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Amanda Lynch, Real Estate Pro in Pensacola, FL

I'm hosting my first open house this weekend. Any good tips or advice? Thanks in advance! :)

Asked by Amanda Lynch, Pensacola, FL Mon Jun 10, 2013

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11
Hello again, Amanda.

Leonard's suggestion to do a "walk through" is great advice. You should do two.

My comments come under the category of good security as well as good salesmanship. Always have visitors sign in. This might be a little awkward. However, a "please sign my book" is usually sufficient. (You'll get nonsense phone numbers and email addresses, but ask anyway).

Review any security suggestions and guidelines the company might have and, of course, arrange to have some back up. When I was a community manager, we had a "panic button." There were other company people on the site until I left for the day. These days, I have my husband (a big man) conduct open houses for me. I usually visit at some point.

You need to clear the house when you arrive and before you go. Have the basement door closed at all times. If anyone wants to tour the basement, have them schedule an appointment to see the house at a later time (if they don't appear to be serious or you feel uncomfortable in any way - do not give permission).

An open house can be made a fun thing, too. I know agents offer cookies or other food items. I don't do this for a simple reason. I've heard too many heartbreaking stories about allergic reactions. Please, bottled water or nothing.

You will do great. There are a lot of good tips here.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Congratulations Amanda. Here's some suggestions . . .

1) Greet them with warmly with 'Hi, I'm Amanda' (and they'll usually respond with their first name).
2) Did you see the signs or did you see it on the internet? (sometimes that'll spark small talk).
3) Do you live in the neighborhood or are you looking to buy? (curious neighbors stop in ; )
3) Don't follow them thru the home. I usually say 'Well, take a look around and let me know if you have any questions at all'.
4) If they are there a while I may go to where they are and ask if any questions came up for them and what they think of the home.
5) If they say in some form that it's not for them. Bring a list with you for homes in the neighborhood and let them know that there's this one and that one and you'd be happy to send them more information on those and/or show them those properties. Or, better yet, have your computer booted up, so you can show them some.
6) If they are a buyer, ask them if they know that they can get 'real-time' home listings sent to them automatically as soon as they come on the market directly from the MLS and that most websites confuse buyers because they show properties that have offers on them as active. This way you can weed out the contingent offers for them. (usually that'll get them interested enough to get their info and you can set them up in your MLS system).

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

If you like this answer or if it was useful to you, a quick click on the green 'thumbs up' would be appreciated.

Kim Eisen
"Helping People Make Smart Real Estate Decisions since 1980"
(651) 457-HOME (4663)

http://www.QuickHomesSearch.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Amanda, good luck to you this weekend. The previous answers have a lot of great advice.

I just want to add one thing that new agents often don't hear: YOU and your broker are responsible for the safety of the people who come to your open house. Get there early and walk around every room and open every door and sliding door to a deck, balcony, basement or the outside. POST a sign like "Be Careful- Big Step!" where needed. Take up any small rugs or runners that might move when someone walks quickly on them. Make sure there aren't any loose electrical cords, computer cables, etc. that someone might trip on.

It's very rare that someone gets hurt while visiting an open house, but you don't want YOUR open house to be one of those times.

P.S.: Think about starting to take your GRI classes NOW, before you become super busy. They're full of lots of great information that you won't learn anywhere else.

Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Thanks, Leonard. That is a very good point!
Amanda
Flag Thu Jun 13, 2013
Amanda,
Open houses can be a wonderful source of business for an agent. Hopefully, you've picked a home that shows well, and a location that offers easy opportunity for people to drop in.

I always like to have something of value to hand to Buyers and Sellers. It could be a Watson Realty jar opener with my contact information on it, or perhaps a list of recent sales in the neighborhood, or current listings in the neighborhood. Your visitors are going to want to know this anyway, so why not be ready?

Another thing I've done for open houses is to make a flyer for the home, and include on it, near the bottom, three or four other listings (mine or from my office) that are at other price points.

If the home being held open is not right for the Buyers who show up, perhaps one of these others is. If nothing else, it may help start a conversation about what a particular Buyer wants or needs. (Naturally, when I hold one of these other homes open, I would also show this home on that home's flyer--There's no rule that says you can only put one home on a flyer!)

And, of course, be prepared to write an offer on the home you're holding open. I've done it on more than one occasion,and so can you. Good luck with your open house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Amanda,
What do you want to accomplish via this open house?
If you try to be all things to all people you will acheive little.
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If you are list building, exchange something of local value for contact information Your brokerage may/should have a relationship with the local Yogurt shop that will allow a very passive entry.
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Trolling for a listing.
Option 1. "I need your help" questionaire
Opton 2. You are center stage, show the home in a manner that will impress. Leverage group dynamics and passive qualifiying skills. Many who attend are gathering data to sell their home..later.
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Trolling for buyers.
Start with "How are you going about your search"
Install buyer flags throughout the home.
Engage in exit review based on the 'flag' they picked up.
In the review of the home they fill out, include a question such as, "What would you be willing to offer for this house?" This creates several 'purposes' to contact this visitor.
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You can not do all things in an Open House. Identfy your purpose and refine your process. Then, put on a smile, be yourself and have fun.
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As always a properly selected and planned open house will be very, very busy. YOU WILL NEED HELP! The HELP must be in tune your your open house objective. Be aware, not all homes are suitable for an open house. For these homes, the activity is a placebo of activity, and an appeasement of the seller. Make sure your expectations are appropriate for the house.
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IN closing. Send a thank you to the atendess who provided contact information...THE SAME DAY!
You have invested too much time, energy and resources to lose 80% of the effectiveness because you were unwilling to copy and paste
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Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Engage your visitors while giving them space to enjoy the house you have open. Every person that comes through is a potential buyer or seller so show them why they should work with you in the way you greet them and interact with them. I have built about 25% of my business through open houses--best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
This is a simple, easy-to-do chore that will be helpful to you when you later start farming the immediate neighborhood after the open house and sale of that home.

Go up to the house where you want to plant your open house sign. Ring the door bell. This is the important part: ASK if you can please put a sign in their yard. I haven't had anyone refuse yet.

There is always time for courtesy.

I know of agents who are surprised when their signs go missing. If the truth were known, a neighbor got miffed and tossed it in the trash. Then you have a mystery on your hands. Kids? Annoyed neighbor? The sign mafia? (Joke. ;-) )

It only takes a minute. (And you can even offer your card.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
I am big on smells inside the home and signage to get people in the door! Good luck!! :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Hi, I always like to sign my guests in personally because many people scribble and you can't read their writing. Also, always have your cell phone handy in case you get uncomfortable with a guest. Good luck!

Chris
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Keep an eye on your clients stuff and tell them not to leave values in the open, they should put jewelry and stuff away as to avoid temptation to a visitor and problem for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 11, 2013
Here's a blog I wrote about holding open house. In my neck of the woods, it works wonders for us -- but one must have the right attitude to do it.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/874961/how-i-get-leads-when-…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 10, 2013
Very informative blog post. Thanks so much!
Flag Mon Jun 10, 2013
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