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A guide to good open house signage

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A guide to good open house signage

When you go to all the effort of holding an open for inspection on the weekend, the signage you use plays an important role in promoting and drawing traffic to your event.

After marketing the listing online, in local newspapers and to your client database, the last thing you want is nobody coming through on inspection day.

So, here are our tips for getting the most from your open house signage and maximising the potential for open house success.

Open for inspection: Sat 16 Jul, 11:00am-11:30am,  83 Cole Street, Williamstown, VIC

Open for inspection: Sat 16 Jul, 11:00am-11:30am, 83 Cole Street, Williamstown, VIC

At a glance a good open for inspection sign will A.I.D. (Attract, Inform and Direct) passers-by towards your open house. Follow these three steps to make the most of your open for inspection signage:

Attract

Signs need to clearly read ‘Open House’ or ‘Open for Inspection’ to avoid any confusion. You want people that pass by to easily discern that you’re holding an open for inspection that day and that you’re not simply advertising that the home is up for sale or lease. So ‘For Sale’ or ‘For Lease’ shouldn't appear on your open house signage and be reserved for use on the sign at the front of the property.

Consider displaying the price of the home to attract more serious buyers to have a look through your open. This will also help to filter out nosy neighbours who just want to find out the price by going through and those buyers passing by who can’t afford the home.

Inform

Your open house sign should state the running time of your inspection, so buyers and renters in the area can easily plan out their day. You want to aim to get your signs set up ideally on the morning of your event, to avoid people fronting up too early, prevent sign theft and allow for passers-by to consider coming back for a look later on.

It’s also a good idea to include your name, office website and mobile number so any interested buyers that miss out on the viewing can check out your listings on your website and get in touch to arrange an alternative viewing time.

Direct

The primary purposes of your open house signs are to capture drive-by traffic and direct registered serious buyers to the property. You want to place your directional open house signs at the entry to the suburb (if there is one), then use ‘keep driving- straight ahead’ directional signs at high traffic crossroads leading to your listing and then a couple in the street itself pointing out the entry way to the property.

On the final couple of directional signs add in helium balloons for increased visibility and so buyers know they're on the right track. Also think about adding the property address in large block letters, so passers-by know exactly which home it is and don’t go barging into neighbouring homes by accident.

Good open house signage can be the difference between a worthwhile Saturday afternoon and walking away with no leads. While we realise signs don’t directly sell a home, their position and format can definitely help to draw people in for a look and a chat. You never know when a curious neighbour could turn into your next listing or a passing dog walker might be looking to downsize.

For more ways to up your inspection game check out these five easy ways to draw more traffic to your open house

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Tweed Heads real estate for sale, and properties to rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Post inspection follow up scripts to improve your client prospecting

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Post inspection follow up scripts to improve your client prospecting

A lot of real estate training scripts focus on cold calling, market updates, winning new listings, just sold and open house updates. However, following up post open for inspection is a crucial aspect of business that can easily get left by the way-side after a busy weekend of auctions and opens.

Getting on the phone straight after your inspection sends a clear and important message to new contacts. It shows that you’re highly motivated, proactive, that you’re not afraid to take action and engage with and listen to new clients. It will also allow you to rule out those people just having a sticky beak and help you to identify the serious buyers from the disinterested.

Here are some scripts to guide your follow ups to increase engagement and lead conversion with the three different types of buyers you’ll most commonly encounter.

1. Interested buyers.

‘Hi (insert name). How did you find the inspection at (insert address)? Did it meet your expectations?’

If they say YES: 

‘Great! The features of the house are sensational. The property’s uniqueness really stems from the fact it has three bedrooms that are north facing and provides an abundance of natural light, something you can't generally find in that price point and such a great location.’

Pause here to let the prospect start talking about the features they were impressed with and allow them time to ask a question or two about the house. After answering their question/s (if they had any) go on to:

‘As you saw at the inspection, there are a number of other parties interested, but it's my job to gauge the interest of prospects who have shown serious consideration and have indicated it may be a place they want to purchase. Could I put you in that category?’ Allow them qualify themselves as an interested party or not.

If they’re interested:

‘Great, so what are the next steps you'd like to take? Would you like me to arrange a private inspection in the next 48 hours so you can take measurements and ensure everything is up to standard?’

This question will test if they are really interested. If they are they'll make time to come out to another inspection ASAP.

If they say YES to you offer for a private inspection:

‘Fantastic, let me send over a Section 32 so you have one for your records, I'll also work on getting a copy of the contract so if you do want to proceed there is no delay there. I'll see you (insert date and time) to walk you through the home.’

2. Semi-Interested buyers (typically the most common category of buyer at opens).

Option 1-

‘Hi (insert name). How did you find the inspection at (insert address)? Did it have what you are looking for?’. At this point expect more dialogue than the response given by interested buyers. Semi-interested buyers will talk about the things that aren't exactly right for them in the property, as they are yet to confirm or commit that it is the right home for them.

Your response:

‘I understand. We have found in this market that it is incredibly hard to find exactly what you are looking for, but the reason this home is unique is because (insert unique features. Such as proximity to shops, public transport etc.)’.

It's important you listen carefully here to find out what specific features are missing that they need or why they're in doubt about the property.

‘I can appreciate that you’re looking for a little more garden space, I guess it's just about weighing up what is more important to you, the location, price or the features of the home itself. What is your desired location?’

If the home is in their desired suburb:

‘If this is where you want to be, to get something with the garden space you require will most likely cost you another (insert amount). Does that fit within your ball park budget?’

‘If you were wanting to stick to this budget, do you think it would be worth me showing you through the home again so you can look at the space and maybe see how you could amend it to suit your needs and lifestyle more?’

Unless they are very keen to see it again, don't push it, it can end up being a tremendous waste of time for you and the client if their gut feeling is against buying the property.

From the conversation so far you'll be able to gauge their level of interest by their tone of voice and by whether or not they push to request to see the home again. At this point finish with this statement or something similar:

‘I could show you through the home again, but I’m conscious I don't want to waste your time. This home will get snapped up quickly, so if you'd prefer I can wait until something that more aligns with your specific needs comes onto the market. Please feel free to give me a call if you do decide you want to go through the home again or you find another home that you want me to discuss with you.’

Be very conscious of not to pushing too hard to show them through again, the opportunity cost for time is not overly high for them, but it is for you, if they're genuinely interested let them put in the request for a second look.

Option 2-

‘Hi (insert name). I just wanted to thank you for coming along to the inspection over the weekend. You mentioned you've been looking for a home with your wife and young daughter, how did this go as far as meeting your needs?’. Let them talk about the pros and cons here, you will usually get a mixture of both.

‘If you had to list the most important items you need out of a home, what are they?’. Note down beds, bathrooms, location etc. that they're looking for in case you have any other listings on the cards that may suit them better.

‘Ok. So it sounds like this home at (insert address) is pretty close if not spot on for what you are after. It has the three bedrooms, two bathrooms and the two car parks you require. What is your current position, have you made the commitment that buying is definitely a possibility over the next four to eight weeks?’. This is an imperative question, if they aren't clear that they have decided to buy, they will have a long way to go with getting their finance arranged.

‘Just so I can manage the vendor’s expectations as well as yours, should I be keeping you in the loop if an offer gets put forward, would you want to know about it if someone was going to buy it?’. This will let you gauge their level of interest. If they say yes, then they’re an interested buyer and you need to push to show them through the home again and work on getting their finances set up.

If they've said YES:

‘Great. Well why don't you have a chat to your mortgage broker, we have someone here who is more than happy to consult for our clients, free of charge. How about I set up a discussion for you in the next couple of days, and in the meantime, why don't I show you the home again tomorrow evening.’

If they’re okay with this, then set them up to discuss their mortgage options as well as what they could do with their house, and then show them through the next day. The outcome of the next meetings will then result in classifying them as an interested or disinterested buyer. You need to move your prospects from this section of semi-interested ASAP, as they can be time killers, but can also turn into commission payers.

3. Disinterested buyers

‘Hi (insert name). Thanks for coming by (insert address). I remember you mentioned that you most likely aren't in the market to buy just now, but I wanted to get your feedback on the home and what you thought.’. Let them list the features, benefits, what they’re looking for and they may even go into their buying timeframe.

‘Fair enough. (reiterate their positive thoughts on the home). If this property and others like it is something that could become of interest to you in the immediate to near future or when you’re looking at taking the next step please feel free to give me a call. Just before I go, if I did have a new property come on to the market, what type of home would you definitely want to hear about?’. Let them list their most desirable features in a home and what would push them to become an active buyer.

‘Great. I'll be in touch in the not to distant future and also add you to my email list to keep you posted on the latest listings.’

If you view each call as a fresh opportunity to engage potential clients in interesting conversations, your follow up calls will be less of a chore. Regardless of the type of buyer you’re calling you’ll find that you’ll learn a lot from each potential client’s feedback. Over time and with practice you’ll quickly discern the qualified leads from the time wasters leading you to more efficient follow up calls and speedier sales.

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane and across Australia. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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First impressions matter: How to stage an entryway

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First impressions matter: How to stage an entryway

When presenting a home at an open for inspection you have just seven seconds to make a great first impression on potential buyers. Here we explain how the three entry phases help buyers move through those precious first seven seconds with ease.

There are three vital, and often overlooked, entry points when presenting a home for sale. Each is equally important and has a unique purpose in helping buyers decide if a home is right for them. Each entry needs to be presented for maximum impact.

Behavioural change from street to home

In the timeless series, A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander describes how the experience of entering a building influences the way you feel once inside it. In architectural terms he explains how the gentler the transition between the home and the street, the more the inside of the home will feel like a safe ‘inner sanctum’.

Of course, the perfect transition from the street to front entry is not always achievable, but you can soften the journey for prospective home buyers by understanding the stages of the transition, or, as we’ve called it, the ‘three entrances’.

You just have to look at your children, or those of others, to know that street behaviour and home behaviour can be vastly different. As adults, we naturally look forward to the transition from the more guarded ‘street’ mood into an intimate and relaxed ‘home’ mood.

The gentle transition

As an agent you’re trying to achieve as gentle a transition as possible from street (distance) to interior (intimate) mode for prospective buyers, as you invite them into what you hope will be their new home.

The ideal transition goes something like this:

  • First entrance– Your buyer’s first glimpse is viewing the home through ‘street’ eyes as they approach by car.
  • Second entrance– As the buyer steps onto the property from street level and moves toward the front door, their street mood softens.
  • Third entrance– That private moment, as the buyer approaches the front door where they can no longer be seen from the street, completes the transition.
art deco building

The reality is that this stunning Art Deco home is on a major arterial road near an international airport. It's noisy 24/7. Obviously the architects of this 1920s stunner understood the psychological importance of the three entrances.

The importance of the transition- Why is it so important to buyers?

Studies show that a front garden or courtyard gives home owners a sense of comfort and privacy. This may explain why householders appreciate their front garden whilst rarely spending time maintaining the back. It reassures them of their privacy. The three entrances reinforce the move from public domain to private space.

By the time buyers have entered the front door, you want them to be relaxed enough to connect immediately with your listing.

Jan Hogarth, an 18-year veteran of house and renovation architecture and Director of Placemate Architects in Brisbane, agrees 'entering a home is a journey into a private world'.

'When a place feels inviting and welcoming, it has this pattern of three entrances to change the scale with colour; texture; height; change of direction; and focus. It slows the pace of your steps and creates a moment before you arrive at the door...Architects use it all the time,' she says.

A warm welcome in seconds

The actual physical transition can be made in many ways, or combinations, and the benefits of each are far more complex than this brief list can convey. The transitions can include:

  • Change of enclosure i.e. gateway or fence,
  • changing the light i.e. sensor light,
  • introducing new sounds i.e. doorbell or knocker,
  • changing the direction of the path i.e. a curve or corner,
  • change of ground surface i.e. from concrete to lawn or pavers,
  • change of level i.e. step up or down and
  • most of all, providing a glimpse of life – a garden or view.

It seems harder to create an attractive transition when the front door of your listing opens onto the street. The change can be abrupt without allowing time for buyers to transition from street to home mode, but it can be done…

While it lacks the elegance of the perfect transition, this simple entry door successfully moves us from streetscape to home mode in seconds.

While it lacks the elegance of the perfect transition, this simple entry door successfully moves us from streetscape to home mode in seconds.

In the case of this red door, the stages of the transition would look more like:

  • First entrance– Stays the same as your buyer glimpses the front door from the street.
  • Second entrance– As the buyer steps from street level onto the front step, a change of mood is apparent.
  • Third entrance– That private moment, as the front door opens and buyer glimpses both the interior and exterior from a unique perspective.

In the red door example, the entry cleverly delivers colour, light, life, a change of level and texture to quickly create a successful transition.  Here’s how:

Colour- While the red door may not be everyone's thing, it's a very clever choice as a fast transition colour. Why? In many cultures the red door symbolises protection, positive energy and abundance.

Light- The reflective glass in the front door captures light from the street and reflects it back to the viewer. It also creates space and suggests hidden depths within.

Life- The plants and trellises are a feel good feature that break up the harshness of the brick wall and say ‘welcome’.

Level- A simple step up and you’ve ‘arrived’ at the front door. As you wait for the door to open, you no longer feel the discomfort of being at street level, you're safely in a transition space.

Texture- A door mat, be it funky or simple, changes the texture of the ground area as you leave the street and enter the home.

The way in which we arrive at and leave a house is a significant, if often overlooked, factor in real estate. The transition from street to home influences our psychological and general wellbeing, and that of clients. 

For a home sale, a successful transition will invite potential buyers into the home and impact how they feel once inside. To the home buyer it hints at the potential for privacy and safety within the walls of the home.

The three entrances signal the crucial moments of the first and last impression of your listings. For selling success, be thoughtful in the presentation of the main entry and exit points of the property.

 

Author bio:

Tracey McLeod is an international award-winning interior stylist and Founder of Showhomes Design which specialises in interior redesign and decorating, home staging and property styling services; and Presentation Sells, an online state-of-the-art DIY home presentation training portal for residential real estate sellers.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane and across Australia. With over 330K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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 5 easy ways to draw more traffic to your open house

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5 easy ways to draw more traffic to your open house

Many agents are finding that they have a lack of genuine buyers or a consistently low amount of traffic coming through their opens and wonder if they're wasting their time and energy.

The fact of the matter is open for inspections are one of the most effective and simple ways to meet prospective buyers, get a feel for the amount of interest in a property or area and find a qualified buyer for the listing.

There is a lot of information available online about a particular property and neighbourhood, but at the end of the day extensive online research cannot rival seeing and experiencing a home in person.

Here are five simple tactics to try out to drive more traffic towards your next open for inspection:

1. Set up a temporary 'open house office'.

Why not try something different by holding your open houses outside of conventional weekend inspection times. Not every buyer (think people that work in hospitality or retail) can make the traditional Saturday morning and afternoon openings. Also, some neighbours may feel more comfortable coming for a stickybeak during off peak inspection times. Giving them more time to stop and chat about their selling needs or if they know anyone looking to buy in the area they could introduce you to.

You could try holding a morning open house from 8-10am serving coffee in takeaway cups, a 12-2pm weekday open house for people to stop by on their lunch breaks or a ‘happy hour’ inspection time from 4-6pm for people to drop in after work. Also, check with your vendors if it would be okay for you to set up a temporary office at their kitchen table one day a week with an open for inspection sign out the front inviting passers-by to come in for a look.

2. Place ads early in the week.

These days a majority of potential buyers will be searching online for property and planning which opens they want to attend, usually up to a week in advance. Therefore, it is essential that your open house is advertised at a minimum at least a week in advance on your Homely listing, your company website and social pages, and in local newspapers (both print and digital) to ensure you get maximum reach and exposure to homebuyers.

3. Engage the neighbours.

Put together a flyer or postcard invitation to drop off in the neighbours’ letterboxes or while door knocking two to three days before your open for inspection. On your flyers you should include your contact details so people can call you with questions, as well as the time and address of the open house. This is a great way to drum up interest in the open house as neighbours will often be curious to look inside other local homes, to see how their home compares and get an idea of what their home might be worth. Also, they could be thinking of selling themselves, so it’s a good chance for you to demonstrate your expertise and the lengths you go to promote your vendor’s listings. A good number of invitations to aim for is 20 homes either side and opposite the listed property.

4. Get social.

Leverage your businesses social media channels to promote the open house early on and also on the day of the open house. A great thing about Facebook advertising is that you can directly target a specific audience and location. Don’t overdo your Facebook ads and status updates though. Posting about a single open house more than three times a week can come across as annoying and pushy to your followers. We recommend posting early in the week that you have an upcoming open house with just enough property features to get people interested and entice them to find out more. Then perhaps post on the Thursday or Friday a brief reminder where and when the open is running on the weekend.

5. Up your signage.

Make your open house easy to find and visible to passers by with the strategic placement of directional open for inspection signage. On the morning of your open or even the night before, put out five or six A-frames starting from the busiest intersections closest to the property and on each street corner working your way back to the home. Spending that little bit of extra time planning out your sign positioning and setting up signs and balloons will help drive more traffic towards your open house.

Note: Be sure to check with your local council if you need to apply for a real estate agent signage permit, as they may have a limit on the amount of signs you can use and where they can be positioned. 

We hope these five ideas help to attract more homebuyers to your next open house. Do you have any tricks or tips that you find effective in drawing in genuine buyers to your opens? Please share them below. 

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely team

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Make the most of your open for inspections in 5 steps

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Make the most of your open for inspections in 5 steps

Holding open for inspections can be stressful for both sellers and agents. They are still worth the trouble as they are a great way to gain exposure for listings to potential buyers and expand your client database.

To help you make the most of your inspections we’ve come up with five important steps to tick off when planning and carrying out your next open for inspection.

open house guide

Step 1. Market the open house.

First and foremost holding an open for inspection is an exercise in marketing and event planning. To get a decent amount of people through the door and increase your chances of finding the right buyer it is crucial that you spread the word about your event far and wide.

Here are some marketing ideas that go beyond simply putting out directional signs and an a-frame with balloons on the day, to help take your open house to the next level:

  • Form local alliances. You could try teaming up with other agents who have upcoming inspections in the same area and arrange an open house weekend. Having multiple inspections on offer in the same suburb will draw in more traffic and expand the reach of your combined marketing efforts. Add an element of fun to the weekend by arranging a raffle, giveaways or playing ‘inspection bingo’ where visitors win a prize if they visit every house on the list. You can also try forming partnerships with local businesses. Ask if they can display information about your open house in exchange for giving out coupons for their business at your inspection or some other mutually beneficial trade.
  • Send out invitations. Think about setting up an exclusive neighbourhood viewing by opening the house an hour early on the day for locals. Send out formal addressed invitations to people in the area and neighbouring suburbs showcasing the photos and details of the listing and special offerings, such as a kid’s corner, tea and coffee or catering to make your open house inviting and stand out. Odds are people who live in the area and want their friends and family to move close by will spread the word for you.
  • Share on social media. Post the details of your open for inspection across all your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) and community pages that allow you to do so. Also get the seller on board and have them share your post with their social networks.
  • Be daring. Why are most open for inspections held at the same time every Saturday morning? Try advertising something different and set yourself apart by offering alternative times or unique offerings to people interested in viewing the home. You could try holding a themed open house on a week night, hosting an open house party during a big football game or having catered nibbles for people who come for a look on their lunch hour. 

Step 2. Set up the right expectations.  

Explain the pros and cons of holding an open house to your sellers. Make sure they understand that they won't necessarily get an offer on the day, there are risks of damage and theft occurring, but at the end of the day having traffic and attention on their house is a good thing for attracting surprise interest and more potential buyers. Also clarify that during the open house you may also come across buyers that are suited to other homes you have listed.

Step 3. Prepare the home and marketing collateral.

Ensure the house looks its best for inspection day by making sure it is clean, uncluttered, deodorised and staged well inside and out. Some agents even go to the extreme of giving their sellers a list of tasks to complete before the house can be opened for inspection. Also, remind sellers to lock away valuables (credit cards and jewellery), weapons and prescription medications to prevent them from theft.  

On the day make sure you get there early enough to set everything up and make any minor tweaks to the staging or last minute cleaning if needed. Ensure the doors are open, all the lights are on and everything looks as neat as possible.

You should also have something for visitors to take away with them so they can easily get in touch with you. Hand out a double sided A4 sized glossy flyer highlighting the home’s features, land size, room dimensions, floor plan, photographs of popular neighbourhood amenities, a map showing the location of the nearest stores, schools, public transport and other important facilities and land marks, and your contact details of course.    

Step 4. Collect contact information and make follow-ups.

Set up a system for registering and recording clients’ details (name, phone number, type of buyer and email) as they enter the property. Use whatever you’re most comfortable with and works best for you, some people still use a clipboard and pen to sign in visitors where others prefer something more hi-tech like an iPad app. Signing in viewers serves a dual purpose: 1) it can give you some peace of mind to have their details recorded from a safety view point and 2) it gives you a way to add potential clients into your database for following up in the future.

Also try chatting with visitors on their way out to see what they thought, gauge their level of interest, get immediate feedback on the home and answer any questions they may have. It’s also worthwhile sending a follow up email or making a follow up call the next day to see if they are interested in the property or if they are qualified buyers for any of your other listings.

Step 5. Be safe.

Remember there’s safety in numbers, so consider partnering up with another agent at your office to run the open for inspection together if you’re worried about sitting in a home alone. Better yet enlist the help of a trusted lender to come and offer advice on the spot, to help you feel more safe. It is also wise to pre-plan an escape route if something does happen and avoid being alone in rooms with no exit. Having attendees sign in also helps you assist police in the event of damage, theft or a break in. If you suspect someone of theft consider taking down their licence plate and requesting to see photo ID.

If you plan, prepare and do something to set your open house apart you're bound to impress your sellers and potential buyers. Going about an open for inspection in the right way is a great way to boost your database of clients and gauge the interest in the market place for your listing and others like it.

Have you taken a look at our suburb reviews for the areas your real estate agency services lately? You're welcome to contribute to our suburb reviews or help answer questions about your region on our Q&A forum.        

 

Happy selling!

From the Homely Team

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

 

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