Living the Dream
Every time someone asks me how I am, I could not be more excited to tell them, “I am living the dream selling houses every day.”
When you express yourself like that, when you come at someone with that kind of positive vibe, I promise you are going to change their day for the better. If I am tired, if I am cranky, if I am having a bad hair day, I do not speak those things into existence, and neither should you. When your energy brings everyone up—yourself included—y’all will start your day so far ahead of the game!
Today, we’re talking about something everyone should love instead of hating, because it’s the most powerful tool in an agent’s tool belt. So grab your directional signs and blow up your balloons because we are holding an open house!
THE REALITY OF REAL ESTATE
No More Excuses
Here’s the thing about numbers—they don’t lie. And the numbers are telling us there is a sea change in real estate.
Per the United States Census Bureau—and you don’t get more legitimate than that: “Sales of new single‐family houses in December 2023 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 664,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 8.0 percent (±24.2 percent) above the revised November rate of 615,000 and is 4.4 percent (±20.6 percent) above the December 2022 estimate of 636,000.”
According to Reuters: “Pending U.S. home sales shot up in December by the most since June 2020, a report showed on Friday, indicating stabilizing mortgage rates may be beginning to draw prospective buyers from the sidelines and could fuel an anticipated residential real estate rebound this year. The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales index rose 8.3% to 77.3, rebounding from a downwardly revised record-low of 71.4 in November. A poll by Reuters showed economists expected a 1.5% increase.”
What this means for us is, praise the Lord and pass the money. Opportunities are ours for the taking, so let’s maximize them with a foolproof open house strategy!
The sales forecast.
STORYTIME WITH GLENNDA
The Open House Is Money in the Bank
The average agent hates holding an open house. They say, “It’s a waste of time. No one’s coming except the neighbors. Nobody ever buys the house they walk into.”
You know what I say to that?
What the hell else are you doing with your life?? I mean it, what are you doing with your time that you can’t hold an open house? (If you’re too busy generating income, you’re exempt from this lecture. Again, praise the Lord and pass the money.) But for everyone else, y’all are looking a real estate gift horse in the mouth! So let me tell you how to position yourself for the best possible outcome when you hold an open house—because you need to hold them.
Set Yourself Up for Success. The minute you get that listing, throw an open house for the following weekend. As soon as I’m able, I send that listing out on all the syndication sites so everyone has plenty of notice that this open house is happening, plus I post it on my socials. Then I go knock on the twenty five doors to the right of the house and the twenty five to the left and I tell every neighbor three things. First, I tell them when the open house is happening. Second, that I’m expecting a crowd, so here’s my card in case someone blocks their driveway or they need anything. Third, that I would love them to drop by and give me their feedback on my pricing strategy.
Work the Neighbors. All those pesky neighbors that y’all hate? Reframe your thinking! They are an asset! They’re likely not going to buy this house, but they probably know someone who’d like to live in this neighborhood. And if you don’t meet them, you can’t ask them the magic question: “At what price are you a seller?” They never expect that question. So when I say, “I’m listing Jenny and Johnny’s house at $1.5M,” sometimes they gasp and say, “I am definitely a seller at that price.” And even if they’re not a seller now, let them see what a great job I’m doing for Jenny and Johnny. I promise you if I make the right impression, I’m who they’re calling when it’s time to sell.
Make a Splash. I want you to set up twenty directionals and cover three of them with balloons at the front of the house. “Isn’t that a little 1970s, Glennda?” you might say. Yes. But it also expresses how excited you are about this listing. I always get there early, I get my QR code set up, I’ve lit candles and I’m playing music. Recently, I had an open house in a real chatty Cathy kind of cul-de-sac. I wanted to go big, so I rented a tomato soup and mac and cheese food truck. You know what? I had 78 people come through that place that day, including the buyer. We got multiple offers and the buyer paid over asking price. And the neighbors were so impressed that I got three more listings from it. So my $700 food truck investment turned into $100K of commission.
Arm Yourself with Information and Be Proactive. When I hold an open house, I don’t just have information about that one house. I have the listing information for every house in the area within $100K above and below the list price, but only one copy, so it gives the impression that I’m the only person in the know. Plus, I’ve talked to those agents, so I know the inside scoop the MLS doesn’t list. I know why the sellers are leaving, what they love about the house, if they’ve had any offers, just all the good stuff. It’s my job to talk to everybody and be armed with other options. But I take it a step further. If I hold my open house from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, I have already made standing showing appointments at all the other homes in the neighborhood at 5:00 pm, in case any unrepresented buyers show interest. Worst case scenario, I cancel the appointments. Best case scenario, I find new buyers and they see exactly how creative and proactive I am.
Follow Up with the Only Question That Matters. We talked about this last week, and we’re talking about it again because it’s so important. Oh, my stars, I do not care about their feedback on what they think about the yard, or how much work the kitchen will be. Instead, I ask everyone, “At what price are you a buyer for this house?” If I get a dollar amount, it tells me about my pricing strategy. A lot of times, people will say, “I’m not a buyer at all, I want a place with a southern exposure.” That is just fine. The good news is, I’ve already captured their information with my QR code because I’ll have invited them to be on my VIP list for new listings, so I’ll know to follow up with them for other properties.
I’m giving y’all an assignment. The next new listing you get, follow my steps, even if that’s not how you normally do it. And then let me know how it goes, so I can help you revel in your success.
Because it’s just that simple to be the agent your clients need.
Is there really a need for a real estate agent? All of the information is online. So where is the value in an agent? #GlenndaBaker #RealEs… See more
My Final Word
The only feedback you need is ‘At what price are you a buyer?’”