If you're a REALTOR today is like any other weekend day, it's time for your Open House. As a lender I sit open houses from time to time. Sometimes it's with agents whom I have worked with that may have a hot listing, and sometimes it's with a newer agent who would really like to have me there to answer questions of potential prospects coming through.
One of the major mistakes I see when I go to a newer or even sometimes seasoned agent's open house is the fact that they are uncomfortable asking everyone who walks in the door to sign the book. They will just let a prospect walk through and say to them, "Let me know if you have any questions". When the prospect finishes their walk through they start heading toward the door, of course without prodding there are usually no questions. Then the agent will say, "Thanks for stopping by" as they wave.
It is imparative that you make them sign in. You are taking your valuable time and effort to set up the open house with the sole purpose of hopefully using that lure to catch a prospect who is not tied to another agent and is perhaps looking to buy or sell a home. Prospects know, or if they don't you will educate them, that you are not there to just hang out. Think of not signing in like using a fishing net without the net. You can't catch any fish that way unless they just jump in the boat.
As a lender sitting that open house, I like to send thank you cards, just like you do, to the prospects who come by. Nothing may come of it but I will never know if there is nothing but a blank sign in sheet or only the names of agents who have stopped by to preview.
Some quick suggestions if you are shy or uncomfortable asking prospects to sign in at your Open House:
Meet the prospects at or near the door when every possible.
Have your sign in book at or as near the door as possible and ask that they sign before entering.
Explain to the prospect that the seller wants to have a record of all traffic into their home. You can use this to take pressure off you and put on the seller. That prospect may appreciate your diligence when you eventually sell their house. (They may have one to list, you don't know yet)
Continue to ask your questions, but do ask, don't just let people wander around if you have time to ask questions (Remember fish don't jump in the boat very often).
Remember, the reason you are there is to promote that home and the fact that you can show any other home requested. Some people won't like a stronger approach but they were never going to buy anyway. But more than 50% will buy or sell a home within the next 12 months. Use the net, it works better.
Good Luck out there.