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The Effective Broker Open House

 

[*The *]Effective

Broker Open House

Strategies to build your business
while using your time & money wisely!

 

 

 

 

SHANNON ENSOR

© 2017 by Shannon Ensor. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author.

Although every precaution has been taken to verify the accuracy of the information contained herein, the author and publisher assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for damages that may result from the use of information contained within.

Books may be purchased by contacting the publisher and author at:

www.ShannonEnsor.com

Publisher: Jands Publishing
p.

ISBN: 978-0-9970862-6-3

Psalm 104:15

 

CONTENTS

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

The Whats & Whys of a Broker Open

A common listing marketing tool, the broker open house is just that, an open house for brokers and their agents. You’ll notice that I shorten this to “broker open” or “BO”, although there’s nothing stinky about this marketing tactic… when used correctly.

Unlike a public open house that’s usually held during the weekend when most buyers are out house hunting, broker opens are usually held during the workweek, during the day, and aimed strictly at agents (exceptions exist, which I’ll explain in the following chapters) as a way to increase your listing’s exposure to the people most likely to bring you a buyer (other agents). Broker opens differ from property tours because they aren’t part of a set schedule (such as monthly meetings in a geographic area, or a mandatory office property tour) hosted by an outside party in which agents typically run in and out each home as if they’re on a scavenger hunt. The broker open is a standalone event (though I’ll discuss strategies on teaming up with other listings later) in which you must entice agents to attend.

The “entice” part is often the trickiest strategy for agents to learn—that’s why I’ve created this resource for you.

But before I can move on, I know a few of you must move past a couple of objections to BOs first.

[_“Why waste my time holding a broker open house? If an agent wants to see my listing, they can come and see it anytime!” _]

If your listings are flying off the market, then I’d agree, you don’t necessarily need to host a broker open. The agents who have your buyers will flock to the house as soon as you list it, even during the “coming soon” period in hot markets. Don’t we love those listings that get multiple offers in the first few days of it being listed?! But, not every home will generate a sold sign in a matter of days. Most real estate markets ebb and flow, even within a given season of a hot or slow market. You may price a house dead-on with comps, have it staged to the max and have super-coachable sellers, yet experience a period of no or slow showings. That’s when you, who cares and obsesses over every listing until it sells, need to implement strategies that get your listing more exposure. Open houses, property tours and broker opens are all great solutions that will generate more exposure—when planned and marketed properly.

And, while a buyers’ agent does have the ability to schedule a showing on their own, there may be factors about your listing that doesn’t earn it a spot on their docket for the day. We (agents and buyers) really love the science of narrowing our home searches to the exact criteria. This means that a home on nearly an acre, but with the footprint that could wow a buyer looking for at least an acre, may not make the cut. To get exposure to that buyer and his agent, the open house and property tour techniques can make that reach happen. Unlike open houses that are during agents’ busy showing times, and the tour that may be primarily made up of competing listing agents, a broker open house can generate that extra needed layer of exposure for your listing. Entice agents to see your listing and they can open their eyes to possible buyer matches they may have otherwise missed without the opportunity.

[_“But isn’t that what eflyers accomplish?” _]

Yes, eflyers can give that extra reach to a large number of agents, but how many eflyers do you read daily? Better yet, how many sit in your spam folder, never reaching your eyes? Facebook broker forums have gained popularity over the years as a better way to reach agents, but this assumes all agents are on Facebook, in those groups and actively searching those groups for potential client matches. When do we typically search these forum posts (unless you have unlimited time on your hands… which may indicate you have zero clients on your hands)? We search them when we have a specific buyer need that hasn’t already been met through the MLS system and then we search specifically for that need, potentially missing those out-of-the-box solutions. Or, we post the buyer need and hope listing agents happen upon the post with the perfect matches. Good timing and luck are required with this process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love both eflyers and forum posts and use both consistently, but broker opens create a special reason for agents to see your listings, hopefully in person, and get their brains cranking on who they know that might be the perfect buyer you and your sellers are waiting for. In fact, you’ll mostly use eflyers and group posts to invite agents to your BOs. The difference between a normal blast for a listing and one for your broker open is that you’re inviting agents to an event and giving them incentives to attend. By nature, broker opens have more elements that attract the agents to take notice of your listing.

The bottom line: broker opens provide an extra layer of exposure for listings (when properly implemented) and more exposure means more SOLD signs!

But, are broker opens for every listing? No and yes. Read on to find out the formula of how to select which listings are best suited for broker opens.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

The Whichs & Whens of Broker Opens

Not every listing is suited for a broker open. Although, if I had a listing sitting cold on the market, and I knew price and condition were not a factor, I’d try a broker open on any home just to give it that extra bump of exposure. That’s the quick no and yes answer to the question posed in the previous chapter.

But, how likely are you going to hold a BO on a $250,000 tract home with so few features it doesn’t stand out against the other dozen homes just like it available in the same community? Your time simply isn’t as well spent with a BO at this type of listing. Listings that are better-suited for broker opens:

  • Luxury homes
  • Unique homes
  • Homes with the WOW factor
  • Coming soon listings

Here’s a litmus test for you to go by: Does your listing give you something to talk about? If it’s the same old elevator speech, “Four bedrooms, game room, wood floors, pool,” with no spark to it, you probably don’t have a broker open candidate. But if you can gush on and on about the home’s features, you have your winner.

  • “Multi-million dollar home with a small vineyard in the backyard.”
  • “Penthouse unit with spectacular skyline views.”
  • “Restored Victorian home with cutting edge technology hidden throughout.”
  • “Pre-market home in gated section of community—pool, views and a custom wine cellar.”

Those examples are pretty over-the-top and won’t fit most of your listings, but the point is that if your listing has a unique quality that can attract the attention in your marketing, you have a broker open candidate. If this home is no different from the other homes they’re used to seeing daily, it won’t seem worth their time to come (unless you add incentives… more on this later). Decide if your listing is BO-worthy at your initial listing appointment, so you can decide whether to include a BO in your marketing plan. Broker opens require an investment of your time and money, so you want to be strategic about which listings will receive one.

Of course, if you need to breathe new life into a cold listing, almost any listing qualifies for your investment of time and money since the BO attracts new attention and exposure. A BO can be that missing spark that lends new life to an old listing, and the attempt is better than letting the listing fall off your books. If the listing lacks a unique quality to it, you’ll need to work harder in your marketing efforts and offer more incentives to attract attendance.

Timing

Once you decide if the listing is BO-worthy, you have a few timing strategies to choose from.

  1. Pre-Market BO. Ideal for when you don’t want to make a listing active in the MLS system until Thursday or Friday (the optimal days to go live in most markets), yet the home is show-ready earlier in the week. You can label these as a “Broker Preview” and generate interest, and potentially offers, before it hits the market.
  2. One or two weeks after list date. The listing is fresh to the market, but hasn’t generated offers yet. You should know the average days on market for listings similar to yours based on the work you did to set the price. If homes aren’t going under contract within the first few days of being listed, you’ll know to plan for a BO quickly after list date. I plan my BOs for week two of being on the market so I can see how the market reacts in the first week. This strategy can be repeated in week three or four, to compound the effects of the BO and give agents multiple time frames to choose from (for example, 11 – 1 on Thursday of week one, and 12 – 2 on Wednesday of week three). In most markets, listings appear stale after the first month of being on the MLS and may not generate as much interest for a broker open.
  3. Reviving a cold listing. Showings have dried up and you’re confident that the price is right and the home shows well. You’ve held open houses, sent eflyers, postcards, put the home on property tour, but still no activity. A BO can give this listing one more boost of exposure. Again, your listing may have features that are keeping it out of searches, a BO helps get agents into your home and picture buyers from their database that might love living there. You’ll need to fight harder to get attendance to these BOs.

Your goal for each BO is to increase your listing’s exposure and get an offer on the home. By exposing the listing to more agents, you bust through relying on narrow online home search results and create more opportunities for “matchmaking.” Therefore, at any point, any listing can be a good candidate for a broker open, but you must do the proper marketing so you have people show up to your BOs. The formulas above are solid guidelines to help you determine if the BO is worth your time and money—both critical elements for an effective broker open. I’ll show you how to best do that in the following chapters.

 

 

 

Chapter Three

The Partnership Leverage

The adages on strength in numbers apply to broker opens on multiple levels. There are two types of partnerships and you can use one or both at each BO.

Sponsors

Sponsors, those who share your same target audience (other agents), are invaluable partners for your BOs. The sponsor partnership is a win-win: these are people/businesses who love opportunities to network with their audience and in turn help you create more of an event-vibe to your broker open. Bonus, some will even help you with expenses or provide treats and other items of value to your guests. You create an event-vibe to your broker open by including sponsors that have things of interest that will attract agents’ attention—extra incentives to seeing the home.

Lenders are the most obvious choice, and usually the most willing to help foot the bill for refreshments. Below is a list of other possible sponsors and how they can play a part:

  • The home stager who staged your listing – can talk staging tips and provide a door prize.
  • Insurance agents – can talk about new programs they offer and provide door prize.
  • Home organizers – can give organizing tips and door prize offering a free consultation.
  • Local restaurants or bakeries – can bring treats or coupons.
  • Local wineries – can bring tastings, door prize for a closing gift basket.
  • Local gift shops/boutiques – can provide shopping experience for your guests, provide door prize.
  • Car dealerships – speak to agents about trading up their cars and offer a gift card to a nice restaurant as a door prize.
  • Photographers – can take free headshots for agents and hopefully land new listing photography clients.
  • Custom shirt/clothes makers – on-site to measure men for new suits, offer door prize.

At a recent broker open I had a lender sponsor lunch, a home organizer paired with me to run a Facebook contest where agents submitted their messiest office pictures to win a free 2-hour consultation (ran for two weeks prior to event), a local jeweler offered free ring cleanings and super-special deals at their shop, a local pecan/candy gift store brought the tastiest treats and ideas for closing gift baskets, and a viaONEHOPE did wine tastings and showed off gift basket ideas and the company donated a portion of wine purchases to a charity of my choosing. The line-up of sponsors helped me promote the broker open in fun and creative ways. Plus, agents knew they were coming to more than an open house, they were coming to a fun and exciting event that was relevant to their business.

Do the sponsors distract the agents from focusing on the home? Absolutely not! Sponsors help slow down the agents and keep them from running in and out, just to cross their attendance off an imaginary to-do list. Agents spend drastically more time in the home because of the sponsors, thus giving them more time to soak in the features of the home and think of which buyers they know who’d love to buy it! I’ve witnessed this many times at my broker opens. The focus of the broker open is the house, and everyone knows it. So, even the sponsors’ conversations revolve around the home. The home is common ground and an ice-breaker, so it doesn’t go ignored, even in a packed house.

Other Realtors

Your second category of partnerships is other listing agents. Strategically plan with other agents who have listings nearby for a multi-listing broker open. These can be agents from your office, another brokerage, or if you personally have multiple listings in one area, you can have an assistant or team member help you host.

With multiple homes to see at the broker open, more agents will feel like their time will be well-spent compared to making the trek to see just one home.

Market the multi-listing BO as a progressive lunch where one house sponsors appetizers, another the entrée and the other a dessert. To encourage participation at all homes, do a punch card that, when completely filled, enters the agent into a door prize (the prizes can come from the sponsors).

Don’t view other listings as competition and ignore this strategy. Use the power of a multi-listing BO to direct more traffic to your home overall, instead of trying to keep all the attention on your listing. There’s a buyer for every home and we all win when we’re in this together!

Another bonus to incorporating other agents in your broker open is that you’ll get the extra marketing exposure, assuming they market the event as much as you do. (Share this book with them so they’re up to speed with you on the marketing!) In the next chapter, I’ll go step-by-step through the marketing plan for your broker opens, and give you a launch guide.

 

 

 

Chapter Four

Advertising Your Broker Opens

Advertising your broker open is essential to driving traffic and making the most out of your investment of time and money. Insufficient advertising defeats the purpose of a BO, which is to increase the listing’s exposure and create matchmaking opportunities through the agents who possibly have buyers for your listing.

Advertising even allows you to impact more than your physical BO visitors. Many agents won’t be able to attend the BO, however, through a saturated marketing campaign, you’ll have another way to reach them outside your typical listing marketing.

For example, when you market your listing to other agents you probably send the same eflyer, post the same post, all using the same ad copy, “Upgraded four-bedroom home that backs to golf course!” The nature of the broker open allows you to expand your marketing and grab interest in new ways.

  • “Join us for a catered lunch and wine tastings at this great home that backs to the golf course!”
  • “Need closing gift ideas? Come check out these great vendors while touring this fantastic listing on the golf course!”
  • “Progressive broker open house featuring the best golf course homes available! Food and wine provided!”

Through varying your subject lines and posts, you increase the odds of the agents reading your ads and learning more about your listing. (Give me a little grace on those example headlines, I suggest you make yours more specific than “golf course,” such as detailing the neighborhood or other features of the home).

The best way to catch the attention of other agents is to spell out the WHY. WHY should they visit your broker open? What’s so special and unique about your listing that makes it worth their time? Then, sweeten the deal by providing food, refreshments and prizes. For example, “Come see the best views in Austin with this lakefront property! Wine and food provided, and you’ll have the chance to win a Steakhouse gift card!” As another agent, I’d want to come to that broker open just so I could snap photos of the so-called best views for good social media material, and it wouldn’t hurt if I got lucky and won the gift card—the WHY drew me in and spelled out my benefits to coming.

Plan your marketing campaign to begin two weeks before the event. Think about movie trailers and all the marketing that goes into a movie premiere, you’ll hear about a movie sometimes a whole year in advance. Movie studios know they need that much momentum to get people excited about their movie. That’s a luxury reserved for selling movie tickets, not selling homes. In our fast-paced industry we work with condensed time frames (that occasionally shift, based on our clients) and we must do all we can to saturate the market with our message, “Come to this house, think of who you know that would like to buy it!” Two weeks is your ideal marketing time frame… too far out and agents won’t take the event seriously at first, thinking the home might sell before the event date; and too close to the event you won’t have enough time for your marketing to make the necessary impact.

Below is your 14-day launch formula for your broker opens, including detailed strategies. You can implement this plan for any type of broker open you’re hosting (coming soon, new listing or cold listing). For a checklist of this list, go to:

www.ShannonEnsor.com/EffectiveBrokerOpen/downloads.

Day 1: Lock down your BO date and time, decide on sponsor partnerships and if there are any beneficial partnerships with other listings. Create a Facebook event from your business page, invite all agents you’re friends with to the event; encourage them to share the event with agents [_they _]know. If you’re teaming up with other agents/listings for a multi-house BO, consider making them hosts on the event page so they have equal invite power. Post the event link in any local broker Facebook groups (where allowed). If in your budget, create a Facebook ad for the event page aimed at the agents in your city; ad should run through the date of event. If available, place in the MLS system as a “MLS-wide open house” or the term your board uses for an agent-only event. Send first eflyer announcing the broker open.

Days 2-3: Continue rounding up your sponsors and get commitments. As each commits, give them a shout out on the event page, linking to their sites/pages and detailing what agents can receive from them when they visit the broker open. Don’t be shy about your efforts—be sure to tweet and post them to your followers. Your database and potential clients need to see that you know how to WORK your listings! An example you can post, “Getting excited about our broker open house at 123 Elm Street next week and I’m thankful for our sponsor, (Lender Name, Company) who’ll be there to educate agents on the great loan programs available for their clients with this home!” Your business page and the event page you create is public, so non-agents will see your marketing. Think of how many potential sellers will be impressed by your marketing savvy when they see your consistent BO posts! This is a great strategy for solidifying your credibility as a listing agent.

Day 4: Repost the event page to local broker group pages, feature one of the sponsors in the post and what agents can win/gain from meeting this person/business at your BO. If you have an internal company email list, send email asking for support from the agents in your office, be sure to include link to the Facebook event page (Facebook helps you by periodically sending event reminders to people you’ve invited).

Days 5-6: Communicate with sponsors as needed. Coordinate marketing efforts with other brokers involved in BO, if applicable.

Day 7: Re-boost your event page post in groups, send another eflyer, feature another sponsor/benefit in these communications.

Days 8-9: Continue communication with sponsors/other participating agents (if applicable). The Austin MLS system has a “reverse prospecting” feature that shows us which agents have sent our listings to a client through the portal search. If you have this feature, email each of the agents on the list, letting them know they may have a buyer for the home and that the upcoming broker open is a great time to preview the home for the client (this is a great strategy to get conversations started about your listing that can result in an offer!). Generate a list of agents who have recently sold homes (either side of transaction) in the community and send them a personal invite. Be sure to include link to Facebook event page.

Day 10: Re-boost any Facebook group posts, send another eflyer; announce another sponsor.

Day 11: Confirm details of event, make sure food and refreshments are all lined up.

Days 12-13: Get heavy on your Facebook group postings and eflyers. Post in the morning and then in the evening on Facebook. Eflyers will depend on your budget, but the eflyer on the 13th day is a MUST. Be intentional with your posts and try to mix them up with different sponsor spotlights and different pictures of the listing. (For example, in one post link to video, another features the best backyard photo… the kitchen in another.) Tag agents you’re friends with and comment, “Looking forward to seeing you at the 123 Elm Street broker open house tomorrow!”

Day 14: Morning of, around 8am, be sure to send another eflyer announcing the BO and make one last round of Facebook group posts. Make your excitement about the event contagious! Remind them of the food provided, sponsor opportunities/prizes. Remind any agents who emailed you interest in the event about the BO, as well as your entire office. (Agents tend to live last-minute and find it hard to commit in advance, so hit them hard the morning of and you’ll have a new wave of guest confirmations!)

Theme

Another idea to consider in your marketing is theme. For example, I did a broker open at a luxury home near the holidays, so I advertised it, “Broker Open and Holiday Shopping Event: Sip champagne and check out some great client holiday gifts all while touring this gorgeous home (short details about home)!” You can create themes based on the home, community, or time of year. The more creative you are, the more memorable your BO will be in agents’ mind and the more likely they’ll come! The more agents you expose your listing to, the more chances you have of getting an offer!

Lead Generation

In the next chapter I mention the possibility of the public stumbling upon your broker open when they see the directional signs you set out for agents. Be intentional. If they’re going to see the signs anyway, consider inviting neighbors to your broker open. This especially works well in the coming soon scenario or when the listing is new. Mail or go door to door with invitations announcing that neighbors are also welcome to preview the listing at the broker open. Neighbors love the exclusivity of this and are naturally curious about other homes coming to market in their neighborhood (they may be future sellers themselves, or know of friends and family who are interested in purchasing nearby). This step helps increase your exposure as a neighborhood listing expert and will work in congruence with your other marketing efforts in the area, compounding your presence, especially in neighborhoods you farm.

Pay special attention to any FSBOs and homeowners that have recently expired listings and follow-up your invitation by sending a package containing your marketing plan just before the broker open house. The invitation to the BO and the follow-up are much warmer ways to contact these types of sellers than the typical cold call they receive.

 

 

 

Chapter Five

Setting the Stage

You’ve marketed your broker open so thoroughly that even retired agents know about your event, now what? To have an effective BO you must first feel competent and confident enough to engage the visiting agents in conversation about their buyers. When you follow the steps in the previous chapters, and that I’ll describe here, you’ll gain the know-how that will set you up for a stress-free broker open.

Always arrive to your broker open an hour before it begins. You’ll alert your sellers ahead of time to have the home clean and show-ready, and that they, and any four-legged family members, need to leave the premises. It helps if they can ensure that their pool’s features are turned on, any fireplaces are lit, and the sound system is quietly playing light instrumental music (or something fitting to the home’s atmosphere). Turn on all the lights and make sure each room is show-ready. With seller permission, light candles (be sure they are candles that actually smell good and are not the cheap/trying-to-cover-odor-with-worse-odor kind).

Whether you’re the food and refreshment provider or it’s one of your sponsors, be sure to prepare an area that will showcase the best entertaining space in the home. If the agents can picture their clients (or themselves) entertaining in the home, they’ll get even more excited to bring their buyers.

YES, you must have food or refreshments at your broker open. This is how we REALTORS® find time to eat! And, the food (and many times wine or other refreshments) and door prizes, are your tools to entice agents to show up. Otherwise, they’d just preview the home on their own terms. By offering incentives you give them a reason to come during your broker open, allowing you face-to-face time for feedback and to learn if they know of any buyers who may love your listing.

This is also why timing is important for broker opens. Through surveys I’ve conducted and personal experience, lunch time (or close to it) is the ideal time for a broker open. Preferred times are: 12 pm – 2pm, 11 am – 1pm, and lastly 1 pm – 3pm. In more hip/downtown areas, 3 pm – 5pm is also popular (the happy hour crowd). Be sure to check with local events and property tours to determine the best day of the week to hold your broker open. I love getting my broker open to coincide with the tail-end of a property tour. Agents who are starving from running from house to house all morning appreciate the food and relaxation time and usually have the afternoon free because of the tour. Thursdays also tend to be popular BO days, but, again, I urge you to check with what’s typical in your local area and always make sure there aren’t coinciding events (such as a conference or festival).

The key is to hold your BO while most buyers and sellers are at work. This is when agents have more time, and so do you. However, how many of us work with our clients during the regular nine-to-five workweek? (We all raise our hands.) Unrepresented buyers are out looking during these hours, too. So, don’t only place directional signs to show agents the way to your BO, place them to attract potential buyer clients! Prepare yourself for this fortunate event. In fact, don’t assume that every person walking through the door is an agent. Introduce yourself as you would at any open house, “Hi, I’m ____ with _____ Realty.” AND PAUSE, wait for them to answer. If it’s an agent, they’ll reciprocate, “I’m Ted with ABC Realty, thanks for the invite.” Or, you’ll hear, “Hi, I’m Sarah, I saw your open house signs and wanted to stop by because I’ve been meaning to schedule an appointment to get in, but my work schedule has been so crazy.” Well, come on in, Sarah!

If sponsors are bringing refreshments or door prizes, be sure to set them up in an area that doesn’t distract from the home. You want the home to still be show-ready, yet be gracious to the people who’ve taken the time to help you. For example, I had a sponsor who was a men’s custom clothes designer—a great way to entice male agents to visit your broker open and even the female agents were excited to bring their husbands. We found a way for her to measure the agents privately, but without blocking access to one of the rooms from the other visitors.

Once you have everything in place, including your directional signs leading agents and buyers to the home, you’re ready to relax and interact with your guests. I bring a stack of the same feedback sheets I use for my property tours (a free download with my book, Stop _]Wasting [_Your Time on Property Tours) so I can review the feedback afterward with my clients. The questionnaire asks each agent if they have a buyer in mind for the home and if they’re knowledgeable about the specific community’s market (I want to know if the feedback is coming from a knowledgeable source or if they’re just guessing that the house is over-priced by $10,000!).

Your goal is to connect with each person that walks through the door. Find out their thoughts on the home through conversation, which usually is more open than what they write on the feedback forms, and most of all, if they have a buyer in mind for the home. If they don’t (which, many won’t), learn what their specific buyers are interested in currently. This information may help you educate your sellers and give you deeper insight on the market’s current temperature.

It’s important to tour the home with each agent and show them the features that might trigger their buyers to fall in love with the home. Let broker opens work double-duty for you. This is your chance to mass-preview the home with agents and teach each one how to best sell your listing. Then, when they show the home to their buyers, they know exactly which features to point out, and you didn’t have to take time out of your schedule to individually preview the home with each agent. The buyer agents will now look super-knowledgeable and professional when they bring their clients to the home and they’re armed with all the features they need to “sell” their clients on. This results in better offers. Win-win!

During your tour, be sure to introduce the other agents to the sponsors. Many times the sponsors help entertain the agents while I’m touring with another group. I’m also sure to promote any material from a sponsor who donated to the BO, but couldn’t be there in person. Be kind to your sponsors and they will be kind to you… which I’ll discuss more in my next chapter on following-up after the broker open.

 

 

 

Chapter Six

Follow-Up to the Broker Open

As soon as the broker open ends, inform and educate your sellers on the feedback you received (anxious sellers are known to show up at the end of the BO to get feedback immediately). Review any negative feedback and help them decide if action needs to be taken (such as a price change or updates to the home).

Next, follow up with the agents who suggested they may have a buyer in mind for the home. Work those angles and see if you can get a showing (followed by an offer) as a result! Then email all the other attendees thanking them, announcing any prize winners, and giving a last shout out to the sponsors. This keeps your listing fresh in their minds for when they meet a potential buyer match.

Your next follow-up step is with your BO sponsors. Send each one a handwritten thank-you letter and an email, text or phone call to invite them to lunch or coffee. Sponsors are most likely sales people, just like you, and can be a significant source of referrals for you. Sales people understand the referral system and the power of relationships with other referral-based business owners. Take them out as a token of your appreciation and ask what else you can do to help them in their businesses. Ask how you can send them more referrals and build a long-lasting relationship with them. Don’t make it about how they can help you, but about how you can help them. Build upon these relationships and naturally they’ll want to send you referrals as well.

Lastly, promote your broker open one last time on your social media accounts. You can post pictures of the event spread, talk about how successful it was and how you love doing activities to increase exposure for your listings. When your database and followers see these types of posts you’re solidified in their minds as an active agent, and the go-getter type they want to do business with and send referrals to. Blast your marketing efforts on social media not as a way to pester people to do business with you, but as a way to show them you care deeply about the work you’re doing, and you’ll attract people to do business with you.

Thank any neighbors who visited the broker open. Along with a personal handwritten thank-you note, send a neighborhood market analysis and an invitation to discuss selling their home when they’re ready, reminding them of your proactive marketing strategies like the broker open. For example, “It was a pleasure meeting you at the broker open house for your neighbor at 123 Elm Street. I’ve enclosed the business card to the pool cleaning company I mentioned to you (this is your spot to make the note personal) as well as a market update for Your Neighborhood (the actual name of the community). If you’re ever considering selling your home, I’d love to sit with you and discuss how your home compares to the homes in the analysis and tell you more about my detailed marketing strategy… the broker open is just one of many tactics I use! I look forward to hearing from you, and be sure to let me know how the pool company works out!” If you enclose a small gift card, “Coffee is on me this week!” you’ll really buy some staying power in their minds!

You may not have any material to write the neighbors who couldn’t come a thank-you letter, but you can send the market update and your marketing plan. The invite and the follow-up the broker open have given you two opportunities to hit these homeowners with your information. Hopefully you have a strong personal branding package that’s coherent and allows them to easily identify you (not just your brokerage). They should have also heard from you with your “just listed” cards and potentially a regular open house invite. That’s three or four times you’ve gotten in front of these particular homeowners now. Compound your presence with these homeowners and add them to your database, especially if they’re in your farm! If they only hear from you twice, your staying power will dwindle as soon as another agent gets in front of them.

I’ve made this chapter short for you because follow-up doesn’t need to be over-complicated, it just needs to happen. Your priorities as a listing agent are to sell the homes you list and receive more referrals because people are impressed with your work. So, communicate the feedback with your sellers, reach out to any agents with potential buyers and encourage showing appointments, thank your sponsors and keep building upon those relationships, and use your hard work to impress those watching—whether on social media or from their front doors.

I’ve repeated the paragraph above in the next chapter, which pulls the entire event together for you, into a checklist.

 

 

 

Chapter Seven

Summary and Dos & Don’ts

Some of you may be wondering how I could write an entire book just on broker opens! Yes, they’re a small part of what we do on a day-to-day basis, but that’s also why they’re often overlooked and agents are under-trained on them. What’s more is that many agents see them as mere agent-only events that can’t really impact their business and don’t realize how they can turn broker opens into a business-generating event. I hope this book has changed all of that for you and you can now see the value BOs bring you by solidifying your skills as a top-notch listing expert to those watching your social media posts and by creating a warm reason for you to contact neighbors, FSBOs and homeowners of expired listings. You’ll generate more exposure for your listings and get them SOLD quicker!

I’ve put a downloadable version of this checklist on my website for you: www.ShannonEnsor.com/EffectiveBrokerOpen/downloads. Save it to your computer and refer to it every time you have a listing you believe is broker-open worthy.

  1. What is remarkable about your listing? Unique features or selling points?__________
  2. When are you holding the BO? ___Pre-market ___New to Market ___Reviving Stale Listing
  3. Theme?:_______
  4. Ideal sponsors: ____________________
  5. Partner with other listings? ___yes ___no
  6. Marketing budget (eflyers, FB ads, flyers to offices):______________
  7. Event budget (refreshments, supplies, prizes):_____________
  8. Eflyers: ___Day 1; ___Day 7; ___Day 10; ___Day 12; ___Day 13; ___Day 14
  9. Facebook business page/group posts: ___Day 1; ___Day 4; ___Day 7; ___Day 10; ___Day 12; ___Day 13; ___Day 14 (add other days as applicable when sponsors commit, or if anything new to report about BO.)
  10. Facebook ad (run through day 1-14/event date): ___
  11. Company-wide email invite:___
  12. Contact agents with potential clients: ____
  13. Confirm refreshments, sponsors, other participants:_____
  14. Feedback sheets:____
  15. Follow-up: ___with seller; ___with agents with potential buyers; ___other agents; ___sponsors; ___neighbors.
  16. Final Facebook post announcing success of event:___

Dos:

  • Be specific and attention-grabbing in your email subject lines and Facebook posts. What’s the WHY?
  • Include sponsors and other listing agents.
  • Give incentives for agents to visit (food, prizes, etc).
  • Communicate results of broker open with your sellers.
  • Follow up with agents who have potential buyers.
  • Thank your sponsors and build those relationships.
  • Spread the word on your social media accounts.
  • Personally invite nearby FSBOs and homeowners with recently expired listings.
  • Thank and follow-up with neighbors you’ve invited.

Don’ts:

  • Keep your broker open a secret.
  • Forget to place directional signs.
  • Hold the event at a time when agents are typically unavailable (major local events, busy showing times, weekends).
  • Be shy (there is no shame in flat-out asking someone if they know of a buyer!).
  • Forget to clean up after yourself when the event is over!

 

Make your events one-of-a-kind and partner with viaONEHOPE to put a charitable spin on your next broker open!

Step 1: Order a case of wine starting as low as $99 for 12 bottles for your broker open house.

Step 2 : Choose a 501(c)(3) charity* or school for your event. 15% of sales on Event Exclusives (when visiting agents order for themselves or for client gifts) will go to this charity!

Step 3: Let agents know they’ll be supporting a great cause when they come to your broker open!

Step 4: Pour, enjoy, and let agents know about the promotion.

Step 5: Don’t forget to post on Facebook how much your event helped contribute to the charity! You’ll look like a hero and an excellent marketer for your listings!

Don’t want to host a fundraiser? Support your favorite charity simply by ordering wine! Plus you will receive special pricing on our Cases for a Cause!

Find out more details for your next broker open or even order closing gifts for your clients:

https://www.viaonehope.com/eventsandgifts

https://www.facebook.com/eventsandgiftsviaonehope/

*Restrictions apply. Visit the pages above for more information.

Did this short book help you? You’ll love the more in-depth books by Shannon that help you build your real estate career!

_*Prospecting with Purpose* _

A REALTOR’S® guidebook to building their business. Prospecting with Purpose takes the guesswork out of what to do next and shows you practical systems to put into place. Learn to leverage your time using components of your business that feed into one another so you can propel your business.

Whether you’re a seasoned agent or just starting out, [_Prospecting with _]

Your Key to Open House Success

Learn how open houses are an integral part of your income stream. Prepare, plan and profit from open houses using the day-by-day marketing guide in this book. Generate more leads, experience exponential database growth, and learn how to dominate a neighborhood by using the strategies in this book.

This book doesn’t stop at open houses—you’ll also learn how to enhance your neighborhood farm and generate more listings through FSBOs and expired listings through the use of open houses!

www.ShannonEnsor.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shannon Ensor has been an Austin REALTOR® since 2005, and has earned titles and designations that include Broker, Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Graduate Realtor Institute and Certified Negotiation Expert. In addition to being a top-producing agent, she has mentored a team of agents since 2009. She expands her passion for mentoring agents and for real estate in her books, ensuring that agents around the world have access to the knowledge they need to succeed. In each book she writes, she holds nothing back and gives her readers every secret, strategy and tactic she has learned over her years of building a successful real estate career. Through her experiences with mentoring agents, Shannon has also learned the go-to objections agents create that sabotage their success. She passes along her sabotage-proof mindset to her readers and hopes that each one will gain the knowledge and motivation to become the best agent they can possibly be.

www.ShannonEnsor.com www.facebook.com/shannonensorbooks


The Effective Broker Open House

Anyone can host a broker open house, but can you host an effective one? Learn to capitalize on this listing marketing tactic and turn it into a lead generation activity! You'll also receive access to free downloads: * Launch Formula for your broker open houses including a social media campaign * Checklist to help keep you on track and organized!

  • Author: Shannon Ensor
  • Published: 2017-04-06 19:05:25
  • Words: 7519
The Effective Broker Open House The Effective Broker Open House