ineffective open houses are done by eneffective agents

Ineffective Open Houses Are Done By Ineffective Agents

When you’re grocery shopping and you see a person handing out food samples, do you automatically go over and get a sample?

Maybe you’re like me and look it over first to see if it’s something you’d be interested in trying. Most times, it’s something that I’m not interested in eating either because it’s junk food or has something I shouldn’t eat, like beans or grains.

Food demos and sampling are done because they bring awareness to the product and result in more sales.

If it didn’t result in more sales, samples wouldn’t be offered.

My wife is a food entrepreneur. Her business model is helping food companies get their products listed in grocery stores and she has a subsidiary food demonstration company that holds food demos at grocery stores.

Some of the food companies are hesitant to do demos because they have to supply the food. That’s a cost that some of them are unwilling to absorb.

My wife explains that the demos produce more brand awareness and sales and they should be seen as an opportunity, not a hindrance.

The demos held by my wife are somewhat elevated. They are set up to look better, drawing even more attention to them.

All of the demo people, who are affectionately named brand ambassadors, are told everything that is a benefit about the product, and the drawbacks so that when a potential buyer has a question, they are getting factual information from a knowledgeable representative.

This is crucial in case there is a food allergy and it also shows the consumer that the person is not there just handing out samples but knows what they’re talking about.

It also benefits the food company. They are being represented by knowledgeable sales reps and it shows through increased sales.

You know there would be a real estate angle to this, didn’t you?

Are there demos in real estate sales?

Absolutely and you’ve already heard them.

Open house.

Yes, an open house is essentially a demo of a house for sale and the sampling allows people to come in and walk through the house.

I have been hosting open houses on every single one of my listings because when done correctly, they are very effective.

There is a prominent realtor, who is associated with a lion and offers a million-dollar marketing “guarantee”, that campaigned that he will sell your house “without ineffective open houses”.

Essentially, his “million dollar marketing” is eliminating one of the most effective marketing tools. Think about it, no matter how good the photos, video and virtual tour are, without being able to physically visit the property, how can any potential home buyer know if it would be a fit for them?

Yes, I know they can visit the house with an agent – if they are working with one, but what if they’re not?

Not every buyer has found an agent they want to work with or maybe they want to buy without one.

Another benefit of an open house is it allows many people to tour the home in just a few hours rather than having many people come at separate times over a few days.

That’s more disruptive than an open house over a weekend.

Why does the lion advertise that open houses are ineffective? Is it because he doesn’t want to do them? Maybe he can’t be bothered to host them. Perhaps his team of agents are ineffective because they haven’t been taught how to hold an effective open house.

I see it often, an agent holding a completely ineffective open house.

Picture this; it’s a Saturday morning. You’ve been searching for a house off and on for some time, and you come across one online that catches your attention.

You see there is an open house at 2:00. Great! You can go and have a look at it without having to bother your agent. If you like it, you’ll go back with them.

2:10, you arrive at the house and the agent is just getting there themselves even though it was supposed to begin at 2:00.

The agent is frazzled and looks surprised that you’re there. You feel awkward and tell them you’ll come back in a few minutes, but they insist you come in.

There are no lights on, the only information about the house available is a simple, black-and-white printout of the MLS listing.

You walk through the house hesitant to turn any lights on so you don’t get a good sense of the rooms.

Your visit is over in less than 5 minutes and as you walk to the door to put your shoes on the agent, while sitting on the couch on their phone, looks up and asks “What do you think?”.

How is that an effective open house?

This is a scenario that plays out more often than not.

Some agents will dissuade sellers from open houses with the excuse that only nosy neighbours go to open houses.

Neighbours have a vested interest in your home selling too. If your house sells for a record price, that brings up the house values in the neighbourhood.

Another excuse you might hear about open houses is that agents use them to meet new potential clients.

If that’s the case, why aren’t more agents sitting in open houses more often?

If an agent holds an effective open house, meeting new clients would be a byproduct of good customer service.

Allow me to provide some examples of how I hold an effective open house that provides value, first to my seller clients and as a result, answers the typical questions that home buyers have about the house that mutually benefits them.

  • First, my open houses are always advertised on the MLS beginning Thursday allowing time for the info to flow through the main online portals that home buyers use:
  • Housesigma
  • Zoocasa

And any other real estate info aggregate sites.

Then, on the morning of the open house, my open house signs are put out in highly visible areas by 10:00 am. Too often, agents simply put a sign on the road leading into the area and another at the house – and usually 10 minutes before the open house starts!

I have a minimum of 7 open house signs put out leading from the main streets, to feeder streets and finally, to the street the house is on.

Even if this brings in one extra person who was unaware of the open house, that’s still an extra person in to see the house.

I arrive at the house at least 20 minutes before the scheduled time and turn on all the lights, check to make sure the rooms are presentable and prepare the extra information materials that include info on parks in the area, the schools, where the best places are to eat, distance to highways and public transportation.

I’m ready with my information as well. Buyers almost always want to know what the property taxes are, when the house was built, the age of the roof, furnace, A/C, windows, and lot dimensions.

I’m no longer surprised when other agents holding open houses don’t know this info. It should be the first thing they learn about the house.

Many times host agents just sit on the couch and barely acknowledge the people who come in.

I make sure to greet everyone who comes in, while standing, thank them for taking the time to attend and invite them to help themselves to any of the information that is on display and ask how they found out about the open house; MLS, street signs, etc. I also ask them if they have an agent they are working with so I can make a note in the appointment system and notify their agent that they came through the open house.

Finally, if they are not working with an agent, I will ask them if they would like me to tour the house with them or if they would like to tour the house on their own.

This allows people to be more comfortable looking through the house not having a grinning, commission-hungry agent pointing out the obvious good features of the house while engaging in pointless small talk.

The people who do want me to tour with them are given the factual and pertinent info and not “this bedroom has hardwood floors and a closet”.

All in all, the more people that get in to see the home, the better chance of finding a buyer.

The more effective an agent is at presenting and selling the house, because after all an agent is a salesperson, the better the chances are of the house selling for more money and less time.

Ineffective open houses are done by ineffective agents.