You may have used open houses as a lead-generation tool, and you may have had some success – even though very often those open house visitors are either curious neighbors or people just looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon.
You may have even gone to a lot of trouble to provide refreshments for those events – and later wondered why you spent the time and money.
Try a better use for those refreshments – use them to entertain a targeted audience.
When you close on a home sale, let your client invite 20 or 30 friends to a closing party! If they’re the sellers, about to move out of the area, it will be a going away party. If they’re buyers, excited about their new home, it will be a welcoming party.
Match the refreshments to their lifestyle and preferences, so it will really feel like “their” party. It could be wine and cheese, beer and pizza, or even punch and cookies.
Right now is when your clients love you most and will be glad to introduce you – and recommend you – to those friends they’ve invited. And when they meet you in person and see how charming and helpful you are, they’ll be even more likely to think of you when they need a Realtor – especially if you keep reminding them.
When you visit with people and hand them your business card, ask for their email addresses and permission to send them information about the local market. Be sure you have a notepad in your pocket for that purpose – not everyone carries business cards, especially to parties.
If you can do it without being noticed, it’s also a good idea to make a little note to yourself that will help you match names to faces later. That is, unless you’re a lot better than I am at meeting and remembering several people at once. You might also note whether they’re likely to become a buyer or a seller.
A few days after the party, send a “Glad I met you” note and offer to supply them with any information they might want about the current market. If they’ve handed you a business card, and thus their mailing address, take the time to hand-write that note and send it by postal mail. If not, email is better than no mail.
Once they’re in your drip campaign, every month or so you can send some news of interest, just to remind them that you’re there when they need you.
I really recommend using a different drip campaign for these contacts than you do for buyers and sellers who have requested your reports. They probably won’t appreciate notes saying “Call me now to see this new listing,” or “The market is heating up, list now!” but will respond favorably to news about the community or about general market conditions.
Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter and former real estate broker who specializes in writing for real estate and related industries.