Open House time

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great week.  Over the weekend I decided to hold an Open House on my listing.  I can’t wait until the time where I have so many listings that I need to have other agents hold my listings open for me.  After a while, if the Open House is slow, and does not have a lot of visitors, you can definitely get bored.  The key is to find something to do that is a productive use of your time.  Open Houses can be intimidating at first.  I have learned to not think too much into them, and just show up and be nice to the people who come.

Now, let’s get to the details of holding the Open House.  Before the actual day, you will want to put out directional signs around the house, I usually put mine out on Wednesday.  These are there to show potential buyers where there is an Open House in the area, and how to find it.  I have put signs out as far as a couple miles away from the house to draw in the attention.  When you are putting the signs out, you need to think of where the major roads and the high traffic areas are.  This will lead to more eyes on the signs.  However, if you are putting them in someone’s yard, it is always appropriate to get permission.  I’ve lost a sign for not doing this.  In addition to the signs, I always advertise the Open House on all my social media platforms and the various real estate websites.  Facebook has become one of my favorite ways to advertise coming openings.  More detailed information on what I do on my social media platforms will be discussed in a later post.  These aren’t the only things I do to prepare for the big day.  I also create printouts to showcase the house in its best light.  These printouts have all my contact information, so the visitors will have a way to contact me later if they want to see the house again, or any others in the area.  Another printout that should be prepared is a sign-in sheet.  I usually fill in the first few spaces to give the appearance that there are more people interested in the property, and what I hope for them to fill out.

Now its game time.  The first person has come in, now what?  I always hand them the printout and ask how their day has been.  Having a little small talk is crucial, as it serves as an ice breaker.  You never know.  You might learn that they don’t have an agent and they are seriously looking to buy a house.  You could find out so much, but I make sure not to push too hard.  After the initial greeting, I tell them to go look around the house and I will be here is they have any questions. I have not had an Open House, yet, where I was busy from start to finish.  There will be down time.  It is very important to utilize that time to get other things done.  For example, I planned this post during an Open House.  I prepared an outline for what I wanted to write.  Other things to do are research the area, make phone calls, write letters, etc.

Closing up time has come.  Regardless of how many people came to your Open House, you must do the same thing.  The first thing I do is lock the door, so I can close up the house without people sneaking in where I can’t greet them.  If someone comes after I lock the door, they will knock or ring the doorbell.  That will allow me to greet them appropriately.  After I lock the door, I walk the house to make sure nothing has happened that I wasn’t aware of.  While doing this, I turn off all the lights and close the various doors behind me.  Basically, I ensure that the house is just as I found it when I arrived.  I pack up all my stuff, including the Open House sign-in sheet.  If it is not my listing, I return any remaining marketing material.  After packing up, I leave the house, making sure that the doors are all locked.  One big thing to remember is putting the key back in whatever lockbox there is. I don’t want to pay that fine!  On my way to my car I take the ‘Open’ rider out of the sign and return the sign to how it was displayed beforehand.  One of my least favorite parts comes next, picking up all those directional signs that were put out the week before.  While I am driving around picking up those signs, I call the listing agent, if it’s not me, or I call the seller, if it is my listing.

Now that the Open House is over and done with, you still have work to do.  I usually wait until Monday for this next step.  You need to call the people who signed in at the Open House to gauge their interest and to see if they are interested in viewing any other houses.  I then think how I could have done better and plan to ensure that the next one is better and more successful.  Once you’ve realized how you can do better, I start planning the next one.  It is a constant cycle of planning and holding and planning and holding.  It is part of the job.  The important thing to remember, be productive and take advantage of the time.  Have a great day and let’s go see some houses.

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