6 Tips to Get The Most from Your Next Open House

By Anthony Mann, Contributor - Posted on
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Open Houses have been a staple of a successful real estate agent for many years. Agents and brokers have always had a major reason to perform them, which is obviously getting people through the door in order to sell the property! What every agent really knows is that it’s not about the people coming through the door to buy the individual property, but getting people through the door to collect potential buyers for the entire neighborhood or town the open house is currently being held in. However, over the years, much has changed not only in the real estate industry, but in conducting an Open House, as well.

Here are my 6 best tips for doing Open Houses the right way, and maximizing the ROI that you can get from them:
 
 

Tip 1 – Facebook Advertisements

Facebook ads have taken on a crazy new life. Using Facebook to your advantage is something every real estate agent should learn how to do. There are tons of different campaign types you can perform including traffic ads, lead ads, and even event ads.

Using the different types of ads, and getting the right targeting down can lead to a huge increase in the amount of people that show up to the Open House.

So what’s targeting?

Let’s get into targeting a bit as this is what most people struggle with.  In order to properly target someone on Facebook, you need to know who is the “ideal client” for that property. You can target anything and everything from age and location, all the way to specific interests. For example, if people moving to that neighborhood happen to love the city life, or restaurants, you can target people who are interested in those things specifically. The sky is really the limit when it comes to getting the target market done right.

 

Here is the kicker though

In order to really get your audience narrowed down, you actually need to EXCLUDE certain people. For one, real estate agents should always be excluded from a targeting ad to buyers. You can not only exclude real estate agents, realtors, and brokers, but you can also exclude entire real estate companies! Make sure that when you’re doing this exclusion, you exclude people with job titles and “works for”. You do not want to exclude the “interest” here, as a buyer may be searching on multiple sites and you do not want them to be excluded from that ad.

 

Tip 2 – Open House Follow-Up Blueprint

So, you’ve gotten people to show up at the open house, they’ve toured the property, and provided you with their contact information. Hopefully you used an Open House app like AM Open House, but if you didn’t, here are some of the best practices to make sure you can convert those people from visitors to buyers or better yet, buyer clients.

Email Follow-Up

An email needs to go out that day, thanking each and every person for coming to your open house. This email also needs to have some pertinent information about you and the property because most people will be seeing more than one house that day. This email needs to include the following items:

  1. Property Address
  2. School Information
  3. Neighborhood Information (maybe a video about the neighborhood)
  4. Your contact details
  5. A Call to Action (To request a private showing email me back today)

Text Message Follow-Up

If you have not yet discovered the world of how powerful text messaging can be, you need to give it a try on your next open house. Email can be in great in many ways to stay in contact with people, but Text Messaging has an over 95% open rate. This allows you to not only thank the person for coming to your open but at the same time, nearly guarantees them to read your message, so you will inevitably be more successful in closing more deals. Here are some items every text message needs to include after an open house:

  1. Property Address
  2. A personalized Message
  3. A Shortened link to a single property website

 

Automatic sync to your CRM

Once a potential buyer comes through the door, you want to convert that person into either a buyer for that specific home or a similar one. The easiest way to do this is have that person automatically synced to your CRM to go on a short and long term follow up plan. If you’re not using a CRM, there are tons of options available to you. Some are relatively inexpensive ($99 per year) and some can be extraordinarily expensive (Up to $15,000 per year). Whichever one you choose, just make sure you actually use it. Nothing else matters!

 

Tip 3 – Open House – That Day Checklist

It is vital to make sure that every aspect of your Open House is ready on the day of your event.  Be sure that your device is charged (if you’re using an open house app) and make sure you bring everything you need with you so you’re not scrambling last minute including offer documents and disclosures.

Here are some tasks that simply must be performed on the day of your open house, and some that will help you increase traffic:

Step 1:

Arrive at least one hour early to put signs outside. The general rule of thumb is at least 10 signs out around the property. Look for major roadways or highly trafficked areas that will get the most exposure, as well. This can be done using Google Maps before you even get to the property so you know exactly where to go and place the signs.

Step 2:

Have a larger-than-life sign in front of your Open House. You don’t want anyone to pass on by because you have a small sign out. If the neighborhood or community does not allow huge signs, balloons, or something to draw extra attention, try putting some of these items within the house facing the street from the window.

Step 3:

Make sure you run a Facebook Ad to people within 1-10 miles of the property (see the targeting advice above). This will give you a great chance of getting in front of people that may want to come to an Open House that day but may have missed your previous advertising. This should be a “reach” ad as you will get the maximum reach by using this type of ad.

Step 4:

Getting the property showing ready is also extremely important.

  • Turn on each and every light, including the closets and basement. This will allow people to freely walk through the property without worrying about where the light switches are.
  • Open all of the window treatments to give a nice flow of natural light from the front to the back of the property. People love that open feeling, and opening window treatments will give an illusion of a larger property.
  • Turn on the AC (in the spring/summer) and heat (in the winter). When someone walks in, you want them to instantly feel comfortable with the temperature.
  • Remove excess clutter. Whatever you can put away, make sure either you or the owners do so before people start to show up. Having too many things around can be a deterrent as people dislike clutter and it’s harder for them to envision living in the property if there is too much going on.

 

Tip 4 – Twilight Open House for Neighbors and Family/Friends

This is a relatively new idea for Open Houses. Many agents and brokers have found that doing a twilight open house, which is an Open House that is held after work hours, specifically for the surrounding couple of streets, has been a great idea to get people through the door and have them start thinking about who they know may want to purchase this property. Neighbors would love nothing more then to pick exactly who is going to move into the home that you are selling.

 

Neighbors you say?

Often times, people in the immediate area and/or the direct neighbors may have someone that they know who may be willing to either buy, or at least view the property. Making the neighbors feel welcome is a great idea, especially if you don’t want any neighbors to give any poor information about the house or of the neighborhood during a showing with you or another agent.

When inviting people to this type of open house, make sure you hand out a physical flyer and allow them to bring any family and friends they want to. Ideally, you host a small event with some passed hors d’oeuvres and drinks. You can also use your Open House app to help you with the follow-ups if you’re using one, and adjust the emails and texts going out to make sure it’s about the event, not about the house!

(Here’s a FREE DOWNLOAD from our 3-Steps Ultimate Marketing System with a few extra tips about marketing to neighbors.)

 

Tip 5 – Neighbor Interviews about Neighborhood

Deciding to do a neighborhood open house could also have some really great benefits you wouldn’t have thought of. As people are hanging out and enjoying themselves while they’re previewing the house, you could ask people if they are willing to give a review of the neighborhood and/or the town itself. There are no better people in the world than the people who live in a specific area to sing its praises!

Allow people to go on camera and tell you what they love most about living in that area, or why someone should purchase a property in that area. When people see the realism of others talking about the area the home is in, it’s more powerful than any marketing a real estate agent or Realtor can do!

 

Tip 6 – Have fun and lots of it!

We all know that agents are at open houses in order to sell that property and/or get buyers for other properties in case that specific property does not fit their exact criteria. Make sure you are always smiling and available to answer any questions people may have. Showing that you’re genuinely having fun will translate into people trusting you and wanting to do business with you.

Make sure during every interaction you’re providing great value and openly sharing how great it is to live in that neighborhood or that town. Make sure to highlight things that will make a difference in someone’s purchasing decision, and always remember to listen more than you speak. Building rapport and trust is the end goal – you want to be everyone’s go to agent!

 

In conclusion:

An Open House can be incredibly powerful if done properly. There is more opportunity surrounding most open houses than agents realize, and there is no reason for this opportunity to go to waste!  Using the tips above you will certainly see an increase in not only traffic, but overall conversion before, during and after your Open Houses.

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Anthony Mann
Anthony Mann, CEO and Founder of AM Open House, has been in real estate for nearly a decade. During his tenure as an agent, he has sold more than 250 REO and short sale properties in Long Island. He was able to get into a niche field within the industry, where there are less than 15 active REO agents and was the youngest by nearly 20 years. Anthony has seen many markets and new technology emerge without any real benefit to agents, so he decided to make a change in the industry and launched AM Open House in July of 2014. Since inception, Anthony has dedicated his entire focus on the AM Open House app and management platform and making the lives of agents easier, while supplying them with technology they actually want and can benefit from using.
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13 thoughts on “6 Tips to Get The Most from Your Next Open House”

  1. Wonderful information and great ideas that I will definitely use! Thank you!

  2. Great article and some helpful tips for people who do Open Houses. Thanks Micheal for sharing your tips.

  3. Good to get some motivation and kick up the
    Open House game ( think mine is pretty good).Hoping this will finesse my game plan and bring me some clients. Agree with what your saying 100% now to put into action and reap the benefits. Thank you.

    1. Game On Margaret! Feel free to post your results from your next open house.
      Fellow agents are loving using Facebook LIVE to do videos to promote before and during.

      All Good Wishes,
      Michael

  4. On the back of my feature sheets, I have “How we Help Sellers” Then I have reasons like:
    Superior level of service with Accredited Buyer’s Representative® (ABR®) designation
     Explain financial options they may have & help arrange for pre-approval of financing
     Supply information on home prices in their area of interest
     Tour around neighbourhoods to show them potential properties then set up
    computerized prospecting, which allows daily updates on properties which interest you
     Work out the costs to purchase
     Supply a market evaluation so they know they are investing in a property that’s at fair
    market value
     Pull title on interested property to be aware of any potential problems i.e. liens, caveats,
    right of access, easements, etc
     Draft the offer to purchase and discuss negotiating strategy & negotiate on their behalf
     Look after all details including property inspection once the offer has been accepted.
     Stay in contact with the lawyer and lender to ensure the deal closes

    Then halfway down, same for sellers:

    How we help sellers:
    Superior level of service with Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation
     Comprehensive Step-by-Step Marketing Plan
     MLS® Exposure (Multiple Listing Service, REALTORS® Association of Edmonton) with
    up to 30 photos taken by professional photographer on http://www.Realtor.ca
     More exposure with additional photos & links on http://www.EdmontonWebHomes.com
    http://www.MikeMuranetz.com, http://www.Listings-in-Edmonton.com, our relocation site
    http://www.EdmontonIRP.com, our smartphone site http://www.SmartphoneListings.ca then
    Brokerage websites http://www.Remax.ca, http://www.VisitEdmontonRealEstate.com and
    http://www.EdmontonRealEstate.com
     Staging tips with RE/MAX exclusive “Fit to Sell” program
     Video tours using professional photographer http://www.YouTube.com/EdmontonWebHomes
     Strategic open houses
     Feedback on all showings through custom email system
     Colour feature sheets
     Property specific sign hangers with reflective markers

    I have a disclosure at the bottom”*Not intended to solicit properties currently listed for sale or to cause or induce breach of an existing agreement*”. Don’t forget your contact info and website.

    Hand out the property feature sheets and there is a good chance you will pick up a buyer or noisy neighbour/seller. Good luck!

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