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300 People Looking for Housing. In One Place. On One Day.

I have the unique opportunity to present at a housing fair for a graduate university program in Fort Worth. Actually, this has been a part of Fischer Real Estate Services business development strategy for the past couple of months. Imagine this – there are large organizations in your town who hire, fire, and admit hundreds of people to their programs every year (who are in need of housing). There is no need to imagine it (unless you live in a very tiny town), this kind of regular migration exists all over the country. Having this knowledge, I made a conscious decision to spend a majority of my marketing and business development time asking consumers, employers, and college admissions staff what they needed when moving to or from Fort Worth. This approach worked way better than I expected and it’s my aim to give you an idea of how I prepared for a specific event, what happened at the event, what kind of response and conversion I achieved, and how I will alter my approach for subsequent events.

So, Saturday Mar 3rd I will be in a room for 2 hours with 300 students, parents, and college staff at a “relocation fair”. All attendees have a real need for some kind of real estate in Fort Worth. The average age is 26, 50% are married, and they hail from all parts of Texas, the US, and the World. Oh, and Saturday April 21 I will repeat the process with a new set of 300 students, parents, and college staff all looking for housing. I’ve scheduled several similar engagements this spring at other universities and businesses in Fort Worth.

According to the organizers and friends who have previously attended – a variety of situations present themselves. Students will lease apartments or houses after viewing only pictures, some will schedule showings at apartments or houses for lease and sign agreements that weekend, some will take information and visit/schedule appointments in the following weeks, some will make purchase offers that weekend, and some will schedule appointments/follow-up on homes for sale in the following weeks.

The challenge is to engage as much as the audience as possible, get as much contact information as possible, and convert as many leads as possible. In a perfect world, I would close 300 rentals, apartments, and sales from this event. I know this won’t happen but I would like to capitalize on the opportunity as much as possible.

How does this relate to technology?

Conversion of course. How exactly?

I am considering a landing page with pre-defined search results (using Diverse Solutions dsidxpress plugin on my site) for rentals and sales within a 5 mile radius of campus. I will do the same with apartments. I will attach the results to a landing page on our site and connect people who submit their email addresses with this landing page. I will also have several computers, Ipad’s, and a 32″ TV to display live listing data and also provide a way for attendees to register their email addresses. I’ve considered a giveaway (think Kindle Fire, and maybe Target gift cards) for registering, and perhaps announce the winner on our Facebook page. I am clearing my calendar for the weekend so that I can schedule as many appointments as possible. I’ll bring several people to the same properties at once if need be.

Prior to the event, I will post my final decisions about what my display and strategy will entail. Overall, I want to educate as many people as possible about the housing opportunities in Fort Worth and ultimately represent them in the transaction. Post event, I’ll review the event, and I’ll also provide the overall results of engagement and conversion from my efforts. I will detail adjustments that I’ll make for the other events down the road too.

I talked to Drew a little bit about this event and he had some great ideas. What would you do? Do you have any suggestions? Questions? Let me know if there is anything I should consider doing at this event to maximize my conversion.

About Greg Fischer

Greg Fischer is a real estate broker in Fort Worth, TX. He is also the head of partnerships at Doorsteps. He loves barbecue, football, spotify, Dr. Dre, TCU, and everything Fort Worth.

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