phone: 1300 367 412


Winning Business

Print Article

Brilliant Open for Inspections with Lee Woodward and John McGrath

Hot Tip

From the just released Sawdust double audio program of conversations between Lee Woodward & John McGrath

Always regard an OFI as an opportunity. You are open for business. It's show time.

According to Lee Woodward, “This moment is usually misplaced by a lot of agents. Yet, for those who never let their guard down and service the community at the highest level, they enjoy the return on their investment.”

John McGrath continues, “Open home inspections were one of my key strategies and as a business over the last fifteen to twenty years, it really has set ourselves apart. An open home is taking your office and your business out into the marketplace you're serving. It's an incredible, great opportunity. Most vendors will go and check you out and probably your competitors before choosing whether to invite you into their lounge room to talk about their own home. They're going to have a look at how are you in the field.” People associate you with the level of home you present.

As John explains, “Often, I'd have a day when I'd have ten or twelve open inspections, but I’ve got to tell you, the twelfth was just as good as the first because I knew how important it was and I got prepared during the week and certainly on Fridays, I would leave the office and everything would be ready.”


John says, “So many agents that I've observed and even worked with, they start getting organised for open home inspections on Saturday morning and they're running around looking for keys and brochures and contracts and so forth. I say to my guys, ‘Look, you’ve got to be ready by lunchtime Friday. You’ve got to have everything ready. You've got to have it neatly packed away. Keys, contracts, floor plans, brochures, building reports. Everything you're going to need. Brochures, home loan information’."


John explains, “I'd get my vendors to get the properties very well presented. I'd always make sure they'd get a window cleaner in the week of the first week's inspection. I would say, ‘I want these windows glistening’. If we can bring the outside in and keep the sun coming through and streaming in – it all helps.”


John says, “For me, I used to start on a Friday. I would get mentally prepared. I would make sure that I had a really early night and was early to bed. Stanley Mills who's one of the best in the United States, when he turned up at an open house inspection he used to say, ‘It's show time’. That was his opportunity to be on stage and to impress people and to give them great service.” Make the most of it.


It always pays to be prepared. John explains, “I used to have in the boot of my car a little filing cabinet with all my brochures of not only the homes that I was opening, but other homes that I had that could be interesting to someone that came through and didn't like what I was showing them that day. I'd have a special little board with all my keys so they wouldn't get lost. I'd always have a selection of door wedges to keep the door open because I'd never open a door and put a telephone book or a brick down.”


It is vital that a home smells, looks and feels enticing. John says, “I'd have deodorant because sometimes you'd walk in and there are some smells - it could be the dog or it could be something else. In springtime, I'd often stop and grab a couple of little branches off a jasmine bush and I'd put them on the fireplace. So when someone walked in, it smelt nice. I'd have a collection of CDs of different types of music for different markets. If I was walking into a house and was going to open a home that was going to suite a young first home buyer, I'd put a certain type of music or switch to a certain radio station that was going to be useful and interesting to that particular target market. Whereas if I was going to an older audience - I'd have a different type of music. In winter, I'd often make sure the fireplace was going or I'd ask the vendor to have that lit and enough wood so I could have it burning right through the inspection.”


Any person who comes in the door deserves six star service. John says, “Whether they're there to sell their property or buy or not, you need to give great service. That is the key thing.




Go back