Effective Open houses - Share Ideas

Real Estate Agent with Clarity Street Realty 1999093366

I am still a long time supporter of the open house.  I regularly encourage my agents to hold open houses touting all the benefits.  Below is a list of the benefits that I can see and I would appreciate your inout and ideas about why you hold open houses and what benefits you see from it.

Face time- Nothing beats a first impression, an open house is the perfect time to make a connection with a prospective buyer who has been hold up in front of a PC doing all they can without a Realtor.  Share tips that only seasoned Realtors know and show them the value of not doing this alone.

Practice makes perfect- Knowing just what to say that is going to be effective to a prospective client is hard to simply get right the first time.  Through the exploration of dialogs and monitoring the reactions you can build your own SUCCESSFUL collection of dialogs and scripts PROVEN to succeed.

Be the expert -My ritual was to view EVERY home I could in the neighborhood or area where I was holding the open.  (Even FSBO's)  Knowing all the pricing and interior and exterior features and flaws can help you position yourself as the "Go To" person in that given area

Know the neighbors -Another lost art is getting to know the neighbors, walk around inviting the neighbors to the upcoming open house, ask permission to put your open sign in the yard.  These are the "influencers" of the neighborhood and you would do well to have them in your corner.  Who best knows the next house in the neighborhood to come up for sale in advance then the nosy or gossipy neighbor. 

Get the information- This is the place to get that VALUABLE contact information for those who attend the open.  Name, email, phone, mailing address... everything and anything can.   Now how you do that requires skill and again trial and error.  My favorite technique is to have an OUTSTANDING handout displayed.  I can mail you this......  If they refuse to give you a mailing address or contact info.. so be it.  If they are working with an agent I ask them to register the agents name so I can contact the agent directly for feed back.

OK those are my tips and ideas from my little mind.  I look forward to your posts of what works for you and any new ideas I can share with my team.

Thanks in advance

floow me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/carolynmantia


Comments (8)

Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Carolyn - I am still a huge proponent of Open Houses as well.  We are a dying breed!  You have some wonderful tips and advice - my biggest is "Be an Expert".  Know the area, the competition - ALL!  I know you already have that listed but it is so important!

Jul 06, 2009 06:22 AM
Dinah Lee Griffey
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Allyn, WA
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties

I do not get a big turn out if any. We are rural and it changes things a bit. What does work is advertising an open house with a personal tour at their convenience. I get calls on that-Dinah Lee

Jul 06, 2009 06:45 AM
Carolyn Mantia
Clarity Street Realty - Maplewood, MO
Excellence is our goal

I do have agents who deal with the "Rural Issue".  One of the best recommendations I have seen is to research listings within your company and inquire as to hold an open of another agents listing in a more populated area.  Working for a large company with 100 agents this is easier for us than it might be for others.  There are a lot of cross selling benefits if you chose the right area, since you can cross market your own rural listing with possibly more amenities for the same price for the buyer who is willing to sacrifice a little drive time for more "stuff".

Jul 06, 2009 06:49 AM
Michelle Potter
Sage + Sparrow Real Estate - Denver, CO

Carolyn - Prudent advice and a good wake-up call that open houses are worth the effort.  I would love to see your handout as it seems like it is working. 

Jul 06, 2009 07:33 AM
Robert Ott
Century21 Beal Inc. - College Station, TX

Open houses are for what purpose? To sell the house? Answer these questions and you may find a lot of Realtors who do NOT want to be involved with them.

Sellers love to hear from the listing agent that the have held an open house; it supports the belief that the agent is working hard to get it sold.  How many buyers of those open houses actually visited during the open house? Hmmm!

How many prospects are developed? A few? Some? A lot?

How many visitors actually fill out  a sign-in sheet (and for those that do; how many provide factual numbers)?

Is it worth your time to host an open house? I have met many interesting people at open houses including: Taking pictures of the house's interior to show their builder; neighbors who wanted to know what the inside looked like (included in this category should be those preparing to FSBO their home and getting an idea of a listing price); Wanting the name of the builder as they were hiring him to build their home.

I respect your opinion Carolyn and I respectfully disagree with hosting open houses. I do not agree with using someones home to further my business when the seller believes it is primarily for their benefit (selling their house). Brokers(here again, my opinion) use their agents to host the open houses and  apparently  agents are reluctant to tell them it is a waste of time.

I believe an open house should be used  to sell the house; you have pointed out many, many other reasons. I will enjoy following this blog.


Jul 06, 2009 08:28 AM
Carolyn Mantia
Clarity Street Realty - Maplewood, MO
Excellence is our goal

Robert, everyone is free to have an opinion, none right or wrong it is simply how one decides to do business.  I take NO offense to your comments.  You do ask some good questions that possibly I should have clarified in my original post.

Today's market, in my humble opinion, is about relationships.  Event the darling little couple that comes in and takes photos of the decorating for the home they just bought is a possibility of a relationship for me.  How many people use the same Realtor repeatedly?  I am sad to say statistically more do NOT than do.  If I am nice, informative and friendly to these "sight seers" I have a chance to build a relationship to net me the referrals of the friends and family of the interloper to do possible business with in the future.  the more people who know YOU and know how smart you are about real estate the more likely they are to refer someone they care about into your hands.

All the mailers, print ads etc do not a relationship make.

I agree with you that open houses do NOT sell homes (in most instances) but for me it is a chance to open the door and let people come to me and my task to engage them on a level that breathes my expertise and caring for the clients I serve.

It is laziness on the part of an agent to lay out an open house sign in sheet and expect an open house attendee to simply sign in.  Why sign in?  So you can call and harass me?  Of course not!  I certainly would not, however what about this dialog....

On occassion I come across some incredibly timely real estate infromation about this very area that I would be happy to pass on to you.  Don't expect to be slapped on my mailing list I will send you only what is specific to this neighborhood OR

I see you are really devouring the staging and decoration of this home, I have a partnership with Lowes that will send you a free decorating magazine once a quarter and coupons for painting supplies etc.  If you sign in here I will make sure you ge that complimentary service OR

Yes I get a lot of positive feedback on this buyer how to guide,  in fact I had one buyer tell me it was just like her wedding planner guide very thorough, I would be happy to mail you a copy to use in your search if you put your information here, FREE of charge of course  OR

On occassion I find For Sale By Owner homes that have not been very well advertised, a sleep of sorts that might fit your criteria, if you sign in below I can give you a call if I find one that might meet your needs that you have missed    OR

Daily I tweet the current mortgage rates, the mls stats (# of new listings, # solds, # price reductions) if you give me your email I will send you the link.

Or maybe it's about your blog

Your charity events

How about I have a free book of service providers that my past clients have used and recommend?

Just a few ideas that might help

If you can show the value you offer, they will flock to you

Jul 06, 2009 09:27 AM
Bill Dean
Haggerty Team St. Louis, Mo. - Fenton, MO
William Dean - Broker, Salesperson

I see Robert's point to a degree, it is true that many who sit open houses are used by their brokers and other agents but they are usually inexperienced agents looking to find clients any way they can!  I do know of just a couple of very successful agents who do quite well with opens and pehaps the best solution is to have those agents train the rookies how to hold a successful open house and how to market it first before going out and possibly just warming a chair for 2-4 hours 

Jun 25, 2010 04:10 PM
Andrea Farinacci

Hello Carolyn- I loved your tips...I've been selling over 16 years and I just sold a property off of an Open House which closes next week. Not my first and won't be the last. I agree- it's all about relationships- we make instant "gut feel" judgements when we meet new people. I agree this is a good way to expose the property to the marketplace and possibly sell it or grow our business. It's not greedy at all and it does work to some degree. It's still a "win-win" in my mind.


Jul 31, 2011 05:28 AM