Friday, May 29, 2009
Partner with a Professional
Are you joining networking groups and scratching your head after the meetings?
"How are these people going to help me?" is not the question you should be asking yourself.
"How can I be of service to these professionals?" is the right way to approach it!
Let's take a look at partnering with a Real Estate Agent. In this housing market, agents are scouring the earth for unique ways to get the house sold. Millions of dollars are being spent on "Staging" and making the home ready for the sale. But then what?
Who's coming to look at the home? What can you do for this agent to increase the traffic to the property and make it look and feel good?
A Tea Party, of course!
Offer your services to make that property stand out and get attention! This will get your business attention in the end!
Many styles of homes lend themselves to a tea party, imagine what a draw this can be!
So, what does this entail?
You can serve tea and cookies/scones at the Property's first open house. Most listings will be shown to local agents first. This is where you want to be, meeting and shaking hands with the local professionals.
Let's make a checklist:
Items you'll need
* Pretty tablecloth-white or ivory so you don't compete with all the work the stagers have done.
* Tiered server for finger size goodies- see if the open house is sponsored by another professional, like a Title Company. If so, they can pick up the tab for the cookies etc.
* Tea-enough for 30 0r so (plan for the weather-you may need iced tea rather than hot tea!/
confirm with the agent on the presence of a tea kettle or bring your own)
* Pretty paper napkins (check out the clearance section of the local party store or try the $1 store)
* Small/6-8 ounce paper cups/hot cups -plan for 30 or so
* Your business cards
* A bowl or basket to collect the visitor's business cards (The listing agent also collects these cards, she/he may offer these to you at the end of the day.)
Make the table feel like a tea party, but not too fussy. The focus needs to be on the home for sale.
Where should you be?
That's up to the agent. Talk to her/him. They may need to you "dress up" a plain dining room, or the dining room can be staged to the nines. In that case, the table in the kitchen or setting up on the front porch can work to your advantage.
What should you charge? This is about getting you branded and making connections. Not making a product sale or booking a show. (Although both usually occur!) My suggestion is to
cover your expenses for items purchased, and do not charge for your time. The exact amount charged will be dependent on the location of the tea party/travel time for you and the cost of
goods used. Be smart and make some calculations. Draft up a word document - an "Event planning guide" to help with the details and the appointments. This can also act as an agreement between you and the agent.
Your goal here is to meet people and let them know that you are the local tea expert. This will brand you and grow your business. Don't just stand by the table and pour tea. In fact, pour someone tea and deliver it-engage in conversation and if someone else has to pour their own tea, that's okay. You can shake hands and make those introductions later.
Talk to the attendees, find out how they know your real estate agent. Make connections.
The other agents are going to be very intrigued by this new tea party/open house approach.
Answer their questions. Listen to their needs. Offer your assistance to solve their problems.
A"Service first" approach is going to keep people talking about you long after the open house.
Don't go to all this effort and then show up in jeans! Remember, you are making a first impression on lots of professional people. Wear your best business attire. Your company apron is appropriate, and your name tag too!