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.

  1. To pick up buyers to show other homes too.
  2. To appease the seller who is quite possibly unhappy with the agent, or unhappy with the amount of showings.

ASK QUESTIONS

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.

  1. Is this a good school district, I heard prices were cooling off?
  2. Just out of curiosity, what kind of appreciation of homes is going on in this area?
  3. You know what would be great, is there a way to find properties before they hit the market, any ideas on that?
  4. 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

  1. Is the main reason to hold an open house to “pick up a buyer to show other homes too”
  2. or “is there a high probability you will sell it to a buyer that enter the home that day?”
  3. Or in some cases, “to appease the seller?”

 

What is the profile of the parties coming to the open house?

  1. Is it nosy neighbors just checking things out
  2. Is it buyers in the early stages of looking that come to open houses
  3. 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?

  1. most of the time they are looking for an agent
  2. rarely looking for an agent
  3. 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

Have you guys heard of the very large condo complex called BRENTWOOD FOREST? Off highway 40 at Brentwood, could have 500 or more condos in there. 

An agent I know had a buyer…..just getting married …..and that is where they wanted to live…..but everything was selling too fast. 

 

Are you guys still experiencing that …sometimes? 

The agent had met this young couple at an open house and they explained there was no INVENTORY. 

And this is the BREAKTHROUGH idea, it is rather simple……but it worked and keeps on working. 

The agent said………..”Have you been looking for properties on Zillow or mostly OFF MARKET SOURCES?”

The buyer responded “What are OFF MARKET SOURCES?”

The agent went on to explain the she will contact the properties FOR RENT in that neighborhood. 

The first property the agent called said….”Umm, yes, sure I would like to sell it.” 

Within two days the price was agreed and a very important note…..the buyer did not have to compete with any other buyer…

The buyer had been looking for 6 months, yet in one week the agent from the open house found them an OFF MARKET PROPERTY

 

ANOTHER BUYER 

This past summer there was a buyer looking in Chesterfield Hills …the buyer only wanted a ranch style home…..but there were no ranches for sale………

So the agent we were working with followed the program and contacted TWO RANCHES there were RENTAL PROPERTY, and here is the cool part, also contacted

the OTHER TWO RANCHES that had been EXPIRED LISTINGS in the subdivision.  

 

This time the buyer bought the EXPIRED LISTING,  again an OFF MARKET PROPERTY. 

PART 7 – CLOSING OUT THE WORKSHOP

Keep in mind buyers want what? The same thing you or I would want……………More housing choices……

It is asking just one question of the buyer….

“As far as looking for homes………………………have you been looking mostly off of Zillow…………..or are you looking at the OFF MARKET REPORT?

Many buyers will ask you, “What is the OFF MARKET REPORT?”

As we wrap up, would you agree, not all buyers will engage with that question…..

But is it possible that the MOTIVATED BUYER that cannot find a property, they may ask for your help?

 

QUESTION 

I have a question as we move forward today……………………have you as agents thought of your commitment to open houses….what I mean is who here knows that they will hold at least 5 open houses this year? How about 12, one per month? Anyone think they will hold over 20 this year? 

If you would like – I am happy to do a follow up call, or we can get together, this program comes with 

  • How to find rentals and expired listings to show the buyers
  • What to bring to your open house to show buyers so you get a yes (they will bring a sample of 2 expired listings and rentals) 
  • What your email follow ups should be with the buyers
  • How to get a meeting if the buyer has a house to sell

 

CLOSING COMMENTS AT THE EVENT

If you recall our opening story. The New York Giants football team in 1934 did just one small thing differently and that one thing that made all the difference. Imagine yourself asking that one question of the buyer, could that be a game changer for you? I want to thank you for attending today. I I hope it was impactul for you!

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?!

WHAT NEXT?
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!