Alright, this is a PSA for all you real estate agents out there. As a prospective home buyer, I have some things I’ve observed that I love, and well, some that I think you could improve on. And for what it’s worth, I think you should take some notes.
1. Online pictures
Ok seriously? Put some effort in these. I don’t need to see zoomed in pictures of furniture, I just care about the house. And come on, stop taking pictures of homes at night. I mean, WHY? Open the blinds/curtains, wait for the sun, and show me the house when it’s at it’s best: natural sunlight is your friend!
2. Take a video of the home
This is pretty rare, and I never understood it. I LOVE when you guys post videos of the home. You don’t need a fancy production company to produce one of these, you know that right? You can even do a simple social media post (see #12).
I may be alone on this, but I just want you to know, I throw that brochure away as soon as I get back to my car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice, but unless it has something that isn’t already on my app (zillow, realtor), I’m tossing that right away. And if you are going to have it available, just leave it on the table. Don’t give it to folks that don’t want it, save yourself some money.
4. Printed Floor plan
For those of you that have floor plans available, I LOVE YOU. I don’t need that fancy brochure with pictures I already see online, I need a floor plan with measurements. Can my couch fit in that living room? Will my bed fit in there? I need measurements!
5. Measuring tape
Look, I keep this in my purse, but I know many shoppers don’t. And if you’re not going to have a floor plan available, I’m sure serious prospects would appreciate some measuring tape available.
6. Put the lights on
I can’t tell you how many open houses I’ve been to with no lights on. Yes, the sunlight is shining through, but for some homes that lack sunlight, those lights would make a world of a difference.
7. Home’s story
I could be alone on this, but I LOVE when the real estate agent shares the story of the home, the age, the previous occupants…etc. With that said, don’t talk my ear off while I’m there. Let me walk around in peace.
8. Stuff for kids
I went to an open house once, and the real estate agent had a “treasure hunt.” I thought it was GENIUS. They had a “map” for my kids (of the house) and it had something my kids needed to find. In that case, it was a parrot. It kept them busy, and at the end, he had a little box of stickers and candy that he gave for finding the “treasure.” I thought this was SUCH A GOOD IDEA!
9. Clean up
I kid you not, I’ve seen open houses with trash on the lawn or on the sidewalk. I’ve also seen cups and all kinds of things scattered around the house. Seriously, declutter as much as you can. Please. Put some effort into it.
10. Ask for feedback
I don’t get this often, but appreciate it when I do. And, I can only imagine it would help you as a real estate agent as well. So ask folks what they think, and ask for any feedback on the house, the neighborhood–what they liked, what they didn’t..etc. Some may not want to say anything, but you’d be surprised what helpful information you may get.
Very few of the open houses I’ve gone to have played music. However, the ones that did, made a HUGE difference for me. It really sets the mood, and in my opinion, changes the ‘feel’ of the home and the experience. It’s such an easy thing to do, and honestly makes such a difference.
12. Utilize Social Media
I’m surprised at how underutilized social media is. Do a “live,” post some pictures, do a story, and create a buzz! I had one agent ask me to post the video I took (I always videotape my viewings) and tag him. I thought that was super smart on his end.
Anyway, I hope you find this helpful, and I hope you forward this to any realtors you may know too. And happy house hunting if you’re not a realtor!
Photo Credit: The Fox Group