Workshop for a Real Estate Office
Here is an example of an LO workshop recently attended by 15 agents.
WORKSHOP FOR AGENTS – TOPIC : HOLDING EFFECTIVE OPEN HOUSES
PART 1 : Doing your homework so you are effective as the teacher
To you the loan officer. Know that the workshop you are about to give to agents is quite effective. Not even the agent’s brokers have come up with effective ways to convert buyers. Agents struggle at Sunday open houses, and if you put in the time, you will confirm it for yourself.
When it comes to selling the listing during the open house, the odds are perhaps 3-5%. Meaning, it has a very small chance of selling do to the agents effort! So why do agents hold open houses? For one of two reasons.
- To pick up buyers to show other homes too.
- To appease the seller who is quite possibly unhappy with the agent, or unhappy with the amount of showings.
Prior to your workshop I would encourage you to visit 3 open houses “as if you were a buyer.” Ideally, you will observe how agents “try to pick you up or other buyers in the house” as their next client. I am hoping that you will see for yourself the absence of value offered by the agents.
Ask the agent at the open house these questions.
- Is this a good school district, I heard prices were cooling off?
- Just out of curiosity, what kind of appreciation of homes is going on in this area?
- You know what would be great, is there a way to find properties before they hit the market, any ideas on that?
- How long have you been doing this?
You may hear, “Do you have an agent?” Or perhaps “Can I send you the MLS data feed?”
I would really encourage you to periodically attend Sunday open houses. Perhaps in an area you do not live. For the fun of it, go to the $1,000,000 plus price point. You will probably not see much difference in agent conversion or performance.
Buyers do not visit open houses to “find an agent.” They may not even want to look at the agent. The buyer may be seeing 4-5 open houses that day. Each agent trying to “pick them up.”
Imagine you are a buyer. What is the number ONE thing you are doing at the open house? You want MORE housing inventory. You want to know if more property is coming on the market and where to find it!
We are about to solve that problem. And in the process, add quite a bit of value to your REALTOR constituency. You are about to equip agents in this workshop, to be effective at “picking up new buyers.” They will thank you. Their brokers will thank you. Your manager too will thank you as you have mastered a workshop that produces the very person you ultimately desire to serve, “the buyer.”
PART 2 : Practice
Ok, we are about to begin the scripting for you. Great news, you don’t have to know anything about open houses. You don’t ever have to hold an open house. Your only skill that is needed is that you can read and you can ask questions!
Your presentation is question-based. We would recommend that you stay away from guessing or ad-libbing. They will know when you did it. Have confidence that all will go well. Practice this presentation at least 5 times while you are standing up. Have courage, and the confidence that this is actually a very great content filled presentation. The agents will be interactive. You will get to know them. There comments will allow you to follow up with them individually as you build your relationship.
If you were to finish this sentence, what would you say? Agents are __________________________.
Did you say, “lazy, unloyal, S.O.B., stupid, not hard working?” Perhaps you did not. However, it is a label many loan officers have said to me out loud. In reality, here is “what agents are”, agents are Learners.
They are eager to find a way in a very competitive market that often left them ill-prepared. So, let’s do our part and be prepared. LOs are teachers. LOs are equippers.
PART 3 : Open with a story
This event will take about 30 minutes. Let’s start with a gripping story. It is your hook. Listen to this audio as I tell the story to a workshop of agents. Trust me on this. If you skip the opening story, you may not grab their hearts. It sets the tone of this event. You will come out of your comfort zone if you practiced 5 times.
PART 4 : Questions for the agents, to set the stage for the problem they have with open houses
(LO print the pdf of your questions so you can reference them during your workshop)
As we get started, I would like to ask a few questions.
— Who here has EVER held an open house?
— Would you say, you hold 1 per month, or more like 2-3?
— When agents hold open houses
- Is the main reason to hold an open house to “pick up a buyer to show other homes too”
- or “is there a high probability you will sell it to a buyer that enter the home that day?”
- Or in some cases, “to appease the seller?”
— What is the profile of the parties coming to the open house?
- Is it nosy neighbors just checking things out
- Is it buyers in the early stages of looking that come to open houses
- Is there a small portion that may have their lease end soon / or people out of town/relocating
Who is coming and are do they tend to be motivated?
— How often are buyers going to an open house, looking for a BUYER’S AGENT help?
- most of the time they are looking for an agent
- rarely looking for an agent
- probably not their priority
— Another background question…If you were a buyer, and you went to Coldwell Banker open house. Then you left and went to a Re/Max open house, and then you wnet to a 3rd open house, if you were a buyer, would the experience be pretty much the same?
So what we may in part be saying, a buyer may experience the same thing regardless of brand.
– If I could ask you this, what percentage of listings sell as a result of holding the open house? 50% 20% 1%?
– So would you say the major purpose of holding the open house is to sell it, or to pick up hot buyers before they hook up with the next agent holding an open house a mile away from yours?
PART 5 – [removed from workshop]
PART 6 : TWO CASE STUDIES – REVEALING HOW THIS OPEN HOUSE IDEA WORKS
PART 7 – CLOSING OUT THE WORKSHOP
PART 8 : WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW AS THE LO
OK, the event is over. The 30 minutes went by very fast. Not all, but some of the agents want more information. It is essential that you follow up with these agents in less than 24 hours. You stirred them up. You gave them hope. You equipped them.
Remember this is a game of takeaway! They may already have a favorite loan officer. Their LO has no idea how to help the agent at the open house, other that a bottle of water and a fresh cookie. You have done something that helps the agent actually add value in the real estate marketplace. You have equipped agents to do things that will fulfill your goals too, more buyers!
ARE YOU THINKING BIG?
After you have conducted 3 workshops, we encourage you to go to the TRAINING CENTER as we prepare you to meet with the agent’s brokers. If you are up for it, our program can get you teaching opportunities on this topic for the whole office, not just a mid-sized group of agents. I am a Broker. I know the value of an “outside voice” coming into the office and sharing an idea, a success plan to convert buyers and sellers. Brokers will embrace your idea, if you add value, and you have experience teaching the concept. Be brave!
It is NEVER about spending more time with the agents, it is about ADDING VALUE in the relationship. That is how we build strong, loyal relationships and take the agent away from their current LO. Are you thinking big?!
Send our templated email to all of the agents that attended. You will be explaining to the agent in this email how to find and present the OFF MARKET PROPERTIES to buyers and how to contact the owners of those homes.
Additionally, please invest time in our TRAINING CENTER on “How to do effective sit downs with agents, whether it be face to face or using our virtual sit down system.” Go visit 3-4 open houses this Sunday and print the pdf of the question and practice your workshop. You are gonna rock it!
We hope this is an important part of your program to build your Dream Team of agents, on your way to an additional $1,000,000 in closings per month!