It’s Open House Season!

Let’s talk about open houses! (If you’re not a real estate agent, stick with me, info for you at the end.)

Now, I realize that I probably just lost a good half of you. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of open houses. Ask me any day of the week and I would tell you that they don’t work for me. I can count on less than one hand the number of buyers that I have closed from them, and I can only think of 1 example when a visitor to an open house actually purchased that home … and they would have anyway at a showing with their agent that was scheduled for the following day.

BUT … I know that my personal lackluster results come 100% from my attitude towards open houses. If you haven’t figured this out yet about this business, your results and success are directly correlated to your mindset and the effort you put forward.

I’m still a skeptic when it comes to an open house bringing in buyers for my listings (this does vary based on your market, location and type of listing), HOWEVER I believe for sure that THIS TIME OF YEAR in particular they are a GREAT WAY to meet and connect with new buyers.

Allow me to explain. In January and February you have a lot of “tire kickers” out there. People who plan to move later this spring or even summer, and they are just starting to look. A high percentage of those buyers have not yet connected with an agent. Wait until March to start sitting opens, and I would be willing to bet than the overwhelming majority of the buyers who visit opens already have an agent.

Case in point … my friend and colleague Lara Rhoades sat open houses this weekend for me and another agent. In total she had 36 visitors (one was in a much busier area than the other). Of those 36 visitors, only 2 were neighbors, only 2 came with their agent, and 5 said that they were already working with an agent. That means that she met TWENTY SEVEN NEW BUYERS! Just about all of the buyers who came through both opens said that they planned to purchase their new home in the next 3-6 months.

I’m yelling a lot in this post with all of the caps, but for good reason. This is powerful stuff. Now is the time. Focus your efforts on open houses for the next two months, and it is very possible that you will connect with enough new buyers to fill your pipeline for the entire year. Here’s the thing though … you need to be persistent with your follow up. You can’t just meet them at the open and then follow up once. These folks are probably visiting opens most weekends and are 3-6 months out on their purchasing decision. Which means probably at least a month or more before they are ready to start looking at homes “for real”. You need to follow up again and again and again. Even when they don’t respond. Even when you think they don’t want to hear from you. Even when you are tired of not getting an answer. Make yourself known and available, and when they are ready they will respond back.

Not an agent and wondering how this information helps you? Lenders, stagers, title company executives, and more … if you are in a business that serves the real estate industry these open houses can benefit you as well. Partner with an agent. Sponsor their open house. That could be as simple as providing them with a plate of cookies to serve to their guests, putting signs up and down for them and displaying your flyers at the open. It could also mean sitting the open with the agent (we all want company), doing loan pre-approvals on the spot, or doing staging/design consultations or giving tips. Our businesses compliment each other, and the open house can too.

Did you sit an open house this weekend? How did it go?

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