If you are an Agent Monday member, chances are you already know how to run a damn fine open home. So please don't take this as me telling you how to suck eggs. Rather consider it a reminder or prompt for ideas to keep things fresh.
Adding just one of these extras might only take a small amount of work but add a lot of value to your clients.
Open homes are our show-room, our 'front of house'. It's the single best opportunity you have to met large numbers of people in one place and have engaging one-on-one conversations about their needs and desires.
Open homes are our chance to shine!
When you are looking for strategies to stand out from the crowd, it's those little one-percenters (like background music) that make all the difference.
Note: This is a development from our earlier guide on 'how to run a five star open home'. If you haven't already read that one, I definitely recommend checking it out too:
Open home checklist:
You could give this checklist to your personal assistant to help them prepare for your open homes each weekend and make sure nothing gets missed.
Printable Checklist (Microsoft Word-friendly)
Property Flyer (of course)
Ideally with more details than buyers can find online. It goes without saying that this should be printed in colour, on thick paper, in A4 size or as a trifold card.
Recent comparable sales with photos
Often overlooked but so important. Pick 6-8 sales that are either side of your target price for the property you are selling. Eg. Show recently sold properties that weren't as good as this home and recent sales that were a little better, to illustrate value to potential buyers and help them justify paying market price.
A4 printed floor plan
This allows buyers to think about possible renovations. Once a buyer has renovated a home in their own mind, they are more likely to be emotionally connected to that property. Which increases the chances they will make an offer.
Title / Deed
You don't need to give everyone a copy of this but it pays to have a few available at the property.
Aerial photo of section
It always pays to be careful pointing out boundaries, so be sure to offer buyers this page stating clearly where the information comes from. It's far better to have something printed off your local council website than to start pointing and guestimating yourself though.
You never want to be the agent running an open home when a buyer turns up and says "I want to make an offer now" but you don't have the paperwork there ready to go.
Clear instructions how to offer
What is the process if the buyer wants to buy this home? Don't presume they already know. Make this page clear and easy to understand. When should they engage a solicitor / builder? Once they make an offer, how long will they need to wait to get an answer? Can they offer straight away or are you working to a fixed date / deadline process?
Try and cover off the questions you get asked most frequently. Buyers love it when you make the info they want easy to find!
Buy a big compass from a camping store and leave it out on the kitchen bench. This helps buyers understand sun aspect and answers a common question you'll get asked (e.g. "Which way is North? Or South?").
'Request info' register
Sometimes one buyer can dominate your attention. We've all had this happen, when one buyer wants to ask 42 questions and you miss the chance to connect with other visitors. To help this, have a one-page survey sheet which buyers can fill in and pass to you discretely to express their interest in this particular property. It could say something like: "Would you like more information and copies of any relevant documents we have on file? Fill in your details below and pass it to the agent before you leave..."
These are a great giveaway option. If you have the budget, get a big bunch branded and have them available for clients to take away. Tape measures are super handy for buyers as they use them to measure spaces for furniture, measure bedrooms and areas like fridge spaces.
If you don't have the budget for the branded option, just buy a few tape measures from your local hardware store and leave them on display near your compass. Buyers will love the fact that you are catering for their needs in advance.
Nut-free, dairy-free snacks
Most agents use chocolate as a snack giveaway but in this day and age, a far safer plan is to go dairy-free and nut-free (to avoid common allergies). Ideally, snacks should be sugar-free too. Think about this from a parent's point of view - they don't want their kids jacked up on sugar as they visit other open homes and they may have concerns about grabbing snacks if their child has allergies.
A great option here is popcorn! You can often find small, individual packs in the supermarket. It's a safe way to keep everyone happy and you don't risk ending up with melted chocolate in your owner's carpet either. A backup choice is boxes of raisins - these contain more sugar but they are a safe choice from a parent's point of view. The cardboard packaging is more environmentally friendly too.
Branded manilla folder
Here's the idea: You provide a branded manilla folder which they can place your flyer in. When they visit other open homes that day, where are those extra flyers going to end up? That's right, inside your branded manilla folder. You have provided something useful and better still, who are they most likely to remember from their day of open homing?
Give out a random prize to every tenth visitor on open home day. It could be a small bluetooth speaker, a book about real estate, a scented candle, whatever you like. It's a great way to be remembered, to add a little happiness to someone's day and put you in a good mood too. Spread the love!
Similar to the 'interest registration form' this allows buyers to write down their needs and requirements if you are busy. It could have text on it like "Tell us what you are looking for..." with common questions that they can fill in. This is a great way to get extra info which will help you make conversation when you follow up with them later on
Great to have in your open home kit, especially on a windy day! Don't put up with doors banging at your open homes. They are a put-off for buyers. A pack of door stops costs next to nothing and it's worth keeping them in your car just in case.
Bluetooth speaker (charged up)
Music puts buyers at ease and creates a nice atmosphere. We've already prepped the perfect playlist for you, too:
Take most or all of those items with you and you will be running the coolest (and most useful) open homes in town!
Printable Checklist (Microsoft Word-friendly)
Remember to check out our previous open home guide for more ideas:
If this all feels like too much to put together yourself, maybe it's time you added an assistant to your team?