If you ask most investors who are selling a property what the main goal of their open house is, they would almost immediately reply – “to sell the property.” While this is surely the end goal of the event, you need to view it as an opportunity to gain more contacts. Think about how many people an open house could entertain. You have realtors coming in and out of the house all day, buyers, possibly sellers, fellow investors and maybe an attorney or two. You will only get one buyer for your property, but an open house can easily yield 10-15 new contacts through networking.
With springtime quickly approaching, it is time to think about how you can grow your business. The winter months may have slowed your business for the short term, but one open house can quickly jumpstart it. If you are going to do an open house, you had better do it right. A small ad in your local newspaper may be enough to attract a few stray buyers, but if you are looking at the event as an opportunity to network, you need to go all out. The advertising should start a week or two before the event and include the MLS, a blast email to your realtor, investor and buyer contacts, multiple posts on social media and Craigslist. The more committed you are to the advertising, the better the turnout will be.
You want to have an event that people will remember. Brochures and handouts about the property are nice, but they are boring and will most likely not be looked at again. Think about music, food and perhaps even a small giveaway or raffle. If you can make your event memorable, people will think about you the next time they have a property. Getting just one deal or even a few follow up phone calls or emails can consider the event a success. If you can manage to get a buyer out of the open house, you have hit a home run.
While you have multiple contacts in the same room, you can use it as an opportunity to showcase your business and other properties you have available. You can make some nice color handouts of the subject property on the front, but on the back you can list any other properties you have listed or have recently sold. Sure, you are looking to sell the subject property, but you should promote your services anytime you have an opportunity. Don’t rely on the handouts and food. Make your presence known at this event and meet as many people as possible. A short five minute conversation can be all it takes for someone to want to work with you. There will surely be some downtime at the event, use it to put your best foot forward.
Nothing says you have to do things like everyone else in the business. If you want to make your open houses memorable, you can certainly do so. You never know when you are going to meet a contact that changes your business. With the spring buying and selling season approaching, think about an open house that will attract buyers and help grow your business.