I love hearing positive feedback from agents who, after reading Your Key to Open House Success, have flipped their attitudes about open houses and have begun to hold successful ones—they get more guests, more clients and more closings because of the quality of open houses they begin to hold, their can-do attitudes, and application of winning strategies.
Many times the first step to increasing your business through open houses is overcoming your objections to them. Below are the ‘Top Three Excuses’ agents give to why they don’t think open houses work for them, and how to power through them.
Excuse #1: “Putting signs in the ground is too hard and I hate getting out in the heat/cold/wind/rain to do it.”
Yes, this is one of the more labor intensive sides to the job. You sweat, you curse, you get honked at. But, putting out directional signs is a must with open houses. The most obvious reason of course is that you increase your traffic to your open houses. But, did you know that plastering your directional signs all over the neighborhood gives you an added benefit? When neighbors see your directional signs weekend after weekend, you become a neighborhood expert in their eyes. They see you out working, and working hard. Those directional signs start to give you neighborhood credibility (like street cred for REALTORS®). Add your sign visibility to the other marketing material you send to the neighborhood, you have a one-two punch!
Tip: For maximum success with your signage, aim to put out at least 10 signs and have them branded to YOU! Also, focus your open houses in one area so your signs are repeatedly in front of the same people.
Excuse #2: “No one showed up to my last open house. They don’t work, so I’m not doing them anymore.”
Have you ever shown a house to a potential buyer, only to never hear from them again? Ever lose a listing appointment? If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, are you still in real estate? Of course you are! (I know because why else would you be reading this…which also means you are not a quitter!) You know that this business is a numbers game. The more homes you show and the more listing appointments you go on, the more closings you will have. The same theory applies to open houses. You can’t do one, or a few, and throw in the towel if a closing doesn’t result. You must keep at it, just like every other aspect of real estate. Did you know that if you held an open house on 40 out of the 52 weeks of the year (that’s three months off!) and you had a modest average of 4 people per open house (some have zero, some will have eight…on the modest side), you’d have met 160 people that year through open houses? In five years that number becomes 800! Wouldn’t you like to grow your database by 800 people in the next five years?
Tip: Think outside the open house. Even if you have zero guests, the open house has given you an opportunity to meet others in the neighborhood through your invites and other marketing material. No open house is ever a lost cause.
Excuse #3: “No one ever buys the house at an open house.”
While this excuse is not even true—plenty of offers have occurred due to an open house and I personally know this as a fact—it shows narrow-mindedness. You aren’t setting up shop to sell one house to one person. No, you’re there to meet potential clients—buyers and sellers alike. You’re even there to meet the down-the-road potential clients. If you’re not the one meeting these interested buyers and sellers, another agent will be. Open houses are a great opportunity to get in front of your target audience and build rapport with them. When you build rapport with your guests, it sets the stage to a lifetime of you working together. Don’t think of open houses as a one shot deal to sell a home, think of them as the opportunity to sell many, many homes.
Tip: Hold open houses for other agents and don’t hold open your listings. Guests may be more guarded around you if they know you’re there to represent the seller. But, as a buyers’ agent, you can help break down their walls and build rapport easier. Also, this gives you more opportunities to sell more than just the one house. A listing agent has a main objective—sell this listing—and find it difficult to switch gears when a guest isn’t the right buyer for the home. But, a buyers’ agent is always on alert to turn every guest into a client, no matter the home.
I go into greater detail about these objections, and seven others, in my book, Your Key to Open House Success. If you’ve ever found yourself turning down the idea of an open house, pick up your copy today to bust through your objections and achieve greater success in your real estate career!