Real estate agents have begun to debate on the idea of holding an open house. Many agents have abandoned the idea altogether to focus more on digital marketing efforts. Others argue that open houses bring up privacy and security concerns for sellers, while others believe the time and effort is simply not worth it. However, top realtors will attest to the advantage of an open house as an opportunity to showcase and stage the home in the best possible light. Whereas with traditional showings, it can be hard to control since buyers can come by at all times. For some, the more important benefit is the opportunity to interact directly with prospective clients. Even if the home doesn’t sell on the day of the open house, there are key opportunities for agents to grow their pipeline and potentially gain new clients.
Conducting open houses can require a lot of effort and attention. Try to avoid having open houses just because the seller demands one. According to top realtors, open houses that bring in the most traffic are newer listings that are reasonably priced and have easy access from main streets. Use your expertise to assess the situation and lay out all the pros and cons. If you decide to conduct an open house, set some realistic expectations for prospecting clients. Decide how many guests you would like to attend and how many contacts you’d like to add to your lead list. Creating goals will motivate you to use the open house to its maximum potential. To set realistic goals, you can use the attendance results from other open houses in comparable markets or the local area. Once you are ready to begin marketing the open house:
- Send invitations to the neighborhood and any community leaders or groups
- Arrive early on open house day to ensure the house is ready
- Display signs that highlight special features
Equally as important, make sure the house is in showing shape. Let your sellers know all the hard work you will be putting into marketing the open house to bring potential buyers and that they need to hold up their end of the deal by making sure the house looks its best inside and out. You can forward them these tips on how to stage their listing.
Listen To Feedback.
Open houses are a great way to gain feedback on the property about the price, condition, etc. Ask attendees for the feedback directly, or provide surveys. This information can help you take action with the seller to improve the home and sell more quickly. It’s also a great way to gain perspective of potential buyers. For example, if a family comes by who is looking to buy, but would prefer a home without a basement, you can record these notes to help you sell another home to them that fits their wants. Top realtors make sure to capture the following information from as many guests as possible.
- How interested (if at all) are they in the property?
- What kind of homes or properties could potentially be of interest to them? Is there something specific they are looking for?
- Are they willing to set up an appointment with you? Are they interested in viewing additional homes?
Even though there may be others involved in planning the event, take full responsibility. Having your seller present may bring up unwanted emotions that could cause prospects to lose interest. By being at the center of the open house, you are in charge of meeting, talking, and answering all prospects which in turn, will foster relationships and create an open-discussion environment that will benefit both parties. Make an effort to talk to each guest privately and connect with them by asking them questions to gauge how motivated they are to buy or sell. Provide them with something to take away that not only markets the home, but you! Whether it be a flyer or a folder of information, it should promote you and highlight your successes and expertise in the industry. Always include a call to action for them to follow up with you when they are ready to buy or sell a home.
The best real estate training will tell you that follow up can easily make or break a sale. A timely follow up shows prospects that you are proactive, motivated, and eager to help them. A great way to collect contact information is to promise additional information on anything the prospect shows interest in learning more about. Or, place a guest book near the front door and ask each visitor to sign in. In best real estate practices, you will schedule meetings with about 25 percent of prospects who provide you with contact information.
Throughout the beginning of your career, top real estate agents recommend that you hold an open house at least once a week to grow your contact list and build name recognition in the community. When you take the time and energy to plan, organize, and execute a successful open house, you’ll be able to create a dependable flow of leads for current and future listings.