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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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6 Responses to 300 People Looking for Housing. In One Place. On One Day.

  1. Jason Maycumber says:

    Greg,  that’s a great idea and sounds like will be quite the project.  Do you have suport and/or team members to help you?  It seems like you will need plenty of support staff to handle these types of numbers.   Would it make sense to have property management personnel available from one or more Apartment complexes to also assist?

    Great idea, it’s stimulating some thoughts for me in my marketplace and how I could do something similar. 

    • Greg Fischer says:

      Jason, I will have at least two team members supporting me on this. I agree, the numbers are staggering and I know that one of the constraints of the event will be having the opportunity to engage everyone. There will be a few apartment communities present (on their own) – so I will really be promoting myself as a local market expert who can develop a relationship and help you move anywhere (rental, apartment, sale).

      This is a huge opportunity when you think about it. All of the attendees have a true need for housing in the immediate future. I’m stoked to see how it pans out.

  2. Nick Rotsart says:

    Greg – Great idea! Look forward to hearing the results of the fair.  One suggestion…may be worthwhile to integrate “relo” video testimonials on your LCD of clients you’ve helped in the past.  Use computers, ipads to allow search and registration while LCD is embedding your local knowledge and experience.  Good luck!

    • Greg Fischer says:

      Nick, I like the idea of the video testimonials. You know, i actually read an interesting article today on 
      Fast Company  about how Facebook is changing the way brands will advertise on the site – Fans will actually be able to comment directly into ads and updates/comments will be posted on their walls. Testimonials go overlooked, but it appears that marketing is going to favor this method heavily in the future, I like where your head is at.
      I also like your idea to use technology for different purposes. It will be helpful to have something to keep visitors occupied if I am engaging in conversation with someone. Thanks for the comment.

  3. VickiLloyd says:

    This does sound like a great idea!  I would also bring an FHA lender with me to explain the advantages of parents/kids buying together.  (FHA is the only loan that allows non-occupant co-borrowers without charging investor rates – and the college kid doesn’t need very much income!)  

    My husband & I co-signed our daughter’s house when she was in college.  Total monthly cost (with her 4 roommates) was less than local rent, and we sold it later for enough to pay off her student loans!

    • Greg Fischer says:

      Vicki, thanks for your comment. I did have plans for a lender to join me, but he won’t make it to the first event. I may consider having him write up a short article specific to your point so that I can present at least the idea of it to parents. What you detail is a great strategy in college towns, and I hope to carve out a niche assisting parents in the future. Congratulations on that deal, that is exactly how it is supposed to work!

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