21 Best Real Estate Open House Ideas For Massive Lead Gen
Realtor Open House Guide, Scripts and Checklist
As a real estate agent, open houses can be a great lead generation strategy to increase your real estate sales. You have the opportunity to chat with current and potential home buyers. Through your open house, if set up properly and you invited the neighbors, you can acquire their contact information and become their future real estate agent. Hosting a real estate open house is one of Rev Real Estate School’s top ideas for lead generation, but what are some unique ideas to attract people to your open house? Furthermore, how do we motivate open house attendees to use the sign in sheet and provide their contact information?
In this article, you will learn the ultimate ideas for massive real estate lead generation through open houses. Also, you can download a free guide complete with a checklist for hosting a successful open house.
Open House Planning
If you want to achieve success through your open house, you cannot just put the open house on MLS and potentially post it on your personal Facebook or other social media profiles and expect a great turnout of potential buyers and sellers. You need to plan your open house well in advance and prepare your open house marketing campaign.
Here is your open house planning guide:
Open House will be hosted between 1 PM – 4 PM on a Saturday with 12 PM – 1 PM being neighbor time.
1. Choose a strategically located and priced property to sit the open house. (See below for more information on choosing the right open house)
2. Post about upcoming open house on your personal social media channels. The purpose is to provide good content to your network and stay top of mind to those that already know you
3. Ask your design team (or use Canva) to create your open house information flyers and 100 door hangers for the neighbors
1. Market Intelligence Session – Spend 20 minutes getting familiar with recent sales in the area, schools, restaurants, community issues, and events
2. Proof and print your open house information flyers and door hangers
3. Put up open house sign rider (“Open 1 PM – 4 PM Saturday”)
1. Prepare your home FAQ sheet. (See below for more information) – You can have this professionally designed or just use a simple document. Use information from home and info gathered from your Market Intelligence Session
2. Prepare a Hook and Draw. (See below for more information)
1. Launch Facebook and Instagram Ad to only people who are in the community/area where you will be hosting the open house. Use your Hook and Draw. (Run for 3 days)
2. Pick up printed materials and door hangers
3. Choose where you will be getting your food and drinks (if you plan on having at the open house)
1. Deliver the door hangers to the neighbors
2. Gather your open house materials
3. Post about upcoming open house on your personal social media channels
4. Print recent sales, market data (1 sheet for each)
5. Print a REALTOR information page
1. Market Intelligence Session – Know what else is on the market in the area (be precise so you can let buyers know exactly what else is on the market)
2. Pick up food and drinks (non-alcoholic) from local shop. Local coffee shops are great!
3. Set up signs
4. Post social media video of your setup process and invite guests with video tour. (Setup process very interesting to our network).
5. Set up signing sheets and/or open house app
6. Prepare open house scripts
7. Hold Open House!
8. After open house: follow up each person that signed in (see strategy below)
1. Add all names into your database and set a reminder to follow up with them weekly for 1st month, bi-weekly for 2nd month, monthly for 3rd-6th months. – Use follow up script, “I just wanted to follow up to make sure I wasn’t dropping the ball” (very powerful and simple script for following up with buyers and sellers)
Open House Ideas That Convert
Choosing the Best Listing
Selecting the right listing to host an open house is one of the biggest determining factors to whether you will have a great turnout or receive no guests. Don’t just sit open houses that are available to you. That probably means seeking out new listings at your office and asking the listing agents if you can sit an open house for them. Here are the top tips for selecting the right open house.
1. Choose a new listing. Preferably one that has not been on the market for a weekend. Buyers and neighbors will be drawn to a new listing versus one that has been on the market for months. Ideally, you schedule the open house the day the listing hits the market.
2. Choose a listing that is priced just below your average price. These typically have the largest buyer pool so you will have a better chance at a large turnout. Also, the buyers that come through an open house that is priced just below the average can be first time home buyers which are some of the best open house leads.
3. Choose a nice and clean listing. Regardless of if you are the listing agent or not, buyers will naturally associate you with the open house; therefore, choose a house that is clean and well presented. It doesn’t need to be perfect but clean, nice photos, well cared for, will all help.
Knowing the Market Area (Market Intelligence)
One of the biggest mistakes agents make at open houses is not knowing the market. They pop the open house on MLS then wait for people to show up and they are completely ill-prepared. Buyers and neighbors coming through the open house will be asking similar questions so preparing is not that challenging. Some questions include:
What/where are the nearest schools?
What did the property across the street sell for?
Are there any other homes in this price point on the market in the area?
What are the city taxes?
What are the approximate utilities?
Trying to Sell Another Home vs. This Home
This is a big question for real estate agents hosting open houses. Should they promote this home or try to secure the buyer by telling them about “better” properties on the market that you can show them? Watch out here, you may have neighbors, or the buyers may also be looking for a real estate agent for their house. If that is the case, what are the chances they are going to consider you for a listing if you are trying to sell them on another house?
Always be proud of the house that you are sitting and know the differentiating features. If the buyers discard the property during the open house, then feel free to provide them with more options.
Post the Open House on Personal Social Media
Leverage the open house marketing to show people you know that you are in real estate. One of the most significant issues that agents have with social media is that they don’t know what to post. Preparing, organizing, and sitting an open house has several opportunities for social media.
We recommend posting three times to your personal social media profiles and add your Hook and Draw to the posts (see below)
1st – When you secure the open house time (early in the week)
2nd – The day before your open house
3rd – Video of you setting up and doing a quick walkthrough tour
It’s true that most people will not show up through this. However, it is a top marketing opportunity fo your real estate business.
Find a Hook
The hook is a feature of the home that you will use to “hook” people’s interest in your open house. This concept is used a lot as “click bait” on the internet and it works darn well. For example, an article headline that reads “12 Amazing Life Hacks, Number 3 will Blow your Mind.”
We recommend a similar approach (just less cheesy). In your marketing for the open house (ads, flyers, door hangers, etc.), put something unique or cool about the house that they need to see. For example,
“Open House at 123 Main St, 1 PM – 4 PM on Saturday, You need to see the ________ (stunning back yard, kitchen, basement development, etc.)”
Use a hook to capture the buyers and neighbors attention.
Use a Draw
The draw is something that will entice the buyers and neighbors to come (and sign-in) other than the house itself. Ideally, you are using a draw that is desirable enough to get people to come and provide their contact information. Here are a few of our favorites. (Note, anytime you can send this after the open house, make sure you do it. That way, you can capture their information and send after the fact)
- Local coffee and baked goods
- Local restaurant gift card giveaway
- Goodie bags
- Free coffee card ($5) for everyone
- BBQ and Lemonade
You can choose whatever you would like but we like to keep it relatively simple to avoid having to put in a great deal of extra time and tasteful.
An important note about the draw is it needs to be still be large enough for an exchange of contact information. For example, if you are drawing for a pen and note pad, I probably would not sign in, but if you are drawing for a $75 gift card at a local restaurant, you bet I would sign in! That’s not to say you will have the budget for this large of a gift off the start, but make sure it is high enough value that the guest will exchange their info for this.
Use the draw in your marketing campaigns to motivate people to attend the open house for reasons outside of the listing.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
You need to be running Facebook and Instagram Ads before your open house. These should be focused only on the location where you will be hosting the open house. You can also use a Custom Audience Campaign to your database if you would like, but ideally, you focus your marketing dollars on getting neighbors to show up.
We recommend including the Hook and Draw in your advertisements and you can add a 1-hour window that is specifically for neighbors. This works well as most neighbors feel a little strange about attending an open house if they are not looking to buy or sell. By having a “Neighbors Only” time frame, you increase the chances of them showing up.
Additionally, you can sent up a Facebook Event for the day of the open house and promote the event to people in the geographic area. These ads tend to be less costly and can result in a great turnout!
Getting Guest to Sign In
This should be the main point of your open house. All of your marketing efforts and time could go up in smoke if you do not have a system for getting people to sign in at your open house. Yes, it’s uncomfortable and some people will decline, but this is our job! The worst someone can say is “no,” but the next person may have a home to sell and wants to buy a place through you.
Drop the mindset that you are being a bother and know that you have value to offer everyone that comes through the open house.
We recommend 2 ways to get people to sign in at your open house:
1) Soft Approach: This approach is asking people to sign in and they will be entered for a draw at the end of the open house. This is a softer approach as some people will sign in while others may not sign in because they are not interested in the value offered in the draw for providing their email.
2) Direct Approach: This approach is simply asking people to sign in. As someone enters the house, you just say, “could you please sign in?” You are not asking them to sign in. This works quite well and most people will happily sign in when directed to.
Paper vs. App for Signing In
If you have an iPad or tablet, there are some great apps out there for open houses. Open Home Pro is the most common and it works well. We always recommend using an app over just a book or paper. Reason being is it is more engaging and fun for people coming through the open house.
You can also tailor the questions in the app to the property. This makes the sign in process much more engaging.
For example, you could ask them if they are looking to buy or if they live in the area and are just interested in prices.
If you are doing a small gift for everyone that comes through (example $5 gift card), you could ask them what their favorite coffee shop is and send a gift card from there.
Also, if you are using a tablet, it’s recommended to get a tablet stand. These make the process look much more professional.
If you do have an iPad or tablet, no worries, paper works as well. After you sell a few open houses, you can save up for a tablet!
Home FAQ Document for Buyers
Preparing a home frequently asked questions can really differentiate your open house from others that are out there. This is just a simple document that you create before the open house with some additional information. You can grab the listing highlights from the MLS sheet but you should also add additional information. This can include the year the roof was replaced, the model of the appliances, the approximate utility costs, distance to local schools, top restaurants in the area.
If you have neighbors visiting your open house, they will be impressed with the additional amount of work that you put in and buyers will be impressed with your extensive knowledge of the community and house.
This simple document will put you in a different category than other open houses that the potential leads visit.
Inviting the Neighbors
This is a must for every open house you host. Yes, you want to see if you can lock down a few buyers from an open house but you also want to gather listing leads or contact information for those that live in the area.
Spending a few hours the night before your open house inviting 100 neighbors will be a practice that will pay off and, again, you will be setting yourself apart from the competition. If one of those neighbors has thoughts of selling, there is a good chance they will consider you when they see the additional work you are doing for your open houses.
The question becomes do you send out postcards, door knock, or use door hangers? We recommend not just sending out postcards because this is forgettable. It is the easiest approach, so it is better than nothing if you are running short on time, but it has the lowest impact. Also, you need to depend on the postal service to deliver the unaddressed mail in time. Nothing worse than your postcards going out the week after your open house!
Door hangers are our preferred method of inviting the neighbors. They stick out in the community and rarely do homeowners through these out before reading them. They take more time as you need to deliver them to homes in the area but they have a larger impact on guests showing up than postcards. Hint, jump on Craigslist, TaskRabbit and hire someone for a few hours to deliver the door hangers if you are tight on time.
Door knocking and inviting the neighbors is the best way to invite neighbors but you don’t want to be too pushy at the front door. Our approach to door knocking is a low pressure conversation. When inviting a neighbor, you should print off jumbo postcards, knock on the door and “invite” them to the open house. Just saying there will be an open house is an announcement, you want to make sure the neighbors feel invited. If you want to go one step further, ask them if they will be able to attend. People do not like going back on their word so by asking, “will you be able to make it?” You will increase the number of neighbors at your open house.
Notes, for all invites to neighbors, you should include your “Hook” and “Draw.” Also, use the first hour of your open house for dedicated neighbor viewings. This makes the neighbors feel less awkward about showing up to a house they are not interested in buying.
Circle Prospect Neighbors
If you want to go the extra mile when it comes to inviting the neighbors, you can circle prospect around the home and let the neighbors know about the open house. This approach is very similar to the door knocking approach as you don’t want to be pushy; you simply want to invite them to your event and let them know that there is a one hour window where the open house is open only to neighbors for viewings.
An additional tip is you can use a service list Slybroadcast to send a voicemail directly to their phone. This bypasses the conversation and allows you to leverage your time.
Open House Signs
When putting up your open house signs, you need to be strategic. We recommend using 12 signs minimum with an ideal number of 20. Yes, you could go with 100 signs but this can be a little overkill. We recommend using ideally around 25 signs and having a flag in the lawn.
Be strategic with where you place the signs. Occupy space (multiple signs) on busy roads. Ideally, your open house signs are slightly larger than the standard open house signs as well.
We recommend not overcomplicating the sign placement or number. Just make sure they are visible, clean, and direct the traffic to your awesome open house!
Open House Script
When preparing your open house script, keep it simple and relaxed. Prospects coming through the door will have the guard up and most have an image in their mind of the REALTOR being pushy. As a modern real estate agent, you need to combat this approach and just be friendly.
When entering the open house, welcome the guest and simply ask them one of the following:
Welcome! How are you doing today?.... What brought you in today? We find that most people are just browsing or live in the neighborhood.
Welcome! How are you doing today?.... Did you see the open house on MLS or do you live in the neighborhood and noticed the signs or invite?
These open house scripts are simple and purposeful. You want to know what brings the person to the open house and if they are a potential buyer or seller.
From there, you want to move them right into signing in. Starting with the sign in is important because once they have seen the house, there is less motivation to sign in.
Just before you get started on your tour, could you please sign in here on the iPad? Everyone who comes receives a $5 coffee card (or whatever your Draw is) so we will just shoot it to via email following the open house. In the meantime, I’ll grab you some info on the house.
Now we want them to walk through the home undisturbed. Don’t hover over the prospects as this can be uncomfortable.
As the guests start to finish their look, we always want to ask them their thoughts and follow up with a soft close.
What do you think about the property? Is there anything you like/don’t like?
[Don’t Like] Thanks you so much for the feedback, have you seen 123 Main St that was just listed today? … Let me shoot you the details on that one for interest sake, what is the best email address?
[Like] Awesome! Thanks so much for the feedback. Would you be interested in a pricing report on this property? … Let me shoot that over to you, what is the best email address?
Thanks for dropping by, how do you like living in the neighborhood? … Awesome! Well if you would like, I can keep you posted on the sale price of this home. We find most neighbors are interested in knowing what properties in the community are going for? Would that be of interest? Great, what is the best email address?
As a rule of thumb, try to stay casual yet professional. Make sure to use small talk that is not focused on the property. This helps lower their guard.
Relax at the Open House
One of the most important parts of interacting with guests at the open house is just to maintain a relaxed demeanor. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect in every conversation. Learn from each discussion you have with guests and keep the conversation friendly.
Have a few talking points on what is happening locally and don’t just focus on talking about the house. Mentally, prepare yourself by picturing everyone that comes through the door as your best friend. When you do this, your attitude will change from salesperson to genuine friend. You will find the conversations will be much more natural.
Just relax and treat every open house as a learning experience!
Leave the Seller a Gift
Part of having a listing is maintain the relationship with the seller. Leaving the seller a small gift like a bag of coffee, some flowers, or even a card will go a long way. Sellers will come home and immediately be grateful for this small act. Most agents just lock up and leave, but few will go thank them for allowing you to host the open house.
Even if the listing is with another agent at your office, leaving a small gift with your card is a very nice gesture and maybe the seller has a friend or family member looking for an agent at they put your name in as a referral because they remember this act.
Even if you just leave a handwritten card, always leave something for the seller.
Following up after the open house is key! If you completed the sign in process, then you will have some following up to do. We recommend following up ASAP after the open house. This shows dedication to your business. The first follow up should be short and sweet with the purpose of thanking them for attending the open house.
When asking them if the need anything from you, it’s best to first comment on something you chatted about. For example, if you chatted about an upcoming community, make a point of mentioning this in the email and ask them, “is there anything I can help you with?” This simple follow up goes a long way and let’s the lead move the conversation in the direction they would like.
If the lead is unresponsive, follow up with them 1x/week for month 1, every 2nd week for month 2, and then monthly moving forward. Make sure they are added to your email list. If you are struggling with a script when following up, we recommend,
“I just wanted to follow up to make sure I wasn’t dropping the ball”
This is a very powerful script and leads will usually respond to this as they don’t want you to feel like you are dropping the ball with them.