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27 March 2014

BHGRE National Open House Weekend Countdown: Part 4, The Don’ts and Do’s of Your Open House

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We’ve been counting down to our BHGRE National Open House Weekend this Saturday and Sunday – the moment is almost here, are you ready? In this final entry of this series, we recap the do’s and don’ts (or rather, the don’ts and do’s) of running your open house.

If you’re having trouble making real connections with potential buyers at your open house events, it may not just be the house that is not working for them. Holding open house events can be a wonderful way to find suitable buyers for a property, but if you are not giving off the right impression, you could be throwing your sales away.

The following is a quick reference guide to make sure you are being viewed as the right person to buy from. We will go through the don’ts of open house etiquette before the do’s so that you, as an agent, come away with the most information possible.  Research tells us that when the don’ts are listed last in these types of articles or blogs, readers only come away with the memorable don’ts rather than what they should be doing.

What Not to do at your open house:

  • Don’t be too pushy with the potential clients who show up to your open house. They are there because something piqued their interest. If they seem to know exactly what they want and take charge, then let them find it on their own. If they seem lost or unsure of what they are looking for in a home, that’s when you jump in and ask some questions or offer the information they might be looking for.
  • Don’t leave the television on during your open house. You want to be the star of the show, not something on television. The right ambiance is critical when showing homes. A little music is nice, but classical music or something light.
  • Do not ask a prospect to set up a time for an interview without providing enough benefits for them to do so. The benefits must match the need you’ve just uncovered through probing questions. There is a three-step process which we outline in several of our training materials for providing the benefit of having a real estate agent. The steps include 1. Summarizing the Need, 2. Presenting the Benefit and 3. Asking for the Appointment.
  • When speaking with clients, do not move too fast, or they will resist. Create a rapport, a safe harbor for your prospects. Take the parental role, and ask your questions firmly. Also, make sure that you are not speaking over your potential clients. If they have something to say, let them have some time to speak their minds. It will probably be good information for you to know about them, and if you speak over them, it can be a big turn-off.
  • Do not forget to close and lock all doors upon leaving. Make sure the house is cleaned up, and all signs are gone. Leaving a nice note with your business card for the sellers is a nice touch that can put you over the top in their minds. It is not easy to open your house up to complete strangers, so make them feel like this process is necessary and will definitely generate leads.
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What To do at your open house:

  • Before the house is opened to the potential customers, both you and the house must be prepared. Having a good presentation and being prepared gives you confidence and helps create a favorable first impression.
  • Dress like a professional, but be comfortable. You have to be on your best game all day, if you wear uncomfortable shoes, for example, your frustrations and low comfort level could come off as something negative to potential buyers.
  • You should definitely be prepared to do business at the actual open house. Have Sales Contracts, and Addendums, including Dual Agency Disclosure – zipformsonline.com – you actually could sign them up right now if they – and you are ready.
  • You should prepare to answer many different questions about the house which you are showing. Questions can cover topics such as price, property taxes, square footage, heating and air conditioning information, deed, school information and financing options including monthly payments for 5%, 10% and 20% down.
  • E-mail or call each of your guests the Sunday after your event. Your open house is probably not the only one they visited. So, to keep yourself and your property fresh in their minds, thank them and actively search for further opportunities to contact them.

I hope these tips will improve your open house showing skills. Even if you picked up just one or two strategies which you had not employed at the open houses you have shown before, you will definitely see an improved response from clients.

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Just remember to be respectful of your seller’s property, and to move at the right pace with buyers. Going too fast will scare many secondary targets off, but many times people are ready to move on a property when it’s love at first sight. You just need to be prepared to listen and really keep your hands on the pulse of each person who shows up to your event.

Good luck, and have fun showing your next home, and have a great BHGRE National Open House Weekend, everyone!

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