5 Tips for More Effective Open Houses
Q. Dear Coach: I am a Buyer’s Agent for a successful listing and selling agent. Our Sphere of Influence is the same, so it is hard to differentiate what I contribute sales wise. I typically take clients to see homes, perhaps find them the right home and hold all the Open Houses which seem to seldom get me new clients of mine/ours (The agent lists higher end homes). When I was first starting out, three years ago, I did other people’s lower priced listings and did OK but could be better at the whole Open House process as well. I want to contribute to the business. My goal is to get new clients. What can I do, what books can I read, or class could I take that would help me?
Wanting to Contribute
A. Dear “Wanting to Contribute”,
Based on your question, it sounds like you are ready to become an active player in building your team’s business.
Improving your skills at holding an Open House may generate some sales. Staying connected to your past clients, and others in your Sphere, however, will definitely generate sales. Open houses are “Reactive Marketing.” This means that you are waiting for people to come to you. Mailings are also Reactive Marketing since you are waiting for people to call you. In contrast, personally calling and meeting with people in your Sphere is “Proactive Marketing” since you are actively reaching out to them. In my experience, most agents spend most of their times doing Reactive Marketing to people they don’t know and very little time Proactively Marketing to people they do know.
You mention that the agent you work with lists higher end homes. Carolyn Heckman, a Luxury Home Marketing Specialist with John L. Scott Realty, offers her ideas for making open houses more effective:
- Create an “event” with a theme to make the open house special. Give the event a name based on the neighborhood or season. Do something that stands out, like having a Latte Cart.
- Canvas the neighborhood to create visibility and interest. Post the event on your brokerage website.
- When people walk into the open house, hand them a card with questions about what they thought of the house. Tell them that you would value their feedback. The card also asks for their contact information. Ask for, and remember, their name.
- If visitors are already working with a real etate agent, contact the agent to let them know that their client attended your open house.
- Follow-up with a personal e-mail or phone call that day thanking them for stopping by and providing feedback.
Now, in terms of your “Sphere of Influence”, even though you share the same Sphere with the agent you work with, you can still significantly contribute to your business by staying personally connected to the people in your combined Sphere. By showing up as a dependable Real Estate “Resource” person, you will get a more consistent flow of referrals and business from your Sphere. The key is to develop a system that provides consistent personal contact with your past clients. And remember, that if you don’t stay connected to your Sphere, some other agent will. For further ideas on how to work with your Sphere, go to www.GetYourSphereinGear.com or www.buffiniandcompany.com.
(Stuart Kaufman, MS, MBA, is a Real Estate Business Coach who specializes in helping real estate agents earn a six-figure income working 40 hours per week. He also specializes in helping real estate agents, who have teams, manage them more effectively and efficiently. Stuart resides in Washington State and is a regular contributor to numerous real estate publications nationwide. Got a question for the coach? Contact Stuart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-725-1584.)