An open house is similar to a job interview. You’re trying to convince someone that this house is the right fit for them. You have to meet a job applicant or tour a house to really get an idea about whether this is the right choice.
Open houses have long been a staple of the real estate industry, but their popularity has declined in the past few years. You get a lot of snoopers and people who aren’t serious buyers. And a small percentage of open house attendees actually make an offer.
But open houses are great ways to get buyers into the house and an opportunity to prospect for future clients. You can’t field offers if you don’t get people looking at the house in person. Real estate agents need to attract as many interested buyers as possible and inspire them to put the house on their short list. It can’t be the same old open house; make it informative, persuasive, and memorable. Click To Tweet
The Role of the Open House
Because buyers do tons of research online, they already know a lot about the house and the neighborhood before they walk through the door. They’ve seen the photos and videos and have a list of possible houses. Showings and open houses help them narrow that list down to two or three properties.
By attending an open house, buyers can get a better idea of what it’d be like to live in that house and how they could use and transform the space. Serious buyers are informed and they go to open houses to see if they fall in love with the house and determine whether to consider making an offer.
10 Open House Tips
Early in the listing process, learn as much as you can about the property, neighborhood, and likely buyers. Use this knowledge to tailor your approach and make the property stand out from the competition. Also, try these tips for your next open house and make it a success:
- Preparation: It’s showtime, so the house must look its best. Advise sellers to complete all the necessary repairs, cleaning, and upgrades before the open house.
- Declutter: If the sellers are still living there, suggest that they brutally declutter every room. Countertops should be nearly empty, bookcases half full, personal items gone, extra furniture in storage, and pets and litter boxes relocated.
- Create Buzz: Get your property on the must-see list with creative marketing. Promote the open house on your web site, blog, email list, and social media pages. Use beautiful photos and brief video tours to get people interested.
- Make it Inviting: Turn on all the lights and open the drapes. Eliminate unpleasant odors. Some agents bake cookies before open houses. Ensure there’s plenty of parking. Set up Open House signs in strategic locations along the route to the house.
- Boast the Benefits: Your job is to help make the case for your listing. Make it easy to imagine themselves living there by transforming the features on the listing page into benefits for these buyers.
- Lifestyle Vignettes: When staging for an open house, pare down the furniture and decoration in the main rooms. Create inviting scenes with focal points like a large plant and conversation spots.
- Refreshments: Have soft music playing and fresh cut flowers. Put out snacks like freshly baked cookies.
- Flyers and Sign-In Sheets: Give them a high-quality info sheet and ask them to sign the sign-in sheet.
- Salesmanship: Build report and chat about the special features and unique benefits of the house and the neighborhood. Get to know a little about them and which features are important to them.
- Something Special: Open houses are often the same, so look for ideas to set yours apart, like themes, furniture sale or pop-up shop, charity event, home décor party, live music, or a workshop or seminar.
Soon after the open house is over, write down notes about what worked, what didn’t and the visitors’ attitude and impressions. Use this information to improve listing and marketing materials, staging, and showings.
Open houses are fun; you get to be creative and draw on your skills, experiences, and resources. Your open house doesn’t have to be ordinary.
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