Success with Open Houses (part 2) – Focus on the Outcome


If you have missed the first part, follow this link – Success with Open Houses Part 1.

Would you like to reap the benefits from an open house?  First you will have to determine what benefits are possible before you set a goal to achievement.  Too many agents see the only goal as selling the home (though this would certainly be a great benefit).  There are many other possibilities:

 

  • Meeting other prospects looking for homes or to sell their home.  Today’s tire kicker may be tomorrow’s sale for the alert agent.
  • Garnering feedback on the home.  Instead of being defensive, listen.  Perhaps you will lean what will sell the home.
  • Utilize quiet periods to brush up on skills.  Bring a training book or tape.
  • Get the word out to the area – make the open part of a major marketing campaign. (this is my favorite one and I’ll cover it in a future post)
  • Let the seller know what a great job you are doing.

 

For example, do you mail to every prospect you have spoken to in the past year and let them know about the open house? One of your goals should be to keep in touch with these prospects.  But rather than calling them periodically just to find out if they are ready to purchase, put a live home in front of their eyes and see if you can call them to action.

It is especially difficult for some to envision the “nosy neighbor” as a legitimate prospect and it may require some really long-term vision on your part.  In the next few posts, I’ll give you ideas on how to capture the “nosy neighbor” Keep an eye on upcoming posts!

First things first… no matter how many benefits we can reap from an open house, it does not make sense to take any unnecessary risks that will undermine your safety.  Everyone typically thinks that the worst will never happen to them personally, but we have heard too many stories to ignore the fact that we must prepare for safety.  It’s a shame that our society requires this – but it is a fact we cannot ignore.  I do not sell safety items, but I would like to share some tips with you.  Some are pretty basic and you are well aware of:

 

  • End the open house well before dark.  In the winter, this is a bit more difficult but it is well worth it.  You do not want to be locking up and leaving in the dark.
  • If the house is vacant and there is no phone in the house, consider holding the house open with a companion (not the seller!).  Inexperienced agents may want to see a pro in action.  If there is no phone, make sure ahead of time that your cell phone gets reception from within the house and directly outside.
  • If the house is vacant – do not advertise this fact.  Use the term immediate occupancy.
  • Develop a system to check in with someone regularly.
  • Become familiar with the immediate neighbors (always a good marketing idea).  Do you know who will be home that afternoon?  Perhaps they can stop in and say hello.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are locked (except the front door obviously).  Open the back door when someone is touring.  Opening the window treatments for light does not mean the windows have to be unlocked.
  • Be alert and have emergency numbers ready (so do not have too much focus on AR while working an Open House. LOL)

 

While some of these measures might seem “extreme,” there are no precautions that are not worthwhile when talking about safety.  I often spend a few hours in open houses offering free “pre-approvals” as a service to my listing agents.  Sometimes I do this for busy opens where the agents needs the support.  Other times I am helping keep them company in a remote area.

Okay, enough about safety.  In my next few posts, I’ll talk about planning and marketing the open house.

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2 Responses

  1. I agree 100% about being safe! My wife has done open houses alone and I check in with her every 30 minutes with a quick text or phone call.

  2. Thats a good idea Jared. You can never be ‘Too Safe’. Many agents feel its not a big deal, until something happens. Honestly, it does not take that much effort to ensure nothing happens. Thanks for the comment.

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