There is no doubt in my mind that for a real estate agent, the summer real estate market is a really good time to hire an assistant!
These last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Summer has come to an end and the trees began shedding their leaves for cooler autumn weather. Offers have come and gone, listings have come and gone, and new client relationships have developed. I spent many hours on the phone discussing options and negotiations, MORE hours on the computer sending emails and filling out the many documents we require for transactions, and just as many hours showing houses and working open houses! LIFE IS SO FULL!
I want to focus on open houses this week since this is where I am at with one particular client. I usually do the first open house for a client two weeks into a listing. Two weeks gives plenty of exposure on MLS and plenty of time for other agents to show the property. Once that new listing hits the MLS (two weeks ago), every Buyer looking for a property with the same criteria as the listing, gets notified with a ‘New Listing email’ from their agents (as long as their agent uses the AWESOME auto email feature). The two weeks passes and here is our next marketing tactic – the open house.
In Kelowna we are lucky that the business of the real estate market hangs around longer than other cities – weather being a major factor. Since we are in September and the weather is still mild, we have many tourists still visiting from other cities around Canada, and I am in the mood for an open house, we do one! Also, my client likes the idea of an open house, not all clients do.
Realtor.ca has a great option where it allows consumers to view open house schedules online. This is why it is important to advertise your open house on MLS. We advertise a few days before on the MLS, on Facebook and Castanet, and other mediums for ads.
The best time to do an open house really varies. This past weekend I know that The Taste of Kelowna was on from 12:00 – 3:00 so why not cater my open house around that and start around 2:30? Perfect! Usually a 2 – 3 hour window is plenty of time. So do I bring snacks to this open house for my guests or not?
I set up open house signs around the major streets of Kelowna near the listing, leading people to my open house and sometimes I drop flyers off at the neighbouring houses. This is where the necessity of the open house comes to be questioned. Are these people really interested in buying my house or do they only want to see inside? Well, the truth is that many of the people will be simply ‘popping in’, and not a serious buyer but you never know as they may have a friend coming into town looking or a family member thinking about buying in the area. I’d say it is 50/50. Nowadays many consumers like to take the initial steps of home purchase into their own hands and peruse the open houses on a weekend basis until they are ready to hire an agent.
Because of the location of the subject property, a REALTOR® as myself is able to gauge the idea of an open house as a marketing tool. For instance, the Kelowna Waterscapes complex is a hub for tourists and walking public – a perfect spot for non-stop traffic where as a subdivision in Kettle Valley is secluded so would only attract someone particularly interested in that area. It’s really the discretion of a Seller and their representing agent with many factors to consider.
Stay tuned for more on listing properties in Kelowna and the process of real estate transactions as I work away in the many weeks to come. Remember if you have any questions I am always available by text, email and phone (in that order please). 7782141773 firstname.lastname@example.org.