1. Be Consistent
In order to be effective when hosting open houses, you have to be consistent. At a minimum, aim to host one open house per week. Anything less than that, and your efforts will be sporadic and won’t gain much traction. While hosting a single open house can generate a few leads, hosting open houses on a weekly schedule will ramp up your productivity and provide a steady lead source for your business.
2. Choose Only One Area to Work in
A great way to stay consistent and build traction with your open houses is to focus on a particular area, zip code, or neighborhood. Running around from one side of town to the other not only costs you valuable time but also hampers your ability to establish your brand and build your reputation in the area. Think strategically and target popular areas with a large number of people and homes.
3. Determine Your Schedule
Next, figure out which day of the week works best for you to hold open houses. Open houses are generally most effective on the weekends when people are off of work, but you can choose any day and time that works with your schedule. If you do decide to host open houses during the week, try and target hours where potential buyers might be driving home from work.
Decide how many hours you can dedicate every week and do your best to stick to it. Anywhere from four to six hours is ideal.
Newer agents who are just getting started in their business will want to delegate even more of their efforts to open houses. To really boost your opportunities, try aiming for eight hours per week, which you can break up into four hours on both Saturday and Sunday.
However, avoid setting goals that are unachievable or overly intimidating, which can make you feel burnt out. When setting a schedule, choose hours you can commit to every week without too much mental or physical strain, even if that means starting out small.
4. Don’t Wait to Get Listings
To be most successful, don’t just host an open house when you personally get a listing. Instead, actively search for new listings every week by calling up other agents or searching online. Ask the listing agent if they would allow you to do an open house for one of their listings.
I’ve found that when you call five agents, you’ll likely find at least one or two that will say yes.
I like to make these calls around Tuesday or Wednesday. This allows me to target newly listed homes, and gives me a better chance that they’ll still be available over the weekend.
That being said, it’s not bad to have a backup open house in case the primary accepts an offer prior to your open house. Just be sure to let the agent know that it’s a backup and may not happen if your primary is still available. Or you can also host the secondary open house on Sunday or let a fellow agent host it.
5. Target Homes at the Average Price Point
The key is to identify and target homes in the average price point of what people are buying in your market. These listings are typically in high demand, meaning you are bound to have more turnout at an open house in the area.
While you might think that hosting an open house at a higher-end luxury home will bring you more desirable leads, this isn’t necessarily true. Many times, homebuyers in the higher price ranges will already have relationships with real estate agents, which makes the potential to pick them up as a new client much lower.
6. Make Sure the Home Has Good Photos and Is Priced Correctly
When advertising a home for an open house, make sure it has attractive, high-quality photos. When you are looking for other listings to represent, choose homes with professional-looking photos capable of catching the public’s eye.
Additionally, an open house will only be successful if the house is priced correctly for the area. If the home is priced too high you won’t get as much traffic, so do a quick CMA before scheduling the open house.
7. Stay Clear of Gated Neighborhoods
Try to avoid hosting open houses in gated communities. Even if you can post a note letting people know to call you, many shoppers will see this as friction and just turn around, severely hampering your turn out.
8. Do The Work and Prepare
Do your homework and prepare beforehand. If your open house is on Saturday, you should be preparing around Wednesday.
Preparing for your open house should involve creating an in-depth comparative market analysis (CMA). It’s more than likely you’re going to have neighbors and people from around the area checking out the house. You want to make sure that you are the authority in that neighborhood and know intimately the recent sales and available listings for sale.
Additionally, you may also want to spend a morning or afternoon touring the available listings in the area that are comparable to yours. This will allow you to speak knowledgeably and even make suggestions to prospective clients if your open house is not a fit for them. You never know, this may make all the difference, and could turn a shopper into a client of yours!
The more you prepare and the more effort you put in, the higher chance you have that your open house will be effective.
9. Advertise on Social Media Beforehand
One strategy is to use Facebook ads to target the zip code that your open house will be in. This is especially effective if you use the same branding on your Facebook ads as on your open house signs. As buyers and sellers in the area start to recognize your branding, you’ll find many will drop in just to meet you and get your thoughts on the area.
Facebook ads are a great, budget-friendly way to increase exposure and get more people through the door at your open house. To run Facebook ads, share the open house event on your Facebook business page. Then pay to promote the event listing. Even $20-$50 can go a long way.
Also, be sure to let the listing agent know (unless of course, you’re the listing agent) to add the open house date and time to Zillow, Realtor.com, and the MLS since you won’t have the access to do that.
Finally, post the open house to Craigslist. Craigslist is a free source that will yield your open house lots of attention.
10. Use Signs For Branding
One of the lesser-known open house tips for realtors is to avoid using generic signage. For example, the ones you get from Home Depot or your local real estate board.
Instead, invest in yourself and your business and get around 50 open house signs with your own personal branding.
The upfront cost will pay itself back with the first listing you get because people start to recognize you after seeing your signs over and over again.
BuildaSign.com is a good option to get a large number of custom signs. The reason I recommend getting 50 signs is that you’re going to want to get signs with different directional arrows. You should get at least 15 left arrows, 15 right arrows, and 20 straight arrow signs made.
Don’t include the time and address on your signs, since you will be using these for multiple listings over time, and you may need to do different times. Instead, make sure “Open House” is in large font along with your name, phone number, and brokerage info (per state regulations).
Go out and set up at least 20 to 25 signs at least a couple of hours before your open house is supposed to start. This is where consistency will pay off because if you do this every week in the same area people will get familiar with your branding and you’ll see bigger crowds at your open houses.
Be sure to plan where you wish to place the open house signs the night before. I like to print out a Google map of the area and mark where I’m going to need right, left, and straight signs. This allows me to bring the right amount of each sign and saves me time the next morning as I’m putting signs up.
Be sure to use as many signs as you can and start placing them as close to the main streets as you can.