Lessons Learned From Our First Out Of Office Lunch & Learn

One of my big initiatives going forward for Blackwell Real Estate is to be known for having the most engaging training classes of any brokerage, and hold them open to the general agent population. ( i.e. Not just my agents )

We held our first “Open Lunch and Learn” today at Union Jack’s in Annapolis. The topic was Renovation Loans, and we had the National Administrator for all of Primary Residential Mortgage come in to speak about all things Renovation Loan (Primary is a Utah based company which also has a local staff of lenders, underwriters, and processors right here in Maryland)

I invited roughly 2,200 local agents via an e-vite website called Punchbowl.com, of which 58 RSVP’d YES…The 58 agents who RSVP’d were sent a reminder on Monday, and then another one this morning…Here are the lessons I learned:

1. 30 of 58 agents actually showed up. (Personally, I think that 30 agents showing up to our first “Open Lunch & Learn” is pretty good…It’ll be interesting to see what the RSVP Yes / No Show Rate will be at our next event in January…I had guesstimated the number at 20%, but it turned out to be closer to 50%)

2. When given the option of using a mic system, always go with the mic…Union Jacks offered us one, but it was nice and quiet when we made the decision NOT to use one. Once lunch arrived, the clanging of forks made it a little difficult for attendees in the back of the room to hear clearly. (I had considered the problem of serving a plated meal that required utensils vs “finger food” like Hamburgers/Sandwiches/Wraps, but I think our choice of Lemon Herb Chicken, Salmon, or Veggie Pasta was a nicer touch.

3. Limit the number of attendees to roughly half of what the venue says is their max capacity. The Union Jack’s manager said that their banquet room would hold 80 people, but 30 fit quite nicely without the room feeling empty, and no one had to sit in a chair with their back to the screen…I think 40 would probably be the perfect number for a training seminar at UJ – Annapolis.

Overall, I am very happy with how the event turned out, and really look forward to having this become a staple of how we interact with the agent community!

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