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Converting a Looker into a Buyer

Brett Caviness

By Brett Caviness

It can be boring, spending a large amount of your weekends sitting or standing in what are sometimes vacant homes for hours on end.  For me, the value is developing strong communication and sales skills.  With a degree in communication studies, I still find myself learning and developing techniques to effectively communicate with clients while qualifying them at the same time.

It can be all too easy to greet people at the door and let them wander with the usual, “Let me know if you have any questions.”  I have found some specific tactics very useful and lucrative when used during my open homes.

I recently turned common Sunday lookers into buyers in two weeks time.  A couple came through one of my Sunday opens, they were pleasant and quiet as they made their way through the home.  They said they didn’t have any questions and were on their way out when I began to chat with them.  Simple things like, “How long have you been looking? Are you from the area?” These simple questions quickly snowballed into learning about their situation while developing a personal connection with them.

After getting a good feel about what they were looking for, I told them I would do some more searching and set up some showings that might be a good fit for them early in the coming week.  They were excited for the work that I was willing to do for them.  In two weeks time, we had an accepted offer and a little over a month later, I was able to welcome them into their new home.

It would have been all to easy for me to thank them for stopping, and send them on their way as I went back to my magazine, but a little interest and persistence can make all the difference.  One of my true joys in this business is developing lasting relationships that can start at a first meeting on a seemingly boring Sunday afternoon.  Hosting an open house is simple; converting a looker into a buyer takes a true real estate professional.

Brett Caviness is a REALTOR® in the resort community of Okoboji in North-West Iowa.  Connect with him at  www.BrettCavinessHomes.com.

Comments
  1. Darcie

    I am a little worried if there is a Realtor having Open houses and not asking these questions!? Why would you waste your time if you didn’t do this? Kind of a head scratcher…

  2. Pat

    That’s a no brainer!

  3. JT

    I agree with Darcie, and you, the whole point of doing open houses in buyers markets is to convert buyers into clients. AKA, ask questions to uncover the need and make the appointment based on the need.

  4. Jim Thuerwachter

    Actually, Brett, a very good tip and thank you for posting your suggestion. While not a realtor, I can say with personal experience here in California that it is very common to attend open houses and have a real estate representative greet with the scenario you list. More often than not, it could be that a salesperson doesn’t wish to come across in a “pushy” manner. But, as you have posted, the straightforward and non-threatening conversational approach would be welcome and would open up a productive discussion. While others have commented here that they would expect a professional realtor to do as you suggest, many times experienced professionals fail to do the “basics”. Continued success!

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