Our Top Tips for a Wildly Successful Open House
Open houses can pack a big opportunity for lead generation into a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. If you leverage these events correctly, you'll be increasingly finding and converting more leads. Here's our favorite collection of tips culminated from agents around the country that are mastering open houses. Perhaps you'll recognize some ideas to help drive your business.
Schedule an Open House
Whether holding your own listing open or holding one open for another agent, get it on the schedule. Plan for a Saturday or Sunday, and hold them open for 2 - 4 hours in the middle of the afternoon. Make sure it gets put into MLS as soon a possible. If you're holding open someone else's listing call the seller and introduce yourself as the person who will be holding the open house. Let them know you'll arrive one hour early. Ask the seller for information on stand-out features in their home so you'll be prepared, and go visit the property, neighborhood and surrounding area a few days early to familiarize yourself with what you're selling!
Marketing Your Open House
Create a short video (60 seconds) and email the video as an invitation to your database at least 48 hours prior to open house. Create a Facebook Ad or Boosted Post. Ads give you the ability to geo-target your audience based on geography, income, children, age and more. Search for 'Community' neighborhood pages or groups, and post the open house information there. One or two days prior to the open house, door knock at least 20 neighbors and invite them (hand out flyers, and explain that you wanted neighbors to have the first look).
Put out 20 - 30 signs if possible the morning of the open house. Start by putting out the sign at house and work outward. Go in multiple directions. High visibility and high traffic areas are the best. 3 days prior, send announcements to the largest area brokerages. If allowed, put an open house sign with date and time on the property the week leading up to the open house. 3 - 4 days prior to the open house, call the neighbors and invite them to the open house; and while you're on the phone, call your database too!
Prepare Your Materials
Create a binder in which you can keep crucial information that you may need during the course of your open house. Information to include should include, but of course not be limited to, the following:
- Copy of the Agent Full Report
- Copy of all Disclosures
- Multiple copies of the Full Buyer Report
- Packet of other similar homes (use Short Buyer Report)
- Open Home Pro App or Sign-In Sheets
- 1 - 4 Family Residential Contract
- Buyer's Representation Agreement
- 'Sign In' Notice ('At the seller's request, all guests must sign in')
In addition to your information binder, you'll want to create an Open House Box with some of the basics for every open house. You'll want to stock this box full of the other things you'll need:
- Mini bottles of water
- Pre-packaged snacks
- Large bowl or platter for snacks
- Napkins / Paper Towels
- Toilet Paper
- Air Freshener
- Tape Measure
Preparing the House
Arrive to your open house an hour early, and place the Sign-In Notice on the front door. Walk through the entire house to make sure it's in showing condition. Open all the blinds, turn on all the lights, and make notes of unique features that you didn't already know about. Make sure the air conditioner is set to a comfortable temperature and put on soft soft music. Make sure you hide small valuables that may have been left out - money, prescriptions, weapons, jewelry or mail.
Have Fun and Get Leads
Keep in mind that everyone who attends is either an immediate buyer, a future buyer, an immediate seller or a future seller. When speaking to guests, ask engaging questions that prompt a response, not a simple yes or no. "How long have you been searching?", "What sites do you look on?", "What does your ideal home look like?", "I see a lot of homes before they hit the market, would you like a list of those?", "Have you already listed your current home?" are some great questions to get your visitors talking.
Before You Leave
When you leave the home, you should make sure that you leave it as safe and secure as you would your own home. Unless otherwise instructed, turn off all the lights, close all the blinds, turn off the music, blow out any candles and turn off the fireplace. Be sure all doors have been locked, and if there is an alarm in place, set the alarm on your way out and put the key back in the lockbox. Last... and most importantly, provide detailed feedback to your sellers (if it's your listing) or to the listing agent (if it's someone else's listing).
One day after the open house, begin follow up. If they provided a phone number, call them. If they provided an email address, email them. If they provided a mailing address, send a hand written note. Be sure to thank all prospects for attending your open house, then ask questions to complete a 'needs analysis'. If they don't need immediate assistance, put them in your database for systematic follow up. And always, always ask them for a referral!