What do the words “open house” bring to mind? 

Maybe you have one coming up this weekend, and you’re thinking, “What can I do to make this better than the last one?” Or you’re you’re wondering if you’ve done enough to prepare for visitors. Maybe you’re doubtful that anyone will actually show up. 

I mean there’s only so much you can control, right? 

So, what can you do to get more people attending your client’s open house? And how do you make the absolute most of the event to get those buyer offers rolling in?

Here are ten strategies that are working for top agents right now. Pick a favorite—or a few—and see what a difference they make for you and your seller. 

#1—Door knock in the neighborhood 

It’s old school, but there’s a reason agents are still doing this. Door knocking gets you face-to-face with more people in the market you serve. 

An agent who comes to your door and brings you something you can actually use—whether that’s a thoughtful pop-by gift or an eye-opening market update (or both)—you’re more likely to think of them when you’re ready to buy or sell. 

You can do this in the days leading up to your open house or afterward to let people in your geographic farm know about the event or share details about your client’s home—or another recent sale in their neighborhood. 

#2—Use a custom banner with QR code. 

Instead of putting up a simple “Open House” sign with balloons to get people’s attention, take a page out of Shane Burgman’s book and use a custom, reusable banner with a QR code. 

These customized retractable banners not only make your brand stand out, they can also make it extremely easy for curious visitors to check out your website, social media accounts, and lead magnets just by scanning your QR code. Shane’s code leads right to his Linktree, where he can provide visitors with updates, open house listings, exclusive giveaways, etc. 

Vista Print creates these banners for under $200. They can be used again and again, and they take seconds to set up and remove. 

#3—Invite neighbors to come over

This is apart from the door knocking you’ll do before the open house—canvassing the neighborhood to let people know about the event within walking distance of their home. 

On the day of your open house, get there early enough to invite the seller’s neighbors up and down the street to a “neighbors-only” preview of the home before the public open house begins. 

Whether or not they’re well-acquainted with the owner, neighbors will appreciate a chance to check out the home before it gets crowded. And if they like what they see—of the house or of your services as a real estate agent—some of these neighbors could become future clients.

#4—Invite a mortgage lender to co-host the open house with you

Another great idea, if you have a lending partner in your market—someone you know you can trust with your clients—is to have them co-host the open house with you. That way, you can answer questions about the home, while the mortgage lender can be there to answer questions about financing—questions many would-be first-time buyers are likely to have:

  • How high does my credit score need to be?
  • What’s the maximum acceptable debt-to-income ratio to qualify for a home loan?
  • Do you have a down payment assistance program—or can you recommend one?

If your mortgage lender co-hosts with you on a regular basis, you can even add their name to your customized retractable banner—with multiple QR codes

#5—Put together branded packets 

Everyone who comes to your open house is likely to have questions about the home you’re showing. And everyone likes free stuff—as long as it’s something they’ll want to keep for longer than it takes to skim through it. 

Anyone who’s interested enough in the house to stop, find a place to park, and walk in is going to appreciate your putting together materials that answer questions and provide details they may want to remember. 

Include an FAQ sheet with a QR code they can scan to learn more about the property and what you’re doing to promote it for your client. Make it easy for visitors to learn more about the home and what you could do for them if they choose to sell theirs.

#6—Showcase what you do for your open houses on social media

Leverage your social media presence to give people a behind-the-scenes look into your life as a real estate agent—including your process for preparing for and setting up an open house. 

Show your audience what you do for your clients that makes you the kind of agent they brag about to their family and friends. 

Encourage them to picture themselves getting the VIP treatment as your client and enjoying the process, from the first appointment to closing day and beyond. 

Go live at the house before the open house starts and show your audience how prepared you are for visitors. Then post an update on social media after the event to share your results.

#7—Have branded water bottles available

During a BAM Interview between Byron Lazine and Glennda Baker, the latter mentioned a client who remembered her from a branded bottle of water Glennda provided at an open house the woman had attended: 

Don’t discount something simple just because it’s cheap. Everyone needs hydration—especially on hot days. And just providing a free bottle of water with your contact info may be just the thing that gets one or more of your visitors contacting you when they’re ready to buy or sell. 

#8—Turn your client’s home into a haven

Krys Benyamein shared a hack he learned from Disney that gets visitors to their stores in a buying mood. Before the park opens, shop managers crank up the AC and get the store so cool that visitors will buy sweaters and sweatshirts in the middle of summer. 

That hack works for open houses, too. Getting to your open house early is always a good idea, anyway. But if it’s hot out, get that AC on to cool the place down well before visitors are likely to show up. If it’s cold out, crank up the heat to warm up the interior and make it more welcoming. 

Adjusting the temp isn’t the only thing you can do, though, to make your client’s home more inviting and encourage visitors to make themselves at home: 

  • Use soft lighting—it’s more flattering and less likely to make people anxious
  • Play music in the background—whatever helps you set the mood you’re going for
  • Fill the air with good smells—like the aroma of freshly baked cookies

#9—Show up at least an hour before it starts

None of your visitors should show up before you do and have to wait and wonder if the open house is still happening. Ideally, you want to get there at least an hour early so you can get the place walk-through ready and welcoming. 

  • Do a final walk-through of the home
  • Crank up the AC or warm the place up (depending on the weather)
  • Appeal to your visitors’ senses with lighting, music, and comforting scents
  • Get the balloons out and the signs set up 
  • Walk around the property and the neighborhood

While you’re there, don’t pass up on the opportunity to chat up the neighbors and invite them to a sneak peek before the public open house starts. 

Showing up early also communicates to both sides—your seller and potential buyers—that you’re serious about creating a memorable experience for your client and for the buyer lucky enough to get their offer accepted. 

#10—Host other agents’ open houses 

Another option is to host another agent’s open house. If you’re out there networking with other agents, you’re more likely to have an opportunity to host a fellow agent’s open house for them. Sam Coleman built his business on door knocking—starting with hosting open houses for another agent. 

Takeaways for real estate agents

The more you invest in making your client’s open house a highlight of their home selling experience, the more you increase their odds of getting the price they want. 

You also increase your odds of repeat business, referrals, glowing reviews, and brand recognition. Buyers in your market will become familiar with the way you host open houses, and they’re more likely to think of you years later when they decide to move.