Open Houses… Love Them or Hate Them Here Are My Top Tips

OK Realtors are You Ready To Take Your Open Houses to the Next Level?

open houses for realtor tipsOver the years I have seen open house as an opportunity for most agents to catch up on
sleep, office paper work, TV reruns or raid their sellers fridge.

There are so many opinions on open houses in the industry…

Some realtors say they love them…

Other say they are a waste of time.

I want to share some of my personal strategies that changed everything for me and my business with holding an open house.

I’m often asked… “How long does an open house need to be open for it to be successful?”

My reply to that question is… Would you rather have the ability to choose when to leave an open house that is not attracting prospects or be tied down to a two hour open house that is not attracting prospects?

I am a huge believer in controlling my time. I like having the ability to host multiple opens a day versus one or two for a set period of time.

When I would host an open house I would only advertise my open house start times… for example “Open @” or “Open from”.

Taking this approach created two fantastic opportunities for me.

  1. Nobody knew when I was leaving or closing down so they would arrive early or on time and if they were going to be a bit later they would call prior to the open house to ensure I would still be there to meet them.
  2. It now let me pack up and leave 45 minutes after my open house started if needed and head to the next one that same day.

Another common question is… “What is the best time or day for an open house?”

My response is… If the home is well priced, in a good location with a well advertised open house, the serious buyers will come virtually anytime. I have had success with week-ends, week-days, morning, afternoon, suppertime and evening. Test your market to see what works best, just don’t get hung up on the details.

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  • Neighborhood Preview – hand deliver to all the neighbors a Neighborhood VIP Preview for the hour before your open house. This gets the tire kickers out of the way but allows you to add them to your database and focus on prospects during the actual open house and not the neighbors.
  • This is a bit controversial for some but I place a sign on the front door asking people to wait while I am showing the home to buyers. This creates a bit of a line up like a club or restaurant and people want to see what the attraction is inside. This allows me to focus on the buyers one at a time and also qualifies those at the door who are serious or not. If they are not serious then they tend to leave.
  • I always try to follow the rule of  “2 sign maximum”. This means the open must be only 2 signs away from the main road and traffic flow. I find if a buyer has to follow multiple signs, streets and turns the attraction is just not there.
  • Always take the time to prepare the home for an open house and creating the “homey” feeling with candles, music, lighting, fireplaces, baking and the smell of cinnamon in the air.
  • Build a bigger buzz by organizing the realtors with other listings in the area to all hold an open house at the same time. More action will bring in more potential buyers and leads for everyone.
  • Take the time to prepare your handouts with material other than a business card and feature sheet like everyone else. Why not “The 10 Deadly Buying Mistakes” sheets or the “10 Benefits to a VIP or Direct Buyer Relationship with an Agent” form. If you pop me a note on the comments below I would be glad to send you the 10 benefits.
  • The last nugget for you is prepare a list of other similar homes to your listing and use Google mapping to prepare a map and list for your potential buyers attending the open. At the end of their tour ask them “do you like this home enough to buy it?” If they say no then tell them you are here for your sellers and want to respect their home and choose not to talk about other properties but have prepared a package of similar properties for them to take home with them. Then simply say…  “all that I would ask is you give me the courtesy of showing you any of these homes in this package should you wish to view them and I would love to meet with you another time and discuss the benefits of becoming a VIP or direct client of mine.”
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I hope these tips will take your opens to another level.

Strength and courage,

Wade

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