Time for Open Houses
The birds were chirping and the sun was shining last week as I pulled up to a gorgeous rehab in the Shaw Park neighborhood. For February, you couldn’t have asked for a better day, especially for an open house. You see, I wasn’t here simply to smell the roses and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. I was here to work.
Now, a lot of people might think holding a house open is a matter of merely showing up and being there when people walk through the house. But the work starts before and continues after the open house is over.
First of all, an agent has to research the house they are holding open, going through the MLS information and seller’s disclosure to find out if there is anything about the house they need to know. If there have been any major repairs, you can be sure this is one of the first things people will ask about. Being knowledgeable and honest is the best approach, so researching beforehand is a must.
Then, after an open house has been selected, the agent must strategize on where to put their signs to have the most impact. I generally draw a square block radius around the property and put a sign at each corner and other streets to funnel people towards the property.
After this is done, similar properties for sale in the area should be researched so if the house you are holding open isn’t to the liking of a potential customer, you can offer up other properties for their perusal.
After all of this information has been absorbed, it is time for the actual open house. About half an hour before open time, an agent should show up to the property and turn on all the lights, open all the blinds and make sure the temperature is comfortable in the house. Every agent does their preparation a little differently, some offering drinks and snacks and others playing appropriate music.
Once the open has started, an agent should be there to answer any questions people have and be a helping hand. Whatever you do, don’t follow people around like a lap dog. It kind of creeps them out.
Hopefully after you’re two or three hours are up, you had a good flow of people through your open house and some contact information for follow ups. Sometimes, you might even have someone who is so thrilled with the property they want to make an offer. This doesn’t happen a ton, but every now and then lightning strikes.
After you have locked up, now you have to go collect your signs and let the homeowner know how the open went. Hopefully, you have some good news to share.
But the work isn’t completely done for an agent, as follow ups with people who came through the house are next. This is a crucial step for any agent looking to further their reputation and work with more clients.
While this certainly isn’t an exclusive list, it covers the bases for what most agents do for an open house. Some do more and some do less, but the majority hit the same sweet spots of customer service and care every time. After all, it is so much more than just showing up.