Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Real estate agents who are new to the game often face real fears and insecurities when it comes to hosting open houses. If you’re a new agent, you’re definitely not alone. However, by following some best practices, you can gain confidence and get over the hurdle of being anxious about open houses. In the long-term, your new self-assurance will boost your ability to sell, have happier clients, keep yourself and your clients safe, and earn more commissions.
To help overcome your fear of hosting open houses and enjoying a successful event, try the following four tips.
Real estate agents aren’t unlike other people, they too often experience a fear of speaking in front of strangers. To overcome your fear of initiating conversations with strangers, try meeting new people outside of real estate and practice talking with them. Since they’re not a client or a professional you’re trying to do business with, the pressure will be off, and you can focus on having genuine conversations.
Once that fear is overcome, enlist a colleague or two to practice open-house conversations. Be willing to accept suggestions or constructive criticism and lean on their experience to strengthen yours. Before your first open house, practice a script in front of a mirror so you become more comfortable and confident with your words. Then, at least for your first few open houses, ask a partner to come with you to help smooth the path and offer guidance during the event.
While your colleagues are likely going to be a massive help, nothing beats seeing a seasoned real estate agent in action at an open house. Ask other real estate agents you know if they wouldn’t mind you tagging along to watch them and learn their strategies. You can also attend open houses run by agents who you don’t know and ask them if you can please observe. A benefit here is you can ask them questions and learn how they answer—or you can simply observe what buyers want to know, learn the common questions homebuyers tend to have, and how experienced agents field their questions.
All agents, new and veterans, experience a level of fearfulness that no one will show up at their open house. Unfortunately, factors outside of your control, such as horrible or beautiful weather, can impact the number of interested people who attend an open house. To ensure a great turnout, try the following strategies to boost your open house success.
Place directional signs, the more the better. GPS the listing of the home you’re featuring and look for strategic street corners where you can post signs to drive more traffic.
Use social media to send out invites to your open house and post updates as the date gets closer.
Go old-school and walk through the neighborhood and leave invitations brochures at homes or ask local business owners if you can post a flyer advertising your open house.
Place balloons on signs and on the home’s mailbox.
Be sure to include open house dates in your Zillow and other online listings.
Offer free food – this almost always attracts neighbors, gawkers, or potential buyers. Even if visitors have no intention or interest of buying a home, others who are seeking a home and see lots of cars and people at a house will stop by to see what’s causing the buzz or simply to curb their feelings of FOMO.
You don’t even have to invest a ton of money in your marketing strategies. Flyers and signs can easily be made at a local printer or big-box stores, such as Kinko or Staples. For food, skip the caterers and throw a few hot dogs on the grill, buy food platters (e.g. cheese, vegetable, or fruit) at the local grocery, or bake some cookies—as a bonus that’ll make the home smell inviting.
While an open house by nature invites you to interact with strangers in a potentially vacant home, many agents rightfully have a fear of what if someone with nefarious intentions approaches them. Always hold open houses in the daylight hours and make sure everyone in the office knows where the home you’re featuring is located. You can also plan to set designated times to check in with other agents by text/
To further increase your safety, never share too much personal information about yourself or your clients to prospective buyers—some may be there to case the house or seek information for identity theft or to commit other crimes. Practicing these and other safety practices will help give you peace of mind so you can focus on the task at hand—selling your listing.
Overcoming the fear of hosting open houses may seem like a tall order, but like anything else in life, it takes familiarity and practice. By using these in your strategies, you’ll be a pro in no time at all.
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