Realtor Marketing Meetings - a Unique Way to Find a Good Local Realtor

Home buyer or seller - here's a forum where you can meet loads of realtors and they don't even know you're interviewing them!

Realtor Marketing Meetings are networking forums for realtors held weekly or monthly in most localities in California, almost always in the morning starting about 8:30 at a restaurant or community center. The monthly meetings are often set up as lunches at a local restaurant. Usually sponsored by a local board of realtors, most of the meetings are open to the public. Certain local exceptions apply - San Francisco does not have Board sponsored meetings; individual realtor companies in the City have internal private sales meetings instead.

Where realtors gather, the vendors who feed off realtor referrals - mortgage brokers, appraisers, title insurance reps - follow. Called "affiliates", they sometimes comprise the majority of the audience. Frankly, the meetings seem to be one of the best ways for affiliates to network into the realtor community.

The mission of the Marketing Meeting is to create a forum for listing agents to present their listings to other realtors who represent potential buyers. The format for the Meeting starts out with contributing $3-5 at registration and partaking in coffee and usually, a breakfast and the standard pre-meeting networking. The meeting starts, sometimes with a Pledge of Allegiance (which is a real dejavu to your elementary school days when you first encounter this) and introductions. The realtors line up to present their listings, sometimes a monitor called the Sergeant at Arms will provide signals to the presenter if they speak too long. Then, community announcements - classes offered by title insurance companies for the benefit of the realtors, realtor or loan company sponsored event announcements and special speakers - local politicians, etc. Finally, a raffle - affiliates provide token gifts - bottles of wine, Starbucks certificates, teddy bears - that are won by realtors thus creating some sort of "gift bond" between the affiliate and realtor.

There is usually a realtor tour of open houses after these meetings where groups of realtors form "caravans" or car pools and visit each open house. Listing agents often entice their brethren to visit their open houses by offering food and other giveaways. Now that the market has turned into a buyers market, listing agents have more reason to promote their listings for possible buyers.

I myself find the meetings amusing - the moderators of the meetings can be jokers - and the camaraderie is quite pleasant. As most affiliates will tell you, you need to show your face for a couple of months before the mob sees you as one of theirs. After a while, you begin to understand the cast of characters - this is real sitcom material, finally Discovery Channel apparently will do a
reality show on realtors - and the underlying politics within that community.

In the immediate San Francisco Bay Area, WEEKLY realtor marketing meetings open to the public can be found in three areas - the 680 corridor, Santa Clara County and Fremont. Other areas like Marin and Berkeley have monthly marketing meetings. Check with the local Board of Realtors.

If you're a home buyer or seller, you can attend a meeting even if you're not part of the real estate business. Call your
local Board of Realtors and ask where the meetings are held. At registration, just say you're thinking about a real estate career and that will work... every meeting I've attended has been very open. The meetings attract aggressive realtors (this is good for you) as well as newer realtors trying to build their business... well established realtors generally do not attend because they tend to be too busy.


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  • 8/23/2006 8:47 PM Ryan James wrote:
    This is a great suggestion. I am very aware of these local meetings, and usually you can find out where they are being held just by calling your local board of REALTORS. I had never thought of using the forum to find a prospective agent. Well done.

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    1. 8/23/2006 9:53 PM Transparent RE wrote:

      Local realtor boards should really consider opening up their marketing meetings to the public or to hold separate meet and greet networking meetings in public forums. The realtors all seem threatened by disintermediation form their "leads" as online lead generation companies pounce on their customer before they do. Local networking seems like a natural balancing act that is easy to organize and affordable for a local board...

      Pat Kitano

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