As a well-established convention in the sphere of real estate, the sight of an open home being hosted by a local real estate agent is not at all uncommon. If you were to drive through an average suburban neighborhood on any given sunny summer afternoon, you’d likely come across a number of these events, extending an open invitation to any and all willing visitors.
Now, you might be wondering what the purpose of these events actually is. It’s primary purpose is readily apparent, of course; showcasing the features and condition of a home that is being put up for sale. There are, however, a number of secondary and tertiary reasons why real estate agents host open houses, as it turns out.
Perhaps most compelling among these reasons is that of generating leads. As a real estate agent, finding and pursuing leads is an integral part of one’s professional and even personal life. For those working in such a quintessentially interpersonal position, the process of generating leads is complex and often difficult, so the idea of hosting an open house as a means of achieving this goal is thoroughly understandable.
If you’re a real estate professional, it’s no surprise that the prospect of holding an open house holds a great deal of allure. You’ll drastically improve your chances of selling the home you’re putting on display, and you’ll be able to make connections and gather leads while doing it. There’s virtually no downside whatsoever!
Hosting an open house
So, you want to host your own open house. We don’t blame you! For real estate agents, the idea of hosting an open house is immensely attractive. Nevertheless, the question of how to host an open house is still a somewhat difficult topic. How do you go about this task, and how can you use this opportunity to gather leads and drum up business?
If you’re asking these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be going over what you need to do to successfully host an open house and gather leads in the process. There’s a lot to go over, so we won’t waste any time on trivialities: let’s just jump and see what the process looks like!
Finding a suitable listing
The first step of hosting an open house is finding a home that suits the criteria of functioning as an open house. Ideally, an open house should be a home that is in a good area, is in good condition and is aesthetically pleasing enough to serve as a good addition to your portfolio of listings. People should want to see more once they’ve finished their walkthrough of the home!
If your brokerage specializes in a certain type of real estate listing or markets primarily to one home purchasing niche, you may also want to choose a listing that caters to these groups. By asserting the fact that your brokerage has a wide selection of listings that suit the demands of your target market or demographic, you’re sure to drum up business!
In general, it’s best to avoid displaying listings that don’t accurately reflect the rest of your portfolio. If you market inexpensive listings primarily to lower income home buyers, holding an open house in an expensive home located in an upscale neighborhood, you may mislead potential clients and generate negative exposure for your brokerage.
Consult the owners
Once you’ve found a listing that fits the bill, you’ll need to have a chat with the owners of the property to iron out the details of the open house prior to showcasing the listing at the open house. Obviously the first step should be obtaining their consent and approval, which shouldn’t be difficult, considering this will raise the chances of selling the home; but what comes after this?
The next thing you’ll need to address is the extent to which you can tweak and tailor the home to fit the occasion. If you want the event to go smoothly, you’ll need to make sure that the home is not only clean and well organized, but also as safe and accessible as possible. Depending on the state of the home, this may require minor to extensive effort on your part, so discussing it with the homeowner is a must before holding any open house.
After you’ve come to a definitive conclusion on this topic, you’ll need to discuss one more crucial detail: the dates for the open house! When you hold the open house will be determined primarily by the homeowners, but may also be affected by other factors such as your schedule and the time it will take you to prepare the home to be shown.
Preparing for the open house
After you’ve ironed out all the details that you’ll need to discuss with the homeowners, it’s time to get to work preparing the home to be shown. This will likely be the most labor intensive part of the process, so it might be a good idea to hire some help instead of going at it alone. Whichever you choose, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
First of all, you should make sure that the house is as clean and tidy as possible. This might go without saying, but you aren’t likely to inspire much confidence if you’re putting a dirty, messy home on display to your potential clients. If you’re confident you can do the job on your own, roll up your sleeves and get to work; if not, hire a cleaning company!
You may also have to make revisions to the decor or even the construction of the home, in order to prepare it for the open house. If the decor of the home is not up to par with your standards, redecoration is an easy way to instantly improve the aesthetics of the home and also be a conversation ice breaker. Additionally, repairing any glaring imperfections in the home may also be advisable.
The big day
Now that you’ve taken care of all the preliminary work, it’s time to open up the front door and greet the first visitors to your gleaming, sparkling open home. This is the day you’ve spent so much time and effort preparing for, and it’s finally time to reap the fruits of your labor. Question is, how are you going to do that?
The answer is simple, yet ever so complicated for some. There’s no formula, no concise or measured way to approach this. The only way you can pull this off is by approaching the visitors to your open house as people, not potential sales. At the end of the day, these are real people with real emotions, and the best way to sell to them is by not selling to them at all.
Wait… what? This might sound crazy, but we promise; it isn’t! If you really want to optimize the performance of your open house, you’ll have to focus on befriending visitors and demonstrating your value to them, without coming off as pushy or unfeeling. People can tell when they’re being sold to, and they do not like it.
Gathering leads during an open house
This being said, it doesn’t hurt to do some networking while your open house is in progress. Most of the people who frequent open houses do so because they are interested in purchasing a home, so striking up a conversation and getting their contact information won’t necessarily hurt anything. If you genuinely believe you can help them find what they’re looking for, they will appreciate that help!
As a real estate agent, you have opportunities to help people on a daily basis. While real estate agents may have left some homebuyers with bad memories, you can change that. Every interaction you have can positively impact public perception of real estate agents and even net you a few good friends along the way. If you enjoy positively impacting the lives of others, you may find that you have yet to unlock your true potential as a real estate agent!
Well, there you have it. It isn’t the most comprehensive guide to holding an open house, but it’s a great place to start when planning one. Open houses are a great way to show off your best listings as well as gaining some new leads while you’re at it. And, if anyone who happens to pass by was trying to find a real estate agent, this is the perfect opportunity for them!