Recently, one of my EVOLVE coaching clients expressed frustration at the low turnout for broker’s open houses (or what you might call broker caravans in your area).
“Denise,” she said, “I don’t ever seem to have agents show up at my open houses. What am I doing wrong?”
Rather than thinking about what she was doing wrong, I encouraged her instead to think about all the things she could be doing differently. Seems like most agents simply post their broker’s open date and time in the MLS, and call it good.
I believe that any time you spend a little effort on something you increase your opportunity for success. So I created 14 tips that my client – or any agent – can use to increase traffic at open houses they hold for brokers.
- List the event in the MLS as soon as possible. Five to seven days before the open house is ideal. If your MLS supports it, and you follow my advice in #6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 below, include those details.
- Post details about the event on Facebook and Twitter.
- Create a special invitation and email or snail mail it to all the agents in your office, and any agents you’ve worked with in the past. A snail mail invitation is more powerful, and will be more effective! If you’re doing food or prizes (see below) make sure that’s clearly stated.
- If you have office sales meetings, announce the event at your meeting.
- Do research on the MLS to determine which agents have listed, and/or sold, properties in the area which are similar to the one you have listed. Call and invite each of them to your broker’s open. Follow up with an email invitation.
- Do a progressive open house with agents who have homes listed in the area. If you do this, be sure to have flyers for their homes in your listing, and make sure you give them copies of your flyers too.
- Make sure you have evaluation forms for the event. Include price, condition, how the home compares to other listings, and recommendations for changes to increase salability.
- Develop a theme for your open house – this can be especially effective if you are doing a progressive open house. Your invitation, and your food, should support the theme.
- Create incentives for visiting. Sadly, many agents won’t attend without food or freebies dangled in front of them.
- If you offer a raffle or drawing, make it contingent upon the agent providing feedback on the home.
- If you participate in a progressive open house require agents to visit all the open houses to be eligible for the prize drawing. You can do this easily via punch cards. Or you can get more creative and do something like a “poker run” – agents they draw a card at each of five open houses, then turn in their hand at the final house. The best hand wins!
- Make sure you have great signage the day of the event. Make it easy for agents to find the house with A-boards, directional arrows, and balloons.
- Follow up after the event. Call each and every agent and thank them for coming to the event and for the feedback they provided. If you’ve done a drawing, this is also the time to tell them who the winner of the drawing is. Just make sure you call the winner first, so no one beats you to the punch!
- Reciprocate. Get in the habit of touring. When your colleagues regularly see you on tour at their listings they will be more likely to come to your future open houses.
The more of these tips you can incorporate into your next broker’s open, the more success you’re likely to have. The key is in the planning and the preparation. Don’t be like most agents, who list the open house in the MLS, show up at the house, and expect miracles. If you carefully manage the activities before the open house, it’s far more likely to be successful.
How many of these steps do you currently incorporate in your broker open houses? What other ideas have you used to successfully generate traffic? I’d love to hear what has worked for you!