If you’re new to real estate, it may seem natural to group Open House Month in with the other quasi, month-long holidays that occur throughout the year. But unlike National Tie Month in December, National Celery Month in March or even National Hamburger Month in May, Open House Month is a force of its own, reminding investors about the key to landing an offer, fast.
In honor of this special day, we thought it would be appropriate to discuss why every investor should know how to host an open house. Afterall, they’re a proven asset to finding the ideal buyer.
Just look at the numbers. According to a 2015 study (https://www.nar.realtor/reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers) released by National Association of Realtors, 48 percent of all buyers made use of an open house during their property search. Plus, a whopping 92 percent of buyers were quoted as saying open houses were at minimum “somewhat useful,” while a mere 8 percent reported the opposite.
As you can see, open houses are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to selling and investing in a property. Despite the myriad of digital portfolios available online today, nothing beats taking in the sites, sounds and smells of a property on your own — it’s just that simple.
We’ll let you know right off the bat, that hosting an open house isn’t a walk in the park. In fact, it can feel more like a steep hike, but don’t let that scare you. Preparing often involves hours of work and involves composing digital and print marketing materials as well as signs, social media posts and website updates about a week prior to the open house taking place.
You have to be strategic. Typically, brokers and property owners wait about a week after the property has been listed online to host the open house. Often, they’ll limit the event to just one day for a few hours to generate interest and urgency, if they’re able to attract a bustling crowd.
Once you’re “working the open” as they say in the biz, it’s your time to shine. Understand that you’ll never be able to predict the agenda of your guests, so be prepared to take command once they step in the door. It’s a rare moment in which you can paint a picture for them.
Images strewn onto an online property gallery do little to set the scene. With an open house, you can entice buyers with food, drinks, artwork, music — you name it. The personal connections you make will likely surpass the two-hour span of your scheduled event, so be sure to catch their name, reason for stopping by and contact information. It’s common to follow-up later on.
The feedback you gain from guests will be immeasurable. Listen and learn from what they have to say. Perhaps your property isn’t selling for aesthetic purposes or maybe sound travels through the walls to neighboring tenants quite easily. These types of discoveries and more can all be attributed back to the, oh so wonderful, open house.
Happy Open House Month, everyone!
Stefanie Donahue is a freelance writer based in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a well-versed communicator with an extensive background in journalism and media production. Her writing draws from the insight of industry experts to uncover best practices for real estate investors.