I got the opportunity to leave my J-O-B in 2001, and devote all my time taking my real estate business to the next level.
At that time I had (2) private lenders. These lenders were delighted with the monthly checks they received from me and I loved the quick cash it provided me to buy houses. I knew this program was golden and I knew I wanted more private lenders in my life FAST–who could virtually provide unlimited cash to fund my real estate deals.
So, how did I get the word out?
There were a number of ways such as one-on-one meetings, direct mailing campaigns and radio commercials. My choice was to leverage my time by holding a luncheon and invite people to hear my presentation.
Why a luncheon? Well, let's look at all the benefits.
- Present to a large group to leverage my time
- Attractive meeting location
- Controlled atmosphere
- Answer everyone's questions at once
- No pressure
- Professional presentation
- Linger & mingle
Let's look a little closer at each of those points.
Present to a Large Group to Leverage My Time
Of all the items listed above, for me, this was the most critical.
I had talked one-on-one with my current lenders and it had taken quite a bit of time. I carefully went over the program in great detail so they would understand it. While that way worked, it would just take too much time to accomplish my goal. I wanted to reach a large audience. I wanted tons of cash.
Now, don't get me wrong, you'll find lenders who want to have a one-on-one meeting and that's great – don't turn it down.
Another thing I'd like to help you avoid is wasting time presenting your program one-on-one to folks who are not ready to invest or are not able. At the luncheon, they know coming in the door that the minimum investment is $5K – that's part of our pre-screening. I don't waste people's time. I don't waste mine.
Attractive Meeting Location
There are a lot of different options about choosing where to hold a luncheon. While I could have made the presentation in my office for 6 to 8 people, the place is full of paperwork and filing cabinets and all the tools and equipment of a busy rental and rehab business. We focus on function and I didn't want to redirect our activities.
We used a location that was easy to find, had adequate parking, was in a lovely neighborhood and was landscaped beautifully.
An attractive meeting location sets the scene for the presentation.
Picture this: You are in a lender's home and you start to make your presentation and the phone rings. The husband gets up to answer it while you talk to the wife. When he comes back you have to repeat the information he missed. Now they are both caught up and you continue with the presentation. Then the kids run through the room and the wife's attention is redirected as she gets up to usher them out. Once again you have to wait or repeat the information. Just as you get rolling, the dog wanders in the room and starts whining so the husband yells at the kids to come and take the dog out. This is not a great way to make and effective presentation. It can be frustrating.
The meeting location provides a place where you are in control of the situation.
Answer Everyone's Questions at Once
In a group, people seem to come up with really great questions – things you haven't thought to mention. There are so many things about this business that seasoned real estate business owners know that may be completely foreign to the audience. Someone will bring it to your attention.
Also, someone may be shy about speaking up. They don't want to show what they don't know. When someone asks a question, others are probably wondering about the same thing. With a group, everyone gets educated at once. One of the nice surprises for me was that someone would ask a question and someone else would answer it before I did. This brought a lot of credibility to what I was doing.
Even when you are as careful as possible, a one-on-one meeting can come across as high pressure. With our relaxed luncheon, people can listen then pass or play. No pressure. We make sure that no individual is ever put on the spot.
The pressure was on to come up with a top-notch presentation because I was going to have a room full of sharp lenders. I went over and over my slides and my script until it was perfect.
Linger & Mingle
At the luncheon, people were so comfortable they didn't rush off afterwards. They took their time. This gave us the opportunity to tell them even more about the program.
There's a kind of excitement that builds as they talk to one another over lunch. This came as a surprise to us. After the presentation everyone went back to the dining tables. Since the dining tables could seat 6-8 people and almost everyone had come alone or with one other person, they were having lunch with strangers. The one thing they obviously had in common was the presentation. As they talked about it, their excitement grew. They sold themselves on the program. Neat!
So, those are just some of the reasons we decided to hold a luncheon and it worked out great.
As investors we are always on the hunt for the next deal. In this day and age we need to have at our disposal resources for funding our deals quickly. Private lending is a great way to grow your real estate business and your credibility as a real estate investor.