What successful agents do every open house
A lot of agents may not realise it, but open houses are one of the most (if not the most) important avenues for expanding their CRM database of potential clients and generating buyer and seller leads.
Here are four key things savvy agents are doing every weekend to get the most out of their open for inspections.
Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time before the start of the inspection to set up. Start by unlocking all the doors, switching all the lights on, opening windows, curtains and blinds, putting out brochures, a blank copy of the contract and your business cards. Then for the finishing touches light some scented candles, put out complimentary mints or lollies, ensure the toilet seat is down, put out directional signage and flags, and a last check that the house is looking its best.
The best agents take pride in presenting their listings and creating the greatest first impression possible to achieve pleasing results for vendors and landlords. We’re not suggesting you do anything too crazy, don’t feel the need to scrub the shower, hose down the deck or wash windows (plus your vendors or tenants should have already done this), but a spray and wipe of a fresh citrusy cleaner on the kitchen bench is a nice touch before people start coming through.
Remember, the way you present and set up your opens is a great way to showcase your brand, professionalism and hardworking attitude to potential clients, who may be on the lookout for an agent to sell their own home in the same expert manner. So, it’s hugely important to go that extra mile and take the time to prepare properly on inspection day.
As people enter the open make sure you have a quick system to take down as much info as you can for ease of qualifying and jogging your memory when you revisit the list later. Note down a name, contact number, email address and the type of buyer they are for a good start. Whether this is on a clipboard and piece of paper or an iPad app that adds the leads directly to your database, use the method you’re most confident and comfortable with.
This way, if someone is not looking to buy or rent this very minute, at the very least you’ll get an email address for your database to keep in touch with and you won’t have wasted your Saturday morning. Who knows maybe two, six or even twelve months down the track they’ll come back to you when they’re ready to buy, sell or rent.
If you’ve had a lot of enquiry before the open, you may want to organise to run the inspection with a colleague to divide and conquer. Have one of you taking down potential client’s details upon arrival, while the other chats with people on their way out to better gauge interest and start to qualify the new leads.
Quickly qualify leads
The most successful agents utilise every minute of their 15 minute open to qualify and build rapport with potential clients. As people head for the door take a few minutes to engage in conversation and qualify their readiness to make a purchase. Discuss what they’re looking for, where they’re looking, what they thought of the property and how long they’ve been looking to get an indication of next steps and how you can best assist them.
Good ways to quickly qualify a lead is to ask if they want a copy of the contract sent to them, if they want to be notified when similar properties come onto the market and if they have pre-approval organised.
Take notes during or straight after the inspection while your conversations are still fresh in your mind. This way you can record whether they require urgent follow up or not, and most importantly to ensure you follow through on what you promised at the inspection.
Just a few hours after their inspections, the best agents will have a list of qualified (hot, warm or cold) prospective clients and the actions they need to take in the coming days to best serve and convert these new leads.
Follow up & follow up again
The most successful agents surprise and impress their prospective clients after their first meeting. One way they do this is by utilising their customer relationship management (CRM) database to streamline and automate their initial follow ups.
For every new qualified seller or buyer you meet at your open add them into your CRM database. Set up an automated text message or email to go out hours after the inspection thanking them for attending. Include your contact details so if they have any questions or require more info about the property they can easily contact you.
In your welcome email, you could even consider including a comparable sales and suburb profile report for the property. This way buyers will be impressed by your willingness to share your local knowledge, they’ll have a realistic idea of the sales price, they’ll feel better informed about the suburb and more confident making an offer.
Next comes the all important follow up phone call the following Monday. This is when you’ll get a good read on their level of motivation and timeframe to do something. Check in to see if they saw any other properties over the weekend, were they considering making an offer on any, was there any more information about the property or suburb they needed and whether they plan on bidding at the upcoming auction.
Lastly, add notes from your phone conversation into your CRM and if necessary create a follow up reminder of the next tasks you need to do to best service that client.
For more tips to put you on the path to open house success take a look at our guide to good open house signage and five simple ways to draw more traffic to your opens.