Opening Up Opportunities At Open Houses

Reblogger Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Real Estate Agent with Prado Real Estate South UT DRE# 6541633-SA00

Here are some great tips from Pat Kennedy for holding Open Houses!

Original content by Patricia Kennedy AB95346

This is inspired by a post by newbie blogger, Eric Hempler.  It's right here.   And he talks about holding other agent's listings open (until he gets a bunch of his own).  Eric's blog reminded me of an experience very early in my career.

My first Open House was memorable, because I let one of my office's old timers totally take advantage of my newbieness.

Oldie Agent approached me at a sales meeting and said she had this really great condo and she needed help with an Open on Sunday afternoon.  And I was chomping at the bit to put into action all of the wonderful stuff that I learned at the old Shannon & Luchs Academy of Real Estate.  

God I'm dating myself!

It was an ungly condo in a building that didn't allow pets or overnight guests.  They didn't allow Open House signs out front or cards by the entry buzzer telling people how to get into the place.  It was a bust.

Rule Number One:  people have to be able to find you and come through the door!  I mean, du-uh!

If y ou're a rookie agent, holding other agents' listings open is a great way to connect with prospective clients - both buyers and selelrs.  Here are some ways to make the most of the opportunity:

  • Be picky about what you hold open.  It should be an attractive, well priced and well staged property.  Before you say yes, preview the place.  If it's ugly, overpriced or in an obscure location, pass.
  • If it's a condo, be sure that it's easy for buyers to get in the door and find you.  If they make it hard, take a pass.
  • Before the Open, preview as much as you can in the neighborhood and in the price range in simillar neighborhoods. Most of the people who come in will find something that won't work about what you're holding open.  If you can converse intellegently about other possibilities, you have a great chance of converting lookers into clients.
  • Review all of the neighborhood's recent sales.  
  • Put Open information on your MLS, Craig's List, Trulia, and everyplace you can think of on the web.  It's where the buyers are looking.
  • An Open House afternoon is not the time to be subtle.  Put up tons of signs and, unless they are illegal in your area, use a bunch of balloons.  Invite them to a party, and they will come.
  • Ask people if they are working with an agent.  If they are, get their agent's name to pass onto the listing agent.  Don't flirt with other people's clients. 
  • Don't ask for names, email addresses or phone numbers until they've seen the house.  I start with a schmooze, let them go through, then engage them after we've had some back and forth.  Then you are more likely to get a real name and contact information.
  • If they are asking quetions you can't answer, that's great!  Tell them you will get the information and get back to them.  You've just greatly increased your chances of getting their real names and contact information.
  • I am always prepared to offer something that I can send them, preferably by email.  Another way to get real contact information.
  • And if you want to really be prepared, print out the contract forms - leaving the price and the buyers' names blank.  You need to be a good Girl or Boy Scout -  you know the motto!  Be Prepared!
  • After the Open, follow up!  

Many agents feel like Open Houses are a total waste of time.  And they can be.  But I've found that Opens can be a wonderul opportunity to meet future clients.

And sure, they might begin their search on the Internet.  But they will end their search with an agent they connect with, maybe at your Open House!  And with any luck, you'll end up at the end of the day with at least a couple of qualified prospects you connected with.  That sure does beat paying some lead selling service, doesn't it?


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Kimberly Harris
Real Estate One,Macomb County, MI - Clinton Township, MI

Your blog is spot on!!!!

Oct 27, 2009 02:43 AM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team team and I focus on new like to see the same faces at the open house events every weekend....they are comfortable because we know all the details of their product.....the potential buyers like to revisit the site, usually several times, before they reserve a unit or see a new face at that stage of the game is usually counterproductive. 

Oct 27, 2009 02:46 AM #2
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

I loved this post by Pat and I can see why you re-blogged it. It's that good!


Oct 27, 2009 02:47 AM #3
Debbie Aldrich
The Watts Group Real Estate - Cottonwood Heights, UT
Salt Lake City Realtor - Salt Lake County, Cottonwood Heights


This was a great one to re-blog.  I think most of us can relate too this story at some point early in our careers.  I certainly was very trusting when I first got in to this business and got burned.  Our business is a great one with great people but it also breeds some that would leverage situations with disregard to a new agent.  Let's not be that guy!!  Smart advice from Pat!

Oct 27, 2009 02:56 AM #5
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Kimberly, Pat's post was definitely filled with ideas on how to do a successful Open Houae and I gladly re-blogged it!

Barbara, Yes, people do like consistency and it's one of the things that can be counted on.

Craig, Pat's post certainly has some great ideas worth passing on! Thanks!

Janet, I'm glad you agree it has worth and importance!

Debbie, Yes, I remember well what it was like to be a 'newbie' and to be excited at new prospects and oppotunities! Pat is a very smart lady!


Oct 27, 2009 03:10 AM #6
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

Hi Wanda-This was a great choice to re-blog. These are some great points to remember in choosing what will be valuable to you for the time that is spent. As long as they can find you, they will come! Open Homes are a great way to find new buyers!

Oct 27, 2009 03:29 AM #7
Nevin Williams
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation - Cary, NC
Senior Mortgage Advisor

Hey Wanda- I wonder why so many agents don't hold them?  I mean think of the exposure and leads you could get.  You may not sell that house but so what!  Agents will walk through neighborhoods, knock on doors and give out calendars to get exposure but not the dreaded open house!  I don't get it.  My wife and I purchased 3 homes that were being shown as open houses.  We even wrote one offer on the spot!  I am proof that they can and do work.  Rarely, albeit but leave no stone unturned.

Oct 27, 2009 07:11 AM #8
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Stephanie, Pat made so many good points that I wanted to further help get the information out! And you are right, open houses do attract buyers.

If a house is open and available to the public, the house can actually sell itself under the right conditions! Especially when people are actively looking! Thanks for the insight Nevin!

Oct 27, 2009 07:32 AM #9
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Pat's post are outstanding, thanks for taking the time to re-post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Oct 27, 2009 03:02 PM #10
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Lou, This post was definitely worth passing on!

Oct 28, 2009 03:28 AM #11
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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!

So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR
Is southern Utah calling you home? I can help because Wanda Can!
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