May 28, 2009

Say "Yea" to the Neighbors at Open Houses

I hear a lot of people complain because the only traffic they get at their open houses was "nosy neighbors" or other residents of the nearby community. I guess they figure that because these visitors already own a home that they aren't serious about this specific house.

I want to share an idea that just might work for you on the open houses you are holding that will serve two purposes. First, it will hopefully generate traffic. Second, it will serve as personal promotion and make you stand out as an agent who does things different. This just might result in a future listing from one of these neighbors or someone they know because they want an agent who will go beyond the "status quo" to earn their fee.

Everybody Wants Things That Are "One To A Customer"

People love to feel "invited", "exclusive" or "in a select group" so by creating a "Neighbor's Only" Open House event you are feeding right into the egos and desires of the average person. Here's what I suggest you try at your next new listing that you plan to hold open.

Send out a special invitation to the immediate neighbors to the new listing. You can use your own judgement but I suggest the houses on the same city block or cul-de-sac (depending on the size of the block). The invitations should go out to a group no bigger than 15-20. Any bigger and you may lose the "special" feel of the invitations.

The invitations will be notifying the recipient that the Sellers at 1234 ______ Street have enlisted your services to help them with the marketing and sale of their home and you would like to invite those neighbors to a special "sneak peak" of the house before the general public will be able to tour the house.

Now some neighbors will have already seen the house because they have a relationship with the Sellers but ask yourself this - "How many of your neighbors homes have you been inside?" Probably not a lot, especially when you think beyond the foyer, kitchen or back patio. We are voyeuristic society and want to see beyond the cover of most things. Why else do you think celebrities like Aston Kutcher and Shaquille O'Neal have so many followers on Twitter and John and Kate Plus 8 continues to be so popular?

This "Neighbors Only" open house can be held before a public open house, maybe from 12-1pm on Sunday before the 1-3pm public open house, or you could do it on a special afternoon or evening during the week. It's up to you on whether to serve snacks or not. I always did because it made it that much more special for me and the guests.

Here's a sample of what your flyer/invitation could look like.

Do you think this might work for you in your market place? I'll tell you, the Sellers will like it because it is added exposure, the neighbors will like it because it means they don't have to come over "under cover", and you'll like it because it will increase your foot traffic.

Keep up the great work!