How to Create the Perfect Open House
Publish Date: 8/20/2019
Some agents think having open houses are a waste of time. Why? Because whoever trained them told them that. They think it is a waste of time and money because most homes don't sell through an open house. But an open house is a lead generation dream. Everyone who walks into that home is looking for a home. And if they are from the neighborhood they are looking to see how much their identical house will sell for. Here are a few tips to maximize your open house.
Use an open house sign-in sheet
You want to make sure everyone who walks into your home signs in with your sign-in sheet or sign-in book. Every one of the people who walk through that door, even the ones with agents are free game unless they have an exclusive right contract signed with their agent, which most buyers do not have. If you want to get a little technical, and don't want to add all those contacts to your CRM program go with one of the digital open house sign in programs that are on the market now. Then put out a tablet, and let your guests sign-in on your tablet with all their information, or sign in for them asking them their information. You may even get more information that way if you make certain fields required. With these programs you can ask things like name, phone number, address, are you working with an agent, social media handles, are you pre-approved? All of these questions are great lead building tools. And these programs most of the time work with your CRM program and automatically transfer that information into your CRM program.
Stage the home
The home needs to be spotless. If the home is being lived in it is best for the home to be professionally cleaned before the open house. It is best to put up all family pictures and declutter the house by putting extra furniture in storage. It is also best if the homeowners are not in the home during the open house. Tell them to lock up their valuables because you can not be with each person in each room at all the time, but you will do your best. Having the homeowners there they want to follow everyone to every room and tell them everything without leaving the prospects alone enough to look around peacefully. Owners there are a bad idea in every way. Get the pets out of the home as well. Leaving the pet in one room leaves one room that the prospective home buyers can't look at.
If the home is vacant you may want to stage the home with some furniture for the open house and showings until the home is sold. This can get expensive though so if you are using a tablet, use it to virtually stage the home. There is a program called Fiverr that allows you to take pictures of the house, full or empty, and virtually stage the home the way you would like to. Fiverr offers virtual staging starting at only $5 and their turn around time is very quick.
Pick out differences in your listing.
Pick out differences in your listing that others don't have. scour the MLS and all the homes that are the same floorplan or are similar to your listing, pick out differences. Maybe it has a nicer kitchen, granite countertops, brand new solid wood kitchen cabinets, brand new wood flooring, steam sauna in it's the bathroom, jetted tub, larger bedrooms, you get the idea. Anything that is different than all the other listings is a plus to highlight.
Have a full-color sign as you walk in the door, or at the sign-in table, saying "Welcome to our open house. Look around. Ask Questions. See yourself living here. Fall in love, and Make an offer. Also, every open house and listing for that matter needs a full-color brochure of the home, and everything that is unique on it, its best features, on professional stock paper. It does not cost much to have a hundred flyers professionally made for your open house and for outside the home for the rest of the listing time. Make sure it has the name of your company and your name prominently in the brochure. You should also have for convenience sake, the name and company name of the loan officer that you work with. They may even help you pay for the brochures if you ask them. Tell them they help pay, or you get another loan officer that will pay. Trust me, they will pay half. The prospects looking at your home will be confused and baffled at the end of the day thinking which house was which. Your color photo brochure with the address and color photo's of everything that is different from every other house will remind them of which house was yours, and they will have your contact information to contact you after the open house. It is also good to have a flyer with the best of's in the neighborhood. The best bakery, the best coffee shop, the best restaurant, the best nightlife. Everything in the neighborhood that would be great for the new homeowners to know about. It doesn't have to be a full-color ad, just a black and white paper listing the best of everything within a 5-mile radius.
Make sure all the grounds are manicured and the pool is cleaned. Have the owners send out the gardeners before the open house. Make sure all grass is cut, bushes are cut back and not covering any windows. Make sure any trees don't have branches falling off or laying so low you can't walk under them. Make sure all leaves are blown off the walkways, property, street, and porch. Maybe even plant some colorful flowers. This step should be done before you do your listing pictures. Also, the day before the open house or even the morning of the open house have the pool cleaner come out and make the pool sparkle.
Every open house should offer some food. It's up to you how much you want to offer. I would not go with Italian food, as that would just stain the carpet! A platter of sandwiches is always a good idea, either that or cookies, cake, or cupcakes from the local bakery down the street... if there is one. That's just one good thing to highlight about the home. Offering food is just one way of keeping prospects in the home more as their eating they are walking around taking a better look, or they are standing there conversing with you, growing a relationship with you. They are now more comfortable with you when you call to follow up on them or take them out for showings because now, they are your client.
Advertise and Offer door raffles
Advertise everywhere. Advertise on the MLS, on facebook through facebook neighborhoods, groups, families, advertising, and through Twitter, and Instagram, craigslist, and even the local newspaper, or niftynickle. Put signs on every major cross street for miles away. And even advertise raffles. Anyone who attends gets a raffle ticket and you give it away during your callbacks. Offer anything of value, Alexa, gift cards for the coffee shop, anything, it will drive traffic to your open house.
Take a Facebook Live video during the open house.
Take a Facebook Live video during your open house, while lots of people are walking around. Maybe even talk to a few people who are there visiting and ask them what their favorite thing is about the house. Then when you are done, upload it to Instagram, and facebook because there is nothing someone wants more than a house that is already loved by other people. It makes your listing look like the house of the century!
Invite the neighbors
Invite the neighbors to a special preview before the open house opens. Like the first half hour before the open house is specially designed for the neighbors to come by and look. This gives them special attention and gives you time to speak with them about the price of the home, and the possibilities of what they could get for their homes. Even the neighbors are possible leads because when they get the listing price of your open house, they are instantly looking at how much they can get for their house and if they can upsize with that extra money. How do you get ahold of all those neighbors though? There are a few ways. You can walk in the heat, door knock, and not get ahold of half of them because they are either at work or just don't want to answer the door because they are not expecting anyone. Total waste of time! Or call them all. Ah, but how do you get their numbers? There is a program called RealCloud. RealCloud is a software program that gives you access to every area in any city, any state that you need. You can pull up the area, and get access to a list of addresses to do direct mailers to. You can also pull up every phone number for each one of those people. If that isn't good enough, RealCloud gives you information about those owners including social media information. Now you have a phone number to dial or even text since most millennials no longer answer their phones but instead return their text messages within minutes. RealCloud also gives their address for direct mailers, and social media information to direct market them on social media. You now have all the information to get in contact with them in multiple ways to inform them and personally invite them to the special preview of your open house.