While some agents dread the thought of holding an open house, some agents center their whole business on holding and working them. If you do your open house right, you can build your database and acquire new buyers and sellers easily and systematically. The cool thing about open houses is that you can easily find buyers and sellers in the same day. Think about it, people will be coming to your open house that are looking to buy, which in turns means that they may be thinking about selling their current property. If you work it right you can base your whole business around holding open houses.
A common misconception amongst new agents is that you must have the listing to hold the open house.
Most seasoned agents don’t have the time or energy to hold open houses for the multiple listings that they have. So simply look up a listing that looks like a property that you would like to hold open and call the agent. Most likely the agent will be glad to let you hold the house open. The next step is set a date and time for the open house. Although you may hold an open house at any time that you wish, the best times are on weekends generally from either 12pm-3pm or 1pm-4pm. This will generate the most traffic and hopefully attract the right buyers and sellers.
It is best to start your open house process on a Monday. You should pick the house you wish to open and date and time on Monday. On Tuesday, you should create your flyers, craigslist ads, internet posts, sign-in sheet and make sure you have the correct amount of signs. It has been said that the more signs you put out the more traffic you will attract. On Wednesday you should plan to go walk the neighborhood that your house is in and door knock inviting the neighbors to come. Inviting the neighbors is very important, as they may know someone that is looking to move and who wouldn’t want to live next to their friends! You should plan to door knock in a mile radius around the house. On Thursday you should make sure that you have everything in order. Friday can be reserved for more door-knocking if necessary.
On the day of your open house you should call the neighbors, and your clients to remind them of the time of your open house. You should first put a note on the door stating the time of the open house and a number that you can be reached at in case someone arrives when you are not there. To make enough time you should arrive an hour and a half to an hour early. When setting up, put out as many signs as possible. Drive the route that you put your signs so that the placement makes sense and leads people to the right house. There may be more than one open house on your street so make sure you are sending buyers to YOUR open house and not someone else. After all the signs are out, it is important to open the windows for ventilation (if necessary), turn on all the lights and make sure all rooms are open. You want prospective buyers to see the house in its best condition. Some agents have suggested lighting a candle to create a nice aroma. Don’t forget to bring toilet paper in the event someone needs to use the restroom. Water bottles are always a good idea, and some agents even bring cookies, food, and other drinks. It is important to have your business cards and a sign in sheet to capture your attendee’s information for follow up and database.
Make sure you get their phone number, email, and address. Other information that is useful to get is to find out when they are planning to move, if they are contracted with another agents, and if they currently own or sell. The more information you can get the better. You may want to have a mortgage lender present as well that can answer any financial questions that your attendees may have. Every agent has their own style of conducting themselves when buyers are touring the house. Some agents prefer to sit back and be there solely for questions and let the buyer’s tour on their own, while others like to give a tour themselves and show the house. I have found that what works best for me is to feel out each buyer and judge whether or not they want a lot of involvement from myself or not. It is important to keep the house open for the entire time block that you scheduled the open house for. Some buyers come last minute, which can be a pain, but you never know, they may be THE buyer. You may find it helpful to send the attendees a quick text or email after you have closed up the open house to thank them for attending.
The next workday after the open house it is very important to follow up with the attendees. You can add their information into your database, send them a thank you card, give them a call, or all of the above. You want to not only get feedback on what they thought about the property, but also want to make sure that you are the agent that they think of when they want to get great customer service. The more personal, such as a hand written thank you note, that you can get the better. The goal is to set as many appointments from the open houses as possible, and convert the attendees into clients.
As you can see, the process of holding an open house can be very lengthy and time consuming, but it can also be very rewarding. It is possible to make it the center of your business. So what are you waiting for? Go hold an open house this week!