Are you about to host an open house and want to make sure it’s a huge success? Whether or not it’s your first time, these 19 open house tips for realtors can help you improve your game and bring in the crowds to see your listing.
1. Be Consistent
In order to be effective when hosting open houses, you have to be consistent. At a minimum, aim to host one open house per week. Anything less than that, and your efforts will be sporadic and won’t gain much traction. While hosting a single open house can generate a few leads, hosting open houses on a weekly schedule will amp up your productivity and provide a steady lead source for your business.
2. Choose Only One Area to Work in
A great way to stay consistent and build traction with your open houses is to focus on a particular area, zip code, or neighborhood. Running around from one side of town to the other not only costs you valuable time, but also hampers your ability to establish your brand and build your reputation in the area. Think strategically and target popular areas with a large amount of people and homes.
3. Determine Your Schedule
Next, figure out which day of the week works best for you to hold open houses. Open houses are generally most effective on the weekends when people are off of work, but you can choose any day and time that works with your schedule. If you do decide to host open houses during the week, try and target hours where potential buyers might be driving home from work.
Decide how many hours you can dedicate every week and do your best to stick to it. Anywhere from four to six hours is ideal.
Newer agents who are just getting started in their business will want to delegate even more of their efforts to open houses. To really boost your opportunities, try aiming for eight hours per week, which you can break up into four hours on both Saturday and Sunday.
However, avoid setting goals that are unachievable or overly intimidating, which can make you feel burnt out. When setting a schedule, choose hours you can commit to every week without too much mental or physical strain, even if that means starting out small.
4. Don’t Wait to Get Listings
To be most successful, don’t just host an open house when you personally get a listing. Instead, actively search for new listings every week by calling up other agents or searching online. Ask the listing agent if they would allow you to do an open house for one of their listings.
I’ve found that when you call five agents, you’ll likely find at least one or two that will say yes.
I like to make these calls around Tuesday or Wednesday. This allows me to target newly listed homes, and gives me a better chance that they’ll still be available over the weekend.
That being said, it’s not bad to have a backup open house in case the primary accepts an offer prior to your open house. Just be sure to let the agent know that it’s a backup and may not happen if your primary is still available. Or you can also host the secondary open house on Sunday or let a fellow agent host it.
5. Target Homes at the Average Price Point
The key is to identify and target homes in the average price point of what people are buying in your market. These listings are typically in high demand, meaning you are bound to have more turn out at an open house in the area.
While you might think that hosting an open house at a higher end luxury home will bring you more desirable leads, this isn’t necessarily true. Many times, homebuyers in the higher price ranges will already have relationships with real estate agents, which makes the potential to pick them up as a new client much lower.
6. Make Sure the Home Has Good Photos and Is Priced Correctly
When advertising a home for an open house, make sure it has attractive, high quality photos. When you are looking for other listings to represent, choose homes with professional looking photos capable of catching the public’s eye.
Additionally, an open house will only be successful if the house is priced correctly for the area. If the home is priced too high you won’t get as much traffic, so do a quick CMA before scheduling the open house.
7. Stay Clear of Gated Neighborhoods
Try to avoid hosting open houses in gated communities. Even if you can post a note letting people know to call you, many shoppers will see this as friction and just turn around, severely hampering your turn out.
8. Do The Work and Prepare
Do your homework and prepare beforehand. If your open house is on Saturday, you should be preparing around Wednesday.
Preparing for your open house should involve creating an in-depth comparative market analysis (CMA). It’s more than likely you’re going to have neighbors and people from around the area checking out the house. You want to make sure that you are the authority on that neighborhood and know intimately the recent sales and available listings for sale.
Additionally, you may also want to spend a morning or afternoon touring the available listings in the area that are comparable to yours. This will allow you to speak knowledgeably and even make suggestions to prospective clients if your open house is not a fit for them. You never know, this may make all the difference, and could turn a shopper into a client of yours!
The more you prepare and the more effort you put in, the higher chance you have that your open house will be effective.
9. Advertise on Social Media Beforehand
One strategy is to use Facebook ads to target the zip code that your open house will be in. This is especially effective if you use the same branding on your Facebook ads as on your open house signs. As buyers and sellers in the area start to recognize your branding, you’ll find many will drop in just to meet you and get your thoughts on the area.
Facebook ads are a great, budget friendly way to increase exposure and get more people through the door at your open house. To run Facebook ads, share the open house event on your Facebook business page. Then pay to promote the event listing. Even $20-$50 can go a long way.
Also, be sure to let the listing agent know (unless of course, you’re the listing agent) to add the open house date and time to Zillow, Realtor.com, and the MLS since you won’t have the access to do that.
Finally, post the open house to Craigslist. Craigslist is a free source that will yield your open house lots of attention.
10. Use Signs For Branding
One of the lesser known open house tips for realtors is to avoid using generic signage. For example, the ones you get from Home Depot or your local real estate board.
Instead, invest in yourself and your business and get around 50 open house signs with your own personal branding.
The upfront cost will pay itself back with the first listing you get, because people start to recognize you after seeing your signs over and over again.
BuildaSign.com is a good option to get a large amount of custom signs. The reason I recommend getting 50 signs is because you’re going to want to get signs with different directional arrows. You should get at least 15 left arrow, 15 right arrow, and 20 straight arrow signs made.
Don’t include the time and address on your signs, since you will be using these for multiple listings over time, and you may need to do different times. Instead, make sure “Open House” is in large font along with your name, phone number, and brokerage info (per state regulations).
Go out and set up at least 20 to 25 signs at least a couple hours before your open house is supposed to start. This is where consistency will pay off, because if you do this every week in the same area people will get familiar with your branding and you’ll see bigger crowds at your open houses.
Be sure to plan where you wish to place the open house signs the night before. I like to print out a Google map of the area and mark where I’m going to need right, left, and straight signs. This allows me to bring the right amount of each sign and saves me time the next morning as I’m putting signs up.
Be sure to use as many signs as you can and start placing them as close to the main streets as you can.
11. Attract Their Attention
Tying helium balloons on your signs can be an effective way to get more people to notice them. You can also try other items that use movement to attract attention, such as pinwheels, flags, or streamers.
Additionally, you can attach an incentive rider on your signs, such as free snacks, cookies, or even a drawing. Attach these incentive riders to your standard open house signs using sign clips like these.
12. Use Direct Mail
If you have room in your budget, don’t underestimate the value of direct mail. This enhances your “omnipresent” strategy of showing up everywhere for residents in your target market. If a would-be seller sees your open house signs, a Facebook ad, and now you’re showing up in their mailbox, there’s a good chance they’ll be calling you.
However, this strategy is a bit trickier than the rest. It takes having a local print company who can print your postcards out the same or next day, and then utilizing USPS’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service to mail your postcards to the mailing route.
This is the most cost effective way and ensures your cards go out on time.
Remember, most often you’ll only have a few days to get your marketing out prior to your open house, so you’ll need to work quickly if you plan to use postcards. Overall the effort is worth it because of the fact that you’ll increase your brand recognition as well as turnout to the open house.
13. Door Knock
When it comes to door knocking, don’t knock it ‘til you try it! (Sorry, I had to go there!)
Don’t hesitate to spread the word by going door to door in the neighborhood where you will be hosting the open house.
Ideally, you should knock on 10 doors to the left of the home, 10 to the right, and 20 in front. Either do this a day or two prior to the open house, or plan to arrive about 90 minutes early and knock the same morning of the event.
14. Livestream Your Open House on Facebook
One of the best open house tips for realtors is to take advantage of livestreams. Livestreams are a highly effective means of increasing the popularity of your open house event. It gives people who can’t come see the home in person a chance to still view it online and ask you questions.
If possible, try streaming the event when it’s full of people to show viewers that it’s a popular home. This will also help boost your reputation and build social proof, as people will see you interact with the attendees at the open house.
15. Have a Loan Officer or Lender There
It can be beneficial to have a lender on hand who can answer questions on the spot for potential buyers. The lender can also offer pre-qualifications on site, which fast tracks the process for both you and the potential client. If you are unable to have a lender attend in person, make sure to have one available on the phone or online.
16. Use Tech to Gather Information, But Have a Paper Sign-in Sheet as Backup
To help people sign in faster, use a tablet or computer to gather contact information. There are many apps that can help you to do this. Check out my post on the top apps for real estate agents for more information.
This is also best so that you don’t have to worry about trying to decipher messy handwriting.
One option is to use kvCORE to get all the necessary data from your attendees. kvCORE lets attendees text a number for more information about the listing, and as a result, collects the contact’s information for you from their text.
It is still a good idea to keep a paper sign-in sheet handy as backup in case there are any technological issues.
17. Follow Up
Text or call all open house attendees immediately after the open house. Follow up again in 24 hours. Thank the attendees for coming out and ask them for their feedback now that they’ve had some time to think about it.
Following up creates a lasting impression in the attendee’s mind and shows your diligence and professionalism. Also, be sure to have other properties in mind before you call so that you can propose setting up additional private showings with them, if they are interested.
This will help you start the process of turning that attendee into a client. Also, let them know you’d be happy to get them in touch with your lender so that they can understand more clearly where they stand financially, both with down payment requirements and monthly payments.
18. Add Prospects To Your Database
Hopefully, you’ve taken down the contact information of many prospects by the end of each open house event. Whether it was online leads, people you met doorknocking, or actual attendees who filled out your sign-in sheet, you should have plenty of people to add to your database for long-term follow up.
Don’t worry if you don’t find any clients that weekend who are ready to start working with you right away. If you nurture these leads over time and continually build a database to work from, you’ll build relationships with these prospects and turn them into clients down the road.
19. Track Your Goals in a Spreadsheet
Perhaps one of the most important open house tips for realtors is to create attainable goals for yourself. You should keep track of your efforts each week in a spreadsheet. Set goals that you know you can consistently reach.
If that means only doing an open house one day a week for four hours, then start there and build over time. Also, be sure to track the status of the leads you are working with. This way, you can start to hone your skills and gather even more leads from every open house you do.
Remember, the overall goal of hosting an open house is to build more relationships with people you may not know yet. Therefore, it’s important to track how many people you add to your database from each open house.
This simple habit of holding yourself accountable will help you stay on track with your goals.
Final Thoughts on 19 Open House Tips for Realtors
Hosting an open house doesn’t have to be stressful. If you follow these open house tips for realtors, you’ll be sure to find success, increase your exposure, and sell your listings fast.
What are some tips that you do to find success at open houses? Let me know in the comments below.