I’m trying some new things with my Open Houses to make them more successful. Open Houses are funny animals. I had a listing where the first Open House brought in over thirty people, and the second one brought in one person. Same day and time (Saturday, 2-4), same advertising, same everything except results. I’ve been told by numerous people that that’s just the nature of the beast. We, as Realtors®, can only control one side of the equation – advertising, sign placement, getting the word out to our friends and family, and getting the word out to people who already live in the neighborhood (two reasons for that – one, they might have friends or family that are interested in the neighborhood, or two, they might be interested in listing their own home). The other thing is that you have to choose the home you’re holding open wisely. If it’s really hard to get to, people won’t bother coming.
The story on the house I held open was that it was easy to get to, it’s in an appealing area (nice town, great schools, convenient highway access, etc), and it’s in a price range that’s friendly to the widest number of buyers. The sellers agreed to a four hour Open House, from 10am-2pm yesterday. The listing agent and I wanted to give a huge window of opportunity for people to come in before lunch, after lunch, and before nap time. It’s a big five bedroom home so our assumption is that a big family with lots of kids will probably be buying it, so lunches and naps could be a factor in getting them to come see the house. I agreed to it because I thought it would be a good chance to see what the foot traffic over those four hours would be, and if it would increase our odds of selling the house. By the way, as a side note, often times the listing agent will allow another agent to hold their listing open – that was the case here.
I held this same house open for this listing agent two Saturdays ago, and I had three visitors between 2 and 4pm. Actually all three came between 2 and 3pm, which is part of why I wanted to push the time back on the second Open House. This week, I handed out flyers to one hundred homes in the neighborhood (same flyer, but different streets than last week so that I could advertise to new people). I put out my signs in the same spots, but added one more at the closest major intersection. I also put helium balloons on my signs. That turned out to be a mistake as it was over 100 degrees out yesterday, and most of my balloons popped! You really have to use the Mylar ones, but they’re expensive. The listing agent put the Open House into our MLS, which is then picked up by Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and all the rest. I advertised on my social media and my blog, and I hope the listing agent did the same.
Results: in four hours, I had one visitor. He was an investor, and the house wasn’t right for him. Frustrating, to be sure, but I’ll follow up with him and see if I can pick him up as a client and find the right house for him to invest in.
What next? I think I’ll go back to a two-hour window, but I’d like to try 1-3pm and see if that’s more effective. I’d also like to bring in a game. Maybe Texas Hold ‘Em or Cards Against Humanity. Who knows? It could be fun!