Open houses are more than just neighborhood snoop fests. They can become a dependable source for leads for other listings: Plus, you might actually find a buyer for the house! Some real estate agents do not like hosting open houses. However, remember that open houses provide opportunities to generate leads from buyers, remembering that some of those buyers will also have houses to sell. Follow these four tips for conducting successful open houses and watch your leads grow.
Select the best house
Everyone wants to check out a beautiful house in a nice area, but how do potential buyers decide which house to select? The ideal recipe for a busy open home is: a new listing, at a reasonable price, in a great area, with easy access from main roads. Not all of that is within an agents control so it is also worthwhile researching the times and days of other open houses in the neighborhood to ensure you are competitive and set to capture the active interest in the area.
It goes without saying, successful advertising plays a huge role in the number of potential buyers that you attract to an open home. In the days leading up to the event, experiment with the following advertising methods:
- Advertise in prominent real estate blogs and forums (realestate.com.au).
- Get active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Send invitations to neighbors, encouraging them to bring friends and family along.
- Where possible, erect a signboard outside the home to let the local neighbourood know that the home is on the market. It will also help buyers from outside the area to identify which house is for sale because it is very common for potential buyers to do a drive-by or kerbside inspection prior to the open home. A sign is also a great way to get your name and branding out into the local marketplace to capture leads or interest from any locals who may be interested in finding out what their home may be worth in the current market.
Preparation is key
Before the big day, ensure that the sellers arrange for the house to be presented in its best light. That means a thorough clean of everything. During the open house, have your sellers vacate the home (along with the pets). It is difficult for potential buyers to envision themselves living in a house with the current owners present! It’s also a great idea to make the special features of the house known to everyone. You could place signs next to special features, such as expensive appliances, to outline the advantages – remember every feature of the home represents a dollar value to a potential buyer, and you don’t want any of that value to go unnoticed. There is nothing wrong with a sign reminding people that they are walking on “beautiful polished timber floors”.
Engage with visitors
Perhaps the most important tip is ensuring that you engage with everyone that comes through, especially the potential buyers. These are some great ways to interact with the visitors:
- It goes without saying that visitors need to be welcomed at the front door or early on in their inspection. Make sure you capture their details such as name, phone number and email so that you can follow up any interest. This will also help you build you future database for potential clients – just be sure to let people know that you will be in contact with them.
- While visitors are inspecting the house; ask them what they like about the house. This gives you an opportunity to tell them about another special feature that they haven’t seen yet.
- Approach everyone at the end of their walk-through and ask if they have any questions. Gauge what they like or dislike.
- Qualify the visitor before they leave. This requires you to ask certain questions like;
- Are you interested in the house?
- If not, what other homes are you interested in?
- What type of property are you seeking?
- Are you interested in viewing other properties that may be another fit?
It’s important to leave a great impression here, as this is the last opportunity to engage with visitors face-to-face before they leave, and you want them to remember you as an agent who is prepared to make an effort, so that whether they buy that property or another one – your service and presentation at the open home remains at the top of their mind should they ever decide to sell in the future.