“Open houses don’t work,” some real estate agents complain. “I put up a dozen signs and only a few looky-loos came in.” We’ve all heard that open house myth.
A simple reason that the open house didn’t work? Lack of advance marketing. An open house that depends solely on directional signs has missed its target audience. The event itself should be a culmination of mega-marketing. It also requires tenacious follow-up. How does that work? Let’s review the three steps now:
Start with the neighborhood, because local renters are likely to buy in the area where they already live. Also, current home owners can refer their friends and family. Get a list of local residents from your title company, and send postcards within a half-mile radius. Targeting a specific community or the home’s zip code will also help you hone in on who to invite.
Next, send out a flyer to your buyer’s list. You do keep track of would-be buyers, don’t you? Create an email campaign with a PDF flyer attached announcing your new listing. Simply select the group “Prospective Buyers” and hit “send” from your CRM contact database.
Specific Buyer Types
Along with your targeted marketing, you’ll want to find specific buyers who would most likely be interested in this type of property. Look at the house and make a list of the types of buyers that would be attracted to it. Who would want to call this house home?
With a two-bedroom condo downtown, it may appeal to college grads or single professionals. A single-story home is great for retired folks or disabled people. A large, sprawling estate may be suited for high-end executives moving up. A small starter home would be suitable for young couples and growing families.
Find the types of buyers most likely interested and target them by demographics. ReboGateway is a great tool to discover residents by demographic information because it includes an “overlay” of data in addition to resident info.
Follow Up For Life
As you capture the open house attendees’ contact info, ask what they are looking for: zip code, bedrooms, and price range. Find out if they want to be notified about this house or other similar houses. That’s how you create your buyer’s list!
Then, follow up regularly and consistently to stay “top of mind” with potential buyers. Email, call, and mail them to give status updates of the listing. If they aren’t interested, find other similar homes in the area and keep them informed of the market. Each time you have a new listing in that neighborhood come onto the market, phone them immediately. And that’s how “the fortune is in the follow-up”.
Now you know the answer to that age-old question, “Is an open house effective?” Yes, if you follow our simple system: Market in advance, promote with advertising, and follow through persistently afterwards. You can effectively “close the loop” and ensure that every eligible buyer in your area is notified of your new listing.