This week I am going to answer some of my most frequently-asked open house questions. Enjoy!
Q: “Denise, sign in sheets never seem to work for me. I get people using fake names or when I ask them to sign in, it really puts them off. Should I stick with the sign in sheet or not?”
A: People don’t like to be asked to give something up so quickly when they are attending your open house. They are there to get information. You haven’t done enough to earn their trust for them to want to give something of theirs as soon as they walk in the door. Therefore, my suggestion is to give give give! Once you have given them a number of items – that might be additional information on the house, additional information on the community, additional information on the market, additional information on appreciate rates in the neighborhood, and possibly even additional information on you that they might be willing to share their contact information. Therefore, I suggest moving away from the term “sign in sheet” and instead moving to a different purpose for gathering the information. “Information sign up” indicates that they are getting something from you in exchange for providing you with their contact information.
Q: “Denise, I am a little on the shy side and am not comfortable with a strong greeting. I feel people generally want to come in and look around, and I am there if they have questions or need additional information. But I am not one to barge in and begin small talk or a strong sales message. Should I even be doing open houses?”
A: Of course you can do open houses. By having a short welcome at the door and then allowing your guests to tour the home on your own, you make a good first impression, but are not beholden to make small talk. Simply saying, “Welcome to the open house. Feel free to look around. Make sure you note the custom fireplace in the master and the wall art in the study. If you have questions, I will be in the kitchen with additional information.” This way you aren’t sticking to them like Velcro, they know they have been released to look around, and the pressure is off both of you.
Q: “Denise, should I agree to do an open house for an agent who just asks me on Wednesday to do their open house on Saturday? The listing just came on and we are in a very hot market, but I don’t have enough time to do all the marketing I usually do.”
A: If the open house is in a good area and people have been getting a lot of good traffic at their open houses regardless of how well they are advertised, I would go ahead and do it if you have time to prepare most of the materials you would normally have at your open house. That may include information on the house as well as market and community information. Also, if this is an agent who has a lot of listings and has others host their open houses, building a relationship with this agent and setting up a win-win solution for future open houses may be a good plan.
Q: “Denise, I have a challenge with follow-up after my open houses. They wipe me out and on Monday I find myself busy again with my current business and transactions and don’t have it in me to follow-up. Help!”
A: First ask yourself if these are leads that you need. If you are already busy, do you have enough business already?
To be frank, because of the economic challenges we have faced, I am seeing an interesting phenomenon with agents – hoarding of leads or over productive lead generation.
When you are taking time out of your schedule to put on an open house – probably 4-5 hours of time at least between preparation and actually sitting at the open house, but then aren’t doing anything with the leads you get from there is craziness to me. Do you know what you could have done with that time? I would rather have you spending time with your family or at a spa recharging your batteries than, in this case, wasting your time at an open house.
Maybe you are better off spending more quality time with the leads in your potential income tracker that you already have and allow someone else the possibility of getting those leads and turning them into business.
Now, if you aren’t swamped with business and you are having more of a time management problem (as other things are getting in the way of your business), then that is a separate issue. If you gave yourself a focused hour on Monday morning, before “work” begins, you should easily be able to follow up with your leads. Even if it is to say, “It was nice to meet you at the open house. I will be following up with the information we talked about later today,” then at least you have made a connection and bought some time.
And remember, creating BombBomb or emailable video of you saying the above and emailing that directly to the potential client, that is a FANTASTIC way to connect!
Need additional tips and ideas? Check out our Unforgettable Open House Lead Generation System!
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