If you’re in an area where open houses get a lot of traffic – or are commonly requested by sellers – it pays to be prepared. Here are four ways to make sure you’re on top of your game now, so you’re not swamped when the spring open house season rolls around:
- Get your signs in order – Holding an open house doesn’t do you any good if no one can find it. In addition to your standard “for sale” signage, you want to make sure your open houses are clearly marked. If you’ve got an H-frame sign, put up a rider ahead of time to let passers-by know that they’ll have an opportunity to see the home soon. For day-of directions, you can’t beat an arrow-shaped open house sign at the street corner, paired with a RE/MAX A-frame unit with balloons tied to it in front of the house.
- Have plenty of business cards ready – While some of the people wandering through your open house will be represented already (and some of them will be people who are just curious and not actually in the market for a new home), there are likely to be many who are just starting to look and do not yet have an agent. Make sure you’ve got a fresh stack of RE/MAX business cards to hand out. And don’t forget to get their contact information, too, so you can follow up afterward and potentially even add them to your prospect mailing list.
- Prepare the seller – Often, sellers (especially first-time sellers) don’t know what to expect from an open house. If you give them a document folder outlining what they should do to prepare their home, as well as laying out when and what they can expect to hear from you afterward, it will go a long way toward managing expectations and keeping your clients happy.
- Make a promotional plan – The key to a successful open house is getting the word out. The more people you have there, the more likely it is that someone will be there who falls in love with the house (and it doesn’t hurt for potential buyers to see that there’s a lot of interest in the home, either!). But while great signage can help drive local interest, you’ll need to think bigger to ensure a good turnout. Many newspapers offer inexpensive open house listings. Local groups and city buy/sell groups on Facebook can be a great, free option – often members will even tag their friends who might be interested in the home! Other online options to promote your open house include Realtor.com and Craigslist.