Real estate open houses and buying or selling a home often come hand in hand. While every house might not be a good fit for an open house, there are several great reasons to conduct at least one. Understanding if your listing is a good candidate for an open house is where you should start. Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself:
- Is your property spotless and ready to show? If it is being lived in and things are scattered all over the place, it might not be a good fit.
- Is the home in a high-traffic area where you can expect people to stop and do a walkthrough? If your listing is isolated, it might not bring in the kind of results you or your client are looking for.
- Is the listing appropriately priced? Many times, highly sought-after homes can do extremely well with open houses, and produce over asking price offers.
While hosting an open house can be an intimidating feat, several positive opportunities can arise from doing so. Open houses can generate future leads by giving you more information for your database, they can help generate sales, and make home shopping more approachable to a casual buyer.
When people come and tour a home, oftentimes it evolves into casual conversation about buying or selling. If it’s a neighbor contemplating the idea, you can quickly share insight or set up an appointment to talk about their property. Because it is not as strict as a private showing, people can casually walk through the home without having to make a decision right then.
Tips for Realtors & Agents to Run Successful Open Houses
If you’ve committed to hosting an open house, there are several pointers we can provide to make sure that your experience is as productive as possible. Here are three open house tips that can help you make the most out of the experience:
Tip #1: Your open house should be exciting.
Know your customer, your budget, and who you’d like to attend and make it entertaining and engaging to them. If someone comes to the open house and all eyes are on them… it makes it a painful experience rather than something fun. Think about the vibe!
Tip #2: Turn your open house into an experience.
Fill it with different food and fun options to make it something fun to do — beyond just touring a home. You might hire a food truck or run some contests where contestants can win something fun like a smartwatch.
Tip #3: Send out invitations to the people you want to attend your open house.
These can be digital and through social media, or physical invitations that get mailed to their house. Video invitations can be used and are also highly effective!
If you’re looking at these tips and aren’t sure where you should even start, you might consult an experienced real estate coach. We offer a free consultation that will pair you with someone who can tell you what works and doesn’t work.
Preparing a Home for an Open House
After you’ve decided that the home in question is a good candidate for an open house, the next step is preparation! With a real estate open house, there is a lot that goes into preparation and even more when it comes to follow-up. Here are some quick and easy steps to make sure that your home is ready for the big day:
- Make sure to set your open house for an ideal day and time. You won’t want to host it on holidays or typically late nights. You’ll want to host it when your target buyer would be available (which is typically on the weekend).
- Confirm that your house is marketed online and looks great with high-quality photos. If someone tours the house and wants more information, you’ll want to have plenty of ways they can find more information online!
- Send out your invitations and post flyers around the community. Be sure to be clear about the day and time your open house will be conducted, and mention if there will be contests or other fun activities.
- Get your signs together (20-30) and ready to go. Do a drive-through of the neighborhood and plan in advance where you will want your signs.
- Walk through the house in advance and tell the owner how to ‘depersonalize’ it. This allows potential buyers to envision themselves in the space. If your client is unwilling to declutter things, this should be discovered before committing to an open house!
- Deep-clean and set expectations for how the house should look the day of the event. You can do some light touch-ups when you get there a few minutes early, but for the most part, the property should be show-ready.
- Make sure the yard and outdoor space are prim and proper. This might mean checking that the lawn is mowed and that there isn’t any trash or debris laying around.
- Prepare your food and drink options. Make sure that your open house is a party!
Getting People Interested in Your Open House
Real estate open houses are nothing without having the right people there. To attract them, there are several open house tips that you can use to maximize your coverage:
Tip #1: Use Video Invites
Send a quick video to relevant people in your database that invites them to this open house specifically.
Tip #2: Connect With Neighbors
Walking around the block and knocking on doors can help you secure additional traffic, potential leads, and should be considered an essential element in planting seeds for additional listings/sales. Having a face-to-face connection with nearby homeowners is critical.
Tip #3: Prepare on Social Media
Using emotional storytelling to do a step by step of how you’re preparing to host an open house can be incredible in getting buy-in from your followers. Be sure to share your contact information and that of the home!
Tip #4: Put Signs Everywhere
On the day of the open house, put signs everywhere. Don’t consider this an open house tip — consider it an essential. Ultimately, the point of an open house is to increase visibility and reach as many curious eyes as possible.
What to Do the Day of an Open House
You’ve put in the time and dedicated work to advertise and prepare your clients for the open house, and now the day has finally arrived. What are some last-minute things that you should do to take an open house from ok to great?
Think of your open house as a casual party. To set the tone, follow these open house tips:
- Open some windows (weather permitting).
- Turn on the lights in the house.
- Remove any pets.
- Put away personal documents and other private items.
- Give each room a quick check, hiding clutter.
- Take out the trash, and spritz some light fragrance to make the house smell good.
- Put out your sign.
- Get your mingle on!
Mistakes to Avoid with Open Houses
Preparing for an open house is the first step in making sure there are no mistakes. Demeanor and attitude can be everything as people are walking through the property — and it is typical to hear a lot of “just looking” responses as people come and tour the home. That’s ok!
Make sure to collect information from everyone that visits the home, and find an exciting way to do so! Perhaps there’s a raffle at the end of the event, where a prize is given out? You’ll need their contact information to be able to let them know if they’ve won the fabulous prize, right?
Finding a reason to be upbeat and cheery as people enter is critical as you’re not just selling a building and land — you’re selling the idea that this could be their next home where their family is spending time. You’re selling the idea of bright rooms, great memories with their loved ones, and a possible future.
As people leave, it’s a mistake not to get their feedback about the property. Ask people what they think about the property, and if they would consider buying the home. It doesn’t have to be high pressure, and expect most people to not want to commit — but sometimes you will get someone who is ready to write an offer. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale.
Do Your Research Before Hosting an Open House
While we’ve dialed into a number of open house tips, it’s impossible to elaborate on every scenario you may face when you are hosting an open house. Only through continued training and experience will you truly be prepared to host your first open house with shining confidence.
Having an experienced real estate agent as a mentor and coach can help prepare you for the oddities that arise in different scenarios. For example, what if the weather is horrible on the day of a planned open house, should you reschedule or continue forward to host it? These are questions that a strong understanding of the industry can help you with.
Hosting open houses is a great step in putting the work in to achieve your dreams of financial freedom. Take your goal of hosting a successful open house and transform it into throwing a MEGA open house!