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Open House Promotion a Big Hit

Jim Newell

At Carpenter Realtors, I’ve learned that this is a company that believes in the value of open house. The value is in working hard for your sellers, in exposing that home for sale to the greatest number of buyers, and in personally meeting those buyers and possibly, future sellers.

Do that math – more open houses equals more value, to us and to our sellers.

So when we decided to create an open house promotion, we had to create enthusiasm among both of those groups. Our agents must understand the value of holding a home for sale open, and our sellers must understand the value of getting more people in their home and most exposure for their home. The idea was … ready for this … give away prizes! That’s right, free stuff is the great motivator. The opportunity to win something is a great way to get people to do what they should always do, eh?

Partnering with our media sponsor the Indianapolis Star, we bought some iPads. Holding open one home got you one entry. Holding open two equaled two entries. You can do the math from there. Visitors to those open houses (“buyers” and “possible sellers”) had a chance to win a $500 or a $250 Visa gift card.

During the four-week promotion, we were able to schedule nearly 800 open houses. Big ads in the Sunday Star. Huge online exposure. 800 signs in sellers’ yards. That’s the exposure to buyers. On our end, more than 250 of our agents qualified with at least one iPad entry. Nearly a hundred had at least three entries.

Congratulations to our iPad winners: Hazel Cooper (Greenwood), Cindy King (Fishers) and Olen Miller (Avon West). We’re pretty sure we’ve lost them for a few days as they play with the new toys … err, we mean business tools.

And the point of it all – if you want to expose your home for sale to more potential buyers, you need to give your neighbors and others interested the chance to walk through and ask questions, without any obligation. An open house does that. That exposure should include the largest newspaper presence you can get, because buyers do buy the newspaper looking for open houses. On average our open houses are getting a half-dozen or more visitors every time, typically carrying that unnecessary newspaper ad. If anyone says you don’t need to advertise or even to hold open houses, they’re lazy or simply don’t understand effective marketing.

Many thanks to the hundreds of Carpenter agents who participated in our Check In To Win promotion.

Carpenter Realtors' goal: to hold more open houses than anyone. Check out the latest Indianapolis Open House news at the Carpenter blog.

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