The Open House of the Future

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When speaking with fellow real estate professionals, I often hear them say, “I should do an open house this weekend.” The first thought that comes to my mind is, “No, you shouldn’t.”

If you are just now deciding what you are going to do this weekend, then it is already too late. Instead, you should ask yourself, “Should I do open house at all?” And if the answer to that question is “Yes,” then do the best open house in the business.

Plan to host an open house three out of the four weekends every month. Double up and do six to eight open houses a month. Make them a consistent component of your business. Or don’t! Just don’t get stuck in the middle. If you’re thinking, “I need some business, so I guess I will have to do an open house this weekend,” then you are not thinking about your business like a business. Go big or go home. Or go for a big ol’ open home (See what I did there?).

Now that you have had an honest discussion with yourself and have decided to make open houses a serious part of your business, let’s move on to how to do them better.

Step 1: Understand the Buyer Mindset. It’s simple: Buyers are there to learn about the house and maybe the market. They are (usually) not there to find a REALTOR®. The best approach is to make it about the house. Start by understanding the features and benefits of the house. Then think about the perfect buyer – who will like it and who will not. And don’t forget to research a few similarly priced properties in similar neighborhoods that you have seen and can talk about with excellent knowledge (more on this in the webinar link below).

Step 2: Bring a Buddy. The only thing better than you talking about how amazing you are (which can come out a little creepy) is when somebody else does. It’s called third party validation. Ask a lender or another service provider to come with you to the open house. You will find that the consumer is often more comfortable talking to them rather than you, the REALTOR®. They’re perceived as outside the “sales environment.” Make sure your buddy has the same approach as you: understanding that it’s all about the home and asking three great questions (more on this in a little bit).

Step 3: Hold the Flyer (This is a biggie). As if they were trained in a Pavlovian experiment, buyers want that property flyer. Adjust your tactics accordingly – simply show them that you have the flyers and give them the 30 second pitch about the home. Go over a few of the features of the home, invite them to take a look around, and then walk away. They will be back. Because they want a flyer. They cannot help themselves. And you… you’re the keeper of the flyer, the oracle of knowledge that has the magic sheet of information that they must have. When they come to you requesting a flyer, the paradigm has changed. They came to you. Smile, hand them a flyer and ask the first of three great questions (I told you we would get there).

Step 4: Become a Master at Three Great Questions. At this point, it’s time to ask the buyer a few open ended questions to get the ball rolling. These are safe for the buyer and have the added bonus of getting you good information.

1) Have you been looking for a while?
2) Is this the neighborhood you’d like to live in?
3) Have you written many offers in the last few weeks?

The answers will give you an idea of their place in the process, their market knowledge, and whether or not they are already working with an agent.

If all goes according to plan and you end up having a great conversation, ask them for an appointment. After all, the goal of every conversation is an appointment. A non-threatening question such as, “Do you think it would be a good idea to get together and learn a little more about the market and the process?” will work.

The above steps (and a lot more!) were covered in a recent training webinar. Click here to view the full recording: WATCH WEBINAR

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