When you list your property for sale, especially if the property is your personal home, it can be very disruptive having buyers come through day in and day out.
Whilst buyer viewings are an important part of the marketing process, the timing of the viewings can often be an issue. Having your agent phone you on short notice can often mean that you need to run around like a crazy person getting your home ready for the viewing – and often all for nothing.
Unfortunately it’s impossible to do away with all of these ad-hoc appointments – but one way to limit them is to try and channel buyers through your property in pre-arranged “viewing windows” – such as a showhouse.
Some Sellers are against having a showhouse, as they believe that all the nosy neighbors will be attending and that serious buyers rather make their own appointments. However, the statistics show that this isn’t all true.
When your property is newly listed it’s important to realize that there is an existing pool of potential buyers that will want to come and view it. What better way to expose it to these buyers than to have a showhouse, at a date and time that suits you, where these buyers can attend en-mass?
A well-organized showhouse leaves nothing to chance. For example, a real estate company that makes use of its’ database will email out a specific invitation to the showhouse to matching buyers.
Show boards are also used – but should never be the sole way of marketing a property “On Show” as you very seldom attract the right buyers in the correct price range. However, used in addition to the above methods, it’s a good way to attract new buyers who may have missed other forms of marketing.
At Harcourts Platinum we have achieved phenomenal success at showhouses. When using our database to invite our existing buyers, and advertising in print, we have improved the attendance at our Showhouses by some 300% in the past 2 years.
We take things a step further by inviting the neighbors as well. Why? Many neighbors are renting their property and would love to purchase in the area. They also may have friends who have expressed an interest in the area who they can invite to the showhouse. It’s true that the odd nosy neighbor may attend, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider the benefits.
The other significant benefit to showhouses is that you can often have a number of interested purchasers attending at the same time. Imagine the sense of urgency they will feel when they realize that they will need to act swiftly and make their best offer in order to secure the property.
A point for consideration though: Is it really necessary to have a showhouse for 3 hours? In Australia and New Zealand showhouses run for 30 minutes. At Harcourts Platinum we are now running certain showhouses for 45 minutes and have so far achieved great success. Serious purchasers make a note of the times and are ready at the showhouse as it opens. It’s a really good way to ensure that you attract genuine purchasers and not just those out for a Sunday drive.
Proof that Showhouses work in the fact that, in Harcourts Platinum, for the last 2 years 1 in 4 of our sales has been as a direct result of a showhouse. If you want to achieve the best price you can then Showhouses are something you can’t afford to be without!
Principal of Harcourts Platinum, and Director of Harcourts South Africa
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