My Stupid Open House Book and How It Made Me So Much Money!

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

My Stupid Open House Book and How It Made Me So Much Money!

Imagine you are looking to buy a home and have stumbled across an open house sign in an area that you are interested in. If you have the time, you most probably will stop by to check it out. In fact, that is exactly what most buyers do: They "check out" open houses so they can compare to other homes they have seen. But the challenge with most open houses is that there often isn’t enough data or research provided to the potential buyer to give them the information they need for that home or for the area.

I have personally hosted thousands of open houses and learned so much from every open house I did. The most important things I learned is that buyers love data and they love something to take with them to review once they leave the open house.

Most buyers that attend open houses want to leave with more information than they arrived with. That could be something as simple as learning that prices have gone up or down in an area. Additionally, most buyers that stumble across an open house often do not know about all the other product that is available in the area. I learned that if I could send the potential buyers away from the open house with a book of information that would help them to be able to easily compare the open house they were just in to other homes in the area that it really helped that buyer to be able to make a quicker decision.

The Open House Book was born when I realized that most of the potential buyers that came through my open houses were not interested in the home I was hosting. BUT... they were interested in the area, possibly a similar home that may be larger or smaller, but they just want to make an offer on the house I was holding open. Knowing this, rather than have them leave empty handed, I would provide them with a very detail oriented Open House Book that was full of great information.

As the potential buyer was leaving the home, whether they showed interest in the home or not, I would hand them an Open House Book. I would then say to them, "I have put together a book you can take with you that has a lot of helpful information and shows all the other homes that are available in the area so you have something to compare to. I have also provided the most recent sales price information for the area. There is a printout of each of these home for sale as well as a map so you could easily find them if you wanted to drive by. And if you do drive by and want some assistance getting in to view any of them, please feel free to call me and I will try to get an appointment for you as soon as possible."

I cannot express the impact these books had on potential buyers. There were numerous times that a buyer would call me after they had left the open house or even days or weeks later. Many of these buyers commented that the data I provided was very helpful and they wanted to work with a real estate agent that put together this type of information. I would never do an open house today without my Open House Book. So many agents that I have trained over the years that have incorporated this into their open houses have had incredible results.

My Open House Book consisted of the following:

  1. Cover Photo: The cover photo was the photo of the Open House home.
  2. Table of Contents: I always included a table of contents so buyers could easily navigate the book.
  3. Map: I included a map that had the open house marked on it and all the other homes in the area that were also on the market for sale.
  4. Amenities: I included an amenities page or map that showed the amenities in the area.
  5. About Me: I included a page that talked about the type of services I could provide buyers and I provided my contact information.

So why is this also called the Stupid Open House Book? It got its name from an agent in my office that used to joke about my book and tell people he thought it was Stupid and a complete waste of time and toner.

One day I went out of my way to make him some of these books for an upcoming Open House he was holding on the weekend. I told him to just try using my Stupid book one time and if they didn’t work for him, I would forever call my Open House Book the Stupid Open House Book. Well, he held his open house and one of the buyers took the book, called him back, and had him show them a home that was on the tour. He wrote an offer for them within days. He never called my book Stupid again!

Just try it once, you will be pleasantly surprised at the response you get when you give them to potential buyers.

For over two-decades The Lones Group has evolved the standing and skills of thousands of agents with branding and real estate coaching. Schedule a consultation, call us at (360) 527-8904, or send an email to to learn how we can help you!


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Comments (25)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Denise- this is a wonderful idea!!!  When we were looking for a home in Northern VA years ago, I was very impressed with a listing agent. At each home, she had a CD of the property so that a buyer could go home and view the property again. This was in 2004 so even though the internet was around, not like it is today. I was impressed. 

Apr 15, 2022 07:50 PM
Denise Lones

That is a neat idea. Kathy, I always appreciate your perspective since you  have long worked alongside the agents of the industry. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:46 AM
June Piper-Brandon
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Ellicott City, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time

Hi Denise, what a great idea, I'm definitely going to try this at my next Open House.

Good luck!!

Apr 15, 2022 07:52 PM
Denise Lones

Would love it if you made it a regular thing and followed up with me in the future. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:46 AM
Real Estate Website

Good post. I definitely love this site. Continue the good work!

Feel free to visit my page … Homes for Rent in Los Angeles


Sep 18, 2022 02:04 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Great idea. My Brother did a similar marketing book back in the 1980's for Farms & Land and still gets leads from the books he mass mailed way back in the day.

Apr 16, 2022 04:28 AM
Denise Lones

A little different, but information and service to clients does not go unrewarded. People want to work with the expect, and an expert who shows that they also care is in demand. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:48 AM
Peter Mohylsky
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

I love the idea, what ever works for you is great. 

Apr 16, 2022 04:46 AM
Denise Lones

It could work for you too. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:48 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Great job Denise. I started my business on open houses. I didn't have a book but did have similar information. I still reap the benefits of those initial open houses.

Apr 16, 2022 06:42 AM
Denise Lones

You're witness to the power of open houses. Even in today's paced market, face-to-face relationship building is essential. Thank you for sharing Carla - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:49 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Nothing stupid ever when an agent goes above and beyond to provide people with great information and data. Thank you for sharing this. I will share it with my agents in my office.

Apr 16, 2022 07:10 AM
Denise Lones

Paula - Thank you for spreading the word. My best to you and your agents - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:50 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

This is such a great idea - I have bookmarked it so I can use it for my next open house!  LOVE THIS

Apr 16, 2022 04:42 PM
Denise Lones

Thank you for sharing the smile too. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:50 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Apr 16, 2022 07:22 PM
Kathy Streib

Apr 20, 2022 03:16 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

We aren't holding many open houses at the moment, but this suggestion is golden! Thanks, Denise.

Apr 16, 2022 08:33 PM
Denise Lones

I've been covering open houses in my weekly Denise Live coaching episodes. We have a special guest at tomorrow's show that might make you change your mind and hold more. Learn more here. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:53 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Denise. Some information may be helpful, but this sounds like a lot of work. That said if you are a new agent what better way to learn the inventory and area. Enjoy your day.

Apr 17, 2022 04:50 AM
Denise Lones

This should all be information agents are already tracking or have on hand. It's so easy to make a map these days from the MLS or other online tools. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:56 AM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

I haven't held an open house in years, but for sure I'll remember this if/when I do.  I may even start working on a template.

Apr 18, 2022 06:09 AM
Denise Lones

You might appreciate reading this. The case for Open Houses in a Wired World. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 08:58 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

That would be the perfect way to demonstrate to a potential buyer that you are just a cut above

Apr 18, 2022 06:28 AM
Denise Lones

Framed the right way, it might impress potential sellers too. I've been covering how open houses can be a great way to connect with sellers in my Denise Live coaching shows this April. I talked about this in my most recent blog post too. - Denise

Apr 18, 2022 09:03 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

LOl I like your stupid open house book Denise!  I created something similar (ebook) many moons ago  and was surprised how many people wanted it and all the traction we got online with SEO. That was back in the 2008 -2011 days and we rainers were all learning seo etc  Did the stupid book work?  Of course! Was it stupid? Nope!!

Apr 18, 2022 10:23 AM
Denise Lones

I love this Anna. Thank you for sharing. -  Denise

Apr 22, 2022 01:49 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post!  I've always subscribed to the fact that you need to give information and a handout to anyone visiting an open house.  Information is gold and they'll remember the agent because of it! 

Apr 18, 2022 12:01 PM
Denise Lones

Absolutely. You've tried it and you know it works.

Apr 22, 2022 01:50 PM
Bob McCranie
Broker Associate / Team Lead - Texas Pride Realty Group - Carrollton, TX
Your best advocate when buying or selling your hom

This is a great idea.  I'll tell my agents to read this and try it.  

Apr 18, 2022 07:31 PM
Denise Lones

Thank you Bob, glad to pay it forward. - Denise

Apr 22, 2022 01:51 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I really like this idea.  Thank you for sharing it with us!

Apr 26, 2022 11:25 AM
Denise Lones

Let me know if you try it too. - Denise

May 03, 2022 04:50 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

This approach worked well for you Denise Lones and is a good idea. Let me ask, did you develop a template for the "Stupid Open House Book" to cut down on the amount of time for producing? 

Apr 26, 2022 01:45 PM
Denise Lones

I did - you can use my format too. I described it in the post above. - Denise

May 03, 2022 04:50 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Denise, every open house I sat was to get more buyers or more listings and interestingly I managed to get I loved your post it bought back memories, Endre

Apr 26, 2022 11:51 PM
Denise Lones

Thank you Endre. It is a common idea that buyers are the target audience for open houses, but our experience shows it is really much more than just buyers. - Denise

May 03, 2022 04:51 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Denise, for telling us about your Open House book. Great advice to share.

Apr 27, 2022 07:04 AM
Denise Lones

Roy - You probably held hundreds of open houses for years and years before you retired. What were your favorite props? - Denise

May 03, 2022 04:52 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Denise, indeed I had more listings than buyers from my Open House:) so it is more than just sitting and having people sign in, Endre

May 03, 2022 09:16 PM