Open Houses have long been a lead generation opportunity in real estate. Agents often tell me that they are better at having conversations in person than on the phone when we discuss prospecting during workshops and training calls. Open Houses are a great opportunity to build relationships quickly since you have a face-to-face interaction.
Prospects attending Open Houses also tend to be further along in the process than an online lead. They are already making the effort to get out there and see properties. You could be writing an offer for them today. That’s the type of immediate business we love to find in real estate. Think about how much time you would save if you din’t have to nurture a lead for six months or a year before they buy something.
However, I hear agents complain all the time that they aren’t getting any leads from their Open Houses that don’t already have agents or they just aren’t getting enough traffic. Below are four tips to improve the results from your Open Houses.
1.) Choose the Right Open Houses
If the Open House is for one of your listings, then hopefully you have executed a pricing strategy and Open House schedule that will attract potential buyers and sellers. You may also be running Open Houses for other agents.
Consider the following in your Open House strategy.
Is the listing new or newly priced?
Was it recently staged or has new photos?
Is it in a common price point where lots of people will be looking?
Would you want to work with buyers and sellers in this location?
Is it in your farm area or where your ideal clients live?
Will the agent let you promote the Open House on your site?
Can you use your own Open House signs around the neighborhood with your name on them?
2.) Market to People Outside MLS
I mentioned earlier that a primary complaint from agents is that everyone who attends their Open Houses already has an agent. I always follow-up with this question: “How are you promoting your Open Houses?”
The most common response: “I post it in MLS and send reverse prospecting emails.”
No wonder everyone has an agent when your primary mode of promoting the Open House is through a system that can only be accessed by prospects through another agent.
Try these marketing methods to drive unrepresented traffic to the Open House:
Post on your personal social media accounts for people to come visit you during your Open House.
Knock on doors or call the neighborhood to personally invite people to the Open House.
Run a Facebook Ad with a landing page collecting email addresses for Open House info.
Place directional signs all over the neighborhood with your name and number.
3.) Don’t Wait till Monday to Follow-Up
This doesn’t mean sign a buyer agreement during the Open House. You may be representing the seller. However, letting a potential buyer walk out the door doesn’t serve them, your client, or you whether they are interested in this particular home or not. Make sure to follow the local real estate laws during your Open House conversations, but I would start building a relationship with prospects while they are in front of you.
Monday follow-up calls will be no more effective than cold calls if you aren’t building relationships during the Open House. Building relationships starts with finding out what is most important to the prospect in their next home. Ask powerful questions that will allow the prospect to comfortably share with you. Questions will keep you in control of the conversation and will help you to gain valuable insight for your follow-up.
4.) Know the Local Market and Follow a Script to Provide Value
If the client loves the house you are standing in then I would use a script to help them move to an offer. However since only one person will be buying this particular home, it is far more likely that you will have some standing in front of you that will be looking for something slightly different in a home. When you know the local listings that are similar to the home you are standing in then you will have an opportunity to add value for this prospect right now.
As people are finishing up walking through the home, run through the following script.
Agent: “I would love to offer some feedback to the sellers. Could you tell me what you liked best about the home?” Buyers: “We like the layout and the size. We really like the kitchen.” Agent: “If you could change one thing about the house, what would it be?” Buyers: “The busy street. It is a lot busier than we expected.” Agent: “Anything else?” Buyers: “We would like a flat backyard as well. We want to be able to entertain outdoors.” Agent: “Have you guys happened to see 123 XYZ Street yet? It has a lot of the same features, only it’s in a quiet little neighborhood and has a nice patio and yard.” Buyers: “No, we haven’t seen it yet.”
Again be sure to follow the agency laws in your state around Open House rules, but there is no sense trying to sell someone on a home they do not want to buy. People hate to be sold. They love to buy. Help them find the home of their dreams, and they will love you for it.
To register for our full Open House Script and our Open House Door-Knocking Scriptclick here.
As a sales manager, team leader, coach, sales consultant, and even as a teacher the majority of my career has been spent in conversations with people around goal achievement. There are lots of different ideas about how to be an effective goal-setter and goal-achiever, and these are the 5 concepts that I share in helping people to develop and achieve their goals. I have found that when one of these ingredients are missing then people are far more likely to fall short of their goals, yet when they have all five of them, you may not want to stand in their way.
Sort of like Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, grand vision has more to do with the underlying theme of what is most important in your life and your business than it does with the actual goals. When we talk about grand vision, I am talking about giving yourself permission to dream as big as you possibly can. In all likelihood if you knew exactly how you were going to achieve your grand vision at this point then you probably are not thinking big enough.
The is an exercise we teach in our 1-Day Workshop for The Miracle Morning for Salespeople called Your Greatest Potential which asks the participants to write down what their life and business would look like if everything unfolded perfectly over the next five years. We then ask them to expand on that to determine their greatest potential in the next ten years. The idea behind the exercise is that it gets people to expand their thinking and not be limited by the thought that they have to have everything mapped out as to exactly how it will all unfold. We want to commit to a grand vision that excites us, and we need to leave enough time to let that vision come true.
You would be amazed at how difficult this exercise is for most people. It usually takes a long time for most participants to write down anything of substance. We always have a small percentage in the room who have thought this answer through prior to the workshop, but for most we will get one or two lines that lack clarity in the vision. We hear lots of generalized goals like being a millionaire, being retired on a beach with a frozen drink, or having $X in the bank, but I am looking for people to dig deeper in their grand vision.
What do they want?
How will they spend their time?
What will their relationships look like?
Where will they live?
What will their finances look like?
What will their business look like?
Who’s on their team?
What impact will they make?
How will they give back?
We are looking for this grand vision to provide the energy, passion, enthusiasm and drive to make the outcomes come true. Clarity is a must. The clearer the vision the greater the chance of success.
In his book The Road Ahead, Bill Gates says “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
He is speaking to the idea of grand vision. When we leave ourselves five or ten years of growth to build towards our greatest potential we are capable of far more than we can even imagine. If you were to look back five or ten years ago, could you even imagine how you got to be where you are right now? Did you ever think you would be doing what your doing? Did you think you would be this successful? Did you think you would have travelled all the places you have been? Met all the people you have met? And achieved all that you have achieved? For most people the answer is no.
The reason is that it’s hard for us to fathom how much we will change, learn, and grow over the course of the next two, three, five, and ten years. We only see what we are capable of based on who we are today, not who we are going to become. If you are focused on personal and professional growth, then you will likely grow exponentially over the next five or ten years. Most people when laying out short-term goals will fall short when they challenge themselves, yet they will often surpass their five-year vision by year three.
2.) Goals (Annual and Quarterly) –
Having a grand vision and having shorter-term goals are not mutually exclusive. We must have both. Most of the people that I work with have goals. They have written down things that they would like to achieve in the next week, month, quarter, or year. The shorter-term goals are important because this is where we can break down the steps to achieve the goal. Knowing the end destination allows us to reverse engineer the plan to move from where we are currently to where we would like to be. I think this is where most people’s strength lies in writing down the goals. There are a couple key weaknesses though that stop people from achieving these goals.
Most of the short-term business, financial, and health goals I have heard from people appear to be solely based on what they think they should do rather than what is important to them. If they spent a little more time on their grand visions they could build goals that would help them take the next step this year towards achieving their greatest potential. Often people look at goal achievement as though it were linear, but when people achieve at the highest levels the exponential growth pattern is more like that of a hockey stick. The majority of the growth happens at the end because of consistent and disciplined action over time.
The Need for Immediate Results
Because people in our society want everything yesterday, we fall into the trap of overestimating what we can achieve in one month or one year. With a little patience and some focus on the key tasks to achieving our goals over the next three to five years instead of all at once we may experience more success, have higher confidence, and live with a stronger sense of fulfillment. The process and the journey should be enjoyable, not just the results.
Too Many Goals
Having too many goals dilutes the priority placed on the most important items. The dog that chases two foxes catches neither. The book The ONE Thing is probably one of the best resources on this topic. You can have more than one goal in the different areas of your life, but there has to be ONE thing at any given time that ‘makes everything else easier or unnecessary.’ When you have too many priorities, then nothing is a priority.
3.) Game Plan –
This is the reverse engineering of the shorter-term goals. The reason for the game plan is to take larger goals that may seem daunting at first glance and break them into a list of smaller, more manageable tasks that can be done each day or week in order to stay on track for achieving your goal.
There are three keys to a game plan will work.
1.) Priorities must be scheduled as daily, weekly, and monthly activities that will be completed consistently to stay on track for the goal. The activities should also be assigned, so that one person is responsible for ensuring that the task is completed.
2.) The activities must be measurable. For instance, when training for a half marathon the game plan for this week can not be running. The game plan should be run 3 miles on Monday, run 4 miles on Thursday, and complete a long run of 8 miles on Saturday. There is no question as to whether or not I fully completed those actions. I either did them or I did not.
3.) We must have faith that plan works. If we have no evidence or no belief that the plan will work, then we will likely not follow through with the activities over the long haul. Why would we commit to a plan if we did not really believe that it would help us to achieve our goal. We would not. This is similar to the idea of Hal Elrod’s Miracle Equation at the end of our book The Miracle Morning for Salespeople. You must have the faith to conjure the energy to complete the tasks.
I am believer in making sure that when you break down the goals into a plan that you must ask yourself three questions to ensure you will follow through. Does it align with my grand vision? Do the activities fit in my calendar? Do the activities fit in my budget?
Just as when we discussed goals a few paragraphs ago, if your game plan is not in alignment with your grand vision and the things that you have deemed as your top priorities then it will be difficult to find the energy, capacity, enthusiasm, passion, or willpower to complete them. If you add up all the hours to complete the tasks in your schedule on a daily or weekly basis, and they are not physically possible then we are setting ourselves up for failure. If we consistently over-schedule ourselves to hit our business goals or health goals, to the point where we neglect our relationship with our spouse or time with our family, then we may find ourselves burnt out on the journey. We must either find leverage or lengthen the timeline. Lastly, if we have leveraged tasks then they often come at a price and we must ensure that they fit in our budget over the long-haul so we can maintain consistency in those tasks as well. This leverage may come in the form of vendors, coaches, or employees, and if we suddenly cannot afford them in our budget then it will leave us short of our goal and our previous spending may be for nothing.
I wrote about an example of this with real estate agents in my newest book, Explosive Sales Growth in Real Estate, and this could be related to anyone using direct mail. Farming is a long-term direct mail strategy targeting specific people. A common mistake agents make is that they choose a larger farm than they can afford to sustain. Since it’s a long-term strategy they should be planning to follow through with the activities consistently for at least a year or two before expecting typical results. Most agents do not take this into consideration, so they burn their budget in six months and decide that farming is not working for them, so they either decrease the farm, decrease the frequency of direct mail, or they stop altogether. By not reverse engineering the budget for the plan, they set themselves up for failure or at least a lesser return on investment. If they slowly built the farm as they began to see the results, the results would fund the continued activity.
4.) Guidance –
We can either learn from the successes and mistakes of others or from our own. I have found that learning from my own mistakes is a lot more costly than learning from the mistakes of others. Guidance could come from any number of resources: a book, a webinar, a workshop, a training, an online course, a mentor, or a coach. Some offer a higher level of learning than others because of their on-going nature and your ability to interact and ask questions to get help specified to your own goals and obstacles.
You can certainly accomplish just about any goal on your own. After all someone had to be the first person to do everything the first time it was done. However, in most cases the goals we seek to achieve have already been accomplished by someone else. Their success leaves clues for us along the way. The easiest way to achieve any goal is to find out exactly how someone else already accomplished what you have set out to do. You may have your own little nuances, personality, and strengths that impact your final plan on achieving your goal, but having an understanding of how others have already achieved your goal will substantially shorten the learning curve.
Accountability is the second component one should look from coaches, mentors, or accountability partners when setting out to accomplish significant goals. There are bound to be obstacles along the way. There will likely be times when we need to be reminded of why we have set out on the journey in the first place. And there will be times when we need someone to remind us of our small wins along the way, so we remain committed even in the face of adversity. It’s far easier to be accountable to someone else than to ourselves. It is far too easy to let ourselves off the hook and tell ourselves stories about why it’s okay that we didn’t achieve the goal.
5.) Get It Done –
We can do all the planning and goal-setting in the world, but in the end it comes down to taking action. If we do not follow through with our commitments through disciplined and consistent action then we will always fall short of our goals. In coaching salespeople I will often work through prospecting plans that involve a certain number of calls or handwritten notes that need to be completed per day or per week. The easiest way to tell if someone is going to succeed at hitting their goal is whether or not they know exactly how many they completed and that they are consistently hitting their activity goal. While measuring results is important, sometimes results lie. The person with consistent action according to their plan will continue to improve over time and hard work will beat out talent most of the time, unless the talent is also working hard. The difference between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency.