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Open House Strategies to Create Relationships

By Terri Murphy

It’s rare and wonderful when a buyer attends an open house and actually buys that property, but more often than not, it doesn’t happen that way.

After personally holding thousands of open house events, I can say with experience that all the signs and circus strategies to get prospective buyers to attend the open house takes a lot of work, luck, and good weather!

Along comes the COVID pandemic, and in many parts of the country, those restrictions prohibited a physical walk-through of a home, and traditional open houses almost became a thing of the past. Real estate agents quickly pivoted to using virtual tours and “live” streaming open houses to meet the demand for buyers to see a home safely. Consumers discovered that was a lot easier than driving around looking for open houses and actually walking through a property.

As an agent, if your purpose for holding an open house was to get it sold, the outcomes are hard to measure for the time, energy, and resources required to make that happen.

But the hidden prospecting gem of an open house is often overlooked. Agents rely on social media, signage, and company advertising to generate attention when the real key is right there in the immediate neighborhood.

The higher goal here is to BRAND yourself to the property owners located around the subject property with a four-step proven process that ensures your visibility and sets up engagement and participation with the neighbors.

Agents often overlook the opportunity to invite neighbors to “participate” in the finding of a new neighbor. NAR statistics reveal that nearby homeowners are more likely to know a friend or family member who would like to live in that area.  Through a process of touches, the agent can stay top of mind while engaging in a relational versus a transactional type of conversation.  By asking for their help to “find a new neighbor” and to walk them through the process of selling of their neighbor’s property, they are a part of the solution and not just a voyeur of the event.

To begin the engagement, a four-step process is kicked off with an invitation to walk through and view the newly listed property with a “sneak peek” invite.  By addressing this group of the 20 houses on either side of the subject property and the 20 across the street, the agent can execute over 160 direct “touches” that are informative without direct solicitation.

  1. Here are the four steps to connect and convert: The first touch is a private “sneak peek” invitation to the neighbors to view the property before you hold the public open house. The invitation can be done in a playful way by stating, “Guess what your neighbors did last night?” instead of the typical “Just Listed” card.  Include the date and time in the short invitation that is mailed or dropped off (if allowable).  Close out the invite with asking their help in “Finding a new neighbor”.  Note: Printed invitations work the best both delivered or mailed. If possible, send a reminder text message the day before or morning of the private open house.
  2. The second touch lets them know you appreciated their attending with a written note that says, “Thank you for coming” or sending a “Sorry we missed you” note offering to set up a separate time to view the property.
  3. The third touch occurs when the property goes under contract. The tone of this message is to tell them that you have additional buyers who want to live in their area. This allows you to ask them again to “Help a new neighbor” by inquiring if they know of anyone who has been thinking of selling in the immediate area.
  4. The fourth touch is done to announce the new neighbor. Do get permission from the new buyer to send out a notice that the “Smiths” are now your new neighbors and to encourage them to stop by and say hello.

Use innovations to connect with prospects:

Although Zoom and GotoMeeting have been the fallback on live streaming, along with live social media shares, they can fall short if the recipient doesn’t have the software downloaded, let alone the agent using those platforms with expertise   Do check out the easiest and simplest new platform, 1-Click – and see how easy and seamlessly you can upgrade your open house using this very affordable platform.  Get more information at: https://www.1clickconnection.com/1-click-open-house/

Get the full scoop on this quick video description of how it works, click here: https://youtu.be/7kQ50VuKU7Y

An additional service when appropriate, is to offer to host a housewarming party to “meet their new neighbors”.  Successful themes have been ice cream socials, fall cider, apples, holiday cookies, or wine and cheese gatherings.  When the agent makes it fun and a bit more personable, the event creates relationships that often result in additional referrals.

Make every open house an opportunity to enhance your prospecting with a 4+ touch system and make those open houses profitable and productive!