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What is a Showing Tour?


A showing tour is a series of showings scheduled in a consecutive manner. Agents use this strategy to allow clients to view more properties in a shorter time frame

– a “fill two needs with one deed” service if you will. Essentially, the agent collaborates with their client to identify properties to view, and the agent then schedules to show 3-5+ of these properties to their client in a set time frame. This strategy grants both the agent and their client optimization of time and travel, and most importantly gets both one step closer to closing! Here’s how you can organize, enhance and optimize your show tour experience.




How to get the most out of showing tours?

Prepare. In order to have a fruitful showing tour, preparation is KEY.



  1. Have open but clear, objective conversations with your client. Be sure to ask clarifying questions about their needs, negotiables, and non-negotiables. “Are gated communities a fit for you?” “Does living next to a body of water pose a safety concern for you?” etc. It may seem like an obvious step of service, but we will leverage this information to choose the best properties to include on the showing tour.

  2. Give your client the opportunity to use online platforms such as Zillow.com, Realtor.com, Trulia.com to search for properties on their own. Today’s search engines enable buyers to be more proactive in their property search. Take advantage of this!




Plan & Schedule. Time to schedule!

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  1. After narrowing down the search to the 5-7 BEST properties that fit your client's needs, it’s time to start planning and scheduling. First, work with your client to choose the best day and time frame to schedule the showing tour. Next, take the time to plan an appropriate route for showings (i.e. start with the furthest listing and work back ending with the closest). Lastly, use ShowingTime to request the showings given the route you created, and the timeframe you’ve established with your client.

  2. As your showing requests are confirmed, research the neighborhoods and become familiar with the listings. Knowledge will reassure your clients you’re doing your due diligence. Whether by comparative market analysis or personal experience, be able to speak to the pros/cons of these listings’ neighborhoods, home trends, municipalities, etc. Show your expertise on this showing tour.


Present:


Once the showing requests have been confirmed and you’ve prepared for the showing tour - it's SHOWTIME! (pun intended). On the day of the showing tour, provide your client with the showing tour route and meet them at the first property. (Bonus – Bring MLS copies of all the listings to provide to your client.) Throughout the showing tour, be sure to reinforce their needs and keep notes on what they’re loving or what they’re not.



What are the benefits of a showing tour?


- Maximize your time and travel

- Build your expertise

- Strengthen your client-agent relationship

- Get one step closer to finding your client's dream property!



Tips:

- Go over the showing tour route with your client

- Limit showing tours to 5 listings

- Keep notes throughout showing tour

- Drive by properties that you can’t schedule showings for

- Schedule showing tours 2-3 days in advance



Sources


https://www.miamirealtors.com/services/products-and-services/showingtime/

https://theclose.com/real-estate-farming/



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Are open houses still important/relevant?


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In short: Yes! Open houses are very much important for realtors, specifically listing agents. Though times have changed, traditional and new methods are still proving open houses are an effective tool in real estate. In fact, 30% of buyers in higher price points go to open houses to decide which property to put an offer on that very weekend. Some evergreen benefits of open houses include direct contact with prospective buyers, the ability to gauge market interest, the opportunity to meet prospective clients, establishing a presence as a neighborhood expert, and faster receipt of offers. For the higher price point and remodeled properties, spending a few hours for a weekend open house can be very fruitful.



How does covid-19 affect open houses?

Covid-19 has not decreased the frequency of open houses, but has, however, changed their structure. Open houses today are a less crowded affair as safety guidelines are a top priority in every social setting. It is now common practice to allow one party inside the property at a time, offer hand sanitizer upon entry and require masks of all attendees.


Although it does make for a time-crunch event, it allows the listing agent to have one-on-one contact with each prospective party. This is a great way to answer direct questions as well as gauge each party’s interest and whether to expect an offer. Additionally, the waiting period and inevitable line created outside of the property indirectly builds a competitive atmosphere between prospective buyers. These prospective buyers may be more inclined to send in attractive offers to snuff out their competition if they really want to purchase the property. This is a win-win scenario for you AND your client. Although open houses have not stopped, the number of private showings has increased.


What are alternatives to hosting an open house during covid-19?

Covid-19 has caused concern for personal health and safety and therefore, may not attract every prospective buyer. This has, however, caused an increase in alternative methods to showcase properties to buyers.


Live streaming, for example, has become popular. Viewers are able to participate and engage with listing agents from the comfort of their homes in real-time. The best part is live streaming is available on many widely used social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook, making it super accessible and easy to use. The ability to draw in more viewers by advertising days in advance, making these streams consistent and scheduled takes things up a notch. Live streaming will enable listing agents to reach prospective buyers that may not be physically able to visit the property. The wider the audience, the higher the potential for a quicker, attractive offer.


Virtual tours have also become increasingly popular as an alternative to open houses. This method is less interactive and requires more work however, it does have the benefit of utilizing social media to promote it. In this alternative, you film a walkthrough of the subject property with as much content as you’d like. You can include voice narration, descriptive on-screen captions, and background music when editing the video.


Elements that you’d want to incorporate for this are:

  • Staging. Help your audience visualize themselves in that space

  • Be descriptive. Include relevant and concise info that would cover basics yet keep it simple. Leave room for inquiries.

  • Lighting/ Camera Quality. Make sure areas are well lit for video ensuring optimal quality.

By simply adding the final video on your social media page as a post, reel, or story, you can reach your entire network and beyond. The video can also be posted on sites such as Zillow and Redfin to allow other prospective buyers outside of your network to see the property at their convenience.


Lastly, three-dimensional property scans are an alternative to open houses. Formally called 3D rendering, this method uses three-dimensional software to make high-resolution two-dimensional images. The three-dimensional rendering has interactive components to allow viewers to digitally “walk through” rooms at their own pace and see stills of the interior. This alternative, however, may require a professional.


Covid-19 Open House Tips

If you decide to host an in-person open house, make sure to follow CDC guidelines and local ordinances in order to keep everyone safe.


Here are some Open House tips to help stay within those guidelines.

  • Require masks and have extra masks available.

  • Ensure all lights are already on and doors are open/ajar.

  • If the property is occupied, offer shoe covers and gloves.

  • Have a handheld thermometer and screen guests for covid symptoms before entering the property.

  • Limit the number of people inside the property at a time and ensure social distancing of six feet is upheld.

  • Have guests use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before entry.


Did we miss any tips? Share your open house tips with us in the comments!



Resources & Websites


www.openhouses.com


https://theclose.com/real-estate-open-house-ideas/


https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2020/12/open-house-down-not-out


http://ow.ly/HxH250BMxO4


https://www.bobvila.com/articles/are-open-houses-worth-it/


https://www.nar.realtor/coronavirus/open-house-guidance-during-covid-19


https://www.threekit.com/blog/what-is-3d-rendering

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Updated: Sep 16, 2020



Don’t Overlook Landscaping

Landscaping is a major part of a property’s exterior appearance and curb appeal. It has a major impact on any visitor’s first impression -- it can feel inviting and well-maintained or neglected and unattractive. 


What would you prefer to have a potential buyer feel on their first visit? 


Benefits of Landscaping

First Impressions

First impressions are important, and it’s no different for properties. In fact, a 2013 National Association of Realtors survey found that curb appeal is important to 71 percent of homebuyers.  So yes, you can increase the chances of selling your home by giving care and attention to your property's landscaping. A property with a maintained lawn will appear to have been a home that was cared for and will appear more inviting to potential buyers.



Increase Property Value

If a better first impression wasn’t enough to sell you on improving your property’s landscaping, then maybe the fact that you may be able to get a better price for your home will be more encouraging. Landscaping can increase your property value up to 20% depending on the level of investment you decide to make. This will result in a return on your investment as you will sell your property faster and at a higher price. 


Establish Curb Appeal

Curb appeal takes first impressions to the next level. Curb appeal is the attractiveness of a property in comparison to its surroundings when viewed from the street. Curb appeal encompasses all external components of a property, and landscaping is one of those components. Establishing and/or improving curb appeal can be the deciding factor for a buyer purchasing your house over another property in the same neighborhood.


Understanding the 3 Elements of Landscaping (A Quick Guide)

According to an article by Southern Living Plant Collection, there are three critical elements of landscaping: mass, form and line. The secondary elements are texture and color. These elements work together to transform space and add interest to a property’s landscape. 


Mass

Mass describes the space occupied by an object or group of objects. This can apply to a house, a patio, a tree or a group of plants. The objective of mass in landscaping is to size individual objects or components in relation to their surroundings. For example, a planting bed would be sized based on its relation to the property or the size of a fountain would be sized based on its surroundings.

Form 

Form refers to shapes of individual objects or those formed by a group of objects. Plants, driveways, walkways can create shapes. According to the Southern Living Plant Collection, “Landscape forms evoke emotions and create ambiance. Rectilinear forms feel structured and formal, circles are soft, triangles are strong, and irregular shapes are casual and free. [One] can take advantage of form in a design to set the mood of a landscape.” 


Line

Line refers to the flow and direction of the landscape used to create connectivity. Use different types of lines to direct the eye through the landscape.

  • Vertical lines carry the eye skyward and expand small spaces. 

  • Horizontal lines can make a space feel wider

  • Straight lines are formal and direct

  • Curved lines are more gentle and natural




Are Major Landscaping Investments Necessary? 

The short answer is No. Deciding to completely redo or revamp your landscaping is your choice, however, landscaping investments can potentially pay great returns in home value. 


Here are a few points to consider:


Compare to your Neighbors

It is important to pay attention to how your property’s landscaping measures up to your neighbors. If your neighbors’ lawns are unmaintained and rundown, then putting in thousands of dollars into your landscaping may not be worthwhile. In this case, it would be an overinvestment and will not likely result in such high returns as mentioned above. On the other hand, if other properties in your neighborhood have well maintained lawns, greenery and thoughtful landscaping, you should definitely consider a larger budget. 


Match the Property Condition

Additionally, it is important to consider the overall condition of the rest of your property, both exterior and interior. For example, if the property’s exterior has been renovated with new paint, new driveway, or a new roof, it may be worthwhile to put an additional investment into the property’s landscaping. This will make the property’s overall condition cohesive. But, you do not need to overspend on landscaping if it will feel overexaggerated for the property. 


Keep it Generic and Universal

If you are selling your property, you likely want to appeal to the buyer with the best offer as soon as possible. The best way to do this, is to make updates or upgrades based on what is trending in the current market. Go with neutral colors, common plant species and upgrades that compliment the house. By keeping your choices generic, it will reduce the cost of your landscaping investment.  


Improve your Landscaping on a Budget

So you’re convinced you need to do a little bit of landscaping before listing your property, but you don’t quite have the budget or need for a major landscaping makeover. Show Agents has a few tips that are cost effective and can immediately improve your property’s first impression.


  1. Mow the lawn (and keep it on a cut schedule.) If you do anything at all, make sure your lawn is always cut and well-maintained. Make sure you know the season and how often you will need the grass cut. High grass can make a property appear vacant, cause fines by the city and invite squatters. This is simple, but very important!

  2. Pick up dead leaves and trash. In between grass cuts, picking up dead leaves, tree branches, and other debris can instantly make the landscape look cleaner. 

  3. Pull and spray weeds. Another quick way to immediately make your lawn and driveway look maintained is removing and treating for weeds.

  4. Add new mulch. If you have flower or plant beds, adding fresh mulch is a quick and cost effective way to immediately refresh your landscaping.

  5. #ForApartments Add a plant on a window sill. Succulents are a great way to bring greenery to apartments or condos. They live long and don’t require much care.


What are some other cost effective ways or tips you have to improve landscaping? 

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