Whether you are a new agent or an experienced agent, holding open houses can be a great way to get new clients. Buyers without agents often visit open houses not knowing the value of working with a real estate agent. Sellers visit open houses to check out the competition and to see how agents conduct themselves among the visitors. With all of this potential for business, it is important that you arrive at the open house prepared.
Do Your Homework
Prior to the open house you need to do your homework. That includes previewing the "Active" listings in the neighborhood, running the most recent comps and checking out the amenities in the neighborhood. You want to be prepared for some of the more common questions that visitors might ask. If you are holding the open house for another agent, ask if there is anything special or quirky you need to know about the property.
Start With a Goal
The primary goal of holding an open house is to expose the property to the market and get it sold. Since the house won't appeal to everyone, the secondary goal is to pick up clients. To do this, it is imperative that you engage with the visitors and find out what they are looking for in their new home. Prior to the open house, set a goal as to how many people you would like to really engage with and hopefully turn into clients. By determining a goal upfront, you are more likely to focus on what they are saying, and how you can help.
Start a Conversation
People buy from people they like. Your job at the open house is to get people to like you. You can accomplish this by asking them open ended questions. The key is to get them to talk about what they are looking to purchase, why they are looking to move or where they want to move...just to name a few. Allow them to do the majority of the talking once the conversation is started.
The key to open house success is in the follow up. This is where most real estate agents fall down on the job and get in their own way. After the open house, send a "Thank You" email to all of the visitors that provided a legible email address. That includes those visitors who stated they weren't working with an agent, as well as those who stated they were working with an agent. For those people whom you connected with, add something personal in the email that showed you were listening to them and heard their needs. Become a resource for them by sending them useful information on the home buying process, listings and financing options.
It may take some time to convert open house visitors to actual clients, but don't give up. Be consistent in your efforts and you will be rewarded with lots of clients in your pipeline.
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