Be 'The Host with the Most' At Your Next Open House
Open houses are many things: Hard work, face time with potential clients, a lot of fun, and one of the best lead generating activities out there. Think about it: When you host an open house, you’re just that, a host. You control the environment and become top-of-mind for people in need of an agent with the right chops.
Few lead generators connect you with more motivated buyers and sellers than open houses. They allow you to gather as much information as possible about potential clients, while also showing off your skills and value as a fiduciary in a comfortable and carefully crafted atmosphere. Open houses are one of the best prospecting activities out there. While they present opportunities to sell the house that you’re showing, they also bring in future business.
In addition to all this, open houses are inexpensive and can have a high return on investment. You can attract more prospects by investing several hours in this single event than you can in three or four weeks with most other prospecting methods. They’re also fun and let you show off those new staging tips you learned from the latest issue of Architectural Digest. And they can be surprisingly simple, if you follow a tried-and-true process like The Three Ps from KWU’s Ignite course.
The Three Ps for a successful open house:
As the old British Army adage goes, “Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.” Proper planning for the best open houses starts at least a week out. You need seven to ten days to set yourself up for success. Thankfully, there’s an easy-to-follow weekly schedule to ensure that when you unlock the doors on the day of your open house, you’re ready to wow future buyers.
MONDAY – Select your open house location and time. If you don’t have your own listing to open, you can volunteer to host an open house for another agent.
Part of your prep is considering the location and time of your open house. Many open house visitors are acting on impulse. So, location matters. Your event should be in the path of traffic and at a convenient time for the neighborhood. If it’s near a school, you can host when school gets out to attract those impulse visitors. If it’s downtown, a busy Saturday morning will win you the most views.
TUESDAY – Post online. Make sure your photos are high quality and show off the listing. Being mindful of the TCPA and the do-not-call registry, generate a call list and call twenty-five neighbors to let them know about the open house.
WEDNESDAY – Post online again. Make sure you’re employing all of your best and most valuable social media strategies. Put a sign in the yard to let the neighbors and passersby know that an open house is coming up soon.
THURSDAY – Post online again. Invite your database to the open house. Return all yard-sign calls and invite them to the event. Email any property-based internet leads you’ve gathered and share the open house info with them.
FRIDAY – Post online again. Even consider doing a YouTube walk-through sneak-peek of a special area of the house. Prepare market statistics and comps (print and digital), and print fliers for open house guests.
SATURDAY – You guessed it, post online again. Place directional signs in the biggest traffic paths to and from the house. Door knock the neighborhood. If someone answers, invite them to come check out the open house or ask if they know someone who might be interested. If no one answers, leave a flier.
SUNDAY – Host!
Now, this plan assumes that you’re hosting the open house on Sunday – but, of course, not all open houses take place on Sundays. You can take this approach and map it across whatever days of the week you’d like, but you’ll need at least seven consecutive days ahead of the event to make it a success.
Last, but not least as you’re preparing for your open house, think about creating a “success kit.” This can make all the difference. A few ideas to have on hand for any open house: disinfecting wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, pens, pads of paper, air freshener, business cards, a phone charger, measuring tape, a protein bar or two, trash bags, and tissues. It’s always best to expect the unexpected where open houses are concerned.
Once you’ve planned your open house, you can begin prospecting. This stage is as all about hosting the open house and capturing leads while you do it.
Successfully hosting your open house, means building rapport with guests and establishing relationships. Greet and introduce yourself to everyone that walks through the door and take advantage of the one-on-one time you get with them. No other prospecting method can compete with this personal time with potential clients.
Once you’ve greeted them and made a connection, get to know your guests. Ask them about their family, what their work is like, how they relax or what their hobbies are, and what do they want in the future.
Listen carefully to their answers. This information will show you how you can be of service to them. Remember you’re in the business of making peoples’ dreams come true. Helping them with perhaps the biggest and most important purchases of their lives. You’re not just there to potentially make a commission — this is a two-way relationship.
One of the most important prospecting tools in your open house toolbox is capturing the contact information of everyone that visits your open house. A best practice during an open house is to have visitors sign in when they arrive. Some agents even make this a requirement, stating it as a safety measure.
Once the open house is over and you’ve cleaned up and locked the doors again, then comes the fun part. Now you get to build relationships with your guests and turn them into valued clients.
Since you’ve talked to every guest at the open house and found out fun facts about them, you can tag them in your database. You can tag them as immediate buyers or sellers, future buyers or sellers, and add all the personal details you learned, such as their pets, children, hobbies, jobs, and anything else you think is important. This way you have tons of information for further touch campaigns and appointments to enable you to pick up where you left off with them. For instance, if Joe mentions in passing that he has a Great Pyrenees who’s an escape artist, when you contact him down the road and tell him you’ve seen the perfect fenced-in yard for his dog, he’ll know you were paying attention.
Don’t worry if a lead says they won’t buy for twelve months; the lead generation model provides an opportunity to engage every type of lead at every point in the process.