How to get real estate leads from open houses
Open houses - Whether they get you the sale or not, they serve a much more important purpose: Generating open house real estate leads. Here's everything you need to know about this precious lead source.
About a year ago, Redfin released the results of a study claiming that “Homes with open houses tend to sell for more money and spend fewer days on the market—but only in certain metros.”
In fact, Redfin found that listings that are held open net “$9,046 more and spend seven fewer days on the market.”
Aside from the only-in-certain-metros caveat, Redfin’s data journalist Dana Anderson admits that this bump in price and reduced DOM likely has “more to do with the desirability of the homes themselves and the way they are marketed than the open house itself.”
See how they do that? Get us all excited with a headline about how amazing open houses are and then, three paragraphs down pretty much say “Oh, never mind, it isn’t the open house after all.”
The reality is that open houses have always benefited one thing and one person: Generate open house real estate leads for the listing agent. Apparently, that hasn’t changed.
James Kimmons cites an unnamed survey of agents in a piece at TheBalanceSMB.com. Of the 40 percent surveyed who don’t hold open houses, nearly 85 percent said that they “weren’t worth the time and energy involved.”
Yet, they “work” for the majority of agents who hold them.
If you’re among those who don’t hold open houses because they don’t produce the leads you’re hoping to generate, read on.
You’re right; open houses typically don’t sell homes. But that isn’t why you’re holding the house open, right?
Be honest with yourself – admit that you’re sitting in a home for sale, open to the public for several hours, to generate open house real estate leads. In the process, since sellers expect their home to be held open, you’re also showing your listing client that you are working hard for the money you’ll make when the home sells.
Once you get clear on your sole purpose for holding an open house, generating open house real estate leads, everything else should fall into place.
Lots of traffic through the open house increases the odds that you’ll generate open house real estate leads. Ensure maximum exposure for the event by advertising it.
Start with a landing page for your listing. Sure, in the current low-inventory seller’s market it may seem like a waste of time and effort to create a single-property landing page, but remember your goal – to generate leads.
Besides, it’s not just buyers you’re hoping to lure to your CRM. Some of them have homes to sell and think how impressed these potential listing clients will be with the effort you put into marketing the home.
Now, blast that URL out across your social media platforms, get it on Craigslist (yeah, it still exists and still has real estate traffic), take a screen shot and use it in an email blast and in your newsletters.
Agents who’ve been in the business for some time may recall the days when homes were held open on Sundays, usually between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 or 2 p.m.
Today, you’ll find homes held open in the evenings, during lunch hour and after normal working hours.
Consider the most likely buyer for your listing and which features of the home will appeal most to him or her. If it’s a killer view of city lights, hold it open in the evening. If your listing is a lakefront property that faces west, a yummy sunset is the ideal backdrop for an open house on the patio.
Weekend open houses still work and may even provide yours with maximum foot traffic. Before deciding on a date, however, check local calendars of events to ensure you won’t be competing with something more compelling that will lure your traffic (festivals, sporting events, etc.).
All the planning and marketing of your open house will be futile if you don’t capture the open house real estate leads generated.
For this, you’ll need some sort of a sign-in requirement. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to demand personal information. But there are ways to make it less so.
One of these is to tell attendees that the homeowner is requiring the information for security purposes.
If you’re still uncomfortable, consider giving away a prize. It will need to be attractive enough to compel people to fill in an entry form and drop it in a bowl. You most likely won’t get everyone to enter, but you will get a significant number of names and email addresses if the prize is something that’s in demand.
Should you decide to go the sign-in sheet route, use an app such as
Finally, offer branded handouts to attendees. These can include:
Ensure each attendee leaves with one of your branded packets or other items. Hand it to them and walk away so they can’t give it back.
Through each step of the planning process and the actual event, remember why you are doing the open house: to generate leads.
With that focus, you’ll hit the exacta – increased exposure for your listing and more potential clients for your real estate business.
How do you hold a successful open house? In this video, Mike breaks down the process step by step:
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