Leads, Serious Leads . . . & Tire Kickers

After hosting a couple hundred (thousand?) weekend open houses, I still learn useful things about Buyers — as well as the home I’ve been hired to sell.

Which is why I do ’em (vs. letting newer agents pinch hit for me).

The most important insight?

It’s not what prospective Buyers say — it’s their all about their body language, and what they do.

Minnesota Stoicism

When Buyers have interest, they linger in the house; ask serious questions; and circle back to key rooms.

When they don’t . . . they leave the sales literature on a coffee table near the front door as they walk out.

Personalities vary dramatically, so it’s not always possible to tell when someone’s excited about a house (this IS Minnesota).

But, generally speaking, when there’s interest, Buyers are more animated and engaged.

Objective Markers

Of course, an experienced agent is also good at qualifying traffic, and eliciting motivation.

I tend to think of Buyer interest on a continuum.

The most promising Sunday open house visitor is accompanied by their agent — or sent through without them, if their agent is unavailable.

Especially if you know the agent and they’re good, that immediately tells you that the prospect has been qualified by a lender; knows (or is rapidly learning) the market; and has some time urgency.

At the other extreme would be the folks who . . . don’t (know the market, their budget, or have a deadline for making a decision).

The More, the Merrier

Even when that’s the case, though, I’m happy to welcome such people through.

My rationale: serious Buyers don’t know that other open house visitors may only be casually looking (so-called “tire kickers”).

On the contrary, all they see is a house full of people — and worry that someone will buy the home before they do . . .

See also, “Can I Hold Your New Listing Open?“; “Realtor Compliments“; “Open House as Hypothesis”; “Sunday Open Houses: Not Just For the Public“; and “Reason #23 to Do Open Houses”.

Plus: “Sunday Open House Multiple Choice“; “Broker Open Buzz, or . . ???”; “1st Open Fanfare“; “Catering Broker Open’s (Or Not)“; and ““Embellishing Attendance at a Broker Open (Word of Advice:  “Don’t’).”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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