You've already earned great success by rising above the competition and snagging your latest listing. You may have made big promises to get a house sold quickly, and now comes the time to follow through. The client has spruced up the curb appeal and decluttered the house, you have used your social selling skills to mass-market across the Internet, and the price is right. These are all vital first steps in getting a listing noticed, but a good old-fashioned open house is sometimes the best way to please your clients.
After working to get the house presentable with the initial legwork, how do you entice the public to come view it in person? Open house ideas don't have to break the bank or have you pulling your hair out. The following are some simple, unique practices that will fill foyers and cause your clients to sing your praises:
It's common practice to throw a few directional signs up on the morning of the open house, but consider taking this step a bit further. Inman suggests using at least 20 directional signs for an open house. It's hard to ignore this many signs, and the repetitive visual will spark attention in anybody driving past. As a teaser leading up to the main event, it's also helpful to throw an "Open House" rider on top of the existing "For Sale" sign in the front yard. This builds anticipation with neighbors and anyone they might be willing to tell.
Combine techniques in hard print and Internet media to spread the news. Print media such as a local newspaper or magazine still reaches a significant audience, but with 52 percent of home buyers turning to the Internet as their first step, according to the National Association of Realtors, it's imperative you post open house details on as many websites as possible.
Social media websites are a resourceful avenue for free advertising. You can even get audience feedback by sending out a Facebook invite to your sphere of influence. Invitees can choose to RSVP or be actively notified when you post updates for the open house.
Agents can also use popular home search websites such as Realtor.com to showcase an open house. For a nominal fee, the website's app will provide all the details of your open house. According to Bank rate, the app "finds and lists all the open houses within a certain radius, with maps and directions to each."
Some agents may get discouraged when the majority of open-house visitors turn out to be local neighbors, but this is actually a good thing. Neighbors can actually be the biggest cheerleaders for a house when they want their friends or family to move close to them. To draw in the attention of the surrounding citizens, stick a flier in each mailbox before the open house, or knock on some doors to spread the word.
Hold Odd Hours
According to Bank rate, most open houses are held on Saturdays or Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. One of the top open house ideas is to hold your opening during off-peak hours. This eliminates much of the competition for foot traffic. When there are few other homes to visit, you have a greater chance of drawing in those who are out looking. Another theory is that if you hold your open house during the later hours, those still out looking when 4:00 p.m. rolls around are the serious buyers.
Provide Food or Prizes
Who doesn't like free things? While you will still get attendees if you don't provide food or prizes, complimentary gifts will go a long way toward building excitement, according to About Home. Food is also a nonchalant way to showcase a desirable area of the home, such as a gourmet kitchen or outdoor living space. When people eat, they tend to dwell a little longer, too, which gives you more time to make an impression. Prizes help by making your open house more memorable than the rest. The winners will go home with a gift that will help them associate your house with a reward, which makes it stand out among the several they've viewed.
Open house ideas can be fun, creative projects that build excitement and get people through the door. Although an open house doesn't guarantee a sale, it will inevitably get the house shown to more people. Plus, if that particular house isn't right for certain attendees, they may know of an acquaintance for whom it will be perfect. The reward is definitely worth the effort of thinking outside the box.