What do you bring to an open house? What displays do you have?

Asked by Greg Broadbent, Mystic, CT Mon Aug 27, 2007

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Mon Aug 27, 2007
Drawings for the public are prohibited in NJ. I had, at one time, a tri-fold display board with maps and community info. It worked quite well for visitors from out of the area. After several open houses, time took its toll on my display board and I have not recreated it. It was helpful to the public and generated interest with about 1/3 of attendees, which I considered very good.

Bottled water w/ labels, property brochures, community guides, sample listings of other similar properties (carefully distributed, as my first purpose for being there is to promote that property), CD's with Virtual Tours, agency disclosures explaining representation, balloons outside, balloons inside to give to kids.
I stay away from food or drinks other than water. My display board featured a county map, parks and recreation info, transporation schedules and pics for the ferry and train, a chart with mileage for frequently traveled routes (airport, NYC, etc.)

I do a walk through of the property to refresh my memory of the mechanical questions that may be posed throughout the day. i.e. location of electrical panel, amps, size of water heater, access to crawl, etc. Knowing these things on demand better promotes both the property. I make a quick round of minor tidying details, open the lights and a few closet doors.
2 votes
Jennifer Mon…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Tue Aug 28, 2007
Many properties are beautiful and are located in wonderful areas. When this is the case, I will put together a slideshow that focuses upon the house, grounds and the neighborhood and any lifestyle elements that will benefit the ultimate buyer. Many homes offer much more than just their component parts and I present this on my laptop - usually placed on the kitchen counter at eye level.

If relevant, I include maps of the area - including walking/biking trails, nearby boat ramps, etc. I once had a house right in the midst of wine country - so I had an entire feature on wine-making, including the tour of wineries.

People are often looking to buy a lifestyle. My duty to my sellers is to provide every incentive to prospective buyers to choose their house for purchase.
Web Reference:  http://JennifersPdxHomes.com
1 vote
Amy Wengerd, Agent, Canton, OH
Mon Aug 27, 2007
Hi Greg,

What a great way to pick the brains of other agents-Great Question! Along with all of the information on the house I am having open, I like to bring a list of comparable homes in the surrounding areas. I print off everything currently for sale within the same price range. I then put these into packet form with a cover letter explaining exclusive buyers agency and how I can help them find their next home. As much as I would like to sell my listing at open house, in my market, those odds are quite slim so I try to take advantage of the ready buyers coming through the doors. Almost all buyers love the packets and it's a great conversation starter as you can talk about the other homes on the market. The other mentioned ideas are great too. Lots of lights on, SOFT classical music, and of course to know everything you possibly can about the home you are having open. Best of Luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.amywengerd.com
1 vote
Ute Ferdig -…, Agent, New Castle, DE
Mon Aug 27, 2007
I have a stand for flyers and business cards and one for a personal brochure. That's on the inside of the home. Outside is a welcome sign and balloons. Other than that I just make sure that the lights are all on and nice soft music playing. Aroma candles are nice too. There are lots of things you can do. Sometimes I offer cookies and beverages, other times I skip that.
Web Reference:  http://www.go2kw.com
1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Mon Aug 27, 2007
In addition to all that has been said I have my laptop running either the virtual tour on the property or the listing producer which has all the schoold and community information.

I also have Buyers and Sellers guides for prospective buyers and sellers. Also, some give aways and maybe fill outs for a drawing.
Web Reference:  http://pamwinterbauer.com
0 votes
Melissa Manc…, Agent, Plainville, MA
Mon Aug 27, 2007
Hi Greg,

Some of the materials I bring include: a tri-fold flyer on the home with multiple photos, a business card sized flyer, the sellers disclosure statement, a list of active similar homes in similar style neighborhoods along with my laptop do provide searches beyond this criteria, a copy of an offer form to show its not so scary, and I use directional’s on major routes to direct traffic into the property along with balloons. I too play soft music and create a little ambiance with candles as well as displaying a relationship disclosure explaining in this instance, I am representing the seller.
Web Reference:  http://MelissaBMancini.com
0 votes
Steve Ostrom, Agent, Roseville, CA
Mon Aug 27, 2007
Like Ute, sometimes we do cookies and water, other times we don't. We always bring the waters on hot days and put our personal labels on them with website tag. If the house is vacant, we set up our table with our banner. We also bring our laptop with our website loaded up on it (so it works regardless of internet) so we can help people begin their search engine there or see how it works and/or we run our powerpoint presentation. If there are children, we hand out prepackaged goldfish crackers with our business card affixed to it to go with our "make the jump with us" goldfish theme going. Pro soft music. Candles scare us a little because you just never know what accident may occur. We always get there early to air out the place too, especially if it is vacant. If my husband and I are both attending, one of us greets people outside. We have had more success with both of us in attendance for some reason.

But the most important thing Steve does is bring a blown up contingency of purchase contract, since so many have never seen one and we explain what it all means. We also bring a 1/4 mi radius search printout for all the properties surrounding the open house, which people seem to enjoy. Of course, depending on what it says, neighbors usually find this the most curious. We are targeting move-up buyers and first timers.
0 votes
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