I think agent2agent is going to work. These are some great answers. Here is what works for me. I pick an area of town that I know very well, I pick a house that is on the market that I would enjoy selling. I call the listing broker and ask if I can hold open houses. (vacant and staged homes work best) I am currently marketing a $1.6mill dollar foreclosure in one of Denver's most sought after neighborhoods. I hold open houses any time I have 1 or 2 hours to spare, in the morning, afternoon and evening, of any day. A high traffic street, during rush hour on Tuesday evening, is great place to put up an open house sign. But buyers drive around at 2:15 on Wednesday afternoon as well. You never know when your next client will drive by.
Knowing the area, the restaurants, schools and other amenities is crucial. In this business you have to sell yourself before you will ever get to sell a piece of real estate and the fastest way to turn a client off is to tell them you can look that up for them. Knowing the area will help you maintain a conversation. And conversation is how you get to know who this person is and what they are looking for. I try to ask as few broker questions as possible. I prefer to keep the conversation casual. After the small talk and niceties, start talking about the property, schools and area amenities. As you talk, be sure to listen. Statements about area schools, will often get comments like "My kids are all in college now." or â€œThat school is why we are looking in this area.â€ Conversation is an art form. It can be hard to not go on and on about the new siding and oversized garage. But try to keep your comments short and to the point. Give the buyer an opportunity tell you what they are looking for and why. If they feel comfortable, buyers will tell you more than you ever wanted to know. If they feel like they are trying out for a quiz show, you wonâ€™t get their real name.
Here is the secret. Never host an open house, without having a CURRENT list of other properties available in the area. I like a three ring binder with MLS sheets for each property. Keep it short. Again focus on homes that you would be proud to show. Contact the listing brokers to find out how the sellers will respond to showings with very short notice. If you can keep the conversation alive long enough to show them your list of available property, I like to call it the inventory book, you just might be able to show them some of the other properties in the neighborhood. The buyer now sees a knowledgeable and prepared professional, not a used car salesman that switched to real estate. The rest is up to you.
I really like this method. It works well and costs next to nothing. It exposes you to potential buyers and even potential sellers in the parts of town where you are most comfortable working. If you host several open houses in a week, the neighbors are going to notice. With any luck they will talk to you directly, not just call the number on the listing brokers sign. But even then, the listing broker would be wise to confess that they were not the broker that held 4 open houses last week. This is a numbers game. You can shake hands with 100 people at the expo hall or the hand of 10 buyers at an open house.