Open Houses: A Lead Gen Goldmine

Author: Tom Campone, @properties Open houses are one of the greatest ways to generate business for brokers. If handled correctly, they can be one of the pillars of a growing or established business. They bring new people into your sphere and are a cost-effective way to add revenue to your business.

Why Open Houses Are Phenomenal for ROI

Whether you are a seasoned broker or new to the business, open houses have an incredible return on investment. First of all, the cost to host an open house is effectively zero. This makes the potential ROI astounding. Most people believe that you will only meet potential buyers at open houses, but if you strategically market them, you can also pick up listing leads. I use open houses to market to the neighbors as well as potential buyers. Before my open house, I send handwritten cards to between ten and twenty neighbors inviting them to a neighbors’-only open house. This helps drive more traffic to the open house and gives me a better chance of meeting potential listings.

How to Choose the Best Open Houses

When I choose an open house, I look for three things to help me decide which one to host. 1. Days on Market. I target listings that have been on the market for less than a week. If I can host an open house the first weekend a listing is on the market, then I know I will have good flow and high interest. 2. Price. It is important to host open houses in price brackets you are comfortable discussing and selling. Whether that is 400,000 dollars or 1,000,000 dollars, pick a bracket that you want to work in and target open houses in that price bracket. 3. Neighborhoods. It’s important to pick neighborhoods that you know well. Working consistently in a neighborhood will increase the likeliness that you see the same buyers at multiple open houses. More contact will give you a chance to further build rapport and develop a relationship with potential clients.

What to Bring with You

Now that you’ve chosen a great open house, what do you bring with you? My go-to tools start with Open Home Pro®. Why Open Home Pro®? It eliminates the issue of messy handwriting and sign in sheets. It also looks professional and allows me to gather the information I need from the attendees, like email, phone number and home address. Additionally, Open Home Pro® helps me find out if the attendees are pre-approved for a loan and if they are working with another broker. I also bring market data with me. This includes the monthly neighborhood report (provided by MRED), InfoSparks, Closed Listings, Active Listings, and open houses in the area. I don’t use all the data with all the attendees, as I vary the delivery depending on the conversation.

Next Steps After the Open House

The key here is follow up, perseverance and persistence. Open house lead conversion is not a process that will drive results today. It is a two to three-month process that builds momentum over time. If you take one thing away from this article, remember a converted lead will take you between eight and twelve weeks of follow up before you get a response. You need to be persistent and persevere during that time. The more you can systematize your follow up, the more likely you are to stay with it and convert leads. Without a system to manage the follow up, I would have little hope of converting those leads to clients. You will also need a written plan to guide you along the way. The plan isn’t designed to be a rigid system; rather, it’s a framework to guide your activities. My mission with my clients is to add as much value as possible and this extends to my prospects. My touch points with prospects include items such as new listings, pocket listings, market data or upcoming open houses. I try to convey that I’m willing to work for them, whether we have a relationship or not, and that I’m a trusted adviser. To be successful, you need to understand that converting leads is a numbers game; you need to know your numbers. You must track your results: the number of open houses, converted deals, average number of people per open house, average number of unrepresented buyers, etc. It takes time to generate this data, but once you have it, you will have great insight into your business and the activities required to reach your goals.