Mortgage professionals need to find out what their value is to real estate agents and brokers before engaging in the initial conversations that often take place at an open house. Yes, at an open house.
Despite the popularity of online lead generation, open houses provide both mortgage and real estate professionals opportunities to interact and close with leads who are further in their research process and want to buy a home.
As a lender looking for a real estate partner, open houses are a great place to start your search, especially because listing agents and teams are among the first points of contact for the growing pool of millennial buyers.
Community-Focused Lead Generation
“It seems very yesterday, it seems like something pre-internet,” said Joe Welu, CEO and founder of Total Expert Inc. “The reality is that open houses have always been a very, very strong place to generate business.”
That’s because open houses are focused around listings, and listings are the best sources of buyer leads, making listing agents great partners.
And, that goes double if your target buyer audience is in the younger generation because millennials are first spending their time researching homes online, then they’re reaching out to listing agents and teams.
Furthermore, open houses are in your neighborhood. They’re hyperlocal, which can be leveraged in many ways, but it’s also a more concrete way to generate leads.
“A big part of what you want to be focused on when you’re growing your footprint for your business is getting out in the right communities that you know, that you want to do businesses in,” Welu said. “It’s a very targeted way to do business.”
With the sporadic nature of online lead generation, it can be hard to spot trends and keep an eye on where leads are coming from.
Open houses, being that they are local, allow you to find out first hand where your leads are coming from.
So, as your next lead walks through the door to your open house, ask them about the weather, then where they drove in from.
Some homebuyers are making their way through before they’ve retained an agent. When they’re first starting to do walk-throughs, they’re likely in the research phase. Keep that noted when you enter into open house conversations with clients, as well as real estate agents and teams.
“Far too many times, and I’m guilty of this more than anyone, [salespeople] love to tell you about everything that’s cool and shiny that they have,” Welu said. What many salespeople fail to do is ask questions. Instead of asking what they can do to help alleviate some of the pain points, they talk about what's the best and why it’s the best.
Avoid that, if you can.
These conversations should really start with listening to each other to find out ways you can help each other. From there, it’s a matter of finding the right strategy and putting it to work.
One of the first points to touch on when you’re leading into open house conversations is your value proposition that you, as a mortgage professional, can provide.
Promoting Your Open House
Your real estate partner scheduled the open house. Here’s where you can begin solving some of those pain points.
Marketing and time can be tough obstacles to overcome for real estate professionals. What you can do as a partner is co-market.
The Total Expert platform has templated flyers and postcards, along with pre-built single property websites that you and your partners can use to promote events like open houses. On all of these materials, both of you can feature your brands, while also managing compliance.
However, regardless of what platform you’re using with your partners, you should help them market their brand and open houses alike, using materials like the ones found on the Total Expert platform to help round out their marketing strategies.
To complete the circle, make sure you’re spreading the word on social media.
If you’re working with a brokerage, perhaps their social media accounts are sending out posts about the upcoming open house.
To help them further their reach, share their posts on your social media accounts. Also, put out organic posts and tag your partner in them.
This is going to help your real estate partners fill in the time pockets they could be missing, while also reaching a broader audience.
Open House App
In terms of software, if you’re using the Total Expert platform, you can provide real estate professionals a way to obtain an email address from every potential homebuyer visiting the open house that day.
At the same time, you’re giving them a way to follow up with all of those leads in an automated way, saving them time and giving them a very valuable tool.
“You can be that indispensable partner,” Welu said. “It’s all about how to you frame the conversation.”
Providing a set of tools is going to be a valuable asset to real estate professionals, especially when it’s going to help further their brands.
Branding and digital marketing have grown increasingly important in real estate, because it’s what differentiates one team or agent from myriad others. Make sure you’re covering this during the beginning conversations.
After that, offer your real estate partners Total Expert’s Open House App.
Once you’ve invited your real estate partners to the Total Expert dashboard, they would then have access to the app for free. And, they would be able to access it from wherever without you needing to set it up or maintain it.
We recommend real estate agents launch the Open House App on a tablet or an iPad and hand it to homebuyers as they walk in the house using security as the primary reason to have people sign in:
"For safety and security reasons, the homeowner asks that everybody signs in."
“People should not let others walk through their house without knowing who they are,” Welu said. “It’s a very powerful concept if you think about it."
You can find our SlideShare on generating leads with open houses here.