A New Approach to Open Houses

Everybody likes a party.

21 Mike Team of Century 21 Homestar is now encouraging team members to follow this open house approach.

Showing up minutes before the scheduled start time. Setting out flyers of the listing alongside a stack of your business cards. Waiting for a potential buyer to come through the door so you can recite your preplanned list of questions regarding whether or not a realtor already represents them.

You may recognize these all too familiar steps as part of your routine open house procedure. However, this is not always effective. If you are motivated to increase your open house attendance and interest for your listings, continue reading.

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DON’T FORGET THE NEIGHBORS. When advertising the open house, don’t forget about those who are right in front of you: the surrounding neighbors. Inviting the neighbors to the open houses is great exposure for you and your team: plus, you never know who might know someone that is in the market for a house or a Realtor to represent them. Arriving at least an hour early to the open house to door knock is very ideal.

AVOID THE AWKWARDNESS. In order to feel less invasive when doing pre-open house door knocking, bring along flyers of the home. Having something to give whoever opens the door will help alleviate a possible uncomfortable encounter. The flyer will also give the neighbor something to refer back to later on if need be. Also, if no one answers the door, you can leave a note on the flyer expressing your apologies for missing him or her and stick the flyer somewhere appropriate for the homeowner to see later.

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INCENTIVES ARE A NECESSITY. Other than to be nosy and get an inside look at their neighbor’s house, why else would a neighbor make an effort to attend your open house? Have something to offer the attendees of the open house such as simple fingerfoods. People will be more likely to attend if they know they will be able to get something free in addition to being able to view the house. This will also leave a great lasting impression of you and your agency on everyone who attends.

BE A FRIEND FIRST. It’s hard not to jump straight to the point when a potential buyer comes into the house by asking them whether or not an agent already represents them. However, this does not benefit you or the potential buyer. By you asking a yes or no response question, it gives the person an easy way to get out of the conversation: thus denying you the opportunity to talk more about your abilities and offerings as an agent. Coming straight out with this question may also bother the client because you are making it clear that you are only interested in talking to them in hopes of getting a deal. Try having a normal, friendly conversation beforehand. This can ease you into the questions you really want to ask, without making you seem intrusive. Remember to smile and make yourself approachable for questions that the potential buyers may have: but be mindful not to hover over them. You want everyone to leave the house with good thoughts on the house and the Realtor presenting it, you.

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CHOOSE ACCORDINGLY. Obviously it does not make sense to have every open house be a big event. Pick wisely. Decide which attributes of a house you want a house to have in order to be considered for this approach. Ask yourself, would it be beneficial to do this for a home’s first open house? Only for big houses? Maybe for homes that have been on the market for a long time? Is there an event going on in the close surrounding area the same day that could help drive traffic to the house? Has the home just had a significant price reduction? Is the neighborhood lively? It really depends on what homes you believe will benefit most form this approach.

Think outside the box.

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