Tough love time, Folks.
Hosting a successful open house isn't about simply opening a door and then holding your breath, hoping that prospective Buyers and Sellers will flock to you because you have a pretty face or a pulse.
Open houses require planning, promotion, and engagement to generate meaningful activity.
"I tried open houses and they didn't work for me or my Seller."
- Coach the Seller on Open House make-ready & presentation?
- Plan additional staffing (buddy agent or vendor partner)?
- Publish the open house in the MLS listing at least 1 week ahead of the open house date?
- Check to make sure the published Open House date and time were correctly posted?
- Check to make sure the Open House details were syndicating on real estate websites?
- Advertise the Open House on Social Media (Facebook ads / events, Nextdoor)
- Share a link with Seller to use on Social Media?
- Send a postcard drop to the neighborhood to invite the neighbors to stop by?
- Door knock the day before or the morning of the open house to invite neighborhood?
- Reverse prospect search to invite Buyer's Agents to send their matching buyers?
- Send an email flyer ad to all agents in your market area?
- Prepare a fact sheet on the subject property & memorize property facts?
- Prepare talking points about the community (amenities, schools, things nearby)
- Prepare exterior signage, directionals, and use balloons / feather flags or other eye-catching visuals to attract traffic?
- Prepare interior signage that invites prospective Sellers to list with you if they like what they see?
- Professionally greet and engage Buyers upon entry?
- Register Buyers with written or digital sign-in?
- Prepare a list of similar homes or other Open Houses in the area you can text or email on the spot to unrepresented Buyers (good tip for verifying contact details)
- Follow up with visitors and/or their agents for private feedback?
- Add prospect to follow up campaigns (text or email) to continue sending valuable Buyer or Seller information?
The truth is, many agents post an Open House event only a day or two prior to the event, and show up to open the door and hope for the best. They don't run the traps to check for advertising errors, they won't spend time or money on promoting the event, they fail to properly prepare, they engage poorly, and they don't follow up. And yet, they are also often the FIRST to post negative commentary in Facebook support groups when another agent asks if Open Houses really work.
Just like anything, Open Houses work if an agent works at it. With little to no out-of-pocket costs and high return on investment, Open Houses are perfect tactics for newer agents to start developing customer relationships, and one of the fastest sources of business opportunities.
And remember, as a property marketing tool, activity always yield results. There is a rule of thumb in real estate that states if a property is priced and positioned correctly, 10 showings should bring 1 offer. If not, something is wrong and needs to change. If the Open House doesn't generate the Buyer match, help a Seller understand that the purpose of the event is to generate the valuable feedback needed to hasten the desired sale. In the big picture, an Open House event is the often the fastest path to sampling consumer perspective.