October 2014 Article

Instructing Homebuyer Classes

Instructing a class for homebuyers is an excellent way to serve your community, and to demonstrate your knowledge to potential buyer clients. Being a real estate instructor is also a distinction that sets you apart from other real estate professionals.

Working with education organizations
Promoting your own class can be expensive, a lot of work, or both, and you can’t count on an acceptable turnout. A better way might be to find an organization that already offers classes, and convince them that they should include your class on their list. An example would be a community adult education program. Many school systems offer adult evening classes at elementary and high schools as a way of serving their community, and to raise needed funds. Most of these community programs will already have a real estate agent who offers a generalized real estate buyer class, but you can pitch a unique angle, such as:
  • Buying Your First Home in Today’s Market
  • Negotiating the Price and Terms of a Home Purchase
  • Determining Whether to Rent or Buy a Home
  • The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo
Along with your course title, you will need a written course proposal. Ask the education coordinator for proposal guidelines, which will likely include:
  1. Who would benefit from this course, and why it is important.
  2. An outline of your course topics, with brief explanations.
  3. Your credentials for instructing this course, such as other times you have taught or trained people (if you have never taught and are relatively new to the real estate business, being a licensed professional might be enough).
  4. How long the class will be.
  5. A description of any student handouts you plan to distribute.
Afraid of speaking to groups?
A little nervousness will improve your mental alertness, and your heightened energy will be engaging. But if you get too scared, you’ll feel distracted by your own discomfort. Here are some public speaking tips that will help you feel composed, and draw your attendees’ attention:
  1. Before you meet with your participants, find a place to be alone, and inhale to a count of 4, then exhale to a count of 4. Repeat this cycle three times. Concentrating on your breathing is an ancient method of centering and calming.
  2. Remind yourself that you know more about your topic than any of the attendees.
  3. When talking, randomly look at people’s faces for about 2 seconds each. Better yet, look into their eyes. This practice will engage your entire audience.
  4. Be polite, listen carefully, and smile. These attributes will project warmth, which, when combined with the power you’ll have as the instructor, will increase your charisma.  
Follow up with attendees
Community education programs will probably not allow you to promote your business, but you can write your name, email address, and phone number on the white board and on handouts. You could also offer to email something (e.g. market stats, a list of helpful websites) to anyone who would like to put their contact info on your list. Attendees will generally not have the same level of resistance to you as an instructor as they might to other salespeople. Because of that, there’s a good chance someone will later contact you.

By Jim Luger, CDEI
Certified Distance Education Instructor
Continuing Ed Express

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