Let’s put on our imagination VR goggles and fabricate some open house simulations, shall we? The first open house is the definition of perfection. It has that wide kitchen island you have always coveted from others on Instagram, the wide backyard you’ve imagined your dogs roaming through, and even the bathroom has a tub. For the love of Hagrid, it’s the perfect home!
Until it isn’t.
Because the second open house offers everything the first one does, but more. And it’s all because of one tiny detail. The fireplace…it’s the same brick fireplace you grew up with in your childhood home. And we have a winner. Remove those VR goggles.
The point is emotional appeal plays a staggering role in the decision making of potential homebuyers. A home can check all the boxes of what is supposed to make a home ideal based on the latest trends, but a personal connection will easily trump trends in a heartbeat.
This is easier said than done. How does one tap into the mind of potential homebuyers to figure out what makes them tick? Not everyone understands people’s inner thoughts and desires. People are complex animals.
Know Your Complex Animals
It’s all about building a community. You have a responsibility as a Realtor to be in the know about your community, engage with them, communicate and ultimately, know what the people want.
The idea is to make the prospective homeowner realize that this is where they are meant to be, not just in this particular house, but in this community. If you have a scheduled showing with a wino, grab a bottle of the community winery’s house Merlot and pop it open. Let them know that they will be in the company of wine if they move in. When you’re trying to sell a home, you’re also trying to sell the community that comes with it.
It’s Not Just About The Four Walls
Take the tour beyond the home and venture off into the nearby land. Check out the parks, the lakes, the creeks, or anything else that surrounds the home. That personal and emotional connection might easily be located in that quaint sandbox and yellow slide in the community playground. The one that reminds you of your youth that you now want to transfer over to your children. Nostalgia is a mighty tool that will work for you if you learn to use it well.
Social Media Is Your Friend
We try to tap into this nostalgia factor using our social media posts for Judy Boone Realty. Which brings me to the topic of social media. While nostalgia is a tool, social media is the platform to draw in these potential home buyers with nostalgic photos and captions. You can create that emotional connection well before they even show up to the open house. And if you are the ideal Realtor who understands the community’s wants, goals, hobbies and pastimes then you will be one step ahead of the game.
In the same way I have so thoughtfully painted a picture through a VR metaphor, try to use the same verbiage to draw in crowds to that Sunday open house you’ve already purchased local Merlot for. Now’s your chance to get creative through social media engagement.
If you want to promote an open house, then the first place you should be doing it on is the Trifecta of Society: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Also, don’t forget to tag relevant accounts and construct a monument of hashtags. I’m talking so many hashtags where you can sneak #kimkardashian in there and nobody will notice and hopefully it’ll draw in users.
Use Your Five Senses
That’s right. An open house should be an immersive experience and if you are trying to access a personal and emotional connection then you have to utilize the 5 powerful senses. Let them SMELL the cinnamon stick you’ve stashed during the Holiday season or the rosemary scented candles that remind them of their Nana’s house.
Let them TASTE the spread you’ve laid out. Take a page out of Paul Rudd’s book in “I Love You Man,” whose sun-dried tomato aioli paninis were “a revelation” at his open house. Back to the previous point about knowing your community – does your 2pm appointment prefer cookies or a tower of cupcakes? Maybe they don’t, but maybe the pile of kids they are bringing do.
TOUCH is all about the soft breeze that makes contact with their skin on a summer day. Leave the windows open so they could feel the natural air because a drafty open house is where homes go to die.
Allow your guest’s ears to take in the SOUND of smooth Brazilian samba. Music is the ultimate way to fully immerse your guests and according to scientific tests, music can sometimes act as an aphrodisiac. So pleasure your guests with the ultimate cherry on top of this sensory overload experience.
Showtime At The Open House
Treat your open house like opening night of a Broadway show. The stage should be set. The players should know their marks and by players, I’m talking about you. You’re the protagonist and it’s up to you to win over your audience, steal their hearts and connect with them on a human level.
A successful open house goes beyond the listing and into something more. You must treat it no different than if you were trying to win over the heart of your true love or winning over the respect of your hero. You don’t want to appear like a used car salesman. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. My Uncle Gunther sells cars. But we are Realtors and we sell dreams, baby.