For many REALTORS® hosting Open Houses every weekend sometimes multiple times per weekend for several years has been the bedrock of their success in launching their real estate careers.
And there is a wrong way and there is a right way to do them.
The Wrong Way
First let’s discuss the wrong way. I should know I have done them this way. The wrong way is to pick a house, any house. Don’t bother to promote or advertise it in any way. Show up 5 minutes before you intend to start your Open House, put your sign on the lawn. Enter home, drop your bag on the floor and wait for your first visitor. In most cases you will be waiting a long time and in many cases no one will ever come. This kind of approach will lead you to believe that Open Houses area a waste of time.
Or you might consider doing it the right way. Let’s start.
The Right Way
1. Before Your Open House
Come into this with your eyes wide open and realistic expectations. Rarely if ever will someone come into your Open House and choose to buy it. In fact, if this does happen it will become one of the most noteworthy aspects of your career.
What’s your purpose?
Two outcomes typically occur as a result of your Open House. You will be placating the seller. Even though most sellers don’t expect you to successfully sell the house they do like to see activity.
Second you will be using your Open House as means to meet people. Most of these people are in the early stages of their home search, or home sale.
Make sure you select the right home. You should look for a property or a condo for that matter that enjoys lots of drive by or walk by traffic.
Consider whom you might meet. Ideally you should select a property that is in the price range of people that would like to serve as clients.
Do advertise it. If it’s not your listing, ask the listing agent to advertise the Open House on REALTOR.ca. You can advertise it on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media channel of your choice.
Alert the neighbours. Make up a simple flyer (we have a template on our team). Drop off the flyer around your Open House the day before your Open House or on the morning of. I suggest you actually go knock on the doors of a new neighbours. I like to knock on 2 doors to the right, 2 doors to the left and perhaps the 3 homes opposite for a total of 7.
Put up plenty of signs. If you are on a main road that should be easy. If you are not on a main directional signs, are a good idea. By my office in Highlands / Bellevue we like to do Open Houses in 2 spots. One between 112 Ave and 118 Ave as both roads are busy and perfect for driving traffic or listings close to Ada Boulevard. On a Saturday or a Sunday countless folks are out walking or cycling etc. and there is simply lots of people to attract. Some REALTORS like to mount balloons on lamp poles.
2. During Your Open House
If the home has been shut up for a while or if the residents cook a lot or have pets, consider air freshener.
Turn on ALL lights and open window coverings.
Ensure you have a Sign-in Sheet.
Turn on your laptop, have your CRM and website open on browsers.
Make registration the next thing after taking off shoes.
This is a moment of high tension, and you should help the visitor move through it quickly.
They are thinking will I meet a ‘dreaded sales person?’
A simple greeting might go something like this.
“Hello and welcome to my Open House. For their peace of mind, the property owner has requested all visitors complete the registration. Please go ahead and write your name, phone number and if possible, email. Thank you.”
Offer a small gift (water or perhaps a branded pen) plus the highlight sheet AFTER they have signed in.
Bring a stack of Highlight sheets for the particular property and present it to the visitor.
Your presentation could go like this.
So welcome to this home. It’s a ____ bedroom ____ bathroom home. It also features _____- and ______. It’s priced at $_________. Please feel free to have a look around at your pace. I’m here to answer any questions that you may have.
Then back off to reduce the pressure.
Bring some Home Sellers Guides and perhaps local maps
Have a list of other homes in the area (especially vacant homes)
At the end of the walk around offer to answer any questions and ask this question.
So, is this the home for you or would prefer to look at something else?
Expect to hear a no.
If this occurs present your list of vacant homes in the area and offer to show them right AFTER your Open House.
Of if this idea is not appealing offer to meet them at a later date and for a FREE consultation.
3. After Your Open House
Enter every visitor into your CRM system.
Leave some time after to
a. Show buyers the other homes for sale in the area (or
b. Go to a potential seller’s house to gather information with the intention to offer an opinion of value
Create a next action right away i.e. buyer track or seller track
Rinse and repeat.
The more time you spend with people the more opportunities you have to add value and create a relationship and bond. Studies show that if you show a prospective client 3 homes in one session there is a high probability they will stick with you.
What Types of People Will You Meet?
Hobbyists – folks who have plenty of space time and just like to look at other peoples homes, they collect decorating ideas, they judge.
Unrepresented buyers – folks who are perhaps years, months, weeks or maybe even a few days away from making a purchase decision.
Represented buyers – folks who are out cruising by themselves but whom will have a REALTOR® in the background. Note – you should still offer value anyway as some of these people use the ‘I’m working with a REALTOR®’ to get rid of pushy sales people they don’t like. If its not true, this line might just melt away.
Potential sellers – many of the visitors will be nosy neighbours gauging the Open House against their home. They could be 3 months to 5 years away, but this is your chance to start a relationship and add value over time.
Open Houses have launched many careers. A commitment in the early days of your career perhaps 4 in a weekend combined with sign calls from your teams leads listings, online leads and your SOI should be enough to ensure your success.
Your goal is to always focus on building your client base and it never stops.
About the author:
You can read more about the author of this blog by clicking this link - Stuart Neal, Broker, Career Coach, REALTOR® & Team Lead.
You can watch and hear Stuart share other ideas on his You Tube Channel: Stuart Neal, Edmonton Real Estate Career Coach.
Follow Stuart on his Facebook coaching page: Stuart Neal, Edmonton Real Estate Career Coach Facebook.
Want more information about becoming a team member or Associate REALTOR® with Ambergate? Call Stuart our broker owner at: 780-760-2014 ext. 3 or go to our Careers page - Ambergate Realty Advisors Careers.
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