If you’re not keeping track of every buyer who walks through the door of your listing for an open house or showing, you’re being irresponsible and unprofessional. Here’s why.

Troy Palmquist is an indie broker in California with more than a decade of experience. His regular column, which covers a range of helpful tips for agents and op-eds on industry happenings, publishes Thursdays on Inman.

If you’re not keeping track of every buyer who tours your listing for an open house or private showing with another agent, you are missing a huge piece of the listing puzzle.

In fact, it’s irresponsible and unprofessional to not keep track of every single buyer who walks through your property. Here’s why.

1. Security

When you open a house to someone, whether it be an agent, a potential buyer or a friend, you are putting that home and its contents at risk. And it is your responsibility to protect it.

Knowing who is coming in and out of a property is key. You can find dozens of articles on the matter, and skipping out on tracking is a huge misstep and potential liability.

For more tips on keeping your clients’ home — and yourself — safe in an open house, click here.

2. Follow-up

Your job is to make connections. Missing out on potential leads by not following up is one of the worst things you can do. Always track your open houses, lock boxes, broker opens and home tours.

Having a list to follow-up on helps you do your job better, get the home sold faster and keep you in touch with potential leads. In fact, if done properly, you’ll rake in a buyer and tons of buyer leads to keep your pipeline full.

What if there is a price drop? Don’t you want to tell everyone who has shown interest? Tracking also covers your bases if a buyer’s agent who shows hundreds of homes can’t remember which buyer he or she brought to your open — trust me, this happens all the time.

3. Commission

What happens if your listing doesn’t sell and it expires? Has all that work gone to waste? Not if you have the proper “list of exclusions” in place.

Proper tracking could be the difference between earning that 3 percent commission or losing it. In California for example, the residential listing contract section 3 paragraph 2 states:

This protection ensures that, with proper tracking, you can still earn a commission on your work if that same buyer who attended your open house ends up buying the property within a specified time, regardless if the listing has expired.

It’s a shame many agents don’t know where to begin when it comes to tracking every single individual who walks through a property’s door. It’s even worse if they are too lazy to do so, especially with all the great resources that are out there.

4. Lead generation

There are, in fact, great tools such as Spacio by HomeSpotter that are developed specifically for busy agents to track open house attendance and record the names of the buyers other agents bring in. It provides the resources, tools and integrations needed to convert leads into relationships.

This is not an ad, and I am not a paid promoter for the product. In fact, I am just now starting to uncover the benefits of this tool, and it appears to have some powerful and streamlined features — but it’s not the only one out there.

Apps like Open Home Pro and Open House Toolkit can help you get the job done. But these apps aren’t the only method you can use. How hard is it to open the notes app in your iPhone and fill in contact info? Or require a call for access on a lockbox to ensure a buyer and buyer’s agent have to register before they see it?

Both proper tracking and implementing a solid list of exclusions set the great agents apart from the mediocre. It also enhances the way we sell houses and gives us a greater understanding of why listings expire. Step away from the “go-and-show mentality,” and start acting like a professional.

Agents spend a lot of time, money and energy to get traffic to a listing, and we owe it to ourselves to provide a list of exclusions when a listing expires. Take this a step further with proper tracking, and you will ensure you’re getting credit where credit is due.

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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