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. If they left an address or email address, thank them for coming. I carry thank you notes in my open house basket so I can do them on the spot.
- Use that time for planning and goal setting, and/or review if you haven’t done so yet. Every quarter I lay out my calendar for the next three months and block out meetings, classes, appointments, closings, office shifts, planned marketing, and the occasional day off. My goals for the quarter and year are clearly defined as is my action plan to achieve them. Then I can adjust or tweak things as needed, but I do have systems in place and a solid business plan.
I know, it may sound a little old-fashioned that I’m doing open houses, but buyers are still coming to them, and I’ve met quite a few new clients that way. So in my opinion, it’s not a waste of my time if my sellers want me to host an open house for their property.