With less than 100 days left in the calendar year, I hope you’ve done your year in review and created your 2023 business plan. In it, I hope you included doubling the number of open houses you do.
Actually, let me correct that: I hope you included doubling the amount of quality open houses you host, therefore converting more leads.
While doing my own 2023 business plan and reading a recent Darryl Davis article, it occurred to me that we have gotten into brutal open house habits.
Why Agents Have Been Neglecting Open Houses
Over the past two years, open houses became a chore. It actually felt like we were running the hostess stand at Outback Steakhouse on Valentine’s Day.
Basically, every open house started with a line wrapped around the block. Snow, rain, hail— even Christmas Day was a guaranteed madhouse. It was more about getting people in and out on time than selling the house or capturing the leads.
I bet you haven’t been doing open houses the correct way for a while now. Or maybe you obtained your license during this absolute seller’s market frenzy and were never taught how to make the most of your open houses.
Open houses are a top lead source when done properly. Open houses create opportunities for more conversations, more leads, and more referrals from your sellers.
I’m laying out seven strategies to implement during your upcoming open houses, so you can get back in the habit of doing open houses to capture and convert leads.
Get out there a day or two prior to your open house and blast your signs with balloons on every corner you can find. Buy a wacky inflatable balloon man off Amazon here, if you want. Just make sure people see your signage.
Putting signage up early is important. I leave my signs out for days before and after the open house. I get calls from neighbors to come pick up my signs because they are annoyed at staring at my ugly mug for so long.
#2—Create Professional Handouts for Door Knocking
Get professional flyers or pamphlets made. Yes, that means you will need to spend some money on printed material.
The days of the Double P strategy are over. No, not that Double P—I’m talking about the “Pictures & Pray” strategy in which the house basically sells itself.
With these beautiful flyers, go out and door knock and invite the neighbors. You can say something along the lines of:
“Hi my name is _____. I am selling your neighbor’s house, and I just wanted to let you know we are doing an open house today. If there are any cars outside your house or any issues, here is my card. Oh, and feel free to stop by for a private tour!”
Everyone is nosy. Everyone wants to know what their house is worth. Many will show up to scope things out. And when they get there, they’ll see what an incredible job you do for your sellers.
You’ll be door knocking the neighborhood again, but more on that later.
#3—Post on Social Media
Post on your Stories everywhere about the open house. I even dare you to go live on Facebook or Instagram.
This doesn’t have to be long. A quick 1-3 min video sharing some open house details. Heck, you can have the listing sheet in front of you. Rattle off where you are, the price, basic info, maybe show off the kitchen and done.
#4—Know the House and the Comps
Study the house. Know it like the back of your hand. And study the comps. Go back three to six months to prepare for questions that are bound to come.
I bet you the nosy neighbors and the consumers who hawk Zillow like it’s a Tinder profile will know them. The more educated you are, the more knowledgeable you are, the more you will be seen as the neighborhood expert.
This is important because most consumers go to multiple open houses and have probably already been on a showing with an agent off Zillow. This is your chance to stand out.
Make it so people walk into an amazing spread and an energetic, knowledgeable agent. That way, if an unrepresented buyer shows up to your open house, they’ll want to work with you. And if someone thinking of selling arrives, you’ve gotten one step closer to a listing.
Bonus tip: Have a lender with you or have payment options available. The more information you can share, the better.
#5—Use QR Codes
Stop with the pen and paper.
Create a QR code for people to scan and sign in. Make sure it populates to your CRM with an automatic email sent out to all guests. From there, create a reminder to follow up several times. This is your lead generation, so make it work for you.
#6—Pique Interest and Add Value
Create a folder that says “Off-Market Listings” and showcase it at the open. I guarantee buyers will be interested in that. Tell them,
“This is for our VIP clients; if you’re interested, I can email them over to you.”
BAM. (Pun intended.) Now they are intrigued and want your services.
As a side note, make sure you actually have off-market listings (or another value add) to share.
I told you you were going to door knock again. Once the house goes under contract, door knock again to let the neighbors know the sale price and how it affects the value of their home.
If you do these and execute the right way, you have the opportunity to double your business. Along the way, you’ll gain leads and social media content, and your sellers will be happy.
And the best part? The real estate gods will reward you.