Have you ever hosted an open house with very little traffic?
Well, this scenario previously happened to most of us, especially real estate investors who aren’t always hosting open houses, not real estate agents!
Over the years, we have hosted several open houses for us Correct and flip project. Together with some partners, we have completed the latest property. A 6-bedroom, 6½ bath, 7,200-square-foot home on the outskirts of Langhorne, Pennsylvania has been completely renovated. Since it is a property that is unique in the market, I thought it was essential to plan an open house as soon as possible after listing.
We decided to go public on Thursday and plan an open house next Sunday. There were about 30 people in the open house. I had neighbors and friends, but few were interested and potential buyers. Overall, we felt it was a successful open house. I was so successful with some of the strategies I used that I thought I would pass them on to the BP community.
Preparing for an open house
Organize and create a checklist
In a previous post I mentioned a lot Checklist for managing rental properties.. I love putting together almost every checklist. I mean everything! I have created a checklist to help organize both the preparatory steps and what to do on “Open House Day”. When you have an open house for a house that has just been refurbished and emptied, you have to bring everything. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you create a simple checklist to keep it organized.
No screening until the open house
When I listed the properties, I decided to list them as “active”. However, I added a note to the list memo that it was not shown until the open house. Ideally, you should list your properties at the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday) and open an open house on Sunday. That way, some demand will accumulate.
A few days ago: Make a personal connection
On Friday before the open house, I did three things to invite realtors and neighbors to the open house.
Stop by a real estate office
I dropped the open house leaflets and homemade cookie plates to about four real estate offices near the refurbished house. Everyone seems to be grateful and I believe this differentiated us from other open houses. While I was dropping these leaflets / cookies, I even talked to some realtors. Note: I used a great website to create a flyer like this — canva.com. I have a free version, so it didn’t cost anything. I also use vflyer.com. It has the ability to write HTML code to use to market your assets on Craigslist and other online sites. The canva.com site does not access other websites. But I really like the design templates they have, so this is a great option when creating physical flyers.
Invite your neighbor
I also drove to the street where this refurbished house is located and put a leaflet in each neighbor’s mailbox. At first, when I told her husband what I was doing, her husband thought this was a waste of time. But I didn’t agree. I think it’s important to invite the community to share the work you did at home with them. You never know who they know! A neighbor came in during the open house and I chatted a little with him. After looking at the house, he said to me, “If this doesn’t sell within 30 days, call me. You might be interested!” So you never know!
Invite a realtor who sold a house similar to you
Of all the ideas I’ve listed in this blog post, I think this is probably the best. This requires some research. But your efforts bring great benefits. I did some research on the MLS local market. We have found all properties with similar prices, sizes, bedrooms / baths, neighborhoods and school districts that have been sold in the last 6 months. Next, I created a spray sheet and listed all the realtors and offices that sold these homes.
As a result, I came up with a list of about 35 realtors (which also helped identify the major real estate offices that drop open house flyers / cookies in previous tips). If they have sold similar homes in the past, they may still have a buyer pool looking for a home. Then I sent an email to one of these agents to invite them to the open house.
I didn’t send a lot of emails to the group. I put my name in the email and sent the email individually. As a result, there were actually two email responses. Both agents thanked you for sending us the information and said they would keep this property in mind for the buyer. One of these two agents and I have dealt with many times. I’m scheduling a tour for him and six agents on his team to come see the property. My next plan is to mail our upcoming open house flyer to this group as well.
Open house day
Get there at least an hour ago
The reason for this is that we have enough time to prepare everything. There were three of us in the open house. I installed everything in the kitchen. I also brought soap, a small trash can, and a hand towel to the bathroom. I didn’t even know if people used the bathroom during the open house. But I thought it was a good gesture.
While in one of the bathrooms preparing soap and hand towels, I realized that I needed to wipe the sink. So I’m glad I brought Windex and paper towels! Again, rehab and always bring a windex and towel if you don’t live in your house. You never know what you have to do! Another reason to get there early is to bake cookies in the house. Then you will get the fresh scent of freshly baked cookies!
Add personal touch
We set up soft music to play in the background and put out beautiful fresh flowers, cold water and fresh cookies right next to the sign-in sheet. Moreover, when preparing for an open house, it’s always best to turn on all the lights and open all the shades.
We hope you find these tips and ideas useful. I would love to hear from the investor who hosted the open house for your fix and inside out.
What did you do to stand out from the crowd? What did you do to differentiate yourself?
Thank you for reading and commenting!