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People Used to Go To Church On Sunday, Now They Go To Open Houses

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[Photo Credit: Business Insider]

The Open House is many things to many people. For realtors, the Sunday afternoon ritual offers personal exposure- to be blunt, realtors hold open houses to introduce themselves to as many potential buyers and sellers as possible. For visitors, there are any number of reasons- light post-brunch entertainment, the house is interesting to them architecturally, they have nothing better to do than look through other people's closets, or they're neighbors who've waited twenty years to see just what that crazy family was up to. For the latter, bad news- in most cases, whatever's in the closets, or what they've been up to has been staged and painted out in bright neutrals. We did hear one couple announce:

"We're view freaks. We're looking for the perfect view." For others, it's just the aspirational "I want to live like this" and given the mercurial rise in some San Franciscans' incomes, not an unlikely occurrence. From the realtor's point of view, the most solid visitor is probably the couple that's methodically investigating what's available in their price range in what little free time they have. But in a town where the billionaires wear shorts and flip-flops, the poor realtor simply has no way of knowing. It must be exhausting! One of our favorite agents (and fellow blogger) Alexander Clark from Zephyr, gave us a few pointers.
"When you come into an open house, say hello. You do not need to introduce yourself formally with a hand shake, you do not need to give your life story just to get through the door and be granted a look. All you need to do is say "Hi."

"If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask. If you are being represented by another realtor and you are loyal to that realtor and want to continue working with that realtor, you should mention that somewhere in the conversation. It will relieve both you and the showing agent of the awkward silence of finding out if you might become a client."

"If there is a sign up sheet and you don't want that showing agent to spam the hell out of you, don't fill out a fake email and name. Just don't sign up. You have the right to not sign in. Those are "lead capture" tools, and regardless of the agent's reasoning to get you to sign up (usually some b.s. line about being able to tell the seller how many people attended), they are simply a way for that agent to add you to their list of prospects."

"But if you really think you and that agent would get along great and they'd help you find a home or potentially sell your house next door, by all means, leave your contact info and ask the agent to follow up."

So whatever your frivolous/serious reason for attending an open house, just be nice, and be straightforward so the poor agent can move on to the next potential customer. Wear flip-flops.
· The Front Steps [Alexander Clark]