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open house

Although many agents dread sitting at an open house on the weekend, the power of a strong open house as a marketing opportunity is hard to deny. The primary goal is to bring attention to the property, but open houses also attract fresh buyers (who probably need an agent) and other sellers who will be impressed by your marketing efforts. Here are some creative ideas for holding a classy open house without breaking the bank:

1. Use online and offline marketing to draw attention. In addition to sending out postcards, posting signs, and placing classified ads, be sure to post the open house on free online marketing forums like Facebook events, LinkedIn events, Twitter, and Craigslist.

2. Staging. Leave plenty of time before the event to hide clutter, clear walkways, and dust if needed. For an extra touch, add some sheer curtains and artificial plants to add interest (these can be purchased at a discount store and reused each week!).

3. Appeal to more senses. While making the home visually attractive, you can also appeal to prospects’ other senses to slow them down and spark conversation. Bake (or reheat) cookies in the oven to fill the home with tantalizing scents, and play some soft music to break an awkward silence. Be sure to advertise that refreshments will be served! If you serve liquids, make sure they are light colored or clear like ginger ale, lemonade, or sparkling water.

4. Bring take-a-ways. Don’t just bring a listing book to put on the dining room table! Bring brochures and flyers that explain the services you offer, your specialties, current market information, etc. Win buyers over with sample loan information on the property provided by your favorite local lender so they will have an idea of what the payment schedule will look like.

5. Optimize your schedule. Ask the home owners when they notice the most traffic passing in front of their home and plan your open house accordingly. Do yard sales bring a boost of traffic on Saturday mornings? Are there churches nearby that draw visitors on Sundays? Don’t schedule an open house when the neighborhood is a ghost town!

All of these finishing touches will make your open house feel more like an event and less like an impersonal meeting or a yard sale with strangers. Making prospects feel comfortable will show your professionalism and make you harder to forget after a long day of house hunting. Add a sign up sheet to collect contact information and you have a lead-generating machine!

What do you like to include in your open houses?