The power of open houses

People always ask us to tell them the quickest way to build their business or get out of a slump. Obviously, there are no shortcuts, but if you’re looking for a tried-and-true approach, sit as many open houses as you can.

In Episode 2 of our new podcast Rise Above the Ranks, we tell you the best open house strategies to win new business. We shared how when we were first starting out, we didn’t have a lot of listings (or any listings, honestly!). However, other agents in our farm area did, so we took every opportunity to help them at their open houses. We’d door-knock the neighborhood, put out flyers, greet the guests, post on our social media, anything and everything.

Not only did this strategy help us build our own pool of leads fast, it helped us create really positive relationships with a number of our team members. In our book, that’s a win-win! Check out the episode and leave us a review 🙂 

– James and David

Existing home sales continue to fall

Source: Unsplash

According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, June’s mortgage rate spike caused July’s existing home sales activity to dip. Yun said we’re witnessing a “housing recession” in terms of declining home sales and home building. However, Yun noted there isn’t a recession in terms of home prices. Due to tight inventory, nearly 40% of homes nationwide are still commanding the full list price.

Here are some key home sales stats from July:

  • Existing home sales fell 5.9% month to month

  • Existing home sales are down 20.2% year to year

  • July marks the sixth consecutive month of declining existing home sales

Our take

This is another sign that the market is normalizing right now. Demand is falling to a more sustainable level. Instead of seeing 30+ offers on every single listing, now we get 2-3. This had to happen at some point, and this shift is great news for your buyers.

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Tough times for independent lenders

Source: US News

The lending industry has recently experienced a wave of layoffs and bankruptcies not seen since 2008. This is due to rising interest rates and falling mortgage application activity. While lenders are much more responsible now than during the subprime mortgage crisis, independent lenders (those that aren’t banks) are at the highest risk of bankruptcy because they depend largely on lines of credit. When mortgage activity stalls, so does their revenue. 

Here are some important facts to know about the lending industry:

  • About two-thirds of the top 20 lenders are independent

  • Mortgage application volume is down more than 50% this year, which has negatively impacted revenue

  • The independent lenders most at risk are the ones that offer non-government-backed loans or loans to “riskier” buyers

Our take

There are a lot of fly-by-night lenders out there. That’s why you’ve got to find a great mortgage broker you can trust. You want to work with a broker who shops for the best rate possible for your clients, knows the different loan options, and will make this part of the process as smooth as possible for your buyer. 

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Best cities for fixer-upper homes

Source: AZ Big Media

StorageCafe compiled a list of the top 10 best cities for buying a fixer upper, using data from the home search website, Point2. The rankings are based on factors like average list price, number of fixer-uppers for sale, local cost for self-storage (often necessary while renovating), and lot size. 

Here are the top 10 best cities to buy a fixer-upper:

  1. Milwaukee, WI

  2. Philadelphia, PA

  3. Detroit, MI

  4. Memphis, TN

  5. Baltimore, MD

  6. Jacksonville, FL

  7. Dallas, TX

  8. Louisville, KY

  9. Miami, FL

  10. Fresno, CA

Our take

When it comes to buying a fixer-upper, your #1 goal should be to help your clients find properties that won’t go over their renovation budget. That means knowing your local market, finding the best area of opportunity, helping them get a thorough inspection, and watching out for red flags in the disclosures. You want to make sure they know exactly what they are getting themselves into.

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The news that just missed the cut

Source: Wall Street Journal

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Here’s how we took every open house, whether our own or one we hosted for a team member, and used it to grow our list of leads: 

  • Dress for success. This almost goes without saying… always, always look your best! Whether it’s a Sunday afternoon or a Tuesday night, look professional, wash your car, and present the best of yourself. 

  • Don’t discount the “looky-loos”. Treat every person that comes through those doors as a potential client. Even the neighbors are potential clients! They’re going to sell their home one day, right? And they know other people. Make the connection, ask them questions, get to know them, and keep following up. When you put in the work, they’ll remember you when they’re ready. 

  • Lead with your energy. Don’t spend the open looking down at your phone or sitting in the corner. Make a point to engage with every single person. Get their contact information, take notes on what you talked about (so you remember when you follow up!), and make as many connections as you can. 

Want more tips for turning every open house into your own business builder? Check out Episode 2 of our new podcast, Rise Above The Ranks.

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

🎧 Rise Above the Ranks

Get advice straight from the experts. In The Blueprint's new podcast, James & David address a key challenge facing real estate agents today and break down how to tackle it. In this week's episode, they're telling you everything you need to know to run a successful open house.

Listen now → Apple | Spotify | YouTube

Thanks for reading today’s Blueprint. We’re going to be at the Tom Ferry Success Summit this week. If you’re there, shoot us an email so we can meet up! 

In the meantime, get out there and crush it this week 🚀🚀

– James and David

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