Open Houses...I Need Advice

Real Estate Agent with Wainwright & Co. Realtors

Hello again everyone! So, it's time for me to once again reach out to the AR community on a question that I have. I do several open houses in my area. I am pretty much the go-to guy in our office for that. I love doing them, because I've been an agent for less than a year, and it's a great opportunity to meet potential clients, as well as the chance to sell a home in the process.

I know the statistics (about 7% of open houses sell at the open house). The one I had yesterday was a beautiful home that had absolutely breathtaking views. Fingers crossed, I may have an offer coming in on it in a couple of days. What I need help and advice on, is how to pull the most possible people to an open house, and once they're there, how to actually get them as new clients.

I usually get about 10 people walking through the door, and that's on a good day. I know sign placement is key, as well as advertising. Since I am doing the open houses for properties that I have not actually listed, the places online to advertise those properties is scarce, at best. The other problem I seem to have, is that people approach the home as if they are on a car lot. I don't want to be pushy, because unfortunately, there are enough bad apple agents that put entirely too much pressure on someone who is "just looking". That just is not my style. I feel like I am there to be personable and answer any questions that they may have about the house, which seems to work once open house attendies realize that I am not there for just a quick commision.

The other problem I run into is that many of the people coming to an open house have an agent they are working with, or at least say they do. They are also hesitant to give much iformation on a sign-in sheet, because they are worried about being called or e-mailed and constantly being harassed.

So...I could use any advice that the experts can give on this one. As I said before, I love doing the open houses because I love meeting the people. I just want to translate that into clients, so I can continue to afford to be an agent.

All advice will be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance!!

Have a great day!



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Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Give away a free 25 dollar gasd card at the end of the day . They donot have to be there to win it so you need email or phone number, which ever they prefer to be contacted if they win

May 30, 2011 03:47 AM #1
Karin Lundeen
Keller Williams Realty - Denver Southlands - Centennial, CO
Realtor Centennial Homes For Sale

I preview all the properties that are for sale in the same area so I can answer questions and give information if the house I am holding open is not exactly right.  I think you have the right idea, though, to build rapport with out being pushy.  I just closed my first transaction with someone I met at an Open House I was having.

May 30, 2011 03:50 AM #2
Laurie Martinez
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Dana Point, CA
South Orange County Real Estate

I will be interested to see what advice you get on this post.  I have not had great luck with either selling open house properties or getting viable leads, so recently I have switched to doing floor time on weekends, since our office gets a lot of walk-in traffic. 

May 30, 2011 03:52 AM #3
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I"ve used the gas card idea. Also get the agent that has the listing to put the open house information online.

May 30, 2011 03:52 AM #4
Rhonda Hollifield, REALTORĀ®
Keller Williams Realty Mountain Partners - Hendersonville, NC

My input, advertise the open houses on as many web sites as possible, put the open house rider out several days before an open house, collect their names and info before they leave and use hot sheet as bait.

May 30, 2011 03:58 AM #5
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

In my first 6 months as an agent I did over 40 open houses.  Back to back, every weekend, and it took a while to work out the best techniques to getting clients.  What I learned is this:

- Don't try to talk to everyone.  If you do, you'll have a hard time having a meaningful conversation with anyone

- Have at least one great conversation.  An open house is a chance to build a relationship in a few minutes.  Connect with them.  Don't make it all about business, talk about the day, kids, parks, etc.  Anything to get them to be themselves.

- When the conversation is over ask them their name, again.  Say "What was your name again?" or, if you got it, just say their name a couple of times as in "It was great talking to you, Bob".

- Once you've done that, ask for their phone number and let them know, as a friend, that you'd like to help them out.  You'll call with a little more information that will help them.  Do that and you'll get them to give you all their info after the next call.

May 30, 2011 04:01 AM #6
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel & Land Specialist

Hi Todd

Good strategy to out into the community finding out what the current buyers are looking for in the process of acquiring their new home.  I would suggest you go to Restaurant dot com and offer the certificate as a give-away for legible email addresses, active phone numbers, name of agent they are working with and company name.

Go to that restaurant and they them you plan to host "x" number of open houses this month and wold they supply some appetizers for "new buyers in the community" to sample while previewing the home you are featuring that week.  You provide the soft drinks.

Then I would suggest an ezine/newsletter be generated to all these potential buyers letting them know pertient information about the community...schools, associations, merchants and so forth.


If they do not have email...ask for send.  Have the premier printed newsletter copy available with all your contact information.  Interview some local merchants and begin with the restuarant who raises their hand to see the wisdom of creating an alliance with you.  A short story about the get the idea.

All the best




May 30, 2011 04:01 AM #7
Melba Baquero
Melba Baquero, Ascent Home Loans - Temecula, CA

Not sure if you work with a particular lender or not but I work closely with a couple of realtors and I do a few or all of the following:

1)  I make up flyers with the possible loan scenarios/payments...sometimes it helps the clients see just how attainable/affordable the house really is;


2)  Sometimes I accompany the realtor to the open house and talk to prospective buyers.  I find that its easier to get the person tied into the property if I can get them pre-qualed on the spot;


3)  As I have a constant list of pre-approved buyers that I work with, if I think a house fits into the price range for a certain client, I give them a call and encourage them to go by:


I know that I don't have to do these things, because I'm just the MLO, but I do it as a courtesy to my realtor associates and they show me their appreciation by sending me their referrals.  It's win-win!  Good luck to you!


May 30, 2011 04:03 AM #8
Alex Gurchin
Keller Williams LIfestyles Realty - London, ON

Here's what I do...

Invite the neighbourhood personally before the actual public Open House. Knock on the neighbouring 100 doors, and give them the info on your open House on a little postcard that says 'You're Invited.' That gets rid of the nosey neighbours, and it's one thing you'll be doing that 99% of the other Realtors aren't doing. Even when I'm canvassing a neighbourhood, I know that someone may be thinking of selling, and I'll look like the pro by doing this one little extra thing.

Get those little directional signs, and put them up everywhere. I place mine out on Wednesday, and I put up between 20 and 100, depending on the area, traffic, location, etc. I also look to see who else is doing an Open close to mine so that i can flood the area with my signs. Sellers appreciate that, and those thinking of selling that come into your Open will love the way you market a home. 

Advertise your Open House on the social networks like Facebook, and to all your contacts, friends, family, past clients, etc...The more you tell about it, the better. Your direct contact may not want to go, but a friend of a friend may be looking for the exact home you are holding the Open in. 

As for getting info, i have two signs in place...The first one asks everyone to remove shoes, and the second asks them to sign the Guest Registry for security purposes at the sellers request. I ask for name, address, phone and email, and below that are two little boxes asking 1- would you like to be contacted further? and 2- by phone or email. Simply say to them ' I don't stalk. If you don't want me to call you, I won't.' Make that initial call within 2 hours after the Open House, and if they don't want you to call them, set them up on your email list. Then, I also throw this into the mix, which greatly increases my chances of getting the right info...' I network with several restaurants in the area and we like to send out goodies and gift certificates for birthdays and anniversaries...What's the month and day or your birth?' Everyone loves something for nothing, and most restaurants give away a free meal for one's birthday. Just talk to a few of your favorites and tell them you'll take care of the marketing if they take care of the gift certificates. They do because they know no one eats alone on their birthday!

And, if someone will not sign the Guest Registry, they are given a Feature Sheet and asked politely to leave. It's not you, it's for the security of the seller at their request. In 3 years of Open Houses, I've had only 1 refuse to sign. 

Hope this helps, Todd.

May 30, 2011 04:05 AM #9
Kathleen Vetrano
RE/MAX Gateway - Falls Church, VA
Helping YOU Achieve YOUR Dreams

Have neighborhood information available and provide it.  People want information and if you have it they will listen.  They usually have some idea of the neighborhood and if they don't they will go home and research the information when they like a home.  You need to be their best resource for information and help them decipher through the "junk" that is on the Internet.    Your knowledge is key.

May 30, 2011 04:07 AM #10
Suzanne Gantner
Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate - Round Rock, TX

I would definately do a gift card drawing and also ask them if they would like to receive my newsletter.  This is a non-threatening way for them to get to know me with out being pushy.  I also add them to my Lowes Realtor program so they receive a 10% coupon on a regular basis.   It is a way to stay out front and to show them what kind of Realtor and worker you are...

Also, try this...3/4 days before you hold the open house take flyers to the neighbors with an invitation to come by during your open house and bring a friend who might be considering living in the neighborhood.  I have found by serving root beer floats, I get quite a few neighbors/friends ultimately ending up with listings... 

May 30, 2011 04:08 AM #11
Monica Atherton
The Associates Realty Group - Temecula, CA
Your Temecula Real Estate Gal

I have found that when it comes to open houses, I seem to really connect with about 1 in 30ish people. Some are neighbors, working with other agents, just starting out, etc. but I look at it this way I need to work full time in order to make this work.  So I carefully put out my signs in strategic locations, I visit 25-30 houses around my planned open house the day before to invite them over to visit or leave a door hanger with an invite if no one is home.  I also make sure that I take note cards with me.  If a neighbor does come in and I can get their address, I send them a little note (written while sitting at my open house...double duty) and pop it in the mail on my way home.  I always take other busy work with me as well.  Articles that I have wanted to read, books on our professions etc.

Keep up the good work.  It all takes time.  :)


May 30, 2011 04:10 AM #12
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Usually the listing agent advertises the open house in MLS, and maybe loacl paper, and fliers. You could send out fliers to the neighborhood ahead of time. The majority of people that attend open houses are just curious or neighbors. I just leave a note on the sign in sheet. " If you would like me to contact you and follow up, or perhaps schedule a private showing, please leave name, #, and email?" " If you don't want to be contacted, just sign your name only as a courtesy to the owners" Word it however you want, but that way only the serious will leave their contact info, which isn't alweays accurate by the way.

 Thank you for attending..... And give them a info pack to take with them with your contact info.

That 7% statistic sounds high for this area. MVAR use to report that less than 1% of homes sold from an open house. If your getting 7%, then keep doing open houses!

May 30, 2011 04:32 AM #13
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