By Lynn Minnick
You’ve done all the prep work for a successful open house event: Every online venue has your open house details posted, signs are up, packets for buyers and potential sellers are prepped, the music is picked out, refreshments at the ready, you’ve thought about what questions buyers are going to ask, and you’re ready for them to arrive in droves.
What do you do when those buyers don’t materialize? (Yes, it actually happens sometimes!) Please, don’t spend those 2-3 hours playing Candy Crush, like a new agent recently confessed to me! It can be a really productive time if you plan and make the most of it. Here are some of the best uses of my downtime during open houses:
- Follow up and reach out to recent clients and/or sphere of influence. Either call, email, or write a note. Last February I sent Valentines to a list of my clients. My client list is my most valuable source of business.
- Expand your education via webinars or online continuing education. I finished my GREEN certification and CIPS classes online during quiet open houses. I only took the timed exams at home so I wouldn’t risk being interrupted.
- Execute or fine-tune your social media marketing. I’ve done blog posts, posted new photos, tweeted, posted to Instagram, Facebook, and even made videos of the houses I was hosting while onsite. I also read other real estate blogs, make comments, and look for new ideas to implement.
- Follow up with the buyers who did come by the open house right away. Continue reading »
By Melissa Krchnak
Who has an influx of buyers? We sure do! My market (the Inland Empire of Southern California) is crawling with them. Our middle market is sitting a bit, but our entry-level and high-end are moving quite quickly… with multiple offers over asking!
That got me thinking: With lower inventory and a ton of activity, should I be going back to the 2009 days of setting a cut-off date for offers?
I obviously want to make sure I’m doing what’s in my seller’s best interest… so, is that it? Maybe. Here’s what I think you should do if you set a cut-off date:
- Review your offers as you get them, but present all at once: I created a cover sheet that I attach to each one with a break-down of the offer with any special notes, so when I go to present, I have all the info right there.
- Have at least one open house before presenting offers: Like I say, “business comes from everywhere,” and who am I to deny a lucky buyer the joy of working with me?
- Have at least one brokers’ open: Give all your lovely agent friends a chance to check it out. I don’t do a brokers’ open on most of my listings, but if you’re only going to have it on the market for a limited amount of time, it’s probably a good idea to give everyone a fair shot.
- Have it on the market for at least 10 days: When the market was hot in 2009, 10 days was an eternity and I’d be swimming in 30+ offers. I don’t think it’ll get that crazy now, but I wouldn’t want my sellers to wait much longer than that – they’re tired of opening their door to strangers… I get it. Just make sure that 10 days includes two weekends. I usually list my homes on Thursday or Friday for maximum exposure.
I’ve had agents try to get me to extend the cut-off date, but if I have it in the MLS, and your Client (or yourself) is set-up on an auto-email, how did ya’ll miss it? Just curious. I always offer to hold it as a back-up in case something happens with “the chosen one.”
What’s your market look like? Do you need to chat with your sellers about a cut-off date when you’re taking the listing?
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
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, Continue reading »
By David Krichmar
And now for Part 2. (Check out part 1 here.)
4. Magnet Sign- “No one has ever called off a car magnet.” Really? Ask around your office — someone has gotten a deal off their magnet sign on their car. Get a nice and easy-to-read magnet for your car. Heck, how else can someone tell you sell real estate when they see you at a traffic light?
5. Name Tags- Yes, trust me, I know. No one has ever said, “You look amazing in that outfit. Now if only you had a tacky looking name tag, the outfit would be complete!!” But just like with magnets, it gives you the easiest and most direct way to make sure everyone knows you sell real estate. Make sure the name tag is direct and easy to read. Heck, make it catchy. Maybe a name tag that just says “Looking to buy a home? Ask me!” How much does a name tag cost? Maybe $15 on the high side?
6. Open House- Again, no one likes them… which gives you an even better opportunity to ask REALTORS® in your office if you can hold an open house for them, for one of their listings. It helps get that REALTOR® more traffic for their listing and it helps you get some new potential buyers. You can also try this approach with smaller home builders.
7. Market to a Professional- Think of a marketing campaign and aim it at a certain professional group. Try to choose a group that has some influence on other people such as CPAs or financial advisors. Or groups that have many coworkers, such as teachers, firefighters, police officers, or HR departments. Then offer them something for free. Some examples are a free home warranty, appraisal, free iPad, or talk about a specific program that is just for them (e.g. tax credit for teachers). Then make a flyer and drop it off at schools, fire houses, offices, etc. These groups are great to market to because if you do a great job they will tell all their friends and coworkers.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, online marketing should still be king. But, there are still other ways to market yourself. If business is slow, or you are new to the real estate business, then this list gives you some inexpensive easy ways to market yourself.
By Toby Boyce
I rolled up on the house like I always do, peering at addresses to verify the location with where the GPS was placing the destination.
However, this time I missed the house. And that’s where this story took a possibly tragic detour. With four years of experience processing broker price opinions I’ve developed a safety routine that goes back to my days working as a bouncer.
But on this day – ironically the same day that the Ohio Association of REALTORS® Communications Committee of which I’m vice chair introduced a motion for a year-long safety reminder and training course – I veered from my course of action and elected to walk back to the house for the photos. As I was taking a photo of the front of the house a tenant appeared at the door and inquired as to why I was there. I responded but obviously not to his liking as he asked me to leave and displayed a hand gun.
I walked briskly away from the scene before the realty of the situation hit me. I found a comfortable parking lot and just shook for about five minutes before getting myself back together. As the hours progressed I continued to think about the situation and what happened and how I should have handled the situation – and how I’d done just about everything wrong.
I’ve defused a lot of dangerous situations with words and avoided fisticuffs on most occasions (and I’m sure I deserved to get popped more often than I didn’t) with several key techniques. The YPN model is to share and work with each other to develop better agents. So, my five key safety techniques are:
1. Have a Game Plan – What will you do if you are put into a situation where you become uncomfortable? If you can’t answer that question right now, then you need to sit down and work out a plan – this is one time where failing to plan can be more damaging than just failing it could get you robbed or worse. You can’t be prepared for every situation, but if you know how to handle that “too friendly” guest at the open house or the angry dog on a BPO then your instincts will lead you in the right direction when it is time to rely on instincts. Continue reading »