Open House time

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great week.  Over the weekend I decided to hold an Open House on my listing.  I can’t wait until the time where I have so many listings that I need to have other agents hold my listings open for me.  After a while, if the Open House is slow, and does not have a lot of visitors, you can definitely get bored.  The key is to find something to do that is a productive use of your time.  Open Houses can be intimidating at first.  I have learned to not think too much into them, and just show up and be nice to the people who come.

Now, let’s get to the details of holding the Open House.  Before the actual day, you will want to put out directional signs around the house, I usually put mine out on Wednesday.  These are there to show potential buyers where there is an Open House in the area, and how to find it.  I have put signs out as far as a couple miles away from the house to draw in the attention.  When you are putting the signs out, you need to think of where the major roads and the high traffic areas are.  This will lead to more eyes on the signs.  However, if you are putting them in someone’s yard, it is always appropriate to get permission.  I’ve lost a sign for not doing this.  In addition to the signs, I always advertise the Open House on all my social media platforms and the various real estate websites.  Facebook has become one of my favorite ways to advertise coming openings.  More detailed information on what I do on my social media platforms will be discussed in a later post.  These aren’t the only things I do to prepare for the big day.  I also create printouts to showcase the house in its best light.  These printouts have all my contact information, so the visitors will have a way to contact me later if they want to see the house again, or any others in the area.  Another printout that should be prepared is a sign-in sheet.  I usually fill in the first few spaces to give the appearance that there are more people interested in the property, and what I hope for them to fill out.

Now its game time.  The first person has come in, now what?  I always hand them the printout and ask how their day has been.  Having a little small talk is crucial, as it serves as an ice breaker.  You never know.  You might learn that they don’t have an agent and they are seriously looking to buy a house.  You could find out so much, but I make sure not to push too hard.  After the initial greeting, I tell them to go look around the house and I will be here is they have any questions. I have not had an Open House, yet, where I was busy from start to finish.  There will be down time.  It is very important to utilize that time to get other things done.  For example, I planned this post during an Open House.  I prepared an outline for what I wanted to write.  Other things to do are research the area, make phone calls, write letters, etc.

Closing up time has come.  Regardless of how many people came to your Open House, you must do the same thing.  The first thing I do is lock the door, so I can close up the house without people sneaking in where I can’t greet them.  If someone comes after I lock the door, they will knock or ring the doorbell.  That will allow me to greet them appropriately.  After I lock the door, I walk the house to make sure nothing has happened that I wasn’t aware of.  While doing this, I turn off all the lights and close the various doors behind me.  Basically, I ensure that the house is just as I found it when I arrived.  I pack up all my stuff, including the Open House sign-in sheet.  If it is not my listing, I return any remaining marketing material.  After packing up, I leave the house, making sure that the doors are all locked.  One big thing to remember is putting the key back in whatever lockbox there is. I don’t want to pay that fine!  On my way to my car I take the ‘Open’ rider out of the sign and return the sign to how it was displayed beforehand.  One of my least favorite parts comes next, picking up all those directional signs that were put out the week before.  While I am driving around picking up those signs, I call the listing agent, if it’s not me, or I call the seller, if it is my listing.

Now that the Open House is over and done with, you still have work to do.  I usually wait until Monday for this next step.  You need to call the people who signed in at the Open House to gauge their interest and to see if they are interested in viewing any other houses.  I then think how I could have done better and plan to ensure that the next one is better and more successful.  Once you’ve realized how you can do better, I start planning the next one.  It is a constant cycle of planning and holding and planning and holding.  It is part of the job.  The important thing to remember, be productive and take advantage of the time.  Have a great day and let’s go see some houses.

Who? What? Where? Why? and How? You become a Realtor.

Where to begin?  This journey began with me looking for a job in the field where I used to work, Retail Fixture Manufacturing.  I could not find a job that I felt that I belonged in.  Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I always found myself searching for houses in my free time, or just when I got bored, so I thought I’d explore the idea of becoming a REALTOR®.  I first went online to search for the top Brokerages in St. Louis and applied to a few of them.  I went on a couple interviews and realized where I belonged, CB Premier Group.  They offered to help pay for the schooling needed to take and pass the test.  I was one of the lucky ones who was able to pass the test on the first try; oh, how I wish I could know the exact percentages that I got.  Like everyone else, all I know is that I did better than 70% on the national portion and 75% on the Missouri portion.

After passing the test, I had to be fingerprinted for a background check.  It completely makes sense to get a good background check on new REALTORS(r) because, who would want someone with a sketchy history going through your house in your absence?  I know I wouldn’t.  I passed the background check, as I knew I would, which resulted in a trip to Jefferson City to go get my license, or at the time, my temporary work permit., This allowed me to begin my actual training, which began on July 9.  My Broker provides top of the line training that shows the new REALTORS® the ins and outs of what it takes to be successful.  Those two weeks of training were crucial.  I now know how to operate my Facebook Business Page, Matt Wroughton Realtor, expertly advertise, hold Open Houses, etc.  The hardest thing for me, still, is door knocking.  I think its mostly because I have always hated people knocking on my door, selling anything.  No, I’m not asking people to sell their house., I’m just introducing myself, so they might think of me if they, or someone they know, is thinking about a move.  I’m still not comfortable with this process, but I’ll eventually get over it and use that approach to help grow my clientele.

Although I am still loving my decision to jump into Real Estate, there are still challenges.  I am brand new in a business where having your own clientele and sphere of influence is crucial here are many more experienced and established REALTORS® in Missouri, St. Louis, my specific areas, and even my Office and that makes it difficult to break in.  As in everything new, the first one will always be the hardest.  I did not escape that truth.  I just missed my parents selling and buying a house, my cousin buying a house, and two friends selling and buying their houses.  Those all would have been great for me getting in the business and would have put some much-needed money in my pocket.  At the time, none of them knew I was becoming a REALTOR®.  I’m not bitter at all, I swear.  Oh well, off to the other people in the city who need my help.  More on that to come on a later post.  I am still working hard, doing all the little things that I was taught in the excellent training that I received at my office.  If you are considering making the jump to Real Estate, please reach out and I’ll answer all the questions that I can.  I’m sure you can do it, and I’ll try to get you into my office if you’d like, it’s a great group.  Have a great day and lets go see some houses.

New Beginnings = First Blog

Hello all, my name is Matt Wroughton, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Premier Group.  My goal is to assist Missourians with their residential real estate needs.  I was born and raised in the St. Louis area and am as passionate about the growth of the region as I am about real estate.  I’m sure there will be more about my passions in a later blog post.  I have decided to start blogging because I want to share my experiences beginning my new business as a REALTOR®.  This is not the easiest business to launch.  There are so many experienced agents in the state, city, and my office with whom I’m instantly in ‘competition’.  But this industry offers so many other great things, such as schedule flexibility, getting to meet so many great people, learning the city very well, and many others.

The initial process begins with going to a class and passing the test, not the easiest.  The process only gets more interesting from there.  I will be continuing to expand on this process throughout this blog.  If you are interested in becoming a REALTOR®, I will attempt to give you the best insight on the process as I can.  I will also be describing the challenges of building my business.  There are also many interesting situations into which a REALTOR® can get. These always entertain me, and I hope will entertain you as well.

For those of you who are considering making the jump into of becoming a REALTOR®, I will be writing for you, giving you tips for how to succeed, hopefully, in this industry.  I will share my triumphs and my mistakes, so you can hopefully avoid making the same mistakes.  If you are interested in buying or selling your house, I will be writing for you. You will gain insight into who I am, and how I might assist in this process.   But mostly I will be writing for myself, to help document and fully process the progress I am making through this new stage in my life.  I hope everyone will enjoy my writing, and I am always interested in feedback to make it even better.  There are many ways to get in touch with me, and please feel free to use any of them to do so.  This blog will help me grow and allow me to share with you all about the life of a REALTOR® and what I have learned and/or experienced recently.  Have a great day and let’s go see some houses.