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4 Real Estate Sales Tips You Need To Know

By | Real Estate

While the motto of “Always Be Closing” is good to keep in mind, it’s important to remember there’s more to selling real estate than a can-do attitude. Of course, if you keep some of these tips from Realtor For Dummies, and InMan in mind, you’re going to see a lot more houses finding new owners under your watch.

4 Real Estate Sales Tips You Need to Know

Tip #1: Match Your Client To Their Ideal Property

Every client is different, and it’s your job to figure out who they are, and what they need. You need to be able to draw the details out of your clients to find out what will satisfy their needs. Do they have a certain budget they can’t go outside of? Do they have a family? Are they looking for a place that’s local, or somewhere that’s a little more remote and private? If you want to make a sale, then you need to show your clients something that fits their needs to a T. Even if it’s just someone who shows up at an open house, talk to them. Even if the current house isn’t to their liking, you might have a different property that’s just what they need.

Tip #2: Get Online

In the old days, shoe leather and hand shaking were some of your best tools. While they’re still useful today, you’ll make more sales if you get online. You need to have a website, but you should also make yourself as easy to reach as possible. Get on social media, network with clients, and make sure that you’re easy to find. In today’s market it’s entirely possible for you to seal a deal without actually meeting someone until it’s time to sign the papers.

Tip #3: Learn The Neighborhood, As Well As The Property

People who move into an area want to know what they’re getting into. As such, you need to be able to quote more than just the statistics about the property. You need to know what sort of neighborhood it’s in. That means knowing where the schools are, what events happen, how close the shops are, what they weather tends to be like, and even knowing the neighbors someone is going to have. If you can talk about a property like you’ve lived there, you’re one step closer to selling it.

Tip #4: Earn Your Clients’ Trust

A big part of making a sale is realizing that your clients are buying you, just as surely as they’re buying a property. That means you have to do everything to make your client feel at ease, and you have to make yourself look and sound like an expert. Part of that comes from getting the facts about any properties you’re selling, so you can be an engaging tour guide for your client. Your appearance, your tone of voice, and your ability to keep up your end of commitments (doing what you say you’re going to do) all factor into how much your client trusts you.

Without that trust, you are never going to be able to close a sale.

Being a real estate agent isn’t easy. It takes time, dedication, and a constant need to be closing. But if you can keep up with the pace, and earn your clients’ trust, there’s no limit to how high your success can reach. For more real estate sales tips to help you fulfill your potential, all you have to do is contact us today.

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Real Estate Marketing Tips: Reaching Out To “For Sale By Owner” Cases

By | Real Estate

As a real estate agent, you may have run into home owners that think they can do what you do. An ever-increasing number of homes are being put on the market as “for sale by owner,” which means no agent is helping set the value of the home or finding a buyer for them.

This “can do” spirit is admirable, but successfully selling a home requires a lot more work than putting a sign up in the yard. Reaching these people and marketing yourself as a successful realtor can help you not only successfully market yourself, but give them the chance to sell their home.

Visit Them At Their Home

Before knocking on potential customer doors like a traveling salesman, call up the customers (most will include a number on their sign) and discuss who you are and how you can help them sell their house. Try to pin-point owners of homes that you’ve seen on the market for several months. These customers are more likely to be open to help.

Ask to come and visit the house, if they are open to it, and sit down with them to have an honest talk. The idea here is to sell your skills as a realtor and find a way to sell their house successfully.

Discuss The Benefits Of A Realtor

When you’re sitting down with your potential clients, go over the many benefits that a realtor offers to them. Include benefits like the following to give them a feel for how you:

  • Reach out to potential buyers out of the community
  • Haggle for prices successfully
  • Suggest improvements that can increase home value
  • Handle the legal legwork that is necessary when selling a home
  • Increase the chance of quickly selling the home

Don’t press the issue excessively or make promises that seem unrealistic. For example, don’t claim that realtors “guarantee” a sale for a ridiculously high amount. Just honestly assess what you offer.

Bring Paperwork That Backs Up Your Claim

Most people are going to want evidence that you are successful, so bring some paperwork that proves it. Receipts from past sales (with the names of the buyers and sellers blacked out) gives them the chance to see just how much money you’ve gotten out of property in the past.

You could also include evidence of your licensing, real estate classes you may have finished, or rave reviews from past customers. The last one might actually hold a lot of weight with some people, especially if they know anyone you’ve worked with in the past.

Get Quick Results

If the sellers are interested in using your services, you need to do right by them as quickly as possible. Of course, you shouldn’t rush to sell their house simply to get it off the market, but time is of the essence. Work hard to find them a buyer who is willing to pay their price.

This might require visiting with potential buyers, traveling across the country, haggling over price, and helping everyone come to a decision that works for all the parties. Making the process quick, and easy, for your customer makes them happy and more likely to turn to you in the future.

This simple process will help maximize your marketing reach and increase your customer base. Successfully selling a home is the best way to show off your skills, so make sure that you put your money where you mouth is with these formerly cynical sellers and find them a dream deal.

If you have any more questions about real estate marketing, or simply need a friendly ear that will listen, please reach out to us today. We can help you maximize your real estate success.

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3 Questions Home Sellers Ask and the Answers That Help You List More Properties

By | Real Estate

Home owners who want to sell their property usually have a list of questions they want to ask each Realtor they meet with. The answers we give you here will make you stand out from the crowd. A lot of sellers meet with three potential listing agents, so they ask the same questions three times.

If you are the first Realtor they meet with, then your answers are probably new to them, and they will use your answers to compare against the other Realtors. If you are the third one, then they probably have a good idea as to what you might say.

Whether you are 1, 2 or 3 you want to impress the seller, so you can close on the listing agreement. If they say they have other Realtors to speak with, offer to call them, and cancel the appointments on the seller’s behalf. That, by the way, makes a great subsidiary question close.

OK, let’s look at those questions – and your answers.

1. What is your track record?

They ask this for obvious reasons – they want an experienced and successful agent who will get their property sold. Many Realtors answer this question by talking about the awards they have won, their overall results, and how hard they will work. Some will go straight into their listing presentation.

Successful Realtors begin answers to questions like this with “Thank you for asking” or “I’m glad you asked that.” You do this to reinforce the fact that you are on their wavelength and to get their attention. If you have a great track record, your first sentence should be specific to them and their property in some way. You might have a strong track record in their subdivision, their part of town, condos, 3-2-2 floor plans, etc. By going straight to the heart of the question you do two things:-

  • You set yourself apart from your competition
  • You take them away from the overall subject matter and bring them down to what really matters – getting their home sold

If you are a fairly new Realtor, and you don’t have a great track record, talk about your office’s track record. For example you can say “We sell a lot of condos/homes in this area/etc. My colleagues and I . . .” You can say you all work as a team, you are the leading office (if it’s true) for their kind of property, etc. So even if you, personally, don’t have much of a track record, you can still win the listing.

Even if you have only sold three properties in your entire career, you can say “My track record is that I have sold every home I’ve listed, the average number of days they were on the market was X, and the average list to sell price was Y.” You can then go on to talk about your office’s record. Those kind of specifics will impress your prospect.

2. How will you market our home?

This is a very powerful question, and one that all sellers ask in some way. Most agents have a marketing plan; you want your prospective client to know the ‘strategy’ behind your plan, so you can then explain how your plan will work. So tell your prospect that you will approach getting their home sold by using the right strategy, then you will create the plan.

Tell them that many agents have the same “quote-unquote plan that they use all the time, regardless.” Be polite and say that most agents do get properties sold, but what matters is starting with the most appropriate strategy. Tell them that really successful Realtors base their marketing strategy on their client’s goals, and that is what you will do. So, to be able to answer the question, you must know and understand their goals.

When you know their goals, you can use them in your listing presentation to explain why your plan will work best, and how you will roll out your plan. This will really make you stand out, because most Realtors tend to describe their plan, and leave it for the seller to work out how effective it will be. Do the work for the seller, and they will want you to list their property.

3. How will you price my home? or What is my home worth?

Most people make this one of their first questions. It is, of course, a very important question. It is important for your seller to understand market value, and that value is dependent on three factors:-

  • Their home’s current market value compared to similar homes (if you need to, explain the Law of Substitution just like you learned it in your pre-license course)
  • The specifics of their home – how up-to-date it is, how well maintained it is, how it will appeal to prospective buyers – “What I call the Wow! effect.” Etc
  • How soon they need it sold, because every home has a ‘sell it by tomorrow price’ a ‘sell it within the average list-to-sell time in this area price’ and a ‘sell it next year price’. When you know more about their goals, etc, you will be able to answer the question in detail. This will impress the seller because it shows you are a true professional who keeps them front and center

Explain that you will perform a comprehensive and accurate (always say ‘accurate’) market valuation. You will also compare their home with others just like it that are currently on the market (their competition) plus those that failed to sell (because they were priced wrong or perhaps not marketed effectively) and those that recently sold. This will give them a full and accurate market valuation. And you will be able to use the current average list-to-sell price, to calculate their ‘walk-away money’.

Final Note

These are three common questions that sellers ask all Realtors. These answers are not common, so they will help you to stand out from your competition. Think about them, practice variations on the answers, so they will fit any situation and you will win more listings – and sell more houses.

When you finish your listing appointment you might want to leave a small ‘Thank you’ gift for the opportunity to meet with them, and to reinforce how different you are from other Realtors. You might also want to mention that when you sell their home, they will receive a very nice closing gift. To help you plan ahead, please feel free to contact us so we can answer our questions, and help you choose the closing gifts you want to arrange for your clients.

Help Your Clients Depersonalize Their Home To Increase Its Sale Price

By | Real Estate

As a real estate agent, you’re likely to run into a lot of homes with a unique and quirky sense of style created by the owner. While this makes the home more livable for them, it makes it a hassle to sell the home. After all, potential buyers may be turned off by these odd style quirks.

However, if you and your clients are willing to depersonalize their home before putting it on the market, you can instantly increase its value and sell it more quickly.

What Does It Mean To Depersonalize A Home?

When a family lives in a home, they do a variety of simple things to make it their own. For example, they might hang pictures of family members on the wall, bring in their own furniture, and change the wallpaper. You depersonalize a home by removing these items and replacing them with ones that suits a wider range of tastes.

Now obviously, a family is going to take pictures and furniture when they move. However, items on the house, such as the aforementioned wallpaper or the exterior siding of the home, won’t be taken. Replacing odd colored paint or wallpaper on the home will make its style more general and easier to sell.

Other items, such as exterior name signs, silly mailboxes, painted rocks, and bird baths should be removed before taking pictures of the home or showing it to any potential buyers. This will give it a more homey style that will make it more livable.

How Does This Affect A Home’s Curb Appeal?

The curb appeal of a home is a major selling point for many home buyers. If the house looks great on the outside, they are more likely to buy it. Removing quirky items from a home’s exterior immediately improves its curb value by making it appeal to a wider range of tastes.

As a result, the curb appeal of the home will rise and the home price will soar. It’s also a good idea to do a curb appeal appraisal after you depersonalize the house to catch anything that might have missed your attention. In this way, you can increase the home’s value almost instantly.

Also take time to depersonalize the interior of the home. Though this won’t directly affect the curb appeal price, it will look better in photographs. Depersonalizing a home by removing excessive interior items makes the rooms look larger in photos and during showings.

How Should You Depersonalize A Home?

Depersonalizing a home requires a little work and a few hundred dollars. Typically, depersonalizing a home is something that you and the family can do together, but experts can also be hired to do it.

While this may increase the price a few thousand dollars, it’s still worth it for the boosted sale price. Depersonalize a home by following these steps:

  • Repaint the exterior a blander color
  • Mow the lawn and remove personal yard decorations, such as lawn gnomes or pink flamingos
  • Replace bright or patterned wallpaper with non-patterned, more neutral paper
  • Remove all personal items from the home and place them in storage or, if possible, the seller’s new home
  • Put in new carpet with a neutral tone
  • Clean everything from top to bottom
  • Fix any quirky problems that the family as adjusted to, such as a crooked door, that would make a home less desirable to a buyer

Following these tips will turn your client’s home into a blank slate. This will help make it easier to find a buyer, one that is willing to pay a good price for a handsome home that they can personalize to their own needs. To learn more about this process and other real estate tips, please contact us today.

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Selling Real Estate: Tips For the Agent

By | Real Estate

Selling real estate is far from easy. It’s often even harder to sell other people’s properties. Of course, selling real estate for others is one of the biggest jobs of a real estate agent. Every real estate agent, no matter how long they’ve been in the business, can always improve a little more. New agents have even more room to grow. Because of the nature of the business, the smallest things can mean the difference between failure and success. Here are a few helpful tips for selling more real estate.

Be responsive

This is one of the most important qualities of a great real estate agent. No matter what marketing methods you use, the potential buyer will almost always be the one to initiate contact. Whether they contact you through e-mail, phone, or some other method, be sure to respond as quickly as possible. If you receive the contact during a weekday, respond immediately if at all possible. Even during the evenings or over the weekends, try to stay connected, and do your best to respond within five to ten minutes. So much of the real estate world follows the “first come, first served” system. Even a five-minute delay in your response can allow another agent to sneak in and steal your sale.

Some agents set up automatic responses. This will send a prewritten response to anyone who sends you an e-mail. Although this idea is worth considering, be aware that these types of e-mails can be very impersonal, and can also be frustrating in some cases.

Be personal

No one wants to talk to a computer. The more friendly you are, the more people will want to work with you. Get to know their situation as much as you can. Remember everything they tell you about their life, whether or not it is related to real estate. People are more likely to buy something, even real estate, from someone they consider to be a friend.

Be flexible

Potential buyers will also appreciate flexibility. This is especially true when it comes to viewing properties. As much as you can, be willing to help people out during evenings and weekends. People will understand if you have other appointments, of course, but if you’re free, offer to meet potential buyers whenever is convenient for them.

Thorough communication

Obviously, you don’t want to annoy your clients, but keeping buyers posted about a property they are interested in isn’t likely to annoy them. Most buyers will appreciate any information you give them, even if it comes often. Another great way to make sure you stay on your buyers’ good sides is to be personal with your communication. Sending a list of properties available to everyone on your e-mail list will only get you marked as spam, but letting one or two buyers know separately that a house similar to what they’re looking for is on the market will be appreciated.

It’s also good to be available through whatever method the buyer contacts you. If they call you, call them back, but if they e-mail, be willing to communicate as much as possible through e-mail.

Use the internet

This is another very important thing to pay attention to. Make sure you are using the internet to its full potential. Post any properties for sale on appropriate websites. Make sure to build your own website if you haven’t already, and take steps to insure that it appears at the top of search results. People look for properties in all sorts of ways. Make sure you’re available to help no matter where they start.

Looking for more real estate sales tips? Contact us! We’re here to help.

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4 Really Powerful Real Estate Marketing Tips

By | Real Estate, Uncategorized

How many new leads do you want this month? Two? Five? Fifteen?

If you sold two more homes next month than you did this month, would you be happy? Would you rather sell four more? And what if you carried some of those new leads over to the month after and sold another four?

This article is about how you can be really effective in your marketing. It’s about how you can use what you know, use what you have and get great results. If you do marketing now – just build these ideas in to what you are already doing. If you have been relying on floor time and open houses to get your leads, just start here and launch your marketing.

Marketing Tip #1

If this article was a marketing piece, not a blog, and we wanted to grab your attention, how did we do? If you’re reading this sentence, then we did OK. And to achieve our objective of getting you to keep reading, we used one of the great marketing techniques that has stood the test of time:-

  • We asked you a specific question about you and what you do. “How many new leads do you want this month?” OK? Not a general question, not a question that doesn’t mean much, but a question that hits you where you live – leads that result in selling properties
  • We answered the question for you with more questions that should have engaged your imagination, and your desire to succeed “Two? Five? Fifteen?” Most Realtors would be happy with two extra leads but we went as far as fifteen – a number that very few Realtors can match but, because we said it, it implies that we have ways to get you that many. If you relish the idea of fifteen new leads, then we engaged your mind, your memory, your imagination and your emotions.

That is the most basic, the most essential, the most powerful marketing technique known to Man (and Woman) so, when you write your own marketing pieces – ask a powerful question to engage your reader. If you want Buyer leads, ask a buyer question that will make them sit up and take notice. If you want Seller leads ask a seller question that gets them to sit up and take notice.

Marketing Tip #2

Offer your prospect something of value. ‘Free’ is one of the most powerful words in marketing (others include ‘special’ ‘limited’ ‘immediately’ ‘now’ and so on. Use power words – we’ll stick with ‘free’ for now. Everybody likes free stuff.

Now here’s the thing, you don’t give it away – you exchange it. Tell your Buyer or your Seller readers that if they do (what you want them to do) they will get (the free thing)

So, after you have their attention because of your great question, now you can offer them, say a free gift box of cookies or a free mug with a picture on it of – well you decide what would make people in your city or your subdivision say “I want one.”

Now, to get the gift basket or the mug, they have to give you their contact details – fair exchange. They get a free gift and you get name and email address.  Now here’s the really clever part:-

Marketing Tip #3

Tell them they can pick up their gift at your Open House (give the place, date, time) or at the seminar on how to buy or sell. If they cannot attend your presentation, ask for their address because you will be delighted to bring it round. This works great if your marketing piece is aimed right at your farm area.

Why? Because, now, you have name, email address, phone number and their home address plus an invitation to go round and meet them. They get a free gift and you get a new lead. Even if they are just a ‘Looky Lou’ at this stage, you have a better relationship with them (and, eventually, their family, neighbors, friends and colleagues) than any of your competitors.

Marketing Tip #4

Follow up and keep in touch. Now you have the contact you must keep it active. If they are actively thinking about buying or selling, you have your ‘this month’s new leads’. If not, then the next email or note they get from you can be asking them to send you a photograph of, or a comment from, the person they gave the gift to. Give them some real estate news or ask them to comment on your seminar or open house presentation, so you can make it better next time. By keeping in touch over useful, pleasant and personal things, you will build a relationship. And you will become their Realtor of choice – for themselves or for whoever they refer to you.

We have a lot of ideas to help you to market yourself and your services, so, if you would like to learn more about our products please contact us by clicking here and we will help you get those leads.

And remember – at the moment you will get 30% off your first order – but hurry, this may not last long!

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7 Innovative Real Estate Marketing Tips

By | Real Estate | 2 Comments

There are hundreds of articles and blogs on real estate marketing, but many of them say the same thing over and over. Check-out the seven innovative real estate marketing tips below.

Green Marketing

It’s mainstream knowledge that going green is a good thing, and it’s likely that your potential buyers are mindful of this trend if not total practitioners and supporters. Whether or not your real estate company is green or you’re selling a house with solar panels, there are other more subtle aspects of environmentalism that buyers are likely to want to hear about.

From energy-efficient refrigerators that come with the house to hardwood floors that are much less toxic than carpet or vinyl, all homes have green aspects of interest to the average buyer. It is your job to discover what they are and share them.

Marketing Balance

New real estate agents often read lots of information that highlights directness and aggressiveness when it comes to sales and dealing with clients. At times, yes, it’s preferable to communicate aggressively in order to close a deal, but other times, it’s best to back-off. Marketing balance involves knowing when to push energy and when to give clients room to feel confident about their own decisions.

In other words, don’t pester potential clients with excessive amounts of phone calls and eMails.

Marketing Details

If the owner still resides in the home, instruct them on how to stage their home for sale. It’s very important the house look completely and thoroughly clean, including deep-cleaning in the nooks, crannies, corners, very tops, and even the basement. This may sound excessive, but it’s hard to gauge what a buyer’s decision will come down to at the crucial moment, and you never know when the clincher is a buyer’s memory of running his or hand across a dirty cabinet!

Marketing Honesty

Don’t hide the leak in the sink or the crack in the wall. Buyers often have a second-sense about what’s going on with a house, as well as insight about the forthrightness of a real estate agent. Plus, if you hide something little and a buyer senses the subterfuge, he or she may think that it’s something much worse than it actually is.

Instead, share all of the information you have and then explain how to fix it. Research repair rates and other knowledge with potential buyers so that they understand what they’re getting into. Remember, you’re not just a real estate agent: you’re a facilitator who must learn to wear many hats in order to achieve success.

Marketing Personally

Some real estate agents will tell you that it’s never wise to miss a phone call or text message, but they’re wrong. There’s one instance when you need to turn your cell-phone off, and that’s when you’re showing a house. Potential buyers want your full attention, and it’s highly discomforting for them to experience distracted behavior.

Consider having auto-generated responses that reply with: “I’m currently showing a house, and I want to give my potential buyers my full attention while we are at the house. I will call you back as soon as possible. Thank-you for your patience and understanding.”

Marketing Anthropomorphism

What on earth is marketing anthropomorphism, you might ask. It’s a fancy way of saying that you give human qualities to something. In the real estate world, that something is the house you’re selling. It takes time to create different types of personas for your houses, but even one strategically placed “I’d love for you to experience my cathedral ceilings on a starry night” communicates volumes to potential buyers. It also shows that the real estate took energy to create the listing and the time to get to know the house he or she is selling.

Marketing Visualization

It’s easy to tell all potential buyers to visualize a hot-tub in the sun-room, but good real estate agents go further than that. They take the time to know their buyers. At minimum, they understand the family needs and basic background of their potential buyers, but really good agents go further and connect with buyers.

While not every buyer will discuss furniture arrangements and career goals with you, the ones who do are likely to want you to engage them with marketing visualization. In other words, if you know your buyer has a large antique king bedroom set, invite them to visualize the furniture in the master bedroom.

For more information, contact us today!

5 Real Estate Marketing Tips

By | Real Estate | No Comments

Selling real estate isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. It’s like fishing for deep-sea fish. You might have days of nothing, and then when a bite does come along, you need to move carefully to avoid snapping your line, or losing your fish entirely. Part of that is skill, and part of it is experience, but it helps to have a plan in place before you even get started.

If you’re still formulating your strategy, these tips from the National Association of Realtors, Fit Small Business, and Placester will help you reach your goals.

5 Real Estate Marketing Tips

Tip #1: Write Blockbuster Listings

Sometimes all it takes to sell a property, or at least to get someone interested, is an eye-catching listing. That’s why, if you’re listing a property, it’s important to tap into that inner poet for a little bit of flash when it comes time to put words on the page. Or, if engaging writing isn’t your specialty, hire someone who can make the listing pop. The investment will be well worth the cost.

Tip #2: Create an Elevator Pitch

While typically something associated with novelists, and Hollywood screen writers, an elevator pitch is a necessity for realtors as well. Imagine you’re in an elevator with someone, and that person mentions they’re looking for a new realtor to help them get an ideal property. You have until the fifth floor to make the case as to why they should trust you to handle their needs, rather than some other realtor. You’ve got 30 seconds, and that’s not a time you want to be struggling to explain what you can do for this potential client.

Tip #3: Network in Your Community

Realtors need to know more than which pieces of property are for sale; they need to know who lives in the communities they sell in. That’s why it’s a good idea to join associations, come to local meetups, and to know as many people as possible. The bigger your social network, the more likely it is people who want to buy real estate will come to you. After all, you’re not some random realtor to them. They know you, and they trust you, which can make all the difference.

Tip #4: Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words

Any realtor worth his or her salt knows that pictures of a property are always better than just a description, and that if you have the two together they’re greater than the sum of their parts. However, it’s important to make sure all the images on your website are high-quality. That includes your photograph, so if you don’t have a professional head shot, adding one should become a top priority.

Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid To Make A Video

In the long ago and far away, making a video for your business was a truly expensive endeavor. Now, though, you can shoot and edit a video using the camera in your smartphone, and the basic software that comes on your computer. If you can develop an on-screen persona that customers find approachable and endearing, then you could give a video tour of properties to try to catch potential clients’ eyes. It is time-consuming, but it can also help you get that edge over the competition when it comes to moving a property. Especially if the videos you make get popular, and more people than just the local residents start watching and sharing it with all their friends on social media.

For more great ways you can up your real estate marketing game, and increase the amount of business coming through your office, simply contact us today!

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Real Estate Sales Tips That Really Work for Open Houses

By | Real Estate | 3 Comments

You put a lot of time, effort and also some money into holding an Open House, so you want it to deliver results for you and your seller to make it completely successful. The sellers have high hopes that you will bring them an offer from a ready, willing and able buyer. As a successful Realtor, when you hold an open house, you have three goals:-

  • Sell the house
  • Impress at least one visitor enough that they want you to represent them to sell their own home or to help them find a new one
  • Reinforce your position in your market that you are the first person future buyers and sellers should contact

You can achieve all three goals by following some proven open house sales tips. Firstly you want the sellers to do their part by staging the home so it stands out and by giving it the ‘Wow! treatment’. You want neighbors, casual visitors and serious potential buyers to visit. You also want visitors to spend time in the property and then to take away something valuable, useful or attractive that positively reinforces both you and the visit in their minds.

Let’s break your plan of action down into three phases – Before, During and After the Open House Presentation

Before the Open House

  1. Make sure your sellers are really pumped up to make it a success. They should put it in show home condition. If they put in effort they will have some ownership for its success
  2. Ask them for names and contact details of people they would like to visit during the presentation. At this stage it does not matter if the contacts are currently looking for a new home; what does matter is that they come and are impressed. Firstly, the visitor might know someone who is looking, and that gives you a potential buyer you would not have had. Secondly it gives you more contacts for your own future marketing. A lot of Realtors are not comfortable asking for referrals, so this is an excellent way of getting them. And, thirdly it adds to the traffic – this, on its own, encourages the drive-by folk to stop and come in
  3. Personally send invitations to these people, to neighbors, and to contacts on your database. A lot of so-called farming is just sending out ‘stuff’. Sending out open house invitations tells everyone you are a busy and successful professional, as well as actually advertising the property
  4. Prepare good leaflets that really show the home off to its best – focus on the advantages and benefits of living in the home and in the neighborhood. Do not just reproduce the listing sheet
  5. Prepare a professional-looking packet for each visitor. Include property details, testimonials from your other buyer and seller clients, a personal note from the current owners about why they love this home, questionnaires on needs and wants for visitors to fill in and either talk with you at the presentation or to mail to you, later, so you can follow up with them. Include other details as you think fit, as well as your own contact details on everything in the packet
  6. Market the Open House on your own website, your company’s, the MLS, Realtor.com, and use new photographs, a slide show and a virtual tour. Make sure the local papers also know

Include, in your marketing, that all visitors will receive a gift to remind them of their visit. Have a small gift box of cookies, an attractive mug or anything that visitors can take away with them that will be unique to you and the visit.

During the Open House

This is where you do the selling to reinforce your marketing. You want visitors to stay for as long as is sensible, you want them to feel good about their visit, and you want them to remember the home and you. The home will have the Wow factor, so all you have to do is:-

  1. Personally welcome each visitor
  2. Ask them to sign in – for the gift (and your records)
  3. Personally hand them the home’s packet
  4. Ask what, in particular they are interested in. Direct them to a particular feature of the home that relates to what they just said. Even if they say they are just looking, mention the home’s best feature, and ask them to make a point of looking
  5. If you have too many visitors to show the property to, personally, make sure you remember their names and use it to start the conversation about what they liked most, before they leave. The longer they stay, and the more comfortable they are, the more they will like the property and the more they will be impressed with you
  6. Tell every visitor you are grateful to them and you will personally follow up with each one
  7. Give each one the gift basket or other item you promised them 

After the Open House

  1. Follow up, immediately by email, if you can
  2. Then phone each visitor. You want them to tell you if they are interested in the home and ask how else you can help them
  3. Refer to things in the packet they took – like the questionnaire, if they are not ready, willing and able to make an offer

All being well one of the visitors will want a second showing but if not, you have some good contacts for the future. Successful Realtors make open house presentations a source of buyers for the property and a source of future clients.

If you would like to learn more about the kind of gifts you can provide at your open houses, please click here to contact us so we can help you make all of your open houses really successful.

Real Estate Sales Tips: How to Sell Homes Quicker…and for More Money!

By | Real Estate | No Comments

One of the biggest concerns for real estate agents today is how to sell their listed homes quicker, and for more money than the listing price. While we are certain that there are many real-life instances of that mythical “immediate sell way above list price, no matter what shape the house is in” story that you see ad nauseum on HGTV, we’ve come up with this more practical list of real estate sales tips to quickly sell the homes in your inventory for top dollar!

  • Make sure the home is appropriately priced. A good rule of thumb to remember is this: figure out the value of the home (by getting an objective appraisal), and then deduct about 25% from that price. For example, if the home is appraised for $1,000,000, list it for $750,000. This will then provoke a bidding war…which will drive the price at, or above, the home’s value.
  • Storage is something that every homeowner wants…and most complain that they don’t get enough of it. So, in order to make the home look like it has more storage than one can imagine, encourage the homeowner to declutter everything. Go through kitchen cabinets, pantries, linen closets, and bedroom closets, and take out at least half of everything in there. Then, neatly organize whatever is left over in the closets or pantries. This will nearly double the storage space…or, at least, give the appearance of doubling the storage space. 
  • One of the first rules of sales — no matter your industry — is to know, and to understand, your competition. That is to say, make sure you hunt down other open houses in the area, and see for yourself what other homes in the area look like…and what they’re selling for, and why. For example, are you seeing a lot of wood floors in the homes in the area? Is extra money being spent on premium tile types, such as travertine? Are all of the rooms up-to-date? What is the color scheme that’s most common in homes in the area? 
  • Light is a home’s best friend — so, on a day that you’re showing the home, make sure that you turn all the lights in the house on. (Of course, you’ll have to turn them off right before you leave!) This will let the potential home buyer see the home at its absolute brightest, which will make it more appealing. And of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t show a home at night.
  • Ironically, what makes a house a home is the very thing that should be taken out of the house before it’s listed. Remember: a potential home buyer should be able to see himself/herself living in the house…and s/he can’t do that if there’s pictures, memorabilia, and other personal items in the home. Before you show the home, encourage the home owner to pack up everything of a personal nature…in other words, anything that makes a house look like a home. In addition, if there are any “crazy” colors in any room of the house — bold colors, such as red, orange, or yellow — encourage the home owner to paint over the colors with a more neutral palette (such as colors in the beige, brown, and white families). Finally, but certainly no less importantly, it goes without saying that the home should be thoroughly cleaned & scrubbed down before a showing — nothing will turn a potential home buyer away faster than a filthy house!
  • If there’s room in the budget to do so — and it’s a practical investment for the home owner/home seller — hire a professional home staging company, and housekeeper, to keep the home looking its best in between showings.

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