Turning your open home into an ‘event’ helps attract more potential leads to your inspections, according to two top agents.
Chris Gilmour, co-owner and agent from All Properties Group in Queensland, said open homes should make anyone passing on the street want to walk in.
“We try to make our open homes like a carnival,” Mr Gilmour told Real Estate Business.
“Outside we have balloons and flags and signs, we also have a branded doormat.
“Then inside we always have the same style music playing, we have lollies for the kids as well as balloons and colouring in pads to keep them occupied.
“And we do all that in 25 minutes, I have an assistant who helps setup and stands out the front of the house to engage people on entry, while I’m inside talking to the buyers.”
Amy Kaslar from LJ Hooker Thornleigh in Sydney agrees that open homes should be more of an event than a procedure.
“We look at it as the one day when we’re on show," she said. "There’s a dress code for all our agents, we have branded doormats as well as our directional and flags."
Ms Kaslar achieved the number one salesperson ranking in Australia for LJ Hooker for the 2011/2012 awards year.
“A while back we did an evening open home where we supplied orange juice and champagne with finger food for really high-end properties, which was a big hit because all the locals want to have a look inside those sorts of properties,” she said.
Ms Kaslar also hires a local coffee van if she knows the property is in high demand.
“It has to be a special open home. If we know it’s going to be huge, like around 30 groups, then I’ll fork out for the hire amount," she said.
“People love it, especially coming into winter.”
Mr Gilmour said open homes are one of the best sources for leads, especially for an agent new to an area.
“We have a buyer show bag that we give to the buyer as well, which is filled with information on our company, all our stock, a brochure on the property with a floor plan, nearest schools, shops and general information like bus timetables,” he said.
“Personally, I get more referral business, but just starting out there is no better way to generate leads.”
Ms Kaslar agreed, adding that there is no better opportunity to meet the locals.
“It’s definitely a great source for prospecting leads," she said. "I go to anywhere between 15 to 20 open homes in a week, so if 10 people come to each, I’m seeing at least 150 people a week.
“When can you meet that many people? And if they’re not locals, I can refer them through to our other offices and get a referral fee if they use one of our agents.”
However, debate continues amongst industry professionals about the worth of open homes in today's fast paced society.