It may seem old school, but open houses are a proven way for agents to meet potential clients, break the ice, and gain business. It’s a perfect setting to start a conversation about real estate without seeming intrusive or pushy.
A fine-tuned open house strategy, along with plenty of help from REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR), a free NAR member benefit, can help you engage, capture, and retain leads.
When to Host an Open House
Before you set a date, your clients have to declutter and deep clean. You might even stage the home. Once the property is ready for guests, you need to nail down a date.
Conventional wisdom says Saturday and Sunday afternoons are optimal to host an open house, but don’t be afraid to try a different approach. Think about your ideal buyers’ lives and what times and dates work best. For example, a happy hour open house on a Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. might attract busy young professionals. Make sure to have beverages and snacks on hand; some agents even hire food trucks.
How to Promote the Open House
You can maximize traffic to the open house by getting the message out digitally and by word of mouth. Make sure your open house is listed in the MLS, as well as on all the major real estate portals. Post and share open house information on Nextdoor and neighborhood Facebook groups. Share the information with contacts and colleagues via email and social media. If you really want to make an impression, create a video email message about your open house using BombBomb. It’s easy to use, you can try it for free, and it integrates with RPR.
Then get out in the real world to pound the pavement and knock on doors. Personally invite all the neighbors in a 10 to 20 house radius. Send out postcard mailers that drop a few days before the event.
Finally, use RPR to gain knowledge of the neighborhood, schools, amenities, and quality of life surrounding your listing. And make sure to create an RPR Property Flyer as a handout for the day of your showing. You can easily create a headline, upload photos and property details, and include your professional headshot and contact information in this client-friendly marketing tool.
What to do During an Open House
It’s smart to place outdoor directional signage in high-traffic corners of the neighborhood. Then set up shop in a central or high traffic area of the home and position yourself to greet guests as they arrive. Have some bottled water in the fridge and put out candy or light snacks. Offering them to guests can be an ice breaker. Introduce yourself and the property, and encourage guests to sign in on your digital platform.
Getting visitors to sign in on your tablet is key to gaining and managing leads. Open house products and apps provide a digital sign-in sheet. They are a great tool that allows you to record notes, such as when buyers don’t already have an agent.
You can also leverage social media while the event is going on. Ask your sellers if they are comfortable with you doing a Facebook Live Stream at your open house. Live events can create real-time buzz, and better yet, you can repurpose and post the recorded version on your Facebook page afterwards.
RPR Tools to Use for Your Open House
Having RPR reports ready during your open house goes a long way in positioning you as a local real estate expert. Here are the most popular RPR reports used by REALTORS® at open houses.
Market Activity Report Educates clients on what the local market has to offer by presenting recent price changes and active, pending, sold, expired, and distressed properties.
Neighborhood Report Shares information about the people, economy, quality of life, and housing market and solidifies your niche as a local expert.
School Report Provides student populations, testing outcomes, reviews, and ratings. Compare schools within a district or a specified radius and include up to 20 nearby listings.
Mini Property Report Provides just enough data to give buyers a solid understanding of the property, including price, value, comps, home facts, taxes, photos, and neighborhood information.
With these reports and the RPR Mobile app at your side, you’ll be able to answer any question thrown your way about the property, the neighborhood, and the community.
Share RPR Reports With Attendees
There are two ways to deliver RPR reports: You can instantly send guests a text or email that includes a PDF version, or you can print out the reports. Instant digital reports will impress open house visitors, but don’t forget that hard copies may be preferable to some.
Here’s a great tactic that one San Francisco Bay Area REALTOR® uses at all of her open houses: Nicole Nicolay displays one copy of a report in a high-traffic area. Then, when guests pick it up, she breaks the ice by saying, “It’s great that you picked up that property report. Right now, it’s the only copy I have left, but if you’ll give me your contact information, I’m happy to send you a personalized version.” This conversation-starter is a keen lead-generation tactic that helps her connect with prospects without coming on too strong.
When the Open House is Over
Following up with all the leads you captured at the open house is the last and probably most crucial step. Personally contact guests that showed interest in the home. You can gather this type of information from your digital sign-in log and from your experience the day of the event.
Once you’ve exceeded your client’s need for selling the property, it’s time to put those other contacts that you collected to good use. Enter their sign-in information into your CRM app or software and start these fresh leads on an email drip campaign.
A drip email campaign is simply email messages that deliver on set intervals, such as once or twice a week. Find one that’s right for you, and these CRM platforms will do all the heavy lifting, making lead-nurturing less painful and more fruitful.
What to Send Your Open House Leads
What will you send these prospects you met at the open house? If you did the Facebook Live event, you can download the video and send it directly to them via email. You can also upload it online and embed it on your website.
Did you meet the parents of a toddler who are very interested in the ratings of the local school district? Send them an RPR School Report. Or maybe a recently married couple who are avid hikers and eat out a lot? Send them an RPR Neighborhood Report.
Add a personal touch by printing out the RPR report and sending it to them in a large envelope with a handwritten note. Little details such as these, coupled with the wealth of data and information that the RPR reports deliver, will leave a good impression with potential clients.
Learn how REALTORS® Property Resource, a free NAR member benefit, can help you host a successful open house. Visit blog.narrpr.com/video-learning/open-house for video tutorials and a quick start guide for creating reports mentioned in this article.
Stats on Open Houses
- 51% of Texas homebuyers visit open houses during their home search.
- 89% of Texas homebuyers who visit open houses considered them very or somewhat useful.
- 60% of Texas homesellers say their agent used an open house to market their home.
- 6% of Texas homebuyers found their agent when visiting an open house
- 6% of Texas homesellers found their agent when visiting an open house.
- 35% of Texas REALTORS® who specialize in residential real estate report getting some business from open houses.
Sources: 2018 Profile of Texas Homebuyers and Sellers; 2018 Profile of Texas REALTORS®