I’ve already learned a lot from simply preparring for my first open house. It’s been an interesting experience to say the least. I made several rookie mistakes that I will probably always remember. Let me start from the beginning though.
I volunteered to hold an open house for a pretty successful team in my brokerage. I figured it would be a good opportunity to get in front of people and hopefully find some people to trust me with one of the biggest investments of their life. No pressure, right?
The property had just been listed the day before so I was finally able to preview the property on the MLS. I gathered the professional pictures they had taken of the property and picked out my favorites. Now it was time for the fun part; designing flyers! Something of value with my name on it that I could hand out to people. After designing the first one, I caught sight of another template that caught the eye even more than the other. It made sense that I should make another one to compare. In the end, I found myself with 5 different layouts with basically the same exact information and about an hour of time wasted. To convince myself that I had spent my time well, I printed a few of each design to use.
Next thing on my to do list was to see the house in person. I gathered the open house signs that I borrowed from a family member and made the 30 minute trip to Federal Way. The property is located in a nice community with culdesacs and seniors taking their morning walks. The landscaping was done with care and the houses looked to be in good shape. Finding the property was easy but I had to double check the address when I saw 5 cars parked right outside. I should have known it would have a lot of traffic. It’s a new listing in a nice neighborhood at a decent price. Of course buyers are going to want to check it out immediately. I popped my head in for a couple of minutes but didn’t want to intrude on any potential buyers imagining their life there, so I left to go door knock.
At first, the idea of knocking on a stranger’s door seemed frightening but having something in hand to give to them, and kind of pull their attention away from me, made the process seem easier somehow. I was coming from a place of contribution. The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. That faded shortly after I realized most people just won’t open there doors. Not because they weren’t home or just didn’t hear the doorbell. I watched a few people move the blinds to peak at me, then go back to whatever they were doing before I interrupted. There was even a lady that yelled at me to get off her property from behind her door. I lost count at how many doors I knocked, but only about a fourth of them were opened. Next time I’ll try a different time because noon on a Friday clearly wasn’t the right time.
After making my rounds, I set off on the mission to place my signs. I had absolutely no idea where to start.It was obvious that the signs needed to be placed in a clear path that would direct traffic to the house without issue but the actual spot to place them in gave me trouble. I decided only to put the signs next to stop signs and street sign posts because I didn’t want any of the property owners to get upset. Thankfully there were pleanty of those near by. Some of the spots still made me wonder if I’d get an angry home owner coming to the open house to demand the removal of my signs. Agents put out signs all of the time though, so I chopped it up to my brain overreacting and decided my work for the day was done.
Upon arriving in Puyallup, I tell my realtor family member about my day. She’s quick to inform me that the city will snatch up her signs if I leave them there for more than a few hours. I rack my brain, trying to remember a class or a video I watched that brought up the rules of signs but I can’t. How did I not know those signs could only be up the day of the open, not 2 days beforehand? Back to Federal Way I went. Lessons were learned. The open house is on the 18th. I’m sure to learn even more, hopefully, while wasting less gas and time. I’d love to see you there.