Hosting A Mega Open House

I have recently been asked to share more about Mega Open Houses. Last Spring in our Spring Into Action MEC event I spoke about this hot new marketing strategy Mega Open House. Since then I continue to get questions about the best practices for hosting a Mega Open House. There really is no secret. However, there are a few must do’s to give yourself the best possible chance at a highly successful open house.

According to NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers open houses are a great way to find top tier prospects.

  • 44 percent of all buyers used an open house as a source in their home search process.
  • 68% of all buyers and sellers say they used the first agent they met!
  • Buyers with a median income between $175,000 and $199,000 are more likely to find their home through an open house compared to those in other income brackets.
  • Repeat buyers are more likely to find their home from an open house than first-time buyers
  • and repeat buyers use open houses more frequently.

Knowing that Open Houses are the single best practice to pick up a buyer and potentially if you’re really good a seller. You should be hosting open houses every chance you get. Here are my 10 steps to a successful Mega Open House.

1.Knock out a quick video to promote the open

Using video apps like Videolicious are the easiest way to generate a quick video about your open house. You simply download the app, take a few pictures of the home you plan to host open, click start and start talking. This app is so easy you’ll have a video up and on Facebook within minutes.

2.Post video throughout social networks

Social media is the most cost effective medium for advertising listings and open houses. Post your video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and of course YouTube. YouTube is super important because you then get the SEO value of indexing the property address on Google and YouTube. You will always be found as long as the video stays online.

3.Boost your video on Facebook

Boosting ads on Facebook is a must to promote your Mega Open House. For approximately $60.00 you can run a Facebook boosted ad for three days and reach thousands of impressions, get hundreds of clicks and drive traffic right to the very video you made posted on YouTube or your website.

4.Mail or hand out personal invites to neighbors

Grab a handful of flyers and or invitations to your Mega Open House and hit the streets, Target the neighbors within walking distance of the home you will be holding open. Door knocking is a wonderful way to find your next listing. Walking door to door inviting the neighbors to come early and see the home is a great way to discover a listing as well as set the stage for you Mega Open House.

5.Host a private Neighbor only event 1 hour prior

In conjunction with the above door knocking you’ll want to host a one hour neighbor only pre open house. This is a great way to get to know the neighbors and find those potential sellers before other agents working the area get a shot at the listing. Make sure you have snacks and beverages on hand.

6.Use a minimum 20 directional signs

Signs, signs, everywhere signs… So goes the song. The more the better. Frank Liu a RE/MAX Gold agent in San jose uses 0ver 40 signs all directing traffic to his Mega Open Houses, This not only gets more traffic to your open house but it sends a strong message to the neighbors that you mean business when selling a home.

7.Use flags, banners, balloons, etc to attract attention

Here again the more the merrier. Use the tall flags that plop in the ground. Banners, the RE/MAX 7ft air balloon is an awesome tool for Mega Open Houses. You basically want to create a ton of attention for your open house and demonstrate to the neighbors that you will go above and beyond to sell their home.

8.Roll out red carpet and serve refreshments

You read right. Red carpet is a must! Go to your local fabric store and ask for a giant roll of red material. Roll it our from the front door to the street. This is a great way of welcoming guests to your open house .

9.Post notice “Seller’s require all attnedees sign in on door”

Many agents bring their iPad, tablet or even laptop to the open house and have a snazzy little app that capture buyers information. Nothing works as good as a simple hand written notice taped to the front door that simply says “The sellers have requested that all attendees sign in”. Works everytime and you will walk away with everyone’s email and phone number.

10.Set up a sign in table at the front door.

Don’t forget this essential. If you do the above you’ll need a small table with a sign in book.

That’s it. No magic formula. Like most marketing efforts it only requires you get out of bed and make it happen. If you follow these 10 steps outlined for hosting your next open house you will master the Mega Open House and win more listings.

Powerful Prospecting Activities


Don't think of prospecting for leads as just another routine task. Instead, think of prospecting as a gateway to endless income possibilities and an essential part of growing a thriving real estate business.

To truly benefit from prospecting you must be willing to put yourself out there and try new things. If you're ready to make more money and prospect for leads in a whole new way, here are 117 lead generating activities you should try

1 Open houses
2 Floor duty
3 Door knocking
4 Pop by’s (individual & business)
5 Direct mail
6 Newsletters
7 E-Newsletter
8 Phone calls
9 Face-to-face meetings &
10 Hand written notes
11 FSBO’s
12 Expireds & Withdrawns
13 Client Appreciation Party
14 Volunteer
15 Networking Events
16 Coach your kid’s soccer team, etc.
17 Annual updates (CMA’s)
18 Circle prospecting (5x5’s)
19 Meetings w/Human Resource Directors
20 Relocation opportunities/tours
21 Print advertising (newspaper or magazines) 22
Social media—pulling & pushing info
23 Blogging
24 Hand out business cards
25 Email drip campaigns
26 8x8 campaigns
27 REO/HUD/bank listings
28 Attend the public trustee sale
29 Send notes to homes “for rent” as possible
30 Trade shows/homes shows
31 Host an informational seminar/talk
32 Network with affiliate providers
(CPA’s, attorneys, insurance agent)
33 Put your nametag on or logowear and
go somewhere where there are people to talk to!34
Preview properties (know the
inventory) — leave your business card
for the Seller
35 Work short sales and pre-foreclosure properties
36 Enroll in a class or a new hobby to meet people
37 Join a book club
38 Target renters (non-owner occupied)
39 Mail home anniversary cards
40 Send letters to out of town rental owners to
check up on their property (take photos) & do a
41 Write an informational article for the newspaper
43 Bus benches, grocery carts, and billboards (can
be expensive)
44 Create and hand out a personal brochure
45 Radio campaigns—see if you can be a guest on a
talk show
46 Attend a “meet-up” (
47 Give your vendors your business cards
to hand out (hair dresser, nail salon)
48 Learn a new part of this business
(commercial, vacant land, new construction) —
look for referral opportunities with other agents in
attendance & share business leads

50 Interview people you want to meet to broaden
your sphere of influence
51 Go to charity events and meet new people
52 Mail sports cards/calendars
53 Do a drawing to capture names
54 Create and maintain your website profile;
create a customized website
55 Capture and follow up with internet leads
(follow-up is the key!)
56 Host a networking group yourself (lunch for
eight concept)
57 Maintain your mailing list — always look for
who you can legitimately add to your list!
58 Farm a neighborhood
59 Work out of state referrals
60 Take care of your current clients—ask them
for referrals
61 MySite (automated search program through
MLS) for everyone!
62 Schedule a public speaking opportunity at a
service club
63 Adopt a school—take them treats and pop
by’s, volunteer
64 Prospect in laundromats—usually tenants are
“hanging out” there!
65 Wedding announcements — are they
interested in buying a home?
66 Baby announcements—do they need more
67 Work with attorneys to prospect for divorce
and estate transactions
68 Send holiday cards (not just the “usual” ones
— do “odd” ones)
69 Get a wrap or magnetic sign for your car
(mobile advertisement)
70 Create videos — use to highlight the area or
yourself (link to internet)
71 Host a “house warming” party for your client
after closing — get their friends’ names for your
sphere list
81 Give your business card to your waitress when
you eat out (tip well)
83 Work with people who are retiring or
downsizing (investment advisor or assisted living
84 Pay for the person behind you at the drive
through—give them your card
85 Sponsor something and ask if you can attend
or have a table at the event!
86 Visit with marriage counselors— perhaps they
have clients who can’t reconcile and need to sell?
87 Make a float and participate in the 4th of July
or Christmas parade
88 Host an educational/information session (i.e.
redecorating tips,landscaping ideas, etc.)—”show
& tell” for your clients
89 Walk a neighborhood and put up door hangers

90 Send out a time change postcard
91 Send a Just Listed postcard to a move up
neighborhood (if you don’t have a listing, “borrow
92 Facebook ads
93 Target a niche — condo buyers, horse
property, veterans, 1st time home buyers, etc.
94 Hand out notepads or other “schwag” at a
large open air event like the Arts
Picnic or Farmer’s Market
95 Ask for referrals!
96 Gather testimonials & send to your clients
97 Ask a “busy” agent if you can put your rider on
one of their signs or advertising some of their
98 Buyer “needs” — send postcard to the area
asking for listings
99 Call out-of-area listing agents and see if they
would like some showing help for a referral fee
100 Send “Just Solds” postcard (multiple homes)
to an area to solicit listings
101 Get names from the Chamber and send an erelocation
102 Work garage sales (they’re cleaning up, do
they want to move?)
103 Purchase tickets to an event & offer to your
104 Host a tour of homes (multiple open houses)
105 Teach a class on buying rental property with
a property management company
106 Target kiddie-condo investors @ UNC/
107 Call capture programs (800 numbers)
108 Craigslist leads
109 Talk to car dealers—people qualifying to buy
a car may also qualify to buy a home!
110 Contact HOA management companies for
potential leads
111 Visit with new construction representatives—
sometimes they don’t want to take listings
112 Courts could be a place to prospect—
evictions, probate, divorce, tax liens, and code
113 Partner with a local business and send a
coupon to your sphere of influence
114 Put up information on bulletin boards at
coffee shops or grocery stores
115 Talk to your newspaper or postal carriers
about vacant homes
116 Work in a coffee shop and put up a tent card
that you’ll buy customers a cup of coffee!
117 Meet other Realtors at classes or conventions
and ask for their referrals

APPetite For Success – Summer MEC Series

This is a 7 part series of all the slides used for the APPetite For Success MEC’s with Don McDonald. Please right click and download the ones you wish to review. If you do not have Powerpoint installed on your computer you can download the Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer for FREE and watch all these presentations. I hope you enjoy these and as always feel free to post a comment and tell us what tool you are using to grow your business.


PART ONE: Using Cloud CMA as a Home Value Landing Page and Generating Leads


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PART TWO: Boosting Your Cloud CMA Post on Facebook


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PART THREE: Using Cloud CMA at Your Next Open House

open house

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PART FOUR: Getting Your Business On Google

Getting on Google

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PART FIVE: Using Tweet Deck to Generate FREE Leads


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PART SIX: Using SkySlope to Protect Your _ _ _


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PART SEVEN: Sending a Private Message Through Gold Connect


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Year of Housing Crises coming to an end…

RE/MAX house for sale

It’s a stubborn truth about the real estate market that nobody has a crystal ball.

If only we could see exactly what was coming down the road, and adjust accordingly, our jobs would be much easier. Similarly, everything looks remarkably clear when viewed through the rear-view mirror.

Broadly speaking, this spring was a tough one for Solano and Napa county area home buyers, with not a lot of homes to choose from and lots of competition to buy.

It seems in retrospect that the combination of enormous pent-up demand and record low interest rates led to homes receiving multiple offers and being snapped up quickly. In the next year, the situation should normalize and come more into balance, with things easing up for buyers while being slightly less favorable to sellers. And while it’s never as simple as saying we anticipate a “good” or “bad” market in any given season, demand is still very high, which should make for a pretty brisk fall sales season.

Here are some of the developing trends we are tracking this fall, and how we think they will impact the market:

House shopping

• Demand will diminish. It’s no secret that the fourth quarter of the year is, comparatively speaking, a slower time of year for home sales —  typically a good 15 percent lower than the third quarter. While there is often a small end-of-summer, back-from-vacation uptick in new contracts in the fall, November and December traditionally show very modest contract activity.

You can’t compare the “apples” of modest November sales to the “oranges” of brisk May sales. That said, if you are a serious buyer, opportunities will present themselves.

Interest rates will remain low. The fall/winter 2013/2014 housing market in our area could definitely be impacted by interest rates, which have recently came back down after rising almost 1.5 percent over summer. California Association of REALTORS is predicting a slow increase of another 1% by the end of 2014.

But even if they rise another full point, they are still going to be at historic lows. Rising interest rates will require committed buyers to reset their expectations. If buyers are stretching every penny they have to get a house, they’re going to have to dial back their notion of how much home they can afford.

If buyers have a little more flexibility, they’re going to have to be willing to pay a little more each month to land the home they want. This small increase in monthly payment, however, may knock a small segment of the buying population out of the market completely.

• Inventory, though improving, will remain tight.

After inventory levels have declined in this area for the last 18 months,  new listing activity has risen to our October 2012 level, which may represent a turning point.

Since fewer homeowners are underwater, they now are able to extract equity when selling, making sales more attractive. Thus, I believe, inventory will continue to stabilize in the coming months.

• Days on the market will rise. There are currently more buyers than sellers in the market, which means that homes tend to sell quickly. We are seeing DOM numbers — indicating the number of days homes stay on the market before being sold — comparable to where they were back in 2005. (Average DOM = 41)

The real estate market dynamics are always changing, and no matter where you are in the buying/selling cycle it is important to understand your housing and financial position to make the best decision in any housing market.

Today, we are in uncharted territory with the recent government shutdown. The results from the fourth quarter will be telling in terms of the repercussions of the government budget issues. More and more it looks as though NOW is the time to buy!

7 Reasons to Buy a House Before 2014

f you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge and buying a home, the last quarter of 2013 might just be the time to do it. I found this article from Sabah Karimi at USNews who shares with us 7 great reasons you should be buying now…

Rates on fixed-rate loans are still appealing, and experts say it’s still cheaper to buy than rent. Some financial institutions are also a little more lax with their loan qualification requirements this year.LS_Buying_A_Home

Here are seven reasons to buy a home by the end of the year:

1. Mortgage rates are still dropping. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate loan is 4.50 percent at the time of publication. While this is a 1.15 percent increase from the historic low of 3.35 percent at the end of 2012, it’s still an attractive rate for prospective home buyers. The housing sector is getting stronger and inflation rates are low, which promotes low mortgage rates.

2. It’s still cheaper to buy than rent. If you live in a metropolitan area, it may make more financial sense to buy a home than rent a house, condo or apartment. According to a 2012 Trulia Trends study, buying a home is 44 percent cheaper than renting in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. While this data was calculated based on last year’s lower mortgage rates, there is still a significant price difference in total monthly costs with today’s

3. Home prices are relatively low. Housing price trends vary significantly by location and even by neighborhood, but the average housing price trends across the country look promising for prospective homebuyers. The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas increased only 1 percent this past season, so 2013 could still be a great time to buy.

4. It may be easier to get a mortgage. Credit unions and banks may be making it easier for some prospective buyers to qualify for a mortgage. Less stringent requirements and qualifying criteria may help some people finally get that home loan. If you have good credit and some savings available for a down payment, you might just be able to get a loan for your dream home this year.

5. Less competition from home flippers. Investors looking to buy and flip houses can’t move as quickly as they did in recent years. Housing prices in some markets are increasing, making house flipping less attractive. This gives prospective home buyers more inventory to choose from and the benefit of having less pressure to close a deal because of another pending offer. This could be the time to enjoy the freedom of shopping around for that perfect home and making an offer.

6. Avoid the cost of rising rent. A buyer’s market means it might be time to say goodbye to renting for good. If you’re tired of rent increases at your current location or want to move but will experience a spike in rent, consider the benefits of buying a home instead. You may be able to secure a great rate with your credit history and end up paying the equivalent or less in monthly payments as you build equity in a home. Renting can be a more affordable option for the short term, but renters still have to face rising rental costs year after year.Your Future

7. Invest in your future. Buying a home gives you a chance to start building equity, and you are investing in your future. Even if you end up selling your home in five or 10 years, you could profit from the sale and invest that money elsewhere. If you’ve been dealing with rising rent or the hassles of costly moves for the past few years, settling in to a home can stabilize your housing expenses – especially if you get a fixed-rate loan at a great rate. You won’t have to worry about your monthly housing expenses changing significantly for a few years, and you will pay for something that has more value than a rental property. Consider the benefits of making this type of contribution to your future month after month.

What Features Do Buyers Value In A Home?

According the our NAR (National Association of REALTORS), Buyers Value Central air & Heat the most when considering a purchase. Think about it. No one like to be inside a hot, musty home in the middle of summer or a freezing cold home in the middle of winter. While Curb appeal is still very important and nothing beats the first impression. It is important to understand what “Buyers” see as value. The info-graph below demonstrates that buyers find walk in closets, eat in kitchens, extra storage space, a ensuite – master bedroom, laundry room, den/office and a place to tuck the inlaws away when staying all top our list of What Features Buyers Value In A Home. Enjoy



5 Facts to Prevent Low-ball Buyer Offers

House shopping

I see far to often agent working with buyers for months on end and complaining their buyer will simply not offer above asking, or even asking for the home. Now most of us are in a market with extreme low inventory and high buyer demand. Most homes are selling with multiple offers. How do you educate and work a buyer through this kind of market. I found a great article today from Michael Corbett and Trulia.  Here’s what he had to add to this discussion.

A housing transaction, at the most fundamental level, includes one person who wants to sell and one person who wants to buy. Once the terms are agreed upon, voilà! . . . win-win.

However, if the seller is miserable with the final terms or feels like they had to settle for a lowball offer, the deal is likely to unravel or turn ugly. And if it does fall through, that causes aggravation and costs valuable time and money for everyone involved.

As a smart agent, you have valuable tools and skills to help prevent deals from falling through at the negotiating table.

Here are five facts and data points you can use to prevent lowball offers:

1. Market temperature matters.

The temperature of the market affects everything, from how buyers shop to what the “right price” is for a home. Most buyers think they know the temperature, but it’s your job to show them their local reality. To give buyers a valid idea of pricing, focus on what has recently sold in the last 60 days, rather than what is currently for sale in your market.Market Temperature

One way to do this is to show the percentage difference between the actual list and sale prices for the properties in your neighborhood. It speaks volumes about the current market’s activity. Comparing list vs. sale prices also provides a strong indicator of which direction the market is moving and how much less, or maybe even more, than the asking price a buyer should offer.

2. Apples are apples.

When analyzing the comps, make sure your clients see an apples-to-apples match to their home candidate and explain any similarities or differences. Putting the potential new property head-to-head with the other properties on the market today or those that have sold within 60 days can help buyers understand how key details like square footage, amenities, lot size, age, condition, and others can affect the price.

3. Time is money.

Data from the National Association of Realtors® shows that the typical home search takes 12 weeks.  If your buyer starts to lean toward lowballing when it’s offer time, make sure you drive home important time facts like how long inventory lasts and how many hours, Low_ball_offersdays, and weeks you both have invested in finding the right property. Saving time can be a serious motivator for buyers, especially those who have endured a long three months of hunting.

4. Sellers are people too.

If the sellers purchased their house between 2005 and 2009, chances are, that property has lost value. They are not happy about it and, whatever their reasons for selling, they are already very frustrated at having to sell at a loss. The sellers are already losing money and will push very hard not to lose any more.

Remind your clients that when people sell their property, they are selling a piece of themselves. A house is the setting of someone’s life. For the seller, its value includes what it represents, not just what it lists for. So while submitting a lowball price sounds like a great way to get a cheap deal, it can start the negotiation process on the wrong foot. A seller and a good seller’s agent will not take that offer seriously. In fact, even if they do respond, that seller now does not want to sell the home to your client and will do almost anything to encourage another buyer to step up.

5. The wrong offer can cause buyers to miss out.

In my early days of buying property, my real estate agent called me about a cute little 1920s Craftsman house in Hollywood that was about to go on the market at $303,000. It was a fixer-upper and, at that price, it was a very good deal. Although I would have been willing to pay the asking price or close to it, I wanted to see if I could lowball and get it for less. Against my agent’s recommendation, I offered $270,000. I thought they would come back with a counter and that we would ultimately close the deal at $290,000. Well, they did counter, but with another potential buyer whose initial offer was $290,000. They were so offended by my low offer that they refused to sell it to me at any price. My agent still reminds me of this story today.Close the deal

Most buyers today are smart. With the right data and encouragement from you, they’ll agree to submit a reasonable initial offer.

These are my tips for preventing the lowball offer. What other tools and facts are you all using to sell your buyer clients on “the right price?”

Original Post from Trulia courtesy

April 23rd, 2012