Open House Visitors are not just previewing the House. They are also previewing You, the Real Estate Agent! What will people think about YOU when they arrive at your Open House?
Will you stand out in the crowd of Agents that they meet that afternoon? Will they look forward to seeing YOU again? What are the chances that your Open House Visitors will become your Clients or Customers?
A few weeks ago I visited several Open Houses. I made mental notes of how the Agents received people. I considered the cleanliness of the House. I looked to see what kinds of Flyers or Handouts were available. I observed whether or not any Refreshments were served.
Here are my Observations:
The Attitude of the Open House Agent:
Most Agents were happy to see people coming in the door, they were cordial and lively. But one Agent chatted on his cell phone, ignoring the Buyers walking into the house. Another Real Estate Agent appeared bored; she looked like she would rather be somewhere else. Why bother to even show up, if you don't want to be there?
People stayed longer at the Open Houses where the Agents were friendly, chatty, and personable.
What about you? Are you pleasant, positive, and alert at your Open House? Do you reach out to people and make them feel at Home?
The Condition of the Open House:
Most of the Open Houses I saw were clean and tidy and set up for Showing. But I saw one house with dirty dishes in the sink! The Agent said, "Can you believe that? The Seller left those... surely she doesn't think that I am going to clean up that mess!" I thought, "At least throw them in the dishwasher - because YOU the Agent look bad showing a house with a dirty kitchen!"
Another Open House was worn-out and beat, very dirty. But the Price was at the top of the Comps, and it was advertised as "Shangri-La". Once again, a poor reflection on the Real Estate Agent. Why didn't they promote it as the Fixer-Upper that it is?
To whom are you marketing this Open House? If you gave the impression that it would make a great personal residence, but in reality it is going to be a low-end rental at best, what will the Visitors think about you, the Agent, when they see the house?
Flyers and Handouts:
People often want something in their hand when they walk through the house. Or, they want a Flyer as a reminder or "souvenir" to take home.
I asked one Agent if he used Flyers (there were none in sight). He replied, "Flyers? I can't waste money on Paper - besides, people just throw those things away." No, not everyone throws them away. Even if they only hold your Flyer for a moment, your Photo and your Name and your Company Info will be in front of them!
What can your Guests take away when they leave? Yes, we live in the Digital Age, but is there something Tangible that they can hold on to as a remembrance?
Food and Drink:
People will stop and linger if you have cookies or light snacks. If you serve drinks in Cups as opposed to bottled water, they will be more apt to stay in the house and drink, and not just walk out to the car with the unopened water bottle and drive away.
* Remember to print your Name, Phone Number, Company Info, etc. on the Paper Napkins and on the Plastic Cups!
If you are holding a Luxury or High-End Open House, consider hiring a Caterer. Serve drinks in real glasses, offer hors d'oeuvres. If you cannot budget for a Caterer, have an Assistant oversee the refreshments. That will free you up to show the House!
YOU the Real Estate Agent are "On Stage" as much as the house that you are holding Open! Your Attitude, your Personal Appearance, the accuracy of the advertisement or Internet promo - they will affect what people think about YOU! Did you give them a "Memory Jogger" like a Flyer or MLS Printout? Did you give them Food and Drink, and take time to chat with them?
Open House Visitors are grading You, the Real Estate Agent!
Will you stand out in the crowd of Agents they meet that afternoon? Will they look forward to seeing YOU again? What are the chances that your Open House Visitors will become your Clients or Customers?
Market Yourself - Market the House!
Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice. For legal advice see an attorney. For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker Tallahassee, Florida