From Resources to Referrals: Staging an Open House
Real estate agents appreciate the importance of staging — you know that showing a home in its best light is well worth the effort.
From decluttering to curb appeal, the prescription for a successful open house is to create an environment where a potential buyer can imagine living. This effect can be achieved in a number of ways, from a fresh coat of paint to an apple pie baking in the oven. But, what if the pie was made by a local baker? Or that fresh coat of paint was applied by one of the most accomplished painters in town?
A Different Kind of Co-branding
Just as you would you combine your marketing efforts with your local lender of choice, co-marketing with local businesses can be a great way to cultivate future referrals. Being able to display their wares in a prominent way gives local merchants free advertising to reach local customers. It’s also a great way to introduce potential homebuyers from out-of-town to local services.
Each of the vendors can leave business cards and brochures in each room and at the main entrance to the home. Some of the vendors to include:
- Florists. Invite the local florist to fill each room with flowers.
- Bakers. Supply cookies or other freshly-made baked goods.
- Landscapers. If a home’s curb appeal is lacking, recommend a landscaper to the seller and have the landscaping work done prior to the open house.
- Painters. Hire a painter to add a dramatic color to the front door or brighten up an entryway.
- Restaurants. Serve appetizers to your open house guests.
- Art or antique dealers. Invite a local art or antique dealer to display a painting or antique in each room.
Feature Your Recommendations
In addition, you could create a directory of local businesses whose services may not fit in with the home itself, but are part of the home buying process, that you would recommend:
- Home inspector
- Insurance agent
You should also include pertinent town information, like local police, fire, town offices, schools in the district, etc. in your directory.
The Bottom Line
This is free advertising and minimal effort for local merchants and other professionals. In return, all you ask is that any friends, family, or customers be referred to you should they be looking to buy or sell.
You would want to tailor your event based on the size and type of listing to allow enough space to highlight a vendor’s contribution. Taking this co-branding approach keeps you in regular contact and top-of-mind with your local referral partners. And, at the same time, assists you in staging your client’s home in a way that’s sure to attract a buyer.