Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Best Open House Ever: The Tips You Need to Attract New Tenants

When you've got open units in your community, it's time to rely on an old real estate standby: the open house. A perennial favorite for a reason, the open house is the best way to put your cards on the table and invite the general public to check you out. Not only do open houses attract passersby who might not normally bother stopping in, they can create a sense of urgency among those viewing your available rentals.

So how do you throw the best open house ever? Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends sweetening the deal for folks who might want to stop in but are feeling hesitant. Cookies and punch are nice, but gift cards are the real motivator. Investing in $5 Starbucks gift cards to hand out to visitors can be a great incentive that doesn't break the bank.

Another way to create a sense of urgency? Give your open house a clear start and end time. Rather than a general time (Saturday afternoon, for example), list precise time periods (Saturday between 2 and 4 PM). Folks will be more likely to show, and feel more inclined to arrive at the beginning of the event.

Marketing your event is critical. While full color flyers and advertisements in local newspapers might be costly, they pay off in a big way. If you're on a budget, consider investing in event-specific Facebook advertisements instead. However you choose to promote the open house, make sure you've got great photos to entice the curious folks wavering on attending.

Once you've got a crowd at your open house, make sure to have everyone sign in with their names, phone numbers and email addresses. Building up your email list is a smart way to keep your community at the front of people's minds.

Have applications to hand out and plenty of pens ready for people eager to apply. Be sure you discuss what documentation is required for a complete application, and offer easy options for sending over paperwork. Anything you can do to make the lives of your potential new tenants easier, be sure to offer!

Whether you've struggled to fill vacancies for a week or several months, an open house is a fantastic way to attract new applicants. Simply getting on the radar of people in the neighborhood can lead to referrals, applications and, with any luck, a few new tenants!

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management


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