Successful REALTORS® are quite often successful open house experts. It may seem old school, or even cliche, but open houses are a tried and true way for agents to meet potential clients, break the ice, and gain their business. It’s a perfect setting to start a conversation about real estate, without seeming intrusive or pushy.
A fine-tuned open house strategy, along with plenty of help from RPR, can help you engage, capture and retain leads.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, or haven’t closed your first deal yet, this complete Open House Guide from RPR offers proven tips and strategies. You’ll learn how to plan for, orchestrate and follow-up on lead-generating, open house tactics that will get results.
You don’t just start putting signs out on the corner and preheating ovens. You have to do some prep work before hosting any successful open house. Before you set a date, your clients have to declutter, deep clean and you’ll stage the home—that’s a given. Once the property is ready for guests, you need to nail down a date.
Conventional wisdom says Saturday and Sunday afternoons are optimal, but don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. If you’re in an urban or younger demo type of area, and it’s late spring or summer, consider a “happy hour” open house schedule, such as a Thursday, from 5-7PM. Have beverages and snacks on hand–some agents even hire food trucks! Think about your ideal buyers and their busy lives, and what times and dates work best. Once you’ve nailed down the date, it’s time to become a promoter!
Get the message out digitally and by word of mouth, because when it comes to open houses, the more the merrier. Make sure your open house is listed in the MLS as well as on all the major real estate portals and Craigslist. Post and share open house information on Nextdoor.com and neighborhood Facebook groups. Share the information with contacts and colleagues via email and social media. If you really want to make an impression, create a video email message about your open house using BombBomb. It’s easy to use, you can try it for free, and it integrates with RPR.
Then get out in the real world to pound the pavement and knock on doors. Personally invite all the neighbors in a 10-20 house radius. Print out 200 door hangers and hire the neighbor kid to canvass homes in the surrounding area. Another great way to prep is to send out postcard mailers that drop a few days before the event.
Finally, use RPR to gain an encyclopedic knowledge of the neighborhood, schools, amenities and quality of life surrounding your listing. And make sure to create an RPR Property Flyer as a handout for the day of your showing. You can easily create a headline, upload photos and property details, including your professional headshot and contact information in this client-friendly marketing tool. Here’s a support article on the Property Flyer.
Once you’ve done the prep, it’s game time. Obviously, set up outdoor directional signage in high traffic corners of the neighborhood. Then set up shop in a centered or high traffic area of the home and position yourself to greet guests as they arrive. Have some bottled water in the fridge, put out candy or light snacks, and offer them up as an ice breaker. Introduce yourself and the property, and encourage guests to sign-in on your digital platform.
Getting visitors to sign-in on your tablet is key to gaining and managing leads. Open house products and apps such as Open Home Pro provide a digital sign-in sheet with customizable questions. It’s a great tool that allows you to record notes, such as when buyers don’t already have an agent.
You can also leverage social media while the event is going on. All you have to do is run a Facebook Live Stream at your open house. These live events can create real-time buzz, and better yet, you can repurpose and post the recorded version on your Facebook page afterwards. (More on that below.)
With all those on-site details handled, having RPR reports at your disposal might be the most impactful thing you can prepare ahead of time. The four most popular reports used by REALTORS® at open houses are the:
Market Activity Report: Educate clients on what the local market has to offer by presenting recent price changes; active, pending, sold, expired and distressed properties.
Neighborhood Report: Studying then sharing what you know about the people, economy, quality of life and housing market solidifies your niche as a local expert.
School Report: View student populations, testing outcomes, reviews, and ratings. Compare schools within a district or a specified radius, and/or include up to 20 nearby listings.
Mini Property Report: Just enough data to give buyers a solid understanding of the property, including price, value, comps, home facts, taxes, photos, and neighborhood information.
Having these reports at your fingertips during the open house goes a long way in positioning you as THE local real estate expert. With these reports and the RPR Mobile app at your side, you’ll be able to answer any and every question thrown your way about the property, the neighborhood and the community.
And there are two ways to deliver these reports; you can either instantly send guests a text or email that includes a PDF version. You can also print out the reports, it all depends on your style and how you like to work. Sending the reports digitally can certainly impress open house goers, while having hard copies in hand is preferable to others. Speaking of printing reports…
Here’s a great tactic that one San Francisco Bay Area REALTOR® uses at all of her open houses: Nicole Nicolay displays one copy of a report in a high traffic area. Then, when guests pick it up, she can break the ice and make an intro by saying, “It’s great that you picked up that Property Report. Right now, it’s the only copy I have left but if you’ll give me your contact information, I’m happy to send you a personalized version.” This conversation-starter is a keen lead generation tactic that helps her connect with prospects, without coming on too strong.
Following up with all the leads you captured at the open house is the last, and probably most crucial step. It’s time to personally contact guests that were/are interested in the home. You can gather this type of information from your digital sign-in log, and from your experience the day of the event. You’ll know who was legitimately interested in buying, and who was tire-kicking.
Once you’ve exceeded your client’s need for selling the property, it’s time to put those other contacts that you collected to good use. Enter their sign-in information into your CRM app or software, and start these fresh leads on an email drip campaign. A “drip” email campaign is simply email messages that deliver on set intervals, such as once or twice a week. This delivery schedule is automated via a CRM, such as Wise Agent, LionDesk, Contactually or Insightly. Find one that’s right for you and these CRM platforms will do all the heavy lifting, making lead nurturing less painful and more fruitful.
Now, what will you send these new prospects? If you did the Facebook live event, you can download the video and send it directly to them via email. You can also upload it to Youtube and Vimeo, or embed it on your website.
And of course, you’ll be sending them RPR Property Reports. Did you meet the parents of a toddler who are very interested in the ratings of the local school district? Send them an RPR School Report. A recently married couple without children who are avid hikers and eat out a lot? Send them an RPR Neighborhood Report.
In addition to emailing folks like these, you can also add a personal touch by printing out the RPR report, and either hand delivering it, or send it to them in a large envelope, with a handwritten note. Little details such as these coupled with the wealth of data and information that the RPR reports deliver, will certainly leave a good impression with potential clients. (More info on how to effectively deliver RPR reports.)
There you have it, the before, during and after of a smashing open house success story. Now that you’re armed with the tips and tactics to pull the whole thing off, you’ll also pull in lots of great leads.
Check out this article for more detailed research on using RPR to elevate your open house skills.