Common Open House Struggles, Solved

January 20, 2016

Ask a real estate agent if they think open houses are an effective marketing tactic and you’re unlikely to get a lukewarm answer. The question of whether or not open houses are beneficial continues to be a hotly debated issue within the real estate industry. Like a fierce school rivalry, those who have chosen sides in the debate are staunch in their opinions and always ready to defend their team’s honor.

As the top-ranked app for open house management, it’s clear where Open Home Pro® stands in this discussion. However, it also takes more than postcards and a Facebook post to make your event a successful one. We’ve compiled the most common complaints about open houses and offered some actionable strategies that might persuade you to include open houses in your listing presentation (if you don’t already).

The majority of people who come to my open houses are just curious or aren’t ready to buy

New Strategy: Try making your open house admittance by appointment only. Though making your open house available “by appointment only” limits the quantity of people coming through the property, it has the added bonus of veting visitors so that only the most serious of buyers are present. Thus you save yourself the pain of having to interact with nosey neighbors from across the street.

Additionally, requiring appointments to participate in the open house relieves you of the need to decorate the home to draw in passersby. You’ll save money on balloons and yard signs, and you can use the time you would have spent putting up decorations cleverly marketing your exclusive open house online and on social media.

I spend a lot of time planning my open houses, but almost no one shows

New Strategy: Try limiting showings to the specified open house time. By restricting the viewing hours of the home, you ensure that the open house will be packed with interested buyers, and that your client’s cleaning and clutter-clearing will not have been for naught. In fact, this tactic can incorporate the best of both worlds, as it brings many serious buyers into the property, but you can also market it as a typical open house which allows the more traditional open house crowd to tour the home. The result is a full home that will make your sellers (and you!) very happy.

This kind of event can also negate the old view of open houses being solely for the agent to self-promote and not to sell the home. By limiting the interested buyers to a specific open house time, you get multiple buyers and agents in the property at the same time. This kind of atmosphere creates competition and fear of losing the house to other buyers, which can generate multiple offers and spark a bidding war. If you’re looking to raise the stakes even further, you can edit your Open Home Pro Premium follow-up email content to inform visitors that there is a cut-off date for offers, spurring them to act even quicker.

When my open house is busy, I can’t keep track of all of the visitors

New Strategy: Try partnering with another agent to help manage the crowd. While hosting a packed open house may sound like a dream come true, there are a lot of reasons why it might also make you uneasy. The possibility of property theft is a looming threat during open houses, and while you and your clients are sure to have taken precautions to prevent this, it always helps to have an extra set of eyes and ears around. Having a partner with you also helps keep you safe, as it prevents you from being alone in a home full of strangers.

Coordinate with your partner so that one person is greeting visitors and signing them in as they enter, and the other is keeping an eye on the roaming guests. Another added benefit to employing the buddy system at open houses is that it gives both of you ample opportunities to talk to guests and get a better idea of what kind of home they’re looking for. Just make sure you define the particulars of the partnership and how you will divvy up leads before the event.

A good motto for holding open houses is “You reap what you sow.” Essentially, what you put into your open house is what you can expect to get out of it. If you don’t market your open house properly, strategically define the open hours, and limit individual showings, you can guess your event will be a quiet one. But if you put some of these tactics to the test, not only will you impress the socks off your sellers — and potentially net an offer — but you may wow prospective buyers enough to receive referrals or leads who plan on selling soon.

Kaitlin Williams

Kaitlin Williams is a writer and editor covering trends, technology, and marketing in the real estate industry. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.