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Stop Wasting Your Time on Property Tours

 

Stop Wasting Your Time on Property Tours

__________________________

 

How to effectively use property tours to land leads, sell your listings and maintain control of your time

 

 

Shannon Ensor

 

Author of

Your Key to Open House Success

 

 

Stop Wasting Your Time on Property Tours

By Shannon Ensor

Copyright © 2016 by Shannon Ensor.

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

The information provided within this book is for general informational purposes only. While we try to keep the information up-to-date and correct, there are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the information, products or services for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk. The methods described are the author’s personal thoughts. They are not intended to be a definitive set of instructions.

Distributed by Shakespir

ISBN: 978-0-9970862-2-5

Jands Publishing

Joshua 1:9

www.ShannonEnsor.com

Introduction 5

Chapter 1
Lead Generation 8

Chapter 2
Proper Seller Representation 19

Chapter 3
Control Your Time 27

Appendix
Proper Feedback Form 30

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

You may wonder why on Earth would Shannon want to write a book solely about property tours? If you’ve read my other books, you know that I deem property tours as mere tactics in your business. While it’s true, property tours are only tactics, they are also necessary in your business as a real estate professional.

When are property tours necessary?

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p<>{color:#000;}. When you have a listing. Before reading this book you’ll think they’re only necessary when your seller requires them. After you read this you’ll have a better understanding why you should make this a self-imposed necessity for each of your listings.

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p<>{color:#000;}. When your office requires you to participate in them—whether for floor duty privileges or as a requirement for leads.

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p<>{color:#000;}. When you want to boost your neighborhood credibility and gain leads. In this book, I’ll show you the power behind this necessity.

Without the three purposes above, agents often times mistake property tours as a voluntary action and can even be seen as a ‘waste of time.’ And while I see many agents waste their time at property tours, there is a better, more effective way to approach property tours.

When effectively utilized, property tours can:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Boost your neighborhood credibility in front of your farm, sphere of influence and social media followers.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Funnel leads to your website via blog posts and social media posts you write about your experiences while on tour.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Help you understand your market better so you become an informed listing agent … and buyer’s agent.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Give your listings an extra layer of exposure.

In the following pages I’m going to dive into the above topics and more and show you how to take a necessary, though many times voluntary tactic, and make them an effective tool in your business. You’ll learn how to control your valuable time so that property tours don’t overrun your schedule and instead become well-worth your investment.

 

 

 

Chapter 1
Lead Generation

 

Nothing irritates me more than when it takes half a book to get to the good stuff. Therefore, I’m putting the juicy information right up front for you: how to turn property tours into a lead generating activity. That’s what every REALTOR® wants to know, right—how to get more leads?

It does not matter whether you have a listing on the tour or not, you can turn property tours into a lead generation activity. There are no pre-qualifications. You simply need to show up with intention and:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Post about what you’re doing on social media.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Write blogs about the homes/neighborhoods you tour and post those to social media.

The steps above give you online proof that you have credibility as a real estate professional. You’re showing your sphere of influence and anyone else who follows you on social media that you are an active agent immersed in the communities you are posting about. For the people you don’t even know yet that are searching blogs to learn about communities they should move to, you are coming up in their search results as the in-the-know agent. Be the agent talking about the communities you want to work in and people will assume you’re an authority in that community.

Think about it. If you’re not online posting about a community you’re missing an entire population of people who are online looking for that information about that neighborhood. Building an online portfolio through neighborhood posts gives you social proof—proof that you are an agent with credible knowledge about a neighborhood. And, what is one of the reasons why people hire agents? To gain access to their neighborhood knowledge.

This is why it’s so important to make efficient use of your time and target your property tour participation in neighborhoods you want to farm. This can include neighborhoods that are near your farm or are considered move-up/down neighborhoods to your farm. Concentrate your efforts in and near your farm so that your credibility stacks upon itself. You’ll understand how this happens in the following sections.

 

Using Social Media with Property Tours

Anytime you attend a property tour you need to post about it on social media. Whether your social media preference is Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or other, post away about what you are doing and seeing. While on tour, you can tweet:

“Seeing everything from a 1-bedroom $400K downtown condo to a $2M penthouse on the #downtownrealtor tour today!”

Or you can post along with a picture of something interesting:

“Check out the view from the 30th floor of this #downtowncondo!” #downtownrealtor

You’ll get more likes and comments on your posts that are accompanied by photos. Videos are even more powerful. Live videos have the most impact and it has been said that interaction with followers increases by ten times with live videos (in the form of likes and comments).

These posts have dual purpose for you. First, they let your followers, which should include your sphere of influence, know that you are an active agent. Your posts will resonate in their heads and when they think of real estate—either because it’s time for them to buy/sell or someone asks them for a referral— they will think of you. Even if you have zero sales under your belt, if you’re showing up and showing off what you’re doing they’ll begin to think you have experience. It’s the ultimate fake-it-till-you-make-it move. The more social proof you give your friends and followers that you are an active, knowledgeable REALTOR®, the more confident they’ll become in sending business your way.

Secondly, you have the potential to reach new leads and followers through these posts. Unless your profile is set to private, and through the proper use of hashmarks, you will show up in the searches people perform on the social media sites. People are hungry for information. More importantly, they are hungry to be in-the-know and virtually want to learn all they can about an area they’re considering a move in. If you’ve properly #hashmarked your posts with the area you want to work (like downtown in the example above; of course you’d add your city’s name), your posts will become visible to people who search for that city and/or neighborhood. If that city or neighborhood has a dedicated Facebook page, or even one that is simply created through other people’s check-ins, your post will show up in the feed—a feed that reaches more people than you ever could have on your own.

Therefore, it is critical that you also post a link to your website with each post. You’ve gotten their attention, you now need to funnel them into your lead system.

This means, not only do you need a social media account(s), you must have a personal website with an IDX solution (so people can search for homes once they’re on your site) and a lead capture system (a sign-in system or way to contact you if they want to see homes).

To illustrate, you go to the downtown Austin property tour and create a Facebook and Instagram post with the view like the example above and hashtag it with: #downtownaustin #downtownaustincondos #downtownaustinrealestate. When possible (Facebook, for example), tag your location (or check-in). In this example, you’d tag ‘downtown Austin’ and choose the location tag that has the most follows from the list that automatically pops up. Not only will your followers see your post, but the hashtags and location tags link the post to other pages, specifically ‘downtown Austin’ in our example, giving you exposure to an unlimited number of people interested in your area.

How does this translate to leads? An out-of-town buyer, Billy, is researching downtown Austin night and day in preparation for his job relocation in a few months. He wants to know about the hottest spots to eat and play near his new job, and which neighborhoods are in walking distance. His online search monopolizes his time. Through click after click he lands on the #downtownaustin results page and starts scrolling through the multitude of interesting posts. Each post is unique—some are about nightlife and some about running the trails, and some are about real estate. Billy continually sees your posts—pictures at the condo buildings he’s been researching and of their interior features and their exquisite views. Interested, he clicks on your profile and follows the link to your website that you have listed both on your posts and profile. Next, Billy begins going through the home search feature you have on your website (your IDX). He plans to come to town in a couple of weeks to scout homes, so inquires on a few properties and asks, “If these are still available when I come to town, I’d love to see them.” Billy is now a lead you earned from a social media post about property tours. Congratulations.

Blogging about Property Tours

Property tour posts on social media, including the videos and pictures, are a quick and easy method to gaining leads and street cred as an agent. But, due to the nature of social media posts, you cannot rely on their longevity. Dive more in-depth with blog posts about the neighborhoods you visit to get even stronger credibility and longer-lasting lead generation.

While social media posts get pushed down in feeds, blog posts last for as long as you keep them up (forever, hopefully!). Just yesterday I tried searching online for a blog post that I thought I’d seen recently about the rise in single women purchasing homes—articles from 2001, 2007 and 2011 popped up. (Single women have been a strong buying force for longer than recent media make them out to be!) Write a blog post today and it can be seen for many years by potential buyers and sellers.

Here’s the formula for utilizing blog posts with your property tours:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Take pictures of the neighborhoods you visit while on tour, especially the amenities and signage. You may need to come back after the tour is over, since tour caravans tend to move fast.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Jot down notes while you’re on tour about the things you notice—look for the unordinary, things that will make your expertise in the neighborhood unique. Give your personal account based on your experience in the neighborhood. Did you notice children playing on the playground? Were all the yards kept tidy? What conveniences were located nearby?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Shortly after the tour is over, write your blog post based on your experiences. Get the words on screen while they’re still fresh in your mind.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Include any pictures and video you took.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Publish.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Cut and paste the link to your social media sites so you can gain traffic. Consider running a Facebook ad on the blog.

Every property tour is different. Some are based in a region of city (Northwest Austin property tour) and some are done in a single community that has enough listings to fill a tour (Steiner Ranch property tour). You can take either type of tour and turn your experiences into a blog. You can even single out a neighborhood from the region tour and spread out your posts over time. For example, if the homes you tour are in five different neighborhoods, blog about the one that had the most listings in that day, or had the most features to write about. The next time you go on the same tour, pick a different neighborhood to feature.

For the most impact on your business, only join property tours that are within and near your farm. If you are farming (or one day plan to farm) a community on the north side of town and want to really build a name for yourself in that area, focus your efforts on the tours in that area of town—tours outside this region are a less effective use of your time. Of course, if you have a listing or buyers on the other side of town, you’ll want to join that tour, at least during the period you are working the area. Be strategic with your time. Remember, property tours are a tactic to generate leads and build credibility as a neighborhood expert, and are not foundational to running your business. By focusing your efforts in the area you want to farm you are creating an online résumé through your neighborhood blogs, proving that you are a neighborhood expert.

Posting on social media helps boost the traffic to your posts. When you get more traffic on your site via your blog posts, the search engines, like Google, allow your post to climb the search engine ranks. Soon, your blog posts will show up in organic Internet searches about the neighborhood, bringing fresh traffic to your site. These people would have never heard of you otherwise. Again, this is why your site should have an IDX solution and lead capture system in place—your blog posts become a lead generation tool and you need a way to gather your leads’ contact information.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2
Proper Seller Representation

 

Every agent can benefit from the previous chapter—you don’t even need a listing on the tour to turn the tour into a lead generation activity. By the nature of property tours, a majority of the agents attend because they have a listing on tour. The unfortunate aftermath of this is that tours many times become a venting session between listing agents attempting backup to get their sellers to come down on price. “I really want the seller to lower their price. Beat them up on the feedback sheet and indicate a $50,000 reduction.” “I really want the sellers to be at $235,000, but they haven’t budged. Will you all put that price point on the feedback sheets so they’ll finally agree with me?” Those are pleas commonly overheard on property tours.

While feedback on condition, price and market factors is an important element of the tours and the information gained is helpful between listing agent and seller, agents need to be careful of breaking their fiduciary duties to their clients. If you blast to other agents on tour, without seller permission, things like, “I think this home is overpriced and that they’ll lower the price if all of you say to do so,” you are in extreme violation of your fiduciary duties. Your seller hired you to represent them and you owe full confidentiality and loyalty to them. If you reveal that your seller may reduce price, without their consent, you’re in breach of that confidentiality.

By all means, if you’re given seller permission to talk about a price reduction, then go for it! Without that consent though, you need to represent your sellers’ list price with full confidence. Take pricing feedback from other agents without tainting their opinion of the home (of course they’ll tell you to reduce the price if you tell them to put that on the feedback sheet, they don’t have time to run a market analysis on the home during tour and you just made things easy on them!). How do you properly represent your sellers then? Easy. Simply present the home and its features and leave out the negativity. You can ask open-ended questions from the agents on tour, like, “Do you see anything in this home that would prevent an offer?” But leave the leading questions that go against your fiduciary duties off the table.

In fact, expressing the homes’ features to your captive group of agents should be your primary focus when you have a listing on tour. This is the beauty of the property tour (aside from the prospecting and credibility building aspects of them): property tours provide another layer of exposure for your listings. Most likely, another agent will bring you a buyer for your listing—in essence then your primary audience as a listing agent is other agents. An agent on tour may have shown dozens of homes to their buyer without them finding ‘the one’. They hadn’t been to your home yet because they’ve capped their searches at 4,500 square feet—‘anything larger would just be too much house to handle’—and your home is 4,528 square feet. The gears start cranking in the agent’s head as he tours your listing, “I think my buyers would really love this home. It has everything on their wish list and the floor plan isn’t overwhelming.” After tour you notice that the agent who took the most time in the home has made an appointment to show the home tomorrow. Aren’t you glad you didn’t beat up the price now?

I can hear some of you saying, “But, Shannon, what if I mention that the home is overpriced and that’s what gets them to bring their buyers?” Remember, you never want to break your fiduciary duties to your clients. And, if that buyer’s agent had a buyer in mind and the home was out of their price range, leave it up to them if they want to come by the home and negotiate on their offer. You give the home exposure on tour to entice the buyers’ agent to show the home to his clients—let the buyers and their agent decide on offering price.

(On the flip side of this, if you’re working with a buyer and can’t seem to find the right home, attend property tours in their areas of interest. You may just stumble upon something that fits them but didn’t come up on your online search, or hear of a coming soon listing! Utilize the networking power of property tours and connect your buyer and seller needs with other agents every chance you get.)

 

Tips for Best Featuring Your Listings on Tour

Other than properly representing your clients and pointing out special features of the home, you can employ a few more tricks to make sure you get the most out of your listing being on tour.

Preparation. Prepare your sellers ahead of time to have the home in show-ready condition for the tour. Ask them, if possible, to leave on lights, adjust the temperature in the home, make sure the home smells great, and have light classical music playing on the TV or throughout the home’s speaker system. This helps you to focus on the agents on tour, rather than being in charge of running through the home to turn on lights. If the sellers can’t help out, visit the home before tour and get it ready, or have your assistant or another agent help you out.

Treats to Slow Agents Down. Another wise step during pre-tour preparation is to bring treats to them home and display them nicely in the kitchen or dining room. If you’ve ever been on tour you know that agents tend to run through the homes, not giving their full attention. I understand, getting in and out of your car and chasing down addresses all over town is something you want to get out of the way as fast as possible. Your job as the listing agent is to slow agents down in your home so that it makes its maximum impact on the agents. Treats help with this. Gather the agents around the kitchen island and while they are munching away, ask for their feedback and the absolute best question you can ask while on tour…

Do you have any buyers in mind for this home?” This is the critical question you need to ask every agent on tour. Get their gears cranking. Find out, is there anyone in the crowd who can actually produce a buyer for you, or are they all there to fulfill their own duties as a listing agent? I rarely see another agent ask this on tour. Most agents let the others fly through their listings and move on to the next. Slow them down, find out if you have an active prospect on your hands and identify who you need to follow-up with after the tour.

Follow-up. Compile a list of the agents’ names on tour and send a thank-you email afterward with a link to your listing. This will help keep your listing fresh in their minds (they probably saw seven to ten other homes that day, yours can easily get lost in the mix). If you met an agent who had a potential buyer in mind, you’ll certainly want to single them out and send a specific email (or phone call) asking if you can help set up a showing time for their buyer.

While on tour, also be sure to interact with other agents and give them specific feedback on their listings—you’ll be more likely to have the favor reciprocated. Then, after the tour, be sure to submit the feedback sheets to your sellers, keeping them informed on the tour’s outcome. At the end of this book is a sample of a proper feedback form that asks the right questions from agents on tour, as well as a link to download it for free.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3
Control Your Time

 

If you’re a new agent or experiencing a slow period in your business, you can appear busy by attending property tour after property tour. However, if you aren’t specifically using your time to use property tours as a tactic to build your business (see chapter 2), then you are wasting your time.

Maintain control of your time and cut out any extraneous tours. If you aren’t blogging about the neighborhoods/areas on tour, find better use of your time through another prospecting activity (see my other book, Prospecting with Purpose: How to Methodically Grow Your Real Estate Business, out Fall 2016). One example is to take someone from your database out to coffee or lunch instead of attending tour.

Some offices require tour attendance in order to stay in lead rotation or to qualify for phone duty. If your attendance is a must, take note of the homes on tour that are near your farm and speak to the listing agents about holding open houses. Knowing that you’ve already toured the home will put you in their good graces and you’ll get top pick of open house days from the other agents in the office. (To learn more about how to build your business through open houses, pick up Your Key to Open House Success).

Be intentional with your time. Select property tours that can add to your growth as an agent—if you dread going to a tour, it’s probably a sign that you should be doing something else with your time. But if you aren’t using property tours as an opportunity to grow your business (blog, social media, etc.) or to promote a listing or buyers’ needs, then the only thing you’ll derive from attendance is networking with other agents. Networking can be a good thing—you may find a mentor or a referral partner—but it should be used sparingly so you have time to prospect for clients.

My hope for you is that you’ve learned how to make property tours an effective tactic in your business. If I were to visit your website or Facebook page in a couple of months, I’d love to see a long list of neighborhood blog posts and that you’ve positioned yourself as the go-to agent for your neighborhood through all your pictures and posts you’ve taken on property tours. This is something you can accomplish with weekly or monthly tours, and should not be a time suck for you—leaving you plenty of time for your prospecting activities. I’m also hopeful that I’ll hear less listing agents bash their homes on tour and instead hear agents asking, “Hey, do you have a buyer for me?” Make this tactic a positive, business-building experience and you’ll achieve a more efficient, successful career!

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix
Proper Feedback Form

 

I’ve seen some pretty basic feedback forms at property tours. If you aren’t able to speak to each agent on tour about your home, the basic forms leave little opportunity for you to get valuable information out of the most agents.

The two key questions missing from most feedback sheets are:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Are you familiar with the current market in this neighborhood?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Do you have any buyers in mind for this home?

The first question helps to determine if the feedback you receive is reputable or not. If an agent has no clue about the neighborhood your home is listed in and she notes that it is over-priced, you know to give her opinion less weight than the neighborhood expert on tour.

The second alerts you to a possible match for your listing. Come right out and ask who has a potential buyer in mind. Since you may not get a chance to speak to every agent on tour, this question is crucial. And, the question alone helps them to think through their database of buyers and match them to your listing.

If a tour sponsor brings their own sheets for the agents to use, feel free to slip yours in. You’ll be glad you did.

Here is my sample feedback form. For a customizable download, visit:

http://www.ShannonEnsor.com/proptourfeedbackform/

{Property Address}

Feedback Form

Price:

Square footage: {include source}

 

Please rate/comment below (5=highest)

 

Floor plan: 1 2 3 4 5

Condition: 1 2 3 4 5

Price: 1 2 3 4 5

Staged to sell?: 1 2 3 4 5 Suggestions: _____________________________

How does this home compare with other homes in the area? 1 2 3 4 5

 

Best Feature(s): __________________________________________________

 

Worst Features(s): ________________________________________________

 

Are you familiar with the current market in this neighborhood? Yes No

 

At what price do you think the home will sell? __________________________

 

Do you have any buyers in mind for this home? Yes No Maybe

 

Additional Feedback: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Name: ____________________________________________

Thank you for your time

 

Amp up your open house game!

Learn more than 100 tips and strategies to turn your open houses into lead generating, database growing, and credibility building events! Your Key to Open House Success gives you a day-by-day guide to marketing your open houses and how you can position yourself in each step to grow your business! For more details, visit:

http://www.ShannonEnsor.com

I am a new Realtor. I held an open house for another agent about a month ago and was at a loss to how and what I was doing. Needless to say, it did not turn out well. I bought this book and am so glad I did! Shannon has not only given the steps to how to have a very successful open house, but wonderful information on growing your database before, during and after! This is a must read for every Realtor that wants to be successful in growing their business! Thank you Shannon!” – Becky Erdek, Naples, FL

 


Stop Wasting Your Time on Property Tours

Do you think of property tours as a chore, or something to fill your down time with? Change your perspective and learn simple ways to make property tours a lead generation activity! Shannon walks you through steps to create an online persona through your property tours that will earn you credibility in front of your sphere of influence, as well as grab attention from people you would not have otherwise been able to reach. Stop wasting your time on property tours and learn to make them an effective tactic in your real estate business today!

  • Author: Shannon Ensor
  • Published: 2016-07-19 23:35:09
  • Words: 4614
Stop Wasting Your Time on Property Tours Stop Wasting Your Time on Property Tours