You are going to hear me talk about two types of marketing, a lot. I am going to talk about paid marketing; that is the type of marketing where you actually write checks and pay somebody to do something. Examples include: direct mail, radio, TV, newspaper, billboards. There is also sweat marketing: cold calling, cold greeting, the things that you can do yourself. But there is also a third type of marketing out there that is just freaking fantastic, and there’s quite a few of them.

I want to talk about Open Houses For Sale by Owners. So imagine this- you open up the Sunday newspaper and you see an ad in the newspaper that says, “Come buy my house.”

Wait a second now. A prospect has told you- they have advertised for you to come buy their house. What a great way to find houses for sale. So we are going to go visit those houses. But when we do, we want to make sure that we do things on purpose.

Now, naturally, we are going to wear our shirt. You know, the red one that says I Buy Houses on it. Naturally, we are going to have four contracts in our car, so we have an opportunity to buy some houses. Naturally, we are going to have our business cards and pass those out. What else are we going to do? Well, we are going to go visit a few houses.

Most open houses are on Saturday and Sunday between 1:00 and 4:00. They are usually scheduled after church, in the early afternoon and on sunny days. First, you want to park across the street, not in front of the house. You will park across the street, walk up there, ready to look at the house and ready to buy a house.

When you walk inside, the seller is going to greet you and we are going to have casual conversation. We are going to say, “Hello”, hand them a business card, and say, “Thanks for having an open house. My name is Michael Quarles with I Buy Houses. Do you mind if I take a look at the house? Well, terrific.”

And we are going to go through the house just like we would go through the house of any other seller opportunity. This is absolutely a seller who wants to sell a house.

But here is what we are going to do, or we are going to make sure we do not do.

We were raised to be nice and I think being nice is important. We do not want to be foolish. We do not want to walk in the front door and say things like, “This is a beautiful house.” Do not ever say that. It might be the most beautiful house you have ever seen in your life. Please, do not say that. Do not say, “I can see myself living here.” Do not say, “I bet that was expensive.” Absolutely do not say you will not have any problem selling this house.

And if you forget about everything else I have said, never tell a seller they are underpriced. Absolutely never tell a seller they are underpriced. It’s our objective to buy a house at a reasonable pricing that causes us to perform and fit within our business model.

Now, there are also some things that you should always say. Naturally, in an open house you would not say, “Remind me how you found us.” But on any other circumstances you would.  You could say to a seller the house is going to need some work, a lot of work. You can say when you find the rat. We are always looking for the rat. The rat is the reason the sellers are selling- that they do not have to worry about showing the rat to anybody else, no one is going to see it.

Say things like, “I bet this is going to be really expensive to fix. I saw a house down the street and it didn’t have orange, shag carpet in it. It had a really nice carpet, fresh paint, upgraded kitchen. Man, yours does not have any of that. I bet you this is going to be expensive to fix.”

Absolutely always say, “When I buy your house today, gosh this is your lucky day. How did you know today was the day you were going to sell your house?”

Wouldn’t that be a great way to enter into a conversation about buying a house; by getting someone all pumped up?  They are going to look at you like you are strange, but follow forward and make them a win-win offer.

So, you have been practicing your presentation. There is an open house. They have asked you to come buy the house. You need not have to find them; they found you. And you say, “You are overpriced.”

Talk to them about the value of their house. Remember to be in charge of the conversation every step of the way. Pass out those business cards. In an open house, leave them in the bathrooms and in the kitchen, and leave multiple pieces.  Do not just leave one, don’t be stingy. You can buy more, they are really cheap. But do not be afraid to go into an open house and make an appointment to buy a house.

Here is a little conversation starter, if you are worried about visiting an open house. Remember, I do not want to go there as an investor. I just want to go there as a person. Say, “I bet you are being bombarded by real estate agents trying to list your For Sale By Owner home. And, I am sure you are selling your house yourself to save as much money on real estate commissions as you can, right? When would you like to have the house sold? Do you have your next house picked out already? What do you think it will take to get this house sold? Are you planning on lowering the price to get the house sold?”

Start some conversations with them. Let’s get it going.

When you look at an open house, it gives you an opportunity to see what houses look like which are For Sale in the area. So when you go and buy one in the same neighborhood that does not look as nice, you have a reference.

The seller will say, “Well the one around the corner just sold for $250,000.”

And you can say, “Well, yeah, but it had upgraded kitchens, a new roof, a swimming pool in the backyard and four bedrooms. And yours doesn’t.” Or, “Yeah and the seller was going to give four percent concessions to the buyer and a Harley Davidson was included, and all that other stuff.”

It is a great way to find out information about your marketplace. So let’s do that. Let’s find out what else is being offered, so when we buy houses and have an opportunity to buy houses, we know. And, get this- you want to know what is cool? They keep a list of people who came through that house. Let me say that again- at an open house, they keep a list of people who came through that house.

Well, Mike, who cares? I understand who cares- I care. You know what I get to do with that list?  Those are sellers. Anyone on that list who wants to buy a house, probably has a house to sell. Maybe one out of fifty of them that took a look at the house didn’t have a house to sell, but maybe forty-nine people are sellers. I want to see if I can work a deal with that seller, give them some referral money if I buy any of those houses; if I can get a copy of that list.

And, get this- if there are fifty people on the list, and the sellers do not have an offer yet, ask them, “Why?”

Say, “Man, looks like a lot of people have seen your house. What do you think is stopping it from selling? You know, the number one feature that I have found that causes a house not to sell is price. You are planning on lowering your price to cause your house to sell, aren’t you? Let me tell you a little bit about what I do. I buy houses like yours all the time.”

And then, go into your conversation. Buy a house.

So yes, open houses are a great opportunity and they are free. And when do you get to do that? When do you get to go buy houses for free?

Look back for more. There are going to be a bunch of free opportunities out there that I am going to go over.

You have a wonderful day and until next time. Buh bye.

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