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Open houses are gold, Jerry! Gold!

Asian_Couple_WFAgent_Walkway7We are now officially in the fall real estate market. Once Labor Day passes… Boom! It’s here. And now is the perfect time to get back into the swing of things by chatting with clients that may have taken a hiatus, planned or otherwise, over the summer months. According to the latest data from RBI, new listings in Arlington County are picking up and so are pendings. Volume was also up 6% year-over-year for Arlington. I expect for sold units to increase when August data from MRIS/RBI is compiled as well. We should also see everything pick up for September and October.

If you look at the latest data from our new stats blog, you’ll see that as of today there is 3.05 months of inventory on the market and that the average days on market for Arlington is now 66.34 days.

So what does this mean for you? I think it means that now is also a great time to hold open houses. First, you get to meet potential sellers around that listing if you maximize your open house opportunity. And, secondly, you get to meet potential clients in the form of buyers who come through the open house. So what does “maximizing your open house opportunity” look like? Some of the ways to effectively promote an open house and maximize that opportunity include the following:

  • Sending out the Century 21 e-mail blast to 1,000 agents who have offices located near that listing via 21Online;
  • Sending direct mail cards to your sphere of influence announcing the open house;
  • Holding a “private” viewing for the neighbors before your “public” open house. For example, the private viewing would be from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm and the public open would be from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm;
  • Sending direct mail cards to as many of the neighbors as you can afford to;
  • Sending handwritten thank you notes to all who came by the open house (e-mail them if you don’t have their physical address);
  • Have something “special” at the open house to make it like a real event, rather than just an open house. For example, since we’re rolling into the fall market, perhaps give pumpkins to the first 10 people to attend the open house. Or if there’s a great view off of the deck, serve lemonade on the deck so that the attendees can truly see what entertaining would be like in their new home;
  • Personally call the agents from other brokers who have offices near the listing or call the agents who have sold their over the past 12 months.

These are just some of the things you can do to really drum up your open house activity. The bottom line is to make it fun and to get the word out to as many people as possible rather than simply noting the open house in Matrix. Our office currently has 37 active listings and I’m sure that many of those listing agents would love for you to hold their listing(s) open. Opportunities abound this fall so let’s take advantage of them. Whaddya say?

As always, this is not a sermon… just a suggestion.

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