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Generate More Leads with Open Houses (Ryan Rodenbeck and John McCarthy)

Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on Friday, February 28th, 2020 at 10:00am

John McCarthy: We’re going to talk a lot, you know, I gave you guys the handout, and there's going to be some things that you're probably going to want to write to add a couple notes because, you're not going to do everything on this process. But the goal is to give you the tools and you can you're going to end up essentially kind of customizing what you can do for open houses.

I want to talk about like with open houses, you want to have a purpose. What are you going to be doing? Why are you doing an open house? Are you farming a particular neighborhood that you're the local expert? Are you just doing open houses, you know, throwing it in the schedule on a Saturday and Sunday for a million dollar price point anywhere in the country, because ultimately, you're going to want to be prepared so that you can meet as many people as possible and drive as much traffic to your open house as possible.

First step on the paper, join Facebook group open house ATX for Realtors. Join that group you can put up there that you're doing open houses, zip codes, whatever it is and you can also search the MLS, for properties. So you know a lot of what you're going to do to prepare and, and actually host your open house is going to depend on what your purpose is. If you're going to be trying to if you're hosting an open house and you're trying to get listings in the neighborhood, you're really going to want to have a lot of one on one conversations with people in that neighborhood and help understand how you might be able to help them list their home later. If you're going to go after buyer leads, it's going to be a little bit different marketing to get people to drive in your traffic. Then the questions that you're asked while you're there

How do you get the most attention to your open house? You're going to want to hit your database. Five days before, you need to choose a property, so don't wait till Thursday to say I'm going to do an open house because you're not going to give yourself enough time to prepare. And you're not going to give our marketing team enough time to prepare because they're going to support you as well. Same thing if you're doing if you have a listing, and there's another an outside agent that's going to do an open house, maybe we don't have anyone available to do an open house for you put it up on that Facebook page, let them know that Spyglass marketing is going to co-market that with them and add them as a host. They love that and it gets you a really good rapport with that agent. And ultimately you want good feedback from that agent for your seller as well. There's a lot of partners, title reps, insurance agents, lenders that might partner up with you and provide resources anything from cookies to flyers to booze, whatever it is. Put together a plan again, be prepared. signage. Who in here intends on holding open houses like two or three a month? Let me see a show of hands.

Signage is going to be important. Spyglass has some open house signs, they're there but I'll tell you it's a major hassle if you don't have signs ready and you've got a truck drive around town is going to be taking you away from all the most important things. So let's get together after the class get with me Sunny, Ryan, let's put together like an order or we can there's quick prints if you've never gone through that maybe a good quick tutorial it's easy, but let's make sure that we have inventory on signs because they do go missing sometimes too.

Kelly: Agents are also coming to me to design custom Open House signs is like if you want to do that, that's also fantastic. I'll help you design it, I'll give the order for you or get quotes for your whatever if that's something that could expedite the process and help you streamline stuff.

John: Yeah, and start on that soon because like February's couple weeks away and Morehouse you hit the market. We're all going to be getting your business so

You're going to email a request to Kelly at marketing@spyglassrealty.com to start open house marketing, and they'll ask you for whatever they need to put that together. They'll create events on Facebook, Instagram, the whole gamut, whatever they're going to do.

Also, you’re going to want to email your database something huge. It’s not even on this list that you can literally you could go to Google Mega Open Houses and you can find all kinds of things. But we have Bomb Bomb video inside of our FollowUp Boss. Huge. I think that's a huge attention grabber email, your database is big. If you're doing an open house say on like one of my listings, email your database, you know, my database videos going out, you're going to reach thousands of people just through that database and through that medium.

A few days before you know you're going to focus on going out into the neighborhood, at least 100 doors you're going to want to put a flyer on a door hanger or even knock on the door and see if somebody's there to talk to find out if they're going to be listening to sell their home or if they have a friend or family member that wants to move into the neighborhood.

On the bottom of the back page or some questions and some of these things that I'm saying are on there so you guys can have some simple questions to ask. Uncover some information from these people that you're talking to.

Social media. Spyglass are gonna do their social media for you guys create an event on Facebook, post it up on Instagram live videos, if you're out there in the neighborhood three days beforehand, you can do live videos, you know, incorporate that tell the story, build up the attention leading into the weekend, if it's the weekend open house.

If it's your neighborhood, try to get as much neighborhood involvement from the owners. If you're not if it's someone else's neighborhood that you're not living in have the owners posted next door. If it's your neighborhood, post it, put a link the Spyglass paid or something up there about the house that is coming up and have the owners post your link, our link, our event so that your name is out there and the owner is broadcasting their home for sale as well.

Ryan: Let me just piggyback on that for a sec. Yeah, like what we do with every one of your listings is the four processes of four stages listings can be seen. Under contract, Just Sold and see that there's a fifth process called Open House. What I think is so beautiful about getting the homeowner -- when you submit a listing to us, we retarget. You don't have to do anything, we're going to retarget every stage of that listing. And if a homeowner shares that with on Facebook and those people go to that page, they're going your, our listings being retargeted so they'll see the house, in your neighborhood with your face and your name and it's just for exposure for you.

John: You know, if you're if it's your neighborhood and you really know the community activities that are going on, whether it's weekdays or weekends, and there's a big event or events, if it's baseball season, soccer season, whatever season it is, and maybe there's games on Friday nights if think about doing open houses at other times other than just Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 4, because that might not be the most traffic detention time for that particular house, you know, or maybe it's a little bit later in the afternoon. If it's soccer all day long. I had an open house on the creek as fields are right there.

Maybe a little bit later open house or during the week if there's a vacant house or something, somewhere that you can host Twilight open houses for two hours you can actually get work done. You've got your signs in the neighborhood for two days in a row between five and seven or during the summer beat the heat come in and grab a cocktail or something after work. Most as I've seen them. I've even seen some on the golf courses where they're promoting during the tournament. I mentioned this to some of you guys like feeding people into an open house from the goal tournaments. There's a lot of things you can do it's you know what's going to be best what's your overall purpose what's your game plan so you can put together a really good course of action on that.

So then the day of! For the house, you know, run comps, be prepared with the flyers at the at the door or fires inside run comps. You can educate your visitors on what the comps in the area, the comps for this house, as well as other active listings as if they're a buyer. Maybe they haven't been actively searching very much. And you can say hey, you know what, there's a few other homes that are available around here. Maybe we can get together tomorrow or after the open house, I can show a couple of them to you.

But then really this stuff is all preparation to get you ready. I like that the fifth process is the open house because we've got a process for that. It's a mini process that some of its on here, which is the site that we use for our leads and our people that are connecting with us that's retargeting them with listings. So you'll set up your tablet or your computer with the site and with the MLS number and it automatically what you're going to do is you have a sign on the front door, it says everybody's to sign in and another sign by the computer that says please sign in here and they're going to go into the computer or the iPad, and they're going to sign in, it's going to go automatically go into the site. FollowUp Boss is going to get triggered, you're going to have a lead come into your name. And it's going to set them up on an auto property search specific to the criteria for that particular house.

Ryan (on Video): We do open houses by Spyglass Realty. Collectively, turn them into buyers. So first, what we did is we did a registration page,

first registration page on our side and promoted it through Facebook, and how we're gonna take your steps. So then before the open house, we'll put these directional street signs on the corner of every street leading to the house. We also sometimes will put those signs out and they drop a little hanger here that says open Saturday, Sunday 1 to 3 or 1 to 4, whatever it is. I leave the open house signs all weekend.

The next step is the sign out it says, The entrance asked for a record of all visitors, please register on the iPad in the kitchen. If you're a realtor for years, so many lives are in the open house, please serve a lockbox. So what this does is it sets the stage that we've been asked to collect information on who's coming into the house. By doing this, it doesn't quite do it for you mean you have to ask him to sign in. But we already set the expectation, which is great. And, you know, I found that with this up, I've never had anyone refuse to sign in. They always put something in there. Then we put this landing page up. This is an open house landing page that we had made. The cool thing about this is when they sign in, it goes into our follow up boss. And the other thing it does all foster CRM that we use. The other thing it does is it triggers our IDX system or property search to send them listings in the area. Based on a listing, they looked at say we're probably offering this.

When we started putting the notices on the door, when I'm looking at the window and I see people stop and like reading it, right, and obviously, like, we don't give a fuck if someone is going to like trigger the lock box, we're just putting that in there so that they know that like, we're not just lying to them about, the owner asking for a record like we want we want them we want everyone to register. Now, some cases it is the owner, but again, we're setting the expectation that we want you to sign in. And this is important for a lot of reasons.

The main reason is for us to collect information elites, okay. But it's also like a safety thing you want to record of everyone that comes in the house, like I've had a client, not with me, but I had a client that we sold the house to and the previous time she sold the house, her husband died at like three months before and someone came in and stole her wedding ring. Just having a good record of it like nothing, they will steal it anyway or lie but it also prevents that type of action. And like everything that Johnny is talking about, we can half ass anything right? But like these, this is the process to be successful. open houses are an opportunity for you to collect leads for you to show your expertise and for you to get your name out there. So I'll let you kind of continue on there. But one more thing about this is, people talk about mindset all the time, and I don't try to get to deep into mindset of your monthly or daily you know, affirmations or anything like that, but you have to have a mindset when you're going into an open house that like you're there for a reason, like charisma can be taught. Okay? Like you can do simple things you can look someone in the eye you can shake their hand you can be genuinely interested. Open houses are on weekends, right? Believe it or not, I try not to get drunk before an open house because like you never know an open house, like hung over. It doesn't go as well since laughing, you know what I’m talking about.

All these things contribute and I'll let you finish up here.

John: Yes, mindsets with preparation because I know for a long time I had a love-hate relationship with open houses. And actually when I first started with Spyglass, if you asked me if I did Open Houses, I was like, no, I don't.

Why because I didn't do enough to prepare. So I would go on I would even go on a listing appointment. We talked about coming soon, we'll do an open house and, oh gosh, I really don't want to do an open house at this house like I'd rather work I'd rather be doing something else because I didn't want to collect leads for that particular area. So I kind of half assed it, and then I'm go through my Thursday, my Friday, my Saturday, my weekend, I've spent all these hours I had five people show up, it's like, major killer for burnout.

If you think like you know, you already have enough things to do in your business and you're going to have asked you an open house, do these things do enough of them to set yourself up for success? And you're going to enjoy your time at the open house and greeting people you know, so but the people that you meet, like if you're doing an open house, there's five or six people there, it's going to be kind of easy to have a little bit more conversations with them. But sometimes you're new in the house, there's 15 or 20 people there.

What's going to be real important is take some notes, have your notepad because you're going to see these people in your database and they're going to come back to the site and they're gonna be looking at houses, you're going to see Joe Smith, like, I know, I'm gonna have the open house, but don't remember anything about him. Maybe he's working with a realtor, maybe not maybe they had the kids that were running around. There's gonna be some things that you're going to want to key on, that you can talk about later, that's going to help the rapport because open houses I know I could ask, it was probably a testament from a lot of you guys that you've had a lot of success from open houses, the rapport is incredible. It's so much better than on the phone, cold calling, or even calling through hot leads, like the rapport is there. So you're going to want to remember how to tap into those really good rapport builders that you met that you found there in that open house, because ultimately, the magic is in the follow-up.

You're there to do an open house. 30 people could come in, 30 buyers could send you an offer. None of them are yours, right, which is fine because you're selling the house, but it's not your buyer. Maybe you got some buyer leads. But following up with those people, is where you're gonna, where you gonna make your money. And you'll make setting up maybe your own action plan.

Bomb Bomb videos, videos that go out to them thanking them for coming to the open house. Find out if they're interested in making an offer on the house. Maybe you've asked a couple questions help uncover some other objections that you've already talked about or that you already covered and you can mention those in the video as well as ask them if there's any other homes that are available or they're still interested in buying home in the area. So again, you want to have some notes so that you can remember you can you can personalize some Obama videos or just blast the generic one out to everybody maybe do both.

Ryan: Yeah, the window does it like they say that you know, the average lead is converted after 11 touches, right? You've got, this is a touch. And when I say a touch it's either a phone call or an attempt to contact right. I don't consider email and attempt to contact but I would consider a Bomb Bomb video or just a quick you know 20 sec, 30 sec video on your phone that you texted them you're wanting to get to know them, they want to get to know you so the conversion is easier. So you know, the follow up is really, really important when it comes to converting an open house lead and one of the reasons we're talking about this is because you know, we're doing professional development meetings with you guys. And there's a lot of open house conversions.

John: It's all over the radar for doing open houses. So on the backside, so if you've never been to the house, it's someone else's listing, you might want to go over there first, because it might smell funky, there might be some nuances that you didn't know from looking at pictures. So light a candle, bring air freshener, sometimes you need to, make sure how much toilet paper, do a live video you can do live video before and after. So even after you do that little video Ryan was just saying from your cell phone, that's gonna be the one that you're thanking people. You don't even have to go home and sit for any computer and do a whole fancy video just like hey, thanks for coming, it was nice meeting you and asking the same questions. You know, I'm going to be in the neighborhood looking at some houses, let me know if you want to meet up and take a look.

Feedback. Feedback to the listing agent, feedback to the owners. Feedback to Ryan and Sunny if that's one of their clients is going to be really important in a timely manner. You know, within a couple hours after the open house, you can get some kind of some type of feedback over to the owners of the listing agent that you know whether there was zero people, or three to five or 10 to 20. Some had realtors, some are just neighbors or looky-loos. But there's a few questions on the bottom here. We'll jump to the help you get a little bit information for feedback. It's really uncomfortable to hold an open house and not have much notes and then the listing agent of the seller is like Hey, how's it going? Like, ah, like, it’s really is crazier. I don't remember a lot of the stuff that happened you know, so feedback will be very important.

We got procedures for canceling because depending on canceling an open house, things come up.

If it's your open house that you're listening to and you've got communication with the sellers, then you're you know, you're going to communicate with them directly. Let them know as quickly as possible. Put a post-up on workplace, find out if there's anyone else that might be able to cover for you put a post-up on the Austin, the Open House group.

Because if it's someone else's listing, let the listing agent know right away. Let Ryan and Sunny know right away. Things escalate quickly, if we don't get the word spread out quick enough to cancel an open house because they have rearranged their weekend. You have pent up this demand, you know you if you've done all these things throughout the week, their signs it's a big deal. If you cancel an open house if you've done these things. You'd rather have a warm body sitting there for you not even talking to anybody. If you've done all this work, they're going to sign up you can just have some a meet and greet and you can still collect information and follow up with people.

So some questions to ask an open house:

To open up a conversation with you know, greet everybody. Find out how they heard about your open house? Did they see the signs? Was it Zillow? A lot of people say Zillow right now, realtor.com.

Some people still recommend putting ads on or putting a post-up on Craigslist. Did you hear about it on the neighborhood or next door app? How long have you been looking for a home to purchase? Do you currently live in this neighborhood? If they live in the neighborhood? Do they have any friends that want to move in this neighborhood? If they have kids ask if their kids go to the school here, that's going to be important. Schools are huge if their kids are you know, elementary or junior high age. That's really big. So you know if they're interested in that neighborhood, we trying to purchase a home now and move in the next 30 to 45 days. You can ask that all the time if they’re tryna purchase them now. So walks in the door, they like the house. Hey, are you trying to buy a home now? It's not this house. I can show you some others and I can help you. How long you've been going to open houses, how many open houses have you been to they're already going to answer whether or not they're working with a realtor on the site when they sign in? Is this the only neighborhood you want to move to? And what are you waiting for? Do you happen before you get serious about buying a new house and moving? So those are some questions to ask me at the open house to get the conversation started and kind of get them talking.

John Crowe: You hit up and Ryan's been very successful with that. We've all I think they approached open houses, we're going to get a buyer. You're actually auditioning for sellers. And you got to think of it that way. There's a KW agent in Oregon who's built in massive business of open houses only and just going in there with I don't care about the buyer leads all the people on the team would go in there for sellers, you're looking to get how you show up. I think the idea is previewing the property I'd suggest doing that two days earlier, and then looking at all the other homes that happened to be for sale in the neighborhood.

And when you're putting signs out, you're often going to put a sign or you're going to want to put a sign on a house on the corner with a house, knock on the door and do that the day before two days before, introduce yourself, ask them for their phone number and email address and just say, hey, just want to make sure if I hold this open again, I want to get your permission to put this sign on your front yard. Can I call you in the future? And they say no, you go across the street, you go somewhere else? No one says no. Well, one guy I've ever had.

Ryan: I've got a couple say no. I know what I started doing especially like in my neighborhood where I, in Barton hills, I'm trying to establish relationships, I drop off and no and a t-shirt and a sign if they're not there. Say, you want me to pick it up, please let me know. Now if it's the wrong t-shirt size, let me know.

John Crowe: Says, here's what it is and if you don't want my sign here and then rarely does that happen, but had a lot of people call it thank God for those real simple whether they'll be able to say.

Ryan: I've had one person say no and then I had one person or later on, that I didn't ask, and they dropped off open house sign at the open house.

John Crowe: Last thing is if there's a for sale by owner in the neighborhood, call them up and just use this as an opportunity. If someone walks through my open house and the house is not a fit for them, your house might be and I'd like to get to know it. And that's a chance to go in there and establish relations. Pick that business up. That's really good.

Chris: So I'm Chris Affinito. I’m the owner of UrbanATX Development, a lot of new faces here today, I'll come to this office, my own office down the street, but we're building about 20 houses in the zip code right now and got seven or eight of them on the market and trying to hold open houses all the time. Just wanted to connect a couple of the dots are going through my head when listening to Johnny and Ryan talk and one of them is, what is the goal that you're trying to accomplish by holding an open house? Ready collecting leads and you're building rapport, you're not trying to sell the house that you're sitting in? Because that happens as often as lightning strikes.

As a homeowner or as a developer, why do I want you to hold open houses? Why would I allow you to hold open houses? And most people, it's the homeowners believe that it's going to really help them sell that house and maybe it does. But like I said, the goal here is to build rapport with leads that you collect and sell them what they're looking for. Because again, we're the chances of that particular house that non represented buyer walks into is going to be the one for them. And so what we've been trying to accomplish at UrbanATX is build a small army of agents that get very, very familiar with all of our products, because we build nice houses and people generally have good things to say about them. They like our design, but again, the chances of walking into one of our houses and saying this is the one is really slim.

What we're trying to do in building this army is have these agents be knowledgeable about what we have on the market, because this house might be perfect for them if the master is on the main and so we want them to know. Okay. That's great, because I've got one more the Masters on the main floor demonstrating. And we want to be able to say to the buyers and say, okay, well, I'm not ready to buy really ready to buy in six months. I sure hope this house is off the market in six months. But you know, another one for you ready about that? And to the buyers have said, we want to really kind of want to build from the ground up. Well, great. Take a look through his house and be like what you're seeing put you in touch with the developer have them build your dream house. Right.

Ryan: That's great. I think John use that too, with like, not an open house sense. But like someone was interested in a $2 million lead every year. You know, we talk a lot about like lead, conversion and what are our feature benefit tie downs? And like one of them is that we have access to off-market properties.

If you're doing an open house, like it Chris's and Chris has, you know, White House, is it coming online in like six months. That's a conversation starter. Well, like, I guess what, if you're non represented, and you're open working with me, and he got a buyer's rep sign before he showed the houses like that's a beautiful.

Chris: These people are going to five other open houses that day, right. You'll be the only agent that can offer them and does not market. So anyway, I'm trying to build that in-house we all are trained on my stuff rather than having agents from Keller Williams and everywhere else. My house is open right better look at one piece of luck obviously I'd like you all to have the benefit of all that for the next random Keller Williams agent so if you are interested in building open houses you want to try mine, email Morgan because she is running that show for me at this point and she will get you guys set up Spyglass Realty.

John: A letter I created this a while back actually that says like hey it's John McCarthy from Spyglass and I'm doing open house at this address at this particular day in time. I went ahead and put a sign in your yard if you don't mind if you don't want it here, no problem. Just shoot me a message let me know just don't take it. Don't please, please just leave it for me or something. I don't know. We'll share it you guys can make it your own. But then also and I just I had this old briefcase work bag thing and I'm throwing together like my open house go bag, because there's things that you're going to need like scotch tape and never have scotch tape. And I don't want to go digging through an owner's house and drawers and find scotch tape, put a sign on the door. Like there's a little thing so a hammer put signs in the yard or something gloves like Clorox wipes, you know, things like a towel or maybe a broom or something. So if you visit the house, beforehand, you're going to know there might be something you need to provide to make yourself even more prepared, you know, bring cookies.

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