Open Houses That Don't Suck

Mastering the art of hosting an open house can be challenging, but we’ve mapped out five steps to help you make your next open house a success. The steps include developing an effective marketing strategy, compiling local market knowledge beforehand, being prepared to start conversations, and following up with leads in a timely manner.

1. Be prepared.

There's no sense in spending 2 to 4 hours of your weekend hosting an open house if you don't take time to prepare for it. Consider sending an invite to all the neighbors ahead of time with a postcard or going door to door to personally invite them. Make sure you have the appropriate signage ready. Plus, post the open house to any websites or publications in your area that are popular, such as Zillow, Craigslist, or Facebook.

2. Know the market.

In general, you should know the market well, but pay extra attention to recently sold homes, active listings, and withdrawn listings. If your open house guests know more about the local real estate market than you, they certainly won't be thinking of working with you. Try to have some market data prepared, such as the appreciation rate, the average days on market, and the sold price vs. list price stats. Hand this information to an open house guest to start a great conversation.

3. Build rapport.

People who go to open houses generally love talking about real estate. But, if you're sitting there awkwardly waiting for something to happen, you're doing it wrong. You're there to meet people! Have some talking points that are not generic or closed-ended. If they live in the area, think of something relevant or local to discuss, such as the new park or shopping center that’s being built. Crack a joke as long as it's appropriate to help break the ice. People love to work with agents who are personable.

4. Capture leads.

Maybe you've done everything right and you're even building great rapport with your guests, but you're not getting a follow-up opportunity. Be prepared with a reason to follow up, otherwise, this is all an exercise in futility. For example, offer to set them up on an automated search connected directly to your MLS so they can see new listings the second they hit the market, even before Zillow and all the other sites. You can also ask, "If I see something that matches what you're looking for that is not on the open market, would you be okay if I contacted you?" Whatever your strategy is, practice it and be ready to put it into action.

5. Follow up.

This is almost too obvious to state, but it happens all the time. We do everything right in the first four steps, then get really busy with daily tasks and don't follow up with the people we meet at our open house. If you do this, you would have been better off spending time with your family or working on some other aspect of your business. Put dedicated time to follow up in your calendar even before you host the open house.

Breakthrough Broker Toolbox

Find additional resources below to help with your next open house.

Open House Register
Open House Social Posts
Open House Postcards
Open House Helpful Documents

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