The Right Props for Open Houses in Today’s Market | The Zebra Blog

The Right Props for Open Houses in Today’s Market

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s Zebra Report – I am so excited to share with you again on the topic of doing Open Houses. I know – a lot of you are out there in super-fast housing markets and you are wondering, “Wait a second, why in the world would I even bother doing an open house when I am listing a house on a Thursday and have an offer review by Tuesday? What’s the point? There’s so many showings and it’s so crazy already!”

Well, the point is that the more eyes that you can get in that house, and the more people who are seeing other people in that house at the same time, that creates an important level of excitement and competition. It also gives you a moment to shine and make impressions.

When you host an open house, you also want that point of difference. You want your open house to be different from anyone else’s. Creating your point of difference starts by having really good, quality, self- branded materials. I’m talking about props that are branded specifically to you and not just your brokerage’s materials that every-agent is using. I’m talking about branding materials that demonstrate that you do things a little bit differently, that you are not the average real estate agent and that this is not the average open house.

That means that visitors are seeing a branded “Welcome” open house sign the moment they walk up to the door. It means that when somebody comes into the open house that you have different spots in the house where you have created and put-up special feature cards and you’ve added details in that area. Why? Because the goal is to give people as much information as you can.

If you have a busy open house, then you don’t have time to tell everyone about every little detail that makes this home special or that has been upgraded in the home. Having those special feature cards is important because it provides your visitors with an impression of the home, its value, its features – and importantly – an impression of you and your service.

Let’s imagine, you have all these people coming through your open house and you want them to be able to gather information independently without having to rely on you to give everything to each person. Remember – with the market being what it is, there will be many people coming through your open house and you won’t have time to make that personal impression with everyone. Instead, your props do the talking for you. Through your props you talk about the home, the area, the amenities – and you are doing that with visual tools without you having to be present every step of the way.

I always tell people, take a walk through the home and look for five or six things that you would want to stop and explain to a visitor if they were with you. Maybe it’s a new furnace, maybe it’s an incredible security system, maybe this homeowner has spent a lot of money on bathroom finishings. Have places through-out the house where you have that information.

You should have a central area in the home – a dining room, a kitchen, a great room – where you put up a display. That display should be very similar to what you would see if you were going to walk into a new home community. When you walk into a new home community you see an information stand with a beautiful map that shows where this property is located, where other local amenities are located – your open house visitors love to see that visual comparison to the area. It is important that you take the time to set these things up.

Another prop you could have is an enlarged floorplan. People absolutely love this! One of the things I tell people to do is to have a relationship with a local print shop that does oversized printing. You know how architects always have those large oversized prints? Have one of those made and put on a board so that people can really see the floorplan and the size of the rooms.

Now I’ve had agents say to me, “Denise, wait a minute. What if this is an older house? Does it really matter?” And I’ll say ABSOLUTELY. People will take a photograph of these displays. They will then go home and compare it to the rooms that they have and the furniture that they have. It just makes for that critical point-of-difference that will attract new business your way.

Make sure that you have really good information about the area, good information about the market. Let people know what has been going on in the local market: what the sales have been, what the median days-on-market are, what the list-to-sales-price ratio is. Let them see those comparisons because this is information that they want and that will help them make a better offer on your listing.

It is a little time and energy, but it is a lot of pay-off. So, when you are doing your open houses – especially in a fast market – really give people what they need to be able to go through that home independently.

The real key to a successful open house in this market is to make sure that the house speaks for itself. You can’t do that if you are the sole guardian of information. You can’t do that unless you do the preparation and planning for your open house that allows you to have the materials that will not only speak for you, but leave a great impression of you and give them something to take home that is about you too.

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By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI – The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.



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