Here are some quick tips on the subject of open home follow up, that might just help you generate a few more listings in the weeks and months ahead.
Because - if you are going to spend hours of your weekend away from your loved ones, running open homes, then you might as well make the most of that time, right?
For those of us who have been in real estate for many years, it can be easy to fall into the trap of running through the motions on open home days, not taking full advantage of the opportunity.
But following up well doesn't have to involve a lot of work. You just need a dependable process.
Let's start with the basics...
Why run open homes?
It's not about selling the house. If you're marketing is right, then it should attract the right buyers whether you run open homes or not. In running open homes, we have two goals: To make it easy for those potential buyers to view the property without having to book a time (saving their time and ours), and to meet people in your community (future potential sellers).
Open homes are your shopfront. Your time to shine. They are the very best way to meet potential sellers in your local market, a.k.a 'nosy neighbours'.
What does that mean in practice?
When you run open homes, don't focus on selling the house. Focus on meeting people and giving them a good experience. This can be hard to do when you only have one listing and you desperately want it to sell, but it's critical for your long term success.
Stop treating every visitor like a potential buyer and start treating them like a potential vendor. This subtle mental switch can make you far better at spotting opportunities and building customer-for-life relationships.
For more tips on what to do at your open homes, check out this guide:
How to follow up open home visitors like a pro...
Send a thank you text message.
Many salespeople miss this step but in this modern age, it's crucial. Most real estate CRM (customer relationship management) systems have an SMS / texting function. Use it! Text messages have a 100% open rate. No other communication method comes close.
Here is an open home follow-up text-message script:
"Hi Andy, thank you for visiting our open home at 123 Main Street. I appreciate your interest. If you have any questions at all, please get in touch. You can find more info here: (insert property URL). From Joe @ Agent Monday Realty."
Use a website like https://bitly.com/ to shorten the property URL so it fits better in a text message.
You can also use text messages to send deadline reminders, price change notifications, and my personal favourite - a 'just sold' text with a rough price guide.
Send a thank-you email.
We should always follow up with an email, too. Thank the visitor for coming to your open home, and advise where they can find more information on the property. This is also a golden opportunity to add links to useful Agent Monday articles that you have posted on your blog. Try our 'Open home checklist for buyers' or 'How to work out what a house is worth'.
Prospecting idea: You could even text out a link to a buyer-focused article to all previous open home visitors once a fortnight. I can assure you there are unlikely to be any other agents in your area doing anything as cool as that.
Follow up with a phone call
When you run lots of open homes it's so easy to fall into the trap of just calling the buyers who showed interest in buying the home. But that is a critical mistake. We must follow up with every visitor who comes through the property because it shows that we care and it shows how hard we work for our owners (a quality potential sellers will be looking for).
Should you call on the same day, or the following day? It doesn't matter when you call, what matters is that you do call.
Should you leave a voicemail? Yes! Absolutely. It's likely that 30-50% of the follow-up calls you make will not be answered. Always leave a message, or send a text instead. This is a common courtesy and can still be considered an effective marketing contact. The buyer has now heard your voice and seen that you got in touch. Even if they don't call back, you still planted a positive seed for future business.
One thing about open home follow up calls that agents get wrong is not being respectful enough of a buyer's time. The moment anyone picks up the phone, you should always ask:
"Have you got a quick second to talk? Or have I caught you at a bad time?"
Yes, this gives them an opportunity to get off the phone without providing feedback, but it's a great way to show that you are thoughtful. You will end up with far more raving fans in your community if you take this approach to every outbound phone call.
How to ask for feedback
Explain why you are seeking feedback: your owners want to know what people in the market think of their home, and they want to know what active buyers think it's worth.
Tell buyers their feedback can remain anonymous but that any info or thoughts they can provide (good or bad) will be helpful in making sure the property is correctly priced. Then just let them talk.
Essentially you need to create an expectation that you don't mind whether they want to buy the house or not, that's not the point of your call. The point is to seek their feedback as a knowledgeable buyer that is active in the market pace.
And, to understand their situation to see if there is anything more you can do to help.
Ask for feedback on your service, too
Use a script like:
"We are always looking to improve our open homes. Is there anything extra we could have provided that you would have found helpful when you visited 123 Main Street?"
Other questions to ask...
To find out if they are a potential seller:
What stage of the buying journey are you at?
Are you buying, selling, or researching at the moment? (credit: Tom Panos)
Did you see anything you liked while you were out and about today?
What do you think of the market at the moment?
If we get another property similar to this one, would you be interested in hearing about it?
Close the loop
To increase your chances of turning open home visitors into appraisals, you need to keep in touch on a regular basis. When a 'nosy neighbour' visits your open home, they could be 6-12 months away from selling, maybe longer.
How are you going to make sure you stay top of mind during that time?
Our advice: A regular email newsletter with Agent Monday content. It's the high-leverage, time-efficient way to keep in touch with a large database of future potential sellers.