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open for inspection tips

What successful agents do every open house

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What successful agents do every open house

A lot of agents may not realise it, but open houses are one of the most (if not the most) important avenues for expanding their CRM database of potential clients and generating buyer and seller leads.

Here are four key things savvy agents are doing every weekend to get the most out of their open for inspections.

Arrive early

Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time before the start of the inspection to set up. Start by unlocking all the doors, switching all the lights on, opening windows, curtains and blinds, putting out brochures, a blank copy of the contract and your business cards. Then for the finishing touches light some scented candles, put out complimentary mints or lollies, ensure the toilet seat is down, put out directional signage and flags, and a last check that the house is looking its best.

The best agents take pride in presenting their listings and creating the greatest first impression possible to achieve pleasing results for vendors and landlords. We’re not suggesting you do anything too crazy, don’t feel the need to scrub the shower, hose down the deck or wash windows (plus your vendors or tenants should have already done this), but a spray and wipe of a fresh citrusy cleaner on the kitchen bench is a nice touch before people start coming through.

Remember, the way you present and set up your opens is a great way to showcase your brand, professionalism and hardworking attitude to potential clients, who may be on the lookout for an agent to sell their own home in the same expert manner. So, it’s hugely important to go that extra mile and take the time to prepare properly on inspection day.

Register details

As people enter the open make sure you have a quick system to take down as much info as you can for ease of qualifying and jogging your memory when you revisit the list later. Note down a name, contact number, email address and the type of buyer they are for a good start. Whether this is on a clipboard and piece of paper or an iPad app that adds the leads directly to your database, use the method you're most confident and comfortable with.

This way, if someone is not looking to buy or rent this very minute, at the very least you’ll get an email address for your database to keep in touch with and you won’t have wasted your Saturday morning. Who knows maybe two, six or even twelve months down the track they’ll come back to you when they’re ready to buy, sell or rent.

If you’ve had a lot of enquiry before the open, you may want to organise to run the inspection with a colleague to divide and conquer. Have one of you taking down potential client’s details upon arrival, while the other chats with people on their way out to better gauge interest and start to qualify the new leads.

Quickly qualify leads

The most successful agents utilise every minute of their 15 minute open to qualify and build rapport with potential clients. As people head for the door take a few minutes to engage in conversation and qualify their readiness to make a purchase. Discuss what they’re looking for, where they're looking, what they thought of the property and how long they’ve been looking to get an indication of next steps and how you can best assist them.

Good ways to quickly qualify a lead is to ask if they want a copy of the contract sent to them, if they want to be notified when similar properties come onto the market and if they have pre-approval organised.

Take notes during or straight after the inspection while your conversations are still fresh in your mind. This way you can record whether they require urgent follow up or not, and most importantly to ensure you follow through on what you promised at the inspection.

Just a few hours after their inspections, the best agents will have a list of qualified (hot, warm or cold) prospective clients and the actions they need to take in the coming days to best serve and convert these new leads.

Follow up & follow up again

The most successful agents surprise and impress their prospective clients after their first meeting. One way they do this is by utilising their customer relationship management (CRM) database to streamline and automate their initial follow ups.

For every new qualified seller or buyer you meet at your open add them into your CRM database. Set up an automated text message or email to go out hours after the inspection thanking them for attending. Include your contact details so if they have any questions or require more info about the property they can easily contact you.

In your welcome email, you could even consider including a comparable sales and suburb profile report for the property. This way buyers will be impressed by your willingness to share your local knowledge, they’ll have a realistic idea of the sales price, they’ll feel better informed about the suburb and more confident making an offer.

Next comes the all important follow up phone call the following Monday. This is when you’ll get a good read on their level of motivation and timeframe to do something. Check in to see if they saw any other properties over the weekend, were they considering making an offer on any, was there any more information about the property or suburb they needed and whether they plan on bidding at the upcoming auction.

Lastly, add notes from your phone conversation into your CRM and if necessary create a follow up reminder of the next tasks you need to do to best service that client.

For more tips to put you on the path to open house success take a look at our guide to good open house signage and five simple ways to draw more traffic to your opens.

Happy selling!

From the homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sans Souci real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au 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.

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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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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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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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