- Episode 7 -
If someone were to ask me to name one fundamental thing in real estate, it would have to be the infamous “Open House”.
For the lost years of the recession, when every other home was a short sale or a foreclosure, the art of hosting an Open House was a mere memory. But now that the market is in a rebound state, Open House signs are popping up everywhere and filling weekends with droves of people scampering from one to the other, making sure they don’t miss any along the way.
The first Open House I ever did was four weeks after I got my license.
A senior agent in the office asked if anyone would like to host one for her at a listing she had in an exclusive area of town. I jumped at the chance and soon found myself putting up signs and balloons all over the area to guide those passing by to stop in and have a look. I did everything the real estate text book told me to do: I did flyers and information sheets highlighting the home and all its features; I had a welcome sign at the door and a buyer sign-in sheets with a chance to win a $25 gift card to the local grocery store; I even made cookies in the seller’s oven so that the smell of fresh baked goodies permeated the rooms.
After five long hours of only one person showing up, I was ready to call it quits when a family approached. After I so eagerly showed them the home, they told me that they had driven by it for years and always wanted to buy it. They asked me to come to their home once I was finished and to bring a contract with me.
When I got to their home, I found that they were seasoned buyers. They knew the contract better than this freshman, and in no time the offer was made. Before the ink could dry on the offer, they asked me to come back the next night with the market analysis on their home and a listing agreement. The following night I got my first listing and for the next few weeks did an open house at their home, rain or shine, every weekend until it sold to a buyer that came to my open house. A few months later the entire deal closed.
Open Houses have come a long way.
There are progressive open houses highlighting many listings in a neighborhood, as well as theme based ones with casino nights or samba dancing. Others do “Open House” happy hours with wine tasting or Sunday brunches by a local chef. I went to one a while back that had mermaids in the swimming pool.
Whatever the thought behind your next Open House, it’s a great way to showcase the home and get everyone talking, meet the neighbors, find potential new clients and, most importantly, get the word out that you’re a Realtor. Posting pictures afterwards on social media is a wonderful way to do the follow up and show those who couldn’t be there what they missed.
And if all else fails, bake cookies.
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›