(Note: this article originally appeared on Inman News.)
In the U.S., 48 percent of homebuyers go to open houses as a source of information.
What’s compelling is that repeat clients account for a median 20 to 40 percent business depending on an agent’s tenure.
On the other hand, referrals make up an additional 24 percent.
This means that the more strangers that agents can turn into customers, the bigger the opportunity will be to grow their business over time.
I talked to five open house pros to get some tips and tricks, and here’s what they had to say.
1. Wesley Stanton
The Stanton Hoch Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Top 1% of New York Brokers
Follow up, follow up, follow up.
Other than your winning and informed personality, persistent and timely follow-up - both by email and phone - is the best way to establish a relationship and covert an open house buyer into your buyer.
Using a program like Spacio Pro makes this follow-up far more automatic and organized versus using email applications that create a lot more work organizing leads.
(Click here to read more tips on how to improve your client follow-up.)
The time saved by simply having everything in one place from the outset might mean the difference between you being beaten to the punch by a faster, more organized agent.
2. Amy Chorew
Vice President of Platform Development
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
Open houses are all about building relationships with new customers.
To start, make a great first impression by greeting guests at the door and help them avoid the awkwardness of not knowing whether to knock or ring the doorbell.
Once they’re inside, ask your guests a lot of questions to help identify what their wants and needs are.
(For some tips on what questions to ask, read this blog post we did for Open House Month.)
Lastly, nothing happens without follow up. This is critical to do on SUNDAY! You’re not the only open house they visited, so thank them for coming and actively look for reasons to connect.
Just because their personality did not match up with you during the open house does not mean they will not buy a home.
Remember to follow up!
3. Ron Habibi
The Habibi Group and Star of Million Dollar Listing
One strategy I use during open houses is that I run all of the comparison homes that are active on the market similar to my home.
As a listing agent, my main objective is to sell my client’s home.
However, it may not be the right fit for every buyer.
I know all of the competition out there and have viewed all of them myself during brokers tour so I can speak about them easily.
My next objective is to share this with the potential buyers at the open house, get them into my car to view the other properties and eventually get them in contract for a purchase!
On getting visitor to sign-in, there’s no real way.
The number one thing that helps is if those who are already there are signing in. This way, new visitors feel much more comfortable.
If you, the agent, seem valuable, then buyers will want to stay in touch.
4. Tara Christianson
Century 21 Redwood Realty
One way to make your open house experience easier is to make sure that all of your technology systems are integrated and play well with each other.
For example, using Spacio Pro's open home app enables us to showcase our RealSatisfied testimonials, plus integrates seamlessly with our Contactually CRM. Not only does that ensure there are no missed steps, but it also helps us focus on what's really important: an awesome open house experience!
Oftentimes, once an open house is done, agents clean everything up, notify the seller and head home to a glass of wine. Immediate follow-up has proven to be extremely effective in not only fostering relationships created at open houses, but also in getting your foot in the door as the first client representative.
Whether it's sending a message directly from your open house system, like Spacio Pro, or making it a habit to call everyone before you drive away, instilling the habit of following up prevents lost chances later.
Check out this article I wrote recently about using technology at open houses for more ideas.
5. Matt Leone
Senior Vice President, Digital Marketing
Terra Holdings (Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property)
Try to gather intel on where visitors came from so that you can concentrate your ad dollars more strategically in the future and get a feel for traffic trends.
Make potential buyers feel at home by creating a warm and welcoming environment.
Music and aromas should be tailored to the neighborhood and home design.
One can never go wrong with some soft jazz and the smell of a subtle hint of lemon.
Or, right before the open house, make some fresh baked cookies in the oven. It gives it that homey feel and is fool proof!
Of course, what works for these open house experts might not work the same way for you.
Adapt and customize these insights so that you can make your brand stand out.
One common piece of advice that all our experts are committed to is follow-up. You can only follow up if you know who to follow with.
This is where Spacio comes in.
Their product makes buyer sign-in a delightful experience.
Luckily for you, RESAAS users receive an exclusive 30% discount off Spacio Pro through the RESAAS Marketplace.
Melissa Kwan is Co-Founder and CEO of Spacio. She spent 7 years in the real estate industry and previous co-founded VIDA, a project marketing platform.