Open houses are a great strategic marketing tool. Although some may think this is old school marketing and results in less than 2% of home sales, it is a great marketing tool that every realtor should use. After all, the key to selling a home is finding a buyer for the home. What better way to showcase the home than holding an open house. This marketing approach draws in many other realtors, potential buyers, and yes the odd nosey neighbour. However, when neighbours see how much the homes in their area are selling for, they can compare the open house home to their own. This may influence them to speak to the realtor about possibly listing their home for sale as well. So yes, open houses are multi-function marketing tools for both the sale of the listed home and potential buyers and sellers.
Open houses not only showcase the home that is listed for sale, but it also gives the realtor the opportunity to speak with many people. When a realtor has an opportunity to speak with potential buyers and sellers, this could be beneficial to obtaining many more leads. The realtor also has an opportunity to speak with other realtors and they may share some valuable information that they can all benefit from.
Less Than Ideal Homes Can Benefit From Open Houses
In some instances, those looking to purchase a home may not think about certain neighborhoods, or maybe adverse to looking at a listing due to its location and surroundings. However, when a realtor holds an open house, it typically is well advertised and draws many people to come and see the house, even if only out of curiosity. This very well could lead to selling the home to someone that was adverse to say buying a house close to railway tracks etc. Once they view the home, it is everything they are looking for with the exception of the railway tracks and they decide to go ahead and buy the house anyway. This is one way it is very advantageous to hold an open house.
Advertising An Open House
When you are looking for the maximum possible number of people you can draw to an open house, advertising is key. Realtors have many means of advertising such as:
Agent Only Open Houses
When a realtor holds an agent only open house this can be a very powerful strategic marketing tool. When agents have buyer clients, they want to see the house as soon as possible so they can see if it meets some of their potential buyers’ criteria. Word of mouth will also be stimulated when agents attend this type of open house, as they may share the listing with co-workers.
Public Viewing Open Houses
This type of open house is open to the public as well as realtors. This may give realtors an opportunity to view the listing in the event they were unable to attend the agent only open house. Typically an open house would run for a four hour period on both Saturday and Sunday, however, today many realtors have shortened the viewing time to a two hour period on both days. By this strategic marketing move, it may create the perception that there is a lot of interest in the property and may entice serious buyers to act quickly.
Open Houses Are Not Limited To Weekends
Sometimes it is more advantageous for a realtor to hold an open house on an evening through the week. This strategic marketing plan can grab the attention of many commuters that may not have noticed the open house on the weekend.
Tips Realtors Should Provide To Their Selling Clients Regarding An Open House
When a realtor is going to hold an open house, they want the house to show well. This means that the home should be immaculate, decluttered, depersonalized. Tips that a realtor can offer to their selling clients in preparation for an open house are:
- Home and property should be clean and well kept
- Improve curb appeal by maybe planting some flowers (If it’s the right season)
- Decorate home in neutral colours
- Open all the drapes
- Open all the blinds
- Open all window coverings
- Keep personal items out of view
- Turn on all overhead lights and lamps
- Avoid air fresheners as some people are sensitive to these
- Remove pets from home if possible
- Remove vehicles from driveway if possible
- Play soft relaxing music
- Provide photos of the home in all seasons
- Keep pathways and entrances to the home clear (especially during the winter months)
Important Tips For Realtors To Prepare For An Open House
The key to a successful open house is being well prepared. Realtors should prepare for an open house by making relevant paperwork readily available. This includes:
- Colour flyers and details of the listing
- The Realtor’s business cards
- Documentation pertaining to monthly or yearly utility costs
- Information pertaining to real estate lawyers
- Information pertaining to financing
- Any inspection reports pertaining to the home
- Any verification of recent upgrades or repairs done to the home
- Warranties if applicable
- Place please remove footwear signs at the entrance to the home
Realtors Interaction With Visitors
The interactions a realtor has with visitors is just as important as the house shows. Realtors should greet visitors with a friendly and warm personality. An upbeat realtor is far easier to approach and speak with than one that is miserable looking. Make guests feel comfortable and welcome to look around and ask any questions they may have. Be open to preparing an offer if a serious buyer would like to at the open house, this means having your laptop or paperwork readily available to do so.
What A Realtor Should Do At The End Of An Open House
When the open house is over a realtor should:
- Turn off all lights in all rooms.
- Tidy up if necessary.
- Remove all signage.
- Provide the sellers with feedback regarding the open house.