If you’re new in real estate investing, you might just find out that posting the listing is only half the battle—now you need to actually rent it out.
Open houses are a great way to showcase the property and get exposure, but all too frequently they’re poorly executed. Your guests will leave with a bad impression, leaving your property sitting on the market.
Use this guide to throw the perfect open house and make your rental the one they’ll remember.
It doesn’t matter how prepared and beautiful your home is if no one comes to see it. Putting up signs around the neighborhood can direct people to the property who heard about the open house event. Ads in the classified section of your local newspaper may seem outdated, but it’s an efficient way to reach an older generation. Be sure to take full advantage of the internet by advertising your open house online and utilizing all social media outlets.
Word of Mouth
Be sure to network with other real estate professionals to increase attendance rates. Neighbors tend to stop by open houses, mostly out of curiosity and to get a peek inside. This isn’t a bad thing! They might know someone in the market, so bring property information sheets that visitors can take to go.
Make a Great First Impression
When guests arrive to your open house, the first thing they’ll see is the exterior, so freshen up the landscaping and paint job. Purchase a few new items such as a mailbox, front door, or house numbers to make the home pop from the outside.
The property has to be in pristine condition for the open house. In addition to the basics, clean the carpets and wash the windows. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service for the best cleaning job. Remove pets if possible, or confine them to a non-trafficked area.
Stage the Space
Renters need a visual image of how their life might look living in the property. Vacant homes need to be staged with furniture and accessories to complete the picture. If the home is currently occupied, stage it with a set of fresh towels, vase of flowers, and select accents.
Let There Be Light
Lighting will contribute to the cheerful atmosphere of the home. Be sure to turn on each light in every room and bathroom, even on sunny days. Show off the property’s natural light by opening all shades and curtains.
Yes, Bake Cookies
Instead of buying cookies, bake cookies right before the open house begins. It’ll fill the space with a warm and welcoming smell, and provide an opportunity for visitors to stop and interact with the agent. Being friendly pays off, and a helpful attitude can make all the difference in securing a renter.
For a perfect open house, you need to be a wealth of information. Learn every detail about the property: square footage, bedrooms, windows, directional facing, walking distance to local attractions, school districts, and comparable sales, and be prepared for any question that might get thrown your way. Don’t forget to check out the competition on the market and use the property’s strengths to its advantage.
Listen to Feedback
Receiving feedback is one of the biggest takeaways from open houses. Listen to what people have to say about features so you can employ better marketing strategies. Collect opinions on the rental rates and reevaluate if the feedback is consistent.
As applications start to flood in, be clear and diligent about your screening practices. Consider running a tenant background check by SmartMove to check off all of your boxes: financial history, criminal history, and the like. Your applicants will have peace of mind that their personal information is protected, and you’ll get access to the information you need to make a decision.
When it comes to hosting an open house, the bottom line is that the more people who see the property, the more likely it is to be rented quickly. While technology has changed some aspects of open houses, others—such as the importance of making a great impression—will always remain the same.