Despite living in an ever-expanding digital world, real estate investors still rely on the in-person perks of an open house to land a sale, fast.
Sparking an interest among buyers requires much more than a veggie tray and snap tour. Instead, an open house should allow audiences to engage with you and the property first-hand.
My clues to you: be present, answer questions and don’t distract from the main attraction.
Opening up a commercial property to the public eye requires special care, particularly in the case of an open house. With high demand and larger financial stakes at hand, it’s crucial to be prepared and plan ahead.
To get started, you’re going to need to know how to advertise effectively.
With commercial properties selling like hotcakes these days, it’s crucial to get the word out when the time is right. Typically, I let the listing simmer for about a week before I publicly air an open house date.
Advertising can be executed through a number of means, whether that be through word of mouth, digital communications or through physical signage and mailings.
These days, everyone is looking to the web for the most up-to-date listings and news in the business — I recommend harnessing that capability. Announce your open house on social media, through a listing service and even in an email blast.
Make use of signage. Attract prospective buyers with your brand and your offer. Schedule the open house for about two hours over the span of about two days and make that timeline clear in your advertisement.
Before an eager crowd of buyers steps foot into the property, be sure you’ve set up a scene that’s both clean and encouraging of visitors.
Prepare a small table of food and leave out some informational materials for your audience. Just like you would a fine art gallery, avoid distracting the crowd with noise, food or other offers and let them gaze at the main attraction on their own.
Once you’ve peaked buyer interest, it’s your time to shine.
Be prepared to not only answer questions, but to ask them yourself. Now’s the time to build relationships with prospective buyers while offering them assistance in getting acquainted with the property specs.
Conclude your open house experience with a warm ‘thank you’ to attendees — whether it be in the form of a postcard or email, let your prospective buyers know that you appreciate their interest and company and are willing to assist with any questions moving forward.
Take your time in accepting offers, and stay considerate through the process. It’s normal to turn down the first, or even second offer.
Always remember, patience, planning and proficiency is key in mastering the art of the open house.
Troy Muljat is a Washington State certified commercial appraiser and broker with over 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. He holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and Certified Property Manager® (CPM) designations through the National Association of Realtors.He specializes in brokerage, leasing, property management, development, and commercial appraisal.Visit TroyMuljat.com for more information about Troy.