Wikipedia says that opportunity is made up of four integrated elements, all of which are to be present in a window of opportunity – * need, * the means, *a method to apply to fulfil the needs and * a method to benefit.
All of the above can be fulfilled by my favourite way to gather knowledge about the homes we sell and attract prospective buyers – with open houses.
When I was a lot younger – seems like yesterday – I’d go on open house caravans and during the weekends I’d be running open houses all the time.
Over the years, I’ve studied agents who are really knowledgeable about what they sell and are zealous about running proactive open houses. By proactive I mean that they blanket the area with flyers and /or call people in the neighbourhood to tell prospective buyers to come to their open houses for viewing and comparing to other homes.
The fact that many agents, both experienced and new, do not get out on open house tours of their own brokerages’ properties befuddles me. There are lots of good reasons to go. Meeting other agents; gathering knowledge of neighbourhood homes or builders if it’s a new development; exchanging ideas as we drive to and from the properties; and recognizing the time-saving routes for future showings are just a few of them.
For new agents it’s a chance to talk to the listing agents of your own office to see if you can do an open house for them, or they may allow you to shadow them at a future showing.
On returning to the office, play a game with each agent predicting what each property will sell for – and then compare notes later on in the weeks ahead to see who’s closest. I’ve lost a few bucks on these competitions!
If you are just going to wait for buyers to come and view the home, you may get lucky. However, if you choose not to just be reactive to buyers coming in, try making some new contacts. Canvass other areas – townhouses, for example, if you’re selling a semi-detached property. Hand out free brochures with good home-related information, like those available from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. or the local utilities or provincial energy ministries, for example. Homeowners will appreciate them and by doing this, you’ll be adding people to your pipeline of prospective buyers and sellers.
Over the years I’ve developed some successful scripts that will lead to more chances to improve your sales. Agents who use these scripts and /or other dialogues find that they have more than enough prospects to work with. You can never have too many prospects can you?
There are legions of agents who scoff at doing open houses. In today’s shifting market, it’s my opinion that you have to use all the ammunition you have available. The open house is one thing the Competition Bureau can’t take away from us.
Be an agent who takes the opportunity to improve your knowledge and your skills. Stop being reactive to the marketplace and get out there and just do it.
Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at [email protected]. Stan is now celebrating his 43rd year as an active real estate professional.