Real Estate Investing with Brian Evans Jr.
"Showing Houses the Right Way"
Last week I discussed with you how to prescreen your buyers to determine if they are a suspect or prospect. Once you’ve determined they’re a prospect based on numbers, cash or credit, you now need to determine if they’re a prospect based on seeing the house.
So, the next thing is you need to get them over to the house to make sure they like it. If they don’t like the house then there is nothing you can do with them. You can’t force somebody to like your house, so the house has to prescreen them so to speak.
If they don’t like your house, then nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter what they have. But if they don’t like your house, maybe you have another house to show them. Maybe you can target some marketing, if they’ve got a huge down payment and a huge monthly payment and, see if you can find another lease option or a property that you can buy on terms and sell them on terms, something like that. Be creative and think about your other options.
All right, so they’ve got to go see the house. So, what do you do? You do not go meet them at the house and show the house, let them in, unlock and all that stuff. Your system for showing a house does not involve you driving out to a house when someone wants to randomly see it.
It does not involve waiting around for people who are running late. It doesn’t involve showing them around the house. It doesn’t involve answering any annoying questions about the property that you don’t even know the answers to. It doesn’t involve you locking up the property when they’re done seeing it. It doesn’t involve you ultimately wasting two hours of your day for someone to come, meet you there, that turns out they don’t even like it after seeing it.
That’s a wasted amount of time. That’s not a system. That’s a freaking job that sucks and wastes gas. And with gas prices, you don’t waste gas. When you’re making money it really doesn’t matter about the gas, but you know, it’s still time and money wasted.
If this is your system, fire your boss. Your boss is spelled y-o-u. But you see, you’re not going to do it that way because I’m telling you and I know you’re not going to do it that way. And if you do, I will hunt you down.
All right, so let’s show houses the right way. And, you’re going to be thinking, “Man, can I really do this?”
Trust me. This is really the right way to do it. Are there circumstances and situations where you may need to go and be at the house and show it? Yes, that’s 5%, 10%. That’s the rarity. This is the majority. This is where the dollars are.
Have a lockbox on every house that you are trying to sell with the key inside the lockbox.
Once you’ve prescreened them and know that their numbers will work, then you can let them go see the house. Simply say, “Tell you what Mr. Buyer. Here’s the way we do things. We try to keep it very simple and easy for you as the buyer. You can go and we’ll give you the lockbox code. You can go take a look at it, see the house anytime you’re ready and I won’t be breathing down your neck while you’re there. You spend your time, take your wife over there, your kids. And if you need to go back and see it again, sure, go ahead.”
“The only thing I ask you is just do me, a favor please. When you’re done seeing it, just call me and let me know you were able to put the key back and lock it up. That’s the only thing I ask. You can see it when you’re ready”. I do ask them what time they plan on going to see the house so I can follow up with them after they’ve seen the property.
And the good thing about that is when they call you back, that’s when you start to be inquisitive with them and try to get a commitment. Okay, so we’re going to get to getting a commitment, but the whole point of that is not to waste your time when they call you back, it’s because you want to now see if you can create a commitment very quickly. Getting a commitment will be getting a check to tie up that property to sell to them.
When they go out to the property, you should have some property information flyers inside the home for people to see when they get there so they can answer all of their questions. The most basic information about the home should definitely be on the flyer such as bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, utilities, age, etc. Make it simple. And those flyers should be just print offs right from your website so the same information should be on your website so they can get those questions answered there, but also inside the property because you want to try to minimize the annoying questions you’re going to get from them.
You should also have some what-to-do-next flyers in there so that way the prospects know what to do next if they like the house. Have any other flyers in there that can help you get this house sold or occupied quickly. Use your common sense and imagination. I know one flyer in particular that we don’t have in here is an oops flyer, oops. It’s just one piece of paper on yellow paper that says, “OOPS, We know that the house needs new carpet so if it bothers you let us know and maybe we can work out an allowance at closing.”
So, what that does is it tells the potential buyer in their mind that you’re aware of this here. You’re not trying to hide something. You’re aware and are willing to fix the problem in some way. It’s a simple thing, but it’s being truthful and it shows, and it reflects who you are as an individual when you’re trying to sell and they appreciate that.
All right staging your house is the next step to finding a buyer. Staging of the house is very simple. When someone goes in to see the house, you want the house to be neat and clean whenever possible. Now, here’s what I want you to do. I don’t want you to be putting money and fixing up properties that you don’t own. There’s a difference here. Staging is just trying to put out some doodads and knickknacks to make it look like a livable home, neat, clean, if possible, livable.
Put a welcome home doormat when they come in. You want the person looking at it to see themselves living here and this is very important.
That’s what you’re trying to accomplish. Some items you could use are some artificial greenery, some plants, trees, flowers, and arrangements. In fact, we have a piece of artificial greenery, which is kind of like a good luck charm for me. It’s not, but I make fun of it because it is. So, we put this little ugly tree plant thing that I’ve had since day one into these properties.
Trees, flowers, any other arrangements, some miscellaneous kitchen items. If you’re going to focus on any areas, focus on the front entranceway, kitchen, and main bath. Some towels go a long way. A bowl with some plastic fruit, maybe some hot pads on the stove, some bottled spices, some pepper, candles, placemats. Little things like that go a huge way.
Even if it’s not painted and as long as it’s a little bit clean and not a junk home, put some of that stuff in there man and it just makes things pop and look so much different. It’s amazing.
In the bathrooms some soap dispensers, some hand soap, candles, unlit candles, long handled brush for showers, decorative soaps, bathroom rug. And most important for the bathroom, get a shower curtain and throw a little towel over it. Look like it’s lived in, but it’s neatly lived in, especially if your bathroom is a blue, ugly ass bathtub which is a house that we’ve had that we needed a shower curtain here. We sold the house and shower curtains.
Places in the home to make sure you decorate, okay, I’ve mentioned the bathroom and kitchen most importantly, but fireplaces and mantles. Draw some nice attention there. Some bookshelves, any see-through kitchen cabinets, kitchen island, Jacuzzi tub, large windows. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. Spend $100. Go to a flea market or dollar store or clearance department and that’s what will work.
And then what you do when you sell that house, you gather all that stuff, put it in a tote, and it’s going to be there for the next house. That’s how it works. And if you need a little bit more because you have a bunch of houses right now, then go get a little bit more. That little investment will go a long way and it’s reusable.
The main thing here also is don’t neglect the front entrance or the outside. If the outside landscaping looks like crap, that means people are not even going to want to get inside. So, make the front landscaping at least look a little bit attractive and not a deterrent for people that you want to get inside the house. The inside of the house could be beautiful, but if the outside is just terrible then they’re not going to want to see the inside.
There’s not a lot of thought that really needs to go in to this process. It’s just a little bit of common sense and what looks nice. The key is to remember to have fun and use a little bit of creativity which can in turn put a lot of money in to your bank account!