Yes, open houses DO work.
Too many real estate coaches will tell you that open houses are obsolete and practically useless.
The only scenario in which open house events are useless is when you suck at them.
Even with all the cutting-edge digital marketing methods that our real estate team uses, open houses remain a constant source of motivated buyer and seller leads for us. Our team’s results are undeniable — we sold $393,844,231 in real estate volume last year. Open houses were a substantial part of that success — but you need to know exactly what to do and what to avoid.
The truth is that most agents only go through the bare minimum motions of their open house and then wonder why their results are bad. Here are the biggest mistakes we see our competitors make.
Open House Mistake #1: Showing Up Late
Here’s an assignment that we give to new buyer agents in training: Attend open houses and pretend you’re a buyer. A group of new agents will go to 10 open houses held by agents in the area. It’s common to find that the agent hosting the open house event is either late or is a complete no-show to their own open house.
So first of all, if you just show up on time with signage and balloons, congratulations — you’re already beating a significant fraction of your competition.
Open House Mistake #2: Missing Out on Sign-Ins
Next, out of the 10 open houses new agents attend, they usually find that only one of the agents at those open houses — sometimes two — are getting people to actually register and leave their information.
So if you simply ask your open house guests to sign in and leave your info with them, congratulations again — you’re now far, far above average. Your competition is sweating by now.
If you can, set up one way into the home and one way out. Have a sign-in area near the front door and if you anticipate the open house will be slammed, bring an assistant to collect signatures for you.
Open House Mistake #3: Arriving Unprepared
Finally, out of the 1 or 2 agents that are actually getting people to sign in, probably about half of those are providing enough value and compelling messaging to really capture the interest of attendees.
Too many agents just hope that the house will magically sell itself, and will completely fail to research the neighborhood, position the home to solve home buyers’ problems, or position themselves as knowledgeable, capable problem solvers.
If you research the area, collect data on a cheat sheet, and take it with you to the open house, you’ve probably already put yourself in the top 5% of agents in your market in terms of open house preparation. Just by doing this bit of preparation, you’re doing what’s right for your seller clients, you’re doing what’s good for your business, and you’re impressing home buyers.
Here’s how to really kill: If you can find off-market properties in the same area before the Open House, you’ll automatically create massive value for attendees whose search criteria don’t align with the Open House listing.
Open House Mistake #4: Taking Timing and Motivation at Face Value
Taking the buyer’s motivation at face value means you’ll miss opportunity.
When buyers tell you what you’re looking for, listen closely. Ask questions and discover the buyer’s real motivation — don’t just take the buyer’s desired home features at face value.
Example: If a buyer tells you they’re looking for a home with three bedrooms, why do they want three bedrooms? Is one of those going to be an office? Are they thinking about having children?
Also make sure you ask the buyer when they’re planning to move. What’s their timeframe and why? Are they looking to move in the next 60 days before their son starts preschool? Are they relocating here for a job that starts next month?
Asking direct questions to learn the buyer’s timing and their true motivation will put you in a great position to provide value. You can’t help the home buyer solve their problems until you know what their problems are!
Open House Mistake #5: Being Too Scared to Close
Go for the close. Ask the open house attendee if they can see themselves living in the home.
Don’t hesitate. Project confidence. If they raise objections, listen closely to those objections and attempt to address them. Don’t just give up — it’s your duty to do everything you can for your listing client.
Finally, if the home truly is the wrong one for that particular open house attendee, make sure they sign in (see #2 above) and leave their info. If you truly cannot close them on the house, your backup plan is to close them on you as the agent who is knowledgeable, professional, and capable of solving their problems.
This is where having some off-market properties ready to show in the area (see #3 above) really proves to clients that you can provide them with value.
Open House Mistake #6: Following Up Once
Many agents out there think they’ve done a great job if they just follow up with an open house lead one time.
You should be following up with an open house lead the day after the Open House, yes.
But you should also follow up several more times that week: Call, email, text, leave voicemails, whatever you find is the best method for that lead. After that first week, follow up with them at least once a week for the next 4-6 weeks. After that period, you can follow up with them once a month.
We’ve closed open house leads a full year after they attended one of our open houses before! Stay in front of them. Follow-up early by all means, but don’t forget to follow up often.
Imagine what it would do for your business if you just:
- Show up for the open house
- Show up ON TIME for the open house
- Ask people to register their info
- Provide information and value for attendees
- Learn the buyers’ timing and true motivation
- Attempt to close attendees on the house, or
- Close them on booking an appointment
- Follow up early
- Follow up often
Do these nine simple things consistently at every open house, with every open house lead… and your business will explode.
If you’re tired of wasting your Sundays with few results, learn the method that has helped many agents on our team close an extra 10 -12 deals A YEAR. That is over $100K in income for them, and there is NO REASON you cannot do it too! Click here to learn more about our bestselling Open House Mastery course!