Real Estate

5 Creative Ways to Maximize your Open House

Open houses can be a gateway for tons of business as a real estate agent if hosted correctly. Over the past 3 years in real estate, I have used open houses as a way to grow my business. Below are 5 ways you can easily maximize your exposure with potential clients; especially if your goal is to break into that desired neighborhood and be the go to realtor for that community.

My adorable little assistant, Isaac

1. Signs, signs & more directional signs– Try and have between 5-10 signs (at least!) The majority can be the cheaper directional signs but save your flashier, higher quality ones for main roads and to put around the subject property/street.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2. Door-knock the neighbors with invitations to your open house– Make them feel special while showing them what a devoted listing agent you can be by personally inviting them to your exclusive open house. If the neighborhood is worth it, make a neighbor sneak preview event and host the open house for the neighbors exclusively, an hour or 30 minutes before the public open house begins. 

3. Set the mood– Bake if possible, light a candle if possible, house brochures, beverages, pretty much any simple thing you can do to make your open house more welcoming. I even like to have smooth jazz playing in the background whether from the sellers TV or better yet, from a blue tooth speaker you can purchase for cheap. Bonus points for having a a cute blue tooth speaker with your realtor logo on it. Way to make a statement to all of your guests aka potential clients!

Here is an example from one of my open houses.

4. Create an incentive for a successful sign in–  Purchase a $20 gift card and raffle it off to everyone who took the time to sign in to your open house.  Let them know that you will film yourself picking a winner that night and the video will be emailed to every participant.  Some ideas for gift cards could be Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Home Depot, etc.

5. Follow up relentlessly– First things first, send the video email of you picking the winner to every participant. Then call all leads you captured from your open house. This should be done the very next day! Lastly, send a hand written thank you card to the ones who listed their home address or an e-card to the ones who you only have email addresses for. Thank them for coming to your open house and do your best to build a relationship with all potential future clients. Add them to your database and include them in your professional follow up system.

Real Estate

April Showers Bring May Flowers Pop-by Gift Idea for Realtors

One thing I absolutely love about being  a realtor and running my own business is the creativity portion when it comes to marketing and prospecting.  I’ve dabbled with some creative popby ideas with my past and potential clients since I doorknock most of my listing leads.  A popby for those of you wondering, is a relatively small gift to show your appreciation to your past and future clients that is usually hand delivered. You literally pop-by to check in and express you’re gratitude.
Some items I’ve made have been The Wrapping Paper Project (will explain in detail on a future blog) during Christmas time, pies or pumpkins during the fall season, Candy bags during Halloween, you get the idea…
Other times I deliver popbys are when I have a listing or am hosting an open house in a very nice area.  I do this to optimize my chances on snagging another listing in the same neighborhood.
This particular pop by is to target my seller’s neighbors that live on a lovely cul de sac.  Since it’s springtime, I figured you can’t go wrong with flowers.  Especially when you have a bunch left over that you need to gift away asap!  As a vegan, I am pro-bees so I wanted to make sure my gift served them a purpose as well this season.  The flower pots and shovels were roughly one dollar each at my local Wal-Mart.
I made 12 of them to door knock every neighbor living on my seller’s street.  What will I say, you may ask??  Hello, my name is Jenn Costa with Keller Williams and I’m selling your neighbors home right down the street.  I wanted to formally introduce myself, give you this small gift and if you know anyone who is looking to purchase a home in your wonderful neighborhood, please send them my way!
This shows the neighbors that you’re a pro active agent for your sellers and who doesn’t like hearing compliments about their home and neighborhood anyway?!  Popping by with a gift for them doesn’t hurt either.  Chances are high that after one home sells on the street, a neighborhood home will go up for sale within 30 days.  The goal is to be THEIR agent as well!
Real Estate, Vegan Living

Working Momma~Lady Loft Style~

 

I’ve paid my dues commuting roughly 100 miles per day working for the same company these past 13 years.  It wasn’t until they were bought out, that I was able to FINALLY work from home!  I’m in the Health Information Management career and process medical record requests 40 hours a week.  The convenience this allows me as a wife, toddler mom and realtor is such a blessing.  Although I take my real estate career very seriously, the piece of mind knowing a steady income with my full time job is guaranteed, makes it all worth it.
Needless to say, I turned my Lady Loft into my dual home office for both my real estate company and my “9-5” one.  It’s still a work in progress, as I constantly try to master my time management and organizational skills.  Having my very own space that I can customize to my liking, gives my productivity the boost it needs to help me accomplish my goals.  And it doesn’t hurt having my pup, Cooper as my accountability buddy to keep me in check!

 

Real Estate

BPO Flow for Real Estate Agents

RealEstateLife

I’ve been in real estate since May of 2016 and since June of 2017, I have completed 172 Broker Price Opinions.  I created a part time job out of BPOs and completed about 3-5 of them per week.  I loved the flexibility it allowed since I was a stay at home(ish) mother of a baby.  I worked twice a week as a ROI specialist and the rest of the days I put my real estate agent hat on while caring for my son.
For those of you who don’t know, a BPO is somewhat of an informal appraisal.  Asset Manager companies get notified by various banks on properties they need a value for.  These companies then contact you via email to let agents know when a BPO becomes available in their area.  You take a look at the address, the fee and either accept or decline the order.   Exterior BPOs only require exterior photos of the subject and usually pay about $40 a pop.  Interior BPOs require both exterior and interior photos and usually pay about $65 a pop.  Both types require you to run comps for recently sold comparables and current active comparables.
In the beginning, it would take me anywhere between 2-3 hours to complete a BPO but as most things in life, once you do enough of them, you become a ‘pro’.  I can usually complete a BPO within 60-90 minutes; making them very well worth it.  I became strategic and accepted as many close by orders as possible; or at least orders that were in the same towns.  I’d take my son with me on the car rides to take the photos and worked on the data entry portion at night once he was asleep.  You can even negotiate the fee if the order doesn’t get accepted by another agent.  I would sometimes make $100 or $120 per order if it was outside of my jurisdiction!
I definitely recommend completing BPOs for newer agents to help with running comps, knowing the market, and determining accurate values on homes.  I can’t tell you how much of a confident booster it is when you’re at a listing appointment and can tell the seller how you work closely with banks on providing values on homes and are a wiz at determining listing prices!
A few of my favorite asset manager companies are Proteck, AssetVal, Assurant Valuations and Solidifi.  Keep in mind, I’m in the New England area and companies definitely vary depending on your location.