No Luck with Open Houses? – Maybe It’s You?
Open houses are one of those things that some Realtors dread and others can’t wait to seize the opportunity. Gone are the days when open houses were always busy because they were the best way for people to actually see a property. With the advent of virtual tours, aerial videos and extensive professional photography, some buyers are choosing to do much of their home searching online. That being said, open houses when done properly can still provide you with an amazing opportunity to meet new people and hopefully make some great contacts along the way. The key is that you need to make sure that you are taking the proper steps to ensure your success.
A Positive Attitude Goes A Long Way
If you are one of those people that begrudgingly hosts an open house to make your clients happy when you really view them as a waste of time, guess what? They will be! Having a positive attitude about open houses can go a long way to help you ensure success. Your lack of enthusiasm will shine through to every potential buyer. This will affect not only the marketing of the house, but it will also drastically reduce your chances of making any good connections while you are there. No one wants to work with a negative person. Always go into doing an open house with an open mind and positive thoughts about the potential outcome. Another thing you may not have considered is that over half the people who attend an open house are actually sellers looking for an agent. This is your opportunity to shine and show them what you can do. Why not take advantage of this opportunity? If you do, you are going to meet lots of potential new clients and see your business grow.
Create a System for Every Open House
There is a definite art to marketing and hosting open houses. Those that are most successful at Open Houses don’t just wing it, they have a system the follow every time. You need to develop a system that incorporates all the marketing steps and preparations that needs to be done. If you always host open houses on Sundays, set it up on your calendar for the week before. For example, on Mondays you will always update Matrix and put up an Open House topper on the sign. Depending on your style, this could be an elaborate schedule or a few simple steps. Make sure that you include social media in your marketing strategy as this is one of the main sources of information for a lot of buyers. You could also provide your Sellers with checklist of all the things they should do to prepare the home ahead of time so that the house is 100% ready when you arrive.
On the day of the open house, you will also want to have a routine. Have a set time to put out lots of directional signs and make sure that you arrive early enough to ensure that the house is ready to go. Don’t forget to include time to survey the outside of the property before you start. Make sure there are no safety hazards, the snow is shoveled, ice is taken care of, walkways are swept. Don’t forget about the importance of curb appeal. The grass should be nicely cut, the garbage picked up, and the kids toys neatly tucked away. Studies have shown that you have less than 18 seconds to impress a buyer before they decide if they are interested in a home or not.
Slow Things Down and Create an Experience
A lot of people have a tendency to rush through open houses and you will want to do what you can to slow things down, which in turn will allow you more time to connect with each of the visitors. By making the open house an enjoyable experience, you will make your guests feel more comfortable and hopefully they will stick around a little longer. Things like music, temperature, and lighting can make a huge difference. If you are going to offer snacks, be mindful of crumbs; you don’t want that to be the first thing the next guest sees.
Try Scheduling Open House at Different Times
Open houses are almost always held on Sundays from 2 to 4pm but you may find some success in holding them on Saturdays or even weekday evenings. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and mix it up a little. This may help your open house stand out from the pack. Also, although there may be less traffic at the open house, you might just find you are able to attract more serious buyers to an open house held at an alternative time.
Make a Connection with People and Don’t Forget to Follow Up
As you meet people at the open house, take some time to get to know them and focus less on selling; that part will happen naturally anyway! Find out as much as you can about them and this will help guide you in understanding what it is that they are looking for. After the open house, remember to send a follow up message to everyone who attended and try to include a personal touch from the conversation that you had with them. Remember there is no point going through all the work effort to prepare and host an Open House if you aren’t going to follow-up afterwards.
- Have a positive attitude! A negative one will undermine all your efforts.
- Create a system with a schedule for all open house related tasks and repeat it with each one to ensure consistency.
- Don’t forget curb appeal. Make sure that the home look inviting from the outside or people may just pass it by.
- Create an experience with music, lighting, and temperature.
- Try to slow things down and avoid the rush.
- Consider different times for open houses.
- Focus on making connections and getting to know people, not selling.