How to Hold a Profitable Open House

Holding an open house has been a topic for debate by brokers for many years. Some say they work and some say they do not work. No matter which answer you hear, they are right. You may be asking, how can you say that both are correct? Well, they work if the agent does and they don’t work if the agent doesn’t.

You will have to decide for yourself who you are going to be.

I will attempt to describe the difference between the common open house and the profitable open house.

Typically agents hold an open house for the seller who is demanding a lot of attention. This is the first trap the agent falls in to. They are not thinking of how to create demand for the property. They are just attempting to look good in the seller’s eyes. It is common for agents to feel pressured by their sellers therefore do marketing activities that are proven to fail. This is something that you must avoid.

I will first describe the typical open house so you will understand what Not to Do.

Typical Open House:

1. Call the homeowner and schedule an open house.
2. Place an ad in the local newspaper.
3. Show up early and place directional signs to the property.
4. Open the house and wait for people to drop in.

Profitable Open House:

One week prior to open house;
1. Call the homeowner and schedule an open house.
2. Place an ad in the local newspaper.
3. Advertise the open house in your local MLS.

Two days prior to open house;
1. Create a flyer and deliver to all real estate companies within a 5 mile radius. Include possible financing options that may apply to this property.
2. Fax the flyer to all agents who have sold in community within the past 6 months.
3. Call all homeowners in the community and notify them of the open house and invite them and anyone they know who may be interested in moving into the area.

On open house day;
1. Place a minimum of 4 signs directing traffic to the home.
2. Arrive at your property 1.5 hours before advertised start of Open House. Come equipped with lead sheets, pens, handouts and business cards.
3. Knock on as many neighbors doors as possible. SMILE and invite them and anyone they know who may be interested to your Open House. Be sure and give them a business card and a handout. Remember everyone you come in contact with is a prospective client!
4. Return to the Open House and be ready to handle the traffic.

Holding an Open House can be a profitable way to generate business. Understand that finding buyer leads is only one of the ways you will profit. If you study the above Open House program, you will notice that there are opportunities to attract seller leads also. By calling other homeowners and knocking on doors of the neighbors, you will demonstrate to the whole community how aggressive you are when someone hires you to sell their home. Sellers want an agent who will aggressively market their property and this is one way to prove to them how aggressive you are.

Through all the contacts that you will be making in the community, it is likely that you will cross paths with other prospective sellers. What better ways to meet them, but when you are out there beating the streets to help one of your current clients? This is a great time to establish rapport and set an appointment to preview their home at a later time, hopefully right after you’re done with the open house.

An open house is one way to generate leads for your listings. In order to increase your chances of making a sale, you must go beyond the typical open house program. That program relies on luck. You are hoping something happens. The Profitable Open House program assures you will generate buyer leads to your listings or find potential sellers who you may later list.

Another fatal mistake that agents make when holding an open house is thinking that the only people who come to open house’s are those who want to buy. One out of every four people who attend an open house has no interest at buying a home. It is common for people to attend an open house in their neighborhood to conduct research on what other properties are selling for so they can get an idea of what theirs is worth. Some are just nosey neighbors and some many have a property to sell before they could ever buy.

Now that you better understand the various people you will be in contact with, you should be able to capitalize on the opportunities at a much higher level.