Ask The Expert: How Can I Plan to Visit Open Houses?

By Dave Hershman, Senior Vice President, Sales of Weichert Financial

Part I of my response to the question: I have been advised by my branch manager to start visiting open houses on the weekends. However, I have no idea what to say to the Realtor holding the house open. Any ideas in this regard? — Bob from Virginia

Dave Hershman

The first question I would have here is whether you know the realtor and planned the open house visit with them or are you cold calling the open?

If you have read my previous columns, you’d know I certainly recommend planning the open house visit. You could start by helping the agent market the open house to your other agents and within your sphere of influence. This will enable you to prepare with an open house flyer or listing spreadsheet as well as other materials to support the open.

You can offer to sit and pre-qualify those who come to the open house, supporting the agent. This is especially helpful if the open house is going to be very busy. It can also be helpful if the open house is in a remote location and the agent is nervous about being in a home all afternoon alone.

Either way there will be some “one-on-one” time and you should make use of that time to discuss other ways you can support the agent’s efforts. Of course, not much of this advice applies if you are cold calling an open house.

That does not mean that you just drive around and look for signs. The planning of open house visits should start with a review of the internet listings on Friday. Look at both the house and the background of the agent. That way, when you walk in, you can say something more relevant than… “I was driving by and….”

Instead, you would be able to say “After seeing this listing online, I wanted to stop by because I have clients who are looking in this price range.”

You think your reception will be better? Or perhaps you might say “I see you are in the office. I do a lot of business with _________, do you know him/her well?”

Once the entry is out of the way…start talking about ways you could help them market the open house or perhaps follow up on visitors, so you can turn the traffic into leads for them. Remember, they are there to sell the house and produce additional leads (plus show the seller they are work-ing). Your conversation should not be about what you want (ie: refer me a deal), but what you can do to help them.

Dave Hershman is Senior VP of Sales of Weichert Financial and the top author in the mortgage industry. Dave has published seven books, as well as hundreds of articles and is the founder of the OriginationPro Marketing System and Mortgage School, the online choice for expert mortgage learning and marketing content. His site is www.OriginationPro.com and he can be reached at dave@hershmangroup.com.

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