We had lots of fun and look forward to doing it again next year.”.

Two years ago, I created a Client Appreciation Party Checklist. It could be adapted to use for any event but it’s best for a client party. Once you add the date of the event, it calculates timelines for each thing you need to do for a successful event.

Get your free copy below.