Open houses don't hold quite as much water as they used to, but it's still a big part of marketing a listing.
Not only do you market your listing, you market yourself as an agent.
Meeting other agents, neighbors or anyone interested in buying and selling is worth the effort alone. In a 2016 survey, Realtor.com ran, 60.7 percent of agents sold a home as a result of a connection from an open house.
You can get referrals from an open house.
But you need to take the proper steps and prove how well you are staging, marketing and working to get this property sold.
A little over half the sellers list with the first agent they meet.Buyers and sellers without an agent yet, are leads that walk right into the doors.
In order to get these leads and people's attention and information, make the open house an event.
You need to prepare to host a giant open house, so more potential leads could come in.
Because of the rise in virtual tours, Facebook live tours and even 3d tours it may seem harder to get attention for an open house. That's why you need to make it an event and make it stand out from anything else online.
Plus, people want to touch, smell and feel the house.
If you market the open house well enough, warm leads will come. That's your best chance to sell the house.
Technology cannot replace the feeling you get from the property when walking through. The tour is just another tool.
Here's a great way to make it special and get the neighbors in the door. Send out letters or brochures to the neighborhood saying an open house will be on a certain day from 2 to 4 P.M.
Tell them in the letter that people who live in the area have a special showing and catered lunch at 1 P.M.
We spoke with an agent, Francesca, who was a new realtor but used open houses to pull in leads.
"After that, I go and I make sure that I've put up signs in the front yard saying when I'm going to have the open house, and I try to do it as early as Wednesday if it's going to be for Saturday or Sunday," she said, "What I also do is I print up flyers that have the house address on it with some pictures of the house, a few details on it, a description such as the square footage, the year that it was built, what amenities it has, if it has any upgrades done to it. I go around to a minimum of 100 doors that same Wednesday or Thursday and I knock on all the neighbors' doors that are in the area that the house is going to be open and I just introduce myself."
She tells that that she's hosting the open house and offers them food. But she doesn't stop there.
All this got her five listings from her open house promotions.
Francesca hosts raffles to add more encouragement for neighbors to come.
"I even do some raffles too. I'll raffle off like a $25 gift card. People are excited about something even as low as that. It could be a Visa gift card or a gift card to Walmart or a gift card to Starbucks, whatever can bring people in."
Don't settle for a traditional open house. It won't do much anymore. Brand yourself as the area's expert and meet and make friends with the neighbors. Most people will come out for a free lunch.
Even more people will come out for raffels or giveaways.
Warm leads at an open house are better than cold leads from the internet.
A lot of viewers may not be interested in that home, but are just learning about the market. You can turn your tire kickers into prospects for other listings.
After the neighbors leave, host the full open after and give them food as well. Marketing the open house to cold leads will be key. Attract them with staged photos and walk through videos.
High-quality photos are the best way to stand out.
A short video can go beyond your pictures and really tell prospective buyers why they should visit your open house, but just walking through your home with the camera recording may not be enough.
Advertise on street signs, billboards, and social media. Send it out to your email list.
Facebook ads are big in these situations with first-time home buyers. Hand out flyers at a local event or hand them out where you can. Be sure they all mention the free food.
Make sure the curb appeal is great and the home is staged.
Hopefully, your client is easy to work with. If not you may have to convince them to do some stuff.
Just show them statistics on curb appeal and home staging. They will be convinced then.
Simple things like adding landscape lighting or a plant in certain areas make a big difference.
If you really wanted to, you could take it one step further and make it a full-on barbecue.
If you provide food, dessert, and beverages (even beer), people will show up.
Mention local schools, shopping and other interesting facts on the flyer or brochure you pass out.
This just takes another step in making yourself that expert in the area.
Open houses are for more than just for that listing.
Make sure you collect addresses and contact information.
Be firm about collecting the information you want and make sure it's real. Make people show their Ids and write their names down when they come in.
Don't let people eat or drink until you have that information.
If anyone has any type of objections, just say you need to keep the house secure and since it is completely open to the public, their needs to be a log of everyone there.
Francesca keeps a registry clipboard on a few tables throughout the house, which you have to sign to be a part of her giveaways anyway.
"I encourage everybody to give me their information so that I can just send them a thank you card for stopping by. Just by me staying in constant contact with them, they're going to remember me and then they're going to refer me," said Francesca, "I've already sent them a thank you note and I've sent them business cards that they can pass out to people that may be in the market to buy or sell a house themselves. It might not be them, but someone else that they know."
Prepare yourself for questions about the home, its history, and neighborhood.
If someone asks you a question at the open house and you get stumped, it's going to look really bad.
Anyone who was impressed with you will be less likely to answer an email or call in the future.
Know the schools and their ratings. You should know the ins and outs of what is around the area as well.
Don't be afraid to have notes you can reference. It just shows them that you are prepared.
You're building your brand in the area.
Then, stay in contact with any leads the following months.
Ask them how the home search/sale is going and if you can help with anything.
It doesn't need to be your open house to get these same benefits.
You can host open houses for a small fee for more established agents. This how Francesca broke into her market.
"I reached out to every agent that was in my home office, wanting to see if they had any listings if they needed an open house for, and I just started booking my calendar that way. I was doing open houses during the week. I was doing open houses every weekend, a minimum of three to four every week. I was starting to bring in a lot of referrals that way and a lot of business was coming to me and growing my pipeline even more."
For anyone new in the business or even just in a slump, this is a great way to interact with a lot of warm leads.
You may think that is is a waste of time to host an open house for a home that you aren't listing. But it really is just another chance to capture leads.
Host it the same way you would host your own open house. Offer refreshments to get them in. Then collect their contact information.
What if you could give something of value that won't be thrown away. So when you reach back out to anyone, they immediately remember you.
With our My Books program we can help you achieve that. Books are valued.
Do this and you will position yourself as the authority in your market. When you give away your book, it will separate you from your competition. That’s how a smart agent thinks!
Want to get a free sample of the book that will get you more listings? Click the link below.
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!