- The concept of being “Open for Business” at an Open House
- Set Yourself Apart with the “Neighborhood Preview”
- Traditional Open House Preparation, Marketing and Follow-up
- Leverage these Open House Strategies & Tech Tools
Attitude is Everything!
Open Houses…You either love ’em or you hate ’em. And based on your attitude about them and as a real estate agent – they either work for you or they don’t. In my experience, open houses are the single, easiest, most cost effective way to make money and generate leads in the real estate business.
- Know that the open house is going to be productive
- Plan, Prepare and Know the Property and the Market
- Expectation of Connecting
Open for Business Concept
Let’s consider the main benefits of open houses:
- Marketing exposure for your sellers and your active, saleable listing inventory. There have been offers written and accepted on the actual property an agent is holding open!
- Opportunity to meet and work with buyers and sellers and make additional sales.
- The real investment is your time! Open houses can be the most cost effective prospecting activity if done properly.
- Worst-case scenario – if no one shows up – you can catch up on admin tasks, follow-up calls, mailers and other “busy” work at the open house. Preparation and planning is required!
The Neighborhood Open House Preview
The idea is to invite the neighbor’s and to conduct this special preview first – before you hold your first public open houses. Here are some general guidelines to follow to ensure your Neighborhood Preview is a solid success!
Include this strategy in your Marketing Plan and review with your sellers during the listing presentation.
Cover these key points and get their agreement to conduct the special event:
- Special open house that is just for the neighbors
- Many times, the neighbors may know of somebody who may be looking to purchase in the area
- The invitation will come from them
- You are sponsoring the event
- You will hand deliver and/or mail the invitations
- Get their help in promoting the special open house
- Ask your favorite title marketing rep to provide you with a list (spreadsheet) of the property owners in the neighborhood/subdivision of your listing. Note: don’t forget to also invite any renters (non-owner occupants) to the party.
- Review the list with the sellers and have them approve the guest list.
- Coordinate with the sellers for a date and the menu (appetizers, beverages, etc.)
- Use a special invitation that either the sellers sign or makes it clear the homeowners are inviting them. Your branding and/or a comment that you are sponsoring the event should be included on the invite. Don’t forget to include RSVP instructions.
- Hand-deliver and/or mail the invitations. If you deliver them in person, you may get the opportunity to chat with the neighbors, introduce yourself, invite them and let them know this is something unique you do for your clients.
- Call or email instructions
- Use a service like Evite http://www.evite.com/
Coordinate the catering and set up for the event.
Attend the event, network with the guests. Make sure to have some of your business cards and marketing materials available!
Follow-up by sending a personal note to the attendees.
Add any contacts to your database as applicable from the connections and conversations you had at the event.
Conducting the Traditional Open House (Preparation, Promotion and Follow-up)
Selecting the property
- Location (choose a listing that has great traffic; cross streets)
- Condition, price, terms (How does the property show? Is it priced to sell?)
- Your own listings – leverage success through
- Invest in Personalized Yard and Open House Signs
- Hold open houses on listings in your farm areas
- Research office/company listings and coordinate with the listing agent to hold them open
- Vacant vs. Occupied properties
- Open houses work any day of the week!!
Supplies (Open House Kit)
- Minimum of 6 to 12 Open House signs with your name & number or website
- Business cards
- Relocation books, buyer handbooks, personal marketing materials
- Client Information form
- Cooler of bottled waters
- Purchase Contract Folder
- Table & chairs (if vacant)
Preparation and Promotion
- Preview the Listing – brief seller on any needed staging, de-cluttering
- Preview the surrounding available properties (you must know the inventory)
- Call your local title rep for the phone list of the subdivision and make calls to invite to your Open House
- Call or email and invite other prospects and your Sphere of Influence
Coordinate any Advertising
- Take advantage of any company print and internet advertising venues
- Mail invitations to neighborhood
- Post a listing on Craigslist
- Post to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com
- Post to your local MLS/association’s public website
- Promote the open house on Your Personal Website
- Canvas/Door knock the surrounding neighborhood – invitation – door hangars and ask them the Magic Question, “Who do you know that you would like to have as a neighbor?”
- Put up an Open Sat-Sunday ( & times) sign week prior or Flyers in the sign box to promote upcoming open house
- Prepare a CMA on the property and neighborhood update
- Create an Info packet for visitors (Modified Property Profile, plat map, school info, nearby businesses, property feature sheet, other pertinent info)
Conducting the Open House
- Sign placement is key (8-12 signs is optimal)
- Hire someone to place and pick up signs if you don’t enjoy this task!
- Consider a partner to work the open house with you. This is an excellent idea for safety reasons and to control traffic through the open house.
- Staging the property
- Tidy up the house, inside and out
- Prepare refreshments (with owner’s approval)
- Set up Open House kit
- Put on soft music
- Place guest book or client information forms
- Turn lights on; open drapes
- Bring your busy work, follow-up calls, admin tasks. Make the best use of your time while you are open and ready for potential clients.
Post Open House
- Return the house to its original condition; secure doors/windows
- Collect your signs
- Brief the sellers, if they return prior to you leaving, and the listing agent on activity
- Write personal notes to all visitors
- Make follow-up calls as necessary
- Add any new prospects to your database
Leverage these Open House Strategies & Tech Tools
- Create a Facebook Event
- Run a Facebook Ad
- FACEBOOK LIVE
iPad users..Get the Open Home PRO App!
Capture open house visitor lead information and follow up with attendees easily
Open House Info Kiosk
1-2 tripod easels and cork or Custom Open House Info Tri-Fold Board to display other properties on the market, comparable sales, neighborhood information and amenities, maps, etc.
- Search MLS and printout other categories or properties on the market for the area of your open house. Post these printouts with photos on your boards with easels – excellent conversation starters:
- Homes in various price ranges
- Homes with or without pools
- Homes with larger lots
- Single Story – 2 Story homes
BE PREPARED, DO YOUR HOMEWORK & STAY POSITIVE!