An effective open house is one that generates a buyer for the house you are selling, right?
A truly effective open house should generate a buyer for that house, AS WELL AS produce multiple future clients in the neighborhood and beyond! Think about it: an open house gives you access to a bunch of people who are thinking about buying or selling a home, whether it is the one you are showing or one that is similar. Take advantage of this opportunity to convert attendees into leads!
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get it done:
Step 1 – Inform and invite the neighbors
A well-planned open house will generate a plethora of cars parked in front of and near the home you are showing. That’s great for the sellers, but it’s not always great for the neighbors. Informing surrounding homeowners of the open house you’re planning, including a timeline, will help prevent any disgruntled interruptions during your event. Moreover, if a neighbor does not want cars parked in front of their house, this gives you an opportunity to preempt the issue and respect their wishes by putting out some cones.
Once you have earned their gratitude for the heads up, invite them to check it out! This gives them a chance to see how much a house in their neighborhood is going for, and it will likely get them thinking about selling their own home. When that day comes, your name will be one they remember!
Step 2 – Do your homework
The worst thing you can do is haphazardly price the home at what YOU think it should sell for. Do your research and make sure it is a fair market price. Even better, study up on the value of neighboring homes, as well. Now that the neighbors will be stopping by your open house, they just might be curious to know how the value of their home compares. Be prepared to tell Suzy from across the street what her 4-bedroom model might be priced at, or the 2-bedroom version next door. The more knowledgeable you are about neighborhood home prices, the more likely neighbors will be to call you when they are ready to sell.
Another smart idea is to get a feel for the neighborhood culture. Dress for the event in a way that will make you fit in. Wearing a suit to show a house in a farming suburb might make you seem too uppity or unapproachable. On the flip side, wearing jeans and flannel to an upscale gated community would be too casual. Do everything you can to show open house guests (aka potential clients) that you are trustworthy and relatable.
Step 3 – Gather contact information
Setting out business cards is an easy takeaway, but 9 times out of 10, people aren’t going to pick one up and save it. A more proactive course of action is to ask attendees to check in to your open house by writing down their name and email at a minimum, preferably leaving their phone number and address, too. This puts the ball in YOUR court, which is exactly where you want it to be. If possible, bring an assistant or a friend to gather this information for you while you mingle and show the features of the home.
Step 4 – Follow up!
This step can neither be overlooked nor overdone! You have the contact info – use it! For potential buyers, a follow-up phone call should happen within a week. Time is of the essence for this crowd, as they are actively searching for their dream home. If they are already working with an agent, ask if you can contact their agent directly to market any listings you have that they might be interested in.
An easy way to do this is through the voicemail service SlyBroadcast. Simply record a friendly voicemail (without mentioning a specific person’s name in it) and then you can send the voicemail out to a mass list of people at once without having to call each person individually. Their phones won’t ring. They will just see that they have a missed call and voicemail from you. This reduces the time wasted playing phone tag. Some people will call you back at their convenience, and all you have to do is answer your phone. For those who don’t return your call, you’ll have to call them again, but at least your new call list will be much smaller!
Besides the initial follow-up phone call, you should also send neighborhood attendees a follow-up mailer or email as soon as an offer has been accepted on the open house showing. Let neighbors know how much the home sold for so they can gauge how much they might get for their own home. Additional follow ups will be necessary for this group, as it could take some time for them to be ready to sell. Be consistent until you get a solid “We’re not selling, ever.”
By preparing wisely and establishing good rapport, you could easily turn any open house into a lead-generating frenzy!