Open houses are one of the most cost-effective ways to generate leads and business. Amazingly, a lot of agents miss the boat by just focussing on selling the house. Of course you want to make your seller happy and get the best deal for them, but you should also use this opportunity to find another buyer or seller you can represent and build your network of leads.
It’s true that there are a lot of people who visit open houses who are not ready to buy today. In fact, they haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage and owning a house may be a far-off dream. If you feel that they may be a waste of your time, think again. Even if they’re not ready to buy, it’s worth your while to build a cheering squad of people who are going to promote you to their network.
Here are 3 simple things you can do to take advantage of the open house and be known as the go-to real estate agent:
1. Provide a copy of a FREE report to visitors as they come in and invite them to sign-up for your newsletter or blog. Be sure to collect their name and email address. The free report should contain some useful tips you have compiled that would help them in their home search ie., Top Tips for First-Time Homebuyers or The Most Common Homebuying Mistakes to Avoid. When you give away a resource you have created, you start to be seen as someone who has knowledge and credibility.
2. Got a plate of fresh cookies? If you give something to someone (like a cookie), they will likely give you something back (their time). While your visitors munch on a delicious chocolate chip cookie, interview them: Are you looking for yourself or someone else? Are you working with a real estate agent? How did you find out about the open house? These are just some of the questions my agent asked me when I dropped by an open house she was showing. She was very good at building rapport quickly. I didn’t have an agent and hired her on the spot!
3. Get out and talk to the neighbors, invite them to the open house. First of all, home owners are usually interested in what is happening on their street. If there’s a house for sale, you can bet that they will want to know how much it’s listed for and how much it has sold for. Secondly, many owners don’t have a real estate agent and wouldn’t know where to turn to if they were looking for one (even if they’re in a city overflowing with agents!). This is why introducing yourself and positioning yourself as the neighborhood agent can lead to more business.