A well managed open house will build your client prospects
Open houses not only sell property but present a valuable opportunity to connect with new customers. Here’s how to host an open house that does both.
The main objective of an open house is to attract and engage serious buyers in order to get your vendor the highest possible price for their property. This involves creating a buzz around the home with a well-planned marketing campaign.
There are multiple benefits in this process for real estate agents. By executing a polished, highly organised open house, your skills are on show for potential new vendors to witness and you have an opportunity to build your client database while servicing your existing client.
Open homes are a win-win marketing opportunity for your vendor’s property and your personal real estate brand. Here are three steps you should take to make your open home all that it can be.
1. Do your groundwork
Be organised and make sure that the time, date and location are well publicised across local papers, online listing sites and on your agency’s website, social media, property signboard and window promotions.
Compelling property copy and beautiful imagery are a must if you want to entice buyers through the door. Do some research and review nearby listings, see if you can set your open home at a time when there will be the least viewing competition. It’s also important to be mindful of long weekends, school holidays and major public events like sporting grand finals, as they can all impact buyer turnout.
The home must be inviting in order to gain the best possible price. This doesn’t have to mean a major overhaul but at a minimum:
- Lawns need to be clipped and tidy
- The interior should be decluttered
- The home must be clean and free from bad odours
If you have the flexibility set the open home at a time in the day when the light is most flattering. It is also worth talking to the vendor about hiring a property stylist – this small investment can give the home an instant facelift and help tailor the property to a certain buyer target market.
Not all vendors will want to invest in property styling, if this is the case minimise personal items such as photographs and knick-knacks and consider removing items of furniture to create more space.
Finally, keep vendors out of sight! Having the current owners hovering about will only make potential buyers uncomfortable.
2. Make first impressions count
On the day of the open home, make sure the property is easy to find. Place signs at nearby intersections, at the front gate and along pathways if the property is located within a complex. Add your mobile number to signs in case buyers become lost and/or post a junior staff member at the front of the building to help with directions.
According to Mark Redhill, from McGrath Real Estate in Sydney’s Edgecliff, creating a strong first impression ensures buyers will remember your property ahead of the competition.
“A welcoming greeting from a smiling agent who introduces him/herself is a great start,” Mark says. “Once the buyer enters the property, being met with fresh flowers, pleasantly scented candles and calming music will leave an immediate, positive impression.”
Mark points out that a positive first impression will fall short if the agent doesn’t know the property or the local area well. Working as a coordinated team, Mark and his wife Lorraine provide buyers with a blend of information about the property and the neighbourhood, while being mindful of the attendees need for space to explore the home.
In addition to property brochures, have guides about local transport services, schools and cafes on hand. By having these extra resources available Mark is able to distinguish his personal brand and it makes his job more enjoyable as he knows he can confidently answer any question a buyer may throw at him.
3. Make the most of every connection
Once the doors are open, remember you’re looking for more than just this property’s buyer. Every person that attends an open home is a potential new vendor or possible buyer interested in other listings. Be friendly to everybody, even nosy neighbours who confess they’re having a sticky beak. These connections are opportunities – word of mouth is key in real estate and everyone knows somebody looking for, or wanting to sell, a property.
When you speak to potential buyers get their feedback about the property and find out exactly what they’re looking for. If this house isn’t right you might just have another on your books that could be!
Contact Campaigntrack to find out more about how you can maximise your real estate marketing strategies.