Whether you are an agent, or a home owner looking to sell with an agent or without, you need to know how to host a successful open house.
I end up hosting a lot of other agents open houses because they’re a great marketing tool, they’re a great way to get yourself in front of people and to find out who’s looking that doesn’t have representation. That being said if you’re a homeowner and you wanting to sell your house on your own, it’s important to know how to host an open house because it’s going to be one of your biggest outreach tools. Over 80% of “for sale by owner” homes are purchased by a neighbor or someone the seller knows, so if you don’t have someone like that interested when you go to market, you have to have an outreach plan.
Now that all depends – and actually all of this depends on how you are marketing in general. But if you aren’t doing open houses, it’s likely because you either don’t know how, or you’ve never done a successful open house that brought in buyers that are interested in a house like the one you’re selling.
So let’s take a few minutes together and go over how I host an open house. I’m not going to say this is method is fail safe, it’s an event like any other, and right now with the pandemic raging, there may be restrictions to what you can do in your area. But some variation of this has worked for me from the time I started in real estate, to now, while we’ve been in various stages of lock downs.
Now about those open houses…
Let’s take a step by step approach. First things first, plan you date and time, and give yourself a little time in advance to market the event. Post the event on your Facebook page and website if you have one, and then go to town. Literally, go to the house in town and put up some signs.
The day of the open house, pick up some bottled water maybe some snacks that are single packaged that would be easy for people to pick up and partake if they want. Libations are not necessary, but in the right setting, who doesn’t love a mimosa?
If you’re an agent the open house is a perfect opportunity to meet real life representations of your audience for the type of house that you sell. So if you’re doing open house for another agent aim for the type of house that you want to be selling. And as a seller you should know this is a great way to identify the target audience for the home you’re selling when done correctly.
As with anything, you want to think about and cater all of your messaging to the person that would be interested in this house, and with the right messaging and targeting when you boost on social media, or advertise it in any other way, you will reach the right people and they will come to the open house.
And let’s talk about success for a minute. A successful open house for me is when anyone shows up, especially someone looking for a house in the price range and of the type that I am hosting that day. That person is a great candidate to buy the home I’m selling and they will leave their information for me, if I ask for it, nearly 100% of the time. Definitely if they are actively looking. Would you stand around for 2 hours to meet an active buyer that wants to buy what you’re selling? Is that really too much to ask?
So to that end, and to help ensure this success, your tool kit for a good open house includes:
A sign-in sheet at the door, some snacks or beverage to help encourage people to stay longer, take away printouts of the listing details and neighborhood, and of course your personal marketing materials such as a business card or any other swag.
The main goal is to leave people with some way to contact you, and for them to leave you with a way to contact them.