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Planning to host a mortgage seminar for home buyers? Looking for seminar topics and ideas? You’ve come to the right place. We have developed dozens of these programs over the years on behalf of our clients, and often with great results. So we thought it was time to share some of our lessons learned. So here you have it, a comprehensive guide to creating, promoting, and hosting a mortgage seminar for home buyers.

Home Buying Seminars: A Proven Tool for Attracting Clients

We have long recommended educational seminars as a business-building strategy for mortgage professionals. After all, what could be better than a meeting room full of people who need the very services you provide?

Home buyers have a lot of questions about mortgage loans. I know this, because the Home Buying Institute (one of our websites) has been fielding reader questions since 2006. What type of loan is right for me? How do I qualify for a loan? How do I obtain the best rate? Am I eligible for the FHA program? These are just a few of the questions frequently asked by home buyers.

Mortgage seminars are a great way to answer these kinds of questions all at once, in an educational group setting. They can also be used as part of a broader marketing strategy by credit unions, banks and other lenders. Consider the evidence below.

PCU Packs the House With Attendees

In 2013, Postal Credit Union (PCU) published a press release about a mortgage seminar they hosted for home buyers. The credit union, which serves members in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, conducts educational seminars on a regular basis. They do this because it works.

PCU seminar for home buyers

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Faith Tholkes, PCU’s Director of Sales, said about the program: “Our mortgage area has been busy taking pre-approval applications and purchase agreements over the past few weeks, a good sign that people are buying.”

Another good sign was their attendance level, which marked a 76% increase over the previous year’s mortgage seminar.

This is just one example of the popularity of this approach. Home buyers are an information-hungry bunch, and rightfully so. They will eagerly attend an educational event such as a mortgage seminar or class, especially when it’s offered at no cost.

It’s a win-win scenario. The attendees get straight answers to their mortgage-related questions — something they can’t get from a website or book. The presenter gets a roomful of potential clients.

So, you’re convinced that a mortgage seminar is worth the effort, and you’re ready to host an event of your own. What next? How do you create a presentation? What topics should you include? And how to do you promote it to get people in seats? Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned over the years.

Mortgage Seminar Topics and Ideas

The topics you include in your mortgage seminar will partly depend on your business model and your intended audience. So the slides and handouts will vary from one event to the next. With that being said, there are certain topics that you simply must include, in order to have a complete and useful seminar. Here are the topic ideas we recommend, at a minimum:

  • The current state of the local housing market
  • The different types of home loans available today
  • The pros and cons of different home loan products / programs
  • Fixed vs. adjustable-rate mortgages
  • Conventional versus FHA loans
  • The mortgage process (application, pre-approval underwriting, conditions, approval and closing)
  • What it takes to qualify for a home loan these days (credit, DTI, down payments, documents)
  • Common mortgage problems and how to avoid them

These are certainly not the only topics to include in a mortgage seminar. You can probably come up with a few ideas of your own, based on your business model and audience. This is just a framework you can start with, when building your presentation. And that brings us to the next topic…

Creating a PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint is one of the best ways to present a mortgage seminar, and for several reasons.

  • The PowerPoint program is fairly easy to use, even if you’re not particularly computer-savvy.
  • You don’t need any graphic design skills.
  • The presentation can be transported on a zip drive or thumb drive, or accessed via the Internet.
  • Most libraries, community colleges, and other possible seminar venues have PowerPoint capability (projectors and screens).

Just be sure you’re not using PowerPoint as a public-speaking crutch. Think of the slides as cue cards or prompts for you, the speaker. You are the presenter. You are the one with all of the great information to share. PowerPoint is simply a visual aid to keep things moving along.

Don’t want to use PowerPoint for your mortgage seminar? Skip it. There are other ways to go about it. You could use an art easel with sheets of paper that can be folded over, like a giant notepad. You can use poster-sized cue cards. As long as you have a few visual aids to reinforce key points, it will work fine.

Tip: Leave plenty of time for a Q&A session at the end of your mortgage seminar. Trust me, there will be a lot of hands going up. In fact, you might want to aim for a 40/60 split between the presentation and the question-and-answer portion (with most of the time dedicated to Q&A). Alternately, you could allow questions during the presentation itself, with a shorter Q&A window at the end. It’s up to you. Have a plan in place, but be fluid and flexible at the same time.

Logistics: How and Where to Host Your Event

Where can you host a mortgage and home buying seminar? For starters, check with your local libraries. They often have meeting space that can be reserved ahead of time, and they might have PowerPoint equipment as well.

If you live in a big city or metro area, you might need more space for a larger number of attendees. Check with local community colleges. Check with hotels in the area. Do a Google search for your city followed by “meeting space” and “meeting rooms.”

Whatever venue you choose, just be sure to follow up and confirm the space when the mortgage seminar draws near. You don’t want a bunch of people showing up for a room that’s being used for something else, due to a mix-up.

Once you’ve lined up a venue, you need to start promoting your mortgage seminar. It takes time to get the word out. So try to schedule your venue at least 30 days in advance (45 to 60 days is even better). This will give you enough time to promote it.

Write up a press release to announce your mortgage seminar, and distribute it widely. Send the release to local news outlets. Send it to local real estate companies and home builders. Publish the release online, through PR distribution services (like iReach by PR Newswire). Promote the event on your website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. Use any and all resources available to spread the word.

The bottom line: Hosting a mortgage seminar could be a boon for your business, especially if you do it on a regular basis. But you only get out of it what you put into it — so put a lot into it. Create an informative and engaging presentation. Use the seminar topic list above as a guide. Leave time for a Q&A session at the end. Have fun with it.