You will encounter four distinct groups of people to follow up with at open houses:
The Looky-loos: Unqualified ‘buyers’ who have no idea what they want, how much they want to spend, or a legitimate timeframe.
The Neighbors: While they may not want to buy the house, they may want to be your next client.
The Drive-Bys: According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, driving through neighborhoods and hoping to come across an open house is one of the top activities for serious home buyers.
The Serious Buyer: They usually come with their agent in tow.
As a seasoned real estate professional, you know how to spot and sort these groups. But do you know how to follow up with them? And let’s not forget the seller—what’s the best way to leave things with them after an open house?
Each subgroup of buyers is going to get a separate follow up. This is why it is critical to engage with each person who walks through the door on the day of the open house. You need to introduce yourself, get their contact info, AND let them know you will be following up with them.
Looky-loos will get your card, a flyer, and the promise of a follow up. You never know when they could turn into a serious buyer or potential client. Send them a boilerplate email with your information, the information on the open house, and a link to your website. Add their contact info to your prospecting list.
Neighbors need a little more care. Be sure to engage with them at the open house. Take notes on their concerns. Ask if they want to sell their property and offer your services. Remember, they may be at the open house for the sole purpose of seeing how well you operate. Follow up with a personalized email, your information, and a link to your website. If they seemed serious about selling their property or had other concerns, call and email them.
Drive-bys may or may not have their own agent. When you meet them at the open house, be sure to find this out first. If they have an agent, respect that loyalty. Send them your information, an email with a link to the house, and leave it at that. Ask if you can copy their agent on the information or give them a call to schedule a private viewing of the home. If the drive-bys don’t have their own agent, or if they don’t like the open house but they do like you, follow up with a comprehensive email and a phone call to start a new relationship.
Serious buyers are going to get the most attention. Take lots of notes, call their agent to follow up and schedule a second viewing of the home. Address concerns they may have had during the open house and answer questions. Be sure that your follow up email contains all the information on the home, drone footage if you have it, a floor plan, pictures, and your contact information. Call the day of the open house or the following day at the latest.
Following up with the seller after an open house is critical to maintain clear communication and to be sure they feel they are in the loop. They will be waiting on pins and needles hoping that you will call them the very day of the open house to tell them you have offers.
If you don’t have an offer in hand, call them anyway. Give them an honest debrief of the day. If it went poorly, call them with recommended changes to the staging, pricing, etc.. If it went great, hit the highlights.
Always send a thank you card, and if you really want to go the extra mile, then ask them to meet you for coffee or lunch the following day to discuss the open house and make future plans (and yes, you’re buying!).
Regardless of the type of homebuyer, or seller, you’re following up with, always be sure to thank them for their time. Remember, 45 percent of all homebuyers go to open houses. Use your follow-ups as the springboard you need for great communication that will lead straight to a sale.
Do you make the most of follow ups after an open house? Tell us one way you follow up in the comments below.
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