A few months ago, I had a conversation with a newer agent about maximizing the effectiveness of her open houses. By "effectiveness," of course, she meant gathering as many names, numbers and email addresses as she could during her three-hour stints on Sunday afternoons.
She was frustrated (mostly with herself) at her inability to smoothly gather those names, numbers and email addresses from her visitors. Either they seemed hesitant to provide them OR she just wasn't comfortable asking, and usually came away from her open houses empty-handed.
"Jennifer - do you have any suggestions for me?"
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.
But first, let's have a paradigm shift, shall we? Too often, we real estate agents focus on what WE need and want, and hope to persuade our audience to play along. For example, WE want that name, number and email address so WE can send a nice little thank-you-for-visiting note and add a warm body to our mailing list, right?
So we come up with all sorts of sly strategies to get that contact information - such as - "the seller asks that guests sign in for security purposes," or "if you register, you'll be entered to win a lovely gift basket," or simply "please sign my register so I can show the seller how many visitors we had."
Nothing really wrong with these approaches except that there's nothing in it for the visitor. At least, nothing worth relinquishing their private contact information to a hungry Realtor, suspecting they'll be hounded after the fact whether they want to be or not.
So, what could you do instead - here's the kicker - to INSPIRE the visitor to want you to have his or her contact information? Not what you can do to TRICK it out of him, but to actually inspire him to want to give it to you?
And no, the answer isn't to bribe him with free reports, contests, drawings or newsletters...
Any ideas? I'll share mine tomorrow...