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11 September 2014

Prepping for Your Open House

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“There is never a bad time to do an open house.”

Open houses are real estate necessities that intimidate even the strongest of agents, and the hard work and intimacy involved often dissuade associates from hosting.

And being well prepared for your open houses is half the battle.

Why is an Open house important?
There’s a misconception out there that open houses are just for newbie real estate professionals, but some of the top performing agents and associates are getting out there every weekend showcasing houses and closing deals.

According to NAR, 47 percent of homebuyers attend open houses while house hunting. Open houses also account for 20 percent of home sales – meaning one in five houses are bid on that day. They are a good place to find sellers in need of agents, and these sellers will likely want to host an open house themselves. These reasons alone make open houses worth your time, your money and your efforts!

How do you get a house ready to show?
It’s pretty basic when you think about it. A clean house is attractive, and a decently priced house coveted.  But you still have to get people in the door. A successful open house is an event, not a chore. Attract potential buyers with something that pops, and you’ll likely get them through the door.

Make sure you’re improving the curb appeal – leave the driveway empty and sit outside if it’s a lovely day.  It will help make the house instantly warm and welcoming. Use those balloons and signs to get attention, and make sure the owners are gone. Potential buyers want to envision the house as their home, not someone else’s.

How do you market an open house?
It’s incredible how many ways you can share information. Facebook and Twitter are great for events. Email everyone in your database, including other agents. People are more likely to enter a house when someone is already there. Mail out flyers, leave door hangers for neighbors, and tell your broker to tell their friends! Consider setting up a live stream, so people can watch the open house in real time.

Don’t forget to include the neighbors.  They may have friends looking to buy. They may be trying to sell. They can give you information about the neighborhood to share with your clients. Neighbors are the best resources for successful open houses.  Not to mention it’s a good time to ask if they mind all the signs you’ll be using!

And speaking of signs, make sure to check the town’s ordinances – they may not be too fond of you decorating the neighborhood, no matter how pretty! While you’re at it, inform the owner of your marketing plans, especially if a Ustream link is involved, just in case they’re uncomfortable.

Use that week to scout the neighborhood, send invites, post information, create digital marketing pieces, prepare your scripts (what you’ll say to attendees) and map out where you’ll place your signs. The only thing you want to do the day of the event is send out social media posts and get there early to decorate.

If you’re nervous, overworked or find open houses a waste of time, remember this one thing: an open house is your virtual office. Keep your office open for business and you may end up pleasantly surprised at how beneficial open houses can be!

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