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Open House [12 Steps for Home Builders & Developers to Attract the Right Buyer]

Red Open House sign pointing at house for inspection
4 min read
Steps and strategies to turn an open house event into a sale.

In this consumer-driven economy, it’s challenging to attract the perfect home buyer to attend your open house event. Even though challenges exist everywhere, there are some simple solutions to curb these most common open house risks. All home builders must be aware of the steps it takes to have the most successful open house event possible.


If you are having trouble attracting the right buyers to your open house events, take a look at these twelve steps to increase the chances of turning the open house into a sale:


1. Understand the prospects

Before you start advertising your open house event, take a serious look at what house you are trying to sell and who consider buying it. For example, consider the price, location, and size of the home. Target your marketing efforts to those who fit the ideal demographic. A mature family will have different needs of a home than a young couple just starting out.


2. Advertise to the correct audience

After analyzing the ideal demographic, consider promoting the open house event on social media. For example, Facebook has a feature where you can pinpoint exactly who will see your advertisements right down to their gender, age, location, and even interests. Don’t waste your time advertising to everyone when there are only a few key individuals who will seriously invest in your home.


3. Create a summarized sheet of the home  

Your visitors might be attending multiple open houses that same day. By providing your guests with a summarized description of the home’s features, your visitors will remember the home better and will have something tangible to compare their options with after they have completed their tours for the day.


4. Enhance the home’s curb appeal

Even though it is what’s on the inside that matters most, your home should also offer an attractive front yard. The curb appeal is the very first impression potential buyers will have on the home you are selling so market this a priority. Consider hiring a local landscaper to spruce up the front and back yards to add that ‘wow’ factor for your open house attendees.


5. Invite the neighbors

You might think inviting the neighbors is a bad idea but think again. By extending the open house to the friendly neighbors, it can provide the potential home buyer insider feedback about living in the neighborhood. This is a solution to weeding out those nosey neighbors. Make it clear to come as a ‘neighbor’ during the invitation process.


6. Schedule at the right time

Many people have a nine to five work week. The best time to hold an open house is over the weekends in the afternoon. Keep the event open for at least three to four hours to work with people’s weekend plans and schedules. Also, schedule the open house for multiple weekends, some potential buyers might be on vacation or unable to attend the first event.


7. Appeal to your buyers  

Deciding which house to live in is hard enough for the home buyer. Ensure the homes you are selling can appeal to everyone by freeing up the clutter, putting away family pictures of the previous owner, and asking the owners to remove the family pet during the events. The last thing you want is a barking dog to turn off potential buyers.


8. Provide a treat

Your guests are going out of their way during the weekend break to tour the home. Some fresh squeezed lemonade or freshly baked cookies can go a long way with the attendees. When it comes to drinks, avoid supplying alcohol. This ensures all attended guests are there for the right intentions.


9. Word of mouth

People talk, so use this to your advantage. When you have an upcoming open house, make sure to spread the word. Enlist your available home in multiple listing services, major home building portals, and most importantly on your own business’s website and social media. The more, the merrier when it comes to exposing your for-sale home.


10. Listen to feedback  

When guests visit an open house, they are going to talk about the positives and negatives of many of the home’s features. If your clients express how wonderful a certain feature is – keep that in mind for future reference. Or vice versa, if they don’t like certain aspects of the available home, take a mental note to improve the chance of making a sale.


11. Put up signs

This tip should be obvious, but you might be surprised how much foot traffic simple signs can get. Don’t just put up one or two on the property itself. Instead place them all over the neighborhood, especially around the busy streets. Even include arrows or specific instructions on how to find the home if the neighborhood is hard to navigate. Make it easy to find so a potential home buyer can stop by for a look.


12. Make it picture perfect

When hosting an open house, you have to make it shine. Picture perfect per say. Clients and their families will take pictures for reference. Some tips to enhance the home are to open all of the windows to let in natural light, lighting up some candles, room lights, or even the fireplace, and enhancing any outdoor living areas.

These dozen steps will increase your chances of attracting the right home buyer as well as helping with many of the common issues that arise during open houses. So, next time your home builder business hosts an open house event, keep these steps and strategies in mind.


For more event specific articles, check out the following:

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Terry Zelen

About Terry Zelen

Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications

Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.

He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.


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