Saturday, March 24, 2018

backtoschoolFive Tips for creating successful business partnerships with local schools

By Julia Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing

An estimated 20+ million students return to schools across the country around this time each year, along with their parents, teachers and dedicated faculty members. As a former PTA president and PTSA board member, I can tell you first hand how effective and mutually beneficial it is to develop relationships with the people at these noble institutions.

When it comes to a hot button for passionate topics, few rival the subject of our nation’s children. Educators, front office staff and sports coaches all will gladly welcome your help in creating the best possible learning environment for their students.

With some clever marketing and the willingness to make a friend first and a sale later, becoming a business partner for your local schools could very well make you the go-to agent for legions of people, all while supporting a worthy cause.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Make a contact list for area schools. Most can be found on county websites and will include the principal’s name, address and phone numbers.
  2. Call each school to get the name and contact information for the PTA or PTSA President (or Vice President of Ways and Means) so that you can inquire about their business partnership programs.
  3. Learn what necessary forms need to be filled out to comply with county/state/school regulations and take the necessary steps to comply.
  4. Dive in, and get involved. For many schools, a fresh face and savvy business acumen are a refreshing addition to their volunteer list.
  5. Be proactive. Offer to sponsor a teacher breakfast, rally local businesses to donate school supplies, books or equipment to the media center, or become a Junior Achievement volunteer.
  6. Team up! Do you have a mortgage broker, title rep, attorney or CPA that you normally refer clients to? Ask them to join in and increase your exposure as the team to turn to.
  7. Advertise in the school’s agenda book or monthly newsletter.  The revenue helps purchase needed items and you get valuable exposure.
  8. Participate in the Great American Teach-In. This annual event is brings business professionals, parents and local leaders together to be “teachers for a day” at local schools.

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Also coming up in September:

  • Back to School
  • Grandparent’s Day
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  • Rosh Hashanah
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  • First Day of Aumtumn
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  • Yom Kippur
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By Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing, ProspectsPLUS!

Much like the proverbial apple that keeps the doctor away, committing at least an hour a day to your professional well being is the right prescription for the salesperson savvy enough to take a pro-active, preventative and inspired approach to growing their business.

What difference can an hour make? It can mean all the difference in the world when it comes to repeatable, sustainable success in this business. This business, like most sales industries is above all else, a people business, which means if you want to STAY in business, you’ve got to make staying top of mind with your customer base a priority. Did you know that National Association of REALTORS® statistics still show that more than 80% of consumers who list their homes don’t list with the person they bought it from? Why? They didn’t stay in touch. They failed to stay connected with their book of business. Now consider the national statistics that tell us that the average consumer moves every seven years, and buys a property worth at least 25% more than their current home – that puts an estimated career value of a client well over $110,000. With that kind of perspective in mind, an hour a day doesn’t seem like too much to ask does it?

If you’re thinking college kids and single moms – you might be on to something! Minnesota Realtor Jesse Godzala was recently featured in a Economist Perspective sharing his insight on the “faces” of the perfect home buying candidates that are keeping him busy every day!

“Here in St. Cloud, and I venture to guess plenty of other real estate markets across North America we have a large student population coming in surrounding the area colleges. What’s exciting to see is how savvy many of these kids and their parents are about taking advantage of the current market conditions to purchase homes at lower-than-normal prices, take advantage of the tax credit and find themselves with an investment they can count on at a fairly young age! It takes a little more work – you’ve got to educate them about every little aspect, especially if you are dealing with foreclosure properties or short sales. It’s worth it though – take good care of these young investors now and you’ll have clients for life! They are also a GREAT referral source! Another great customer base – and literally 75% of my customers – are single mothers. They’re great to work with. In my opinion, they know what they want, know what they can afford and not afford, have their budget mapped out and their eye on the properties they want. They’ve done their homework and they just need a professional to guide them safely through the process.”

Thanks Jesse for your insight! Need some tips for tapping into these two markets? We’ve got them! Almost every university or college has a school newspaper, blog and press group. Contact the editors who are usually very eager to have relevant content to share with their audience and they are also typically in desperate need for advertisers. For a little money, and a little of your time spent delivering timely content – you could be the go-to agent for a campus full of progressive thinking college kids – not to mention their parents, professors and extended families starting this month! Now THAT’S what we call a back to school bonus!

Single moms are another way to extend a helping hand and build a strong business foundation. Start advertising home buying workshops and How-To Buy for Less seminars in your area. Local campuses and libraries are a great place to hold them. Become the resource they need and you’ll have new customers lining up to listen and send referrals your way! Try it!

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