Open houses - are they effective?

Do you think open houses are effective? I hear a lot of agents doing them to impress/appease the seller and that they don’t actually generate buyers. Thoughts?

Hey Carly!

Open houses are an amazing way to generate business. When I started, my first year, I did 36 sales. 28 of those sales came from open houses. It’s all about systems as everything is in this business. Here is a webinar I did a while back on Open Houses. I hope that helps. Keep in mind that what you do today will start generating business in 90 days.

Always glad to chat if you have any questions.

While I’m at it, here is another webinar I did based on my book, “So You’ve Got Your Real Estate License…Now What?” It’s called Kick it Up a Notch and is for new to semi new Agents to help get their business rolling.


Most often, Open Houses are Agent-centric activities in that you can generate leads (i.e. Buyers for other properties, Sellers of nearby homes) from them, but not as likely to get a Buyer for that particular property. For a new agent with a good personality, Open Houses can be an excellent way to generate new business - arguably THE most effective way, actually.


Hi Mitch,

Thanks for the feedback! 28 deals is awesome! It’s great to hear about the pros to open houses. I am going to check out the webinar.

Thanks Maui! This is seems to be the one topic everyone agrees on!

Carly, I used to be in charge of setting up Open Houses for a team I worked with… and it can be the ultimate environment to create an inviting experience, bring in your marketing, your hostessing skills, meet people in your neighborhood- simply because they can meet you face to face it can take the online offline with a nice bridged experience.

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Hi Carly,

Congrats on getting licensed! I’m a firm believer that there are many ways to make a living in real estate but unfortunately we all have only a finite set of hours to do it in. Do any one activity long enough and eventually you’ll pick up some business so in that respect open houses can certainly work. On the other hand, in my opinion, open houses are not a great use of one’s time to pick up buyers because even a great open house will only generate a handful of buyer leads (and rarely seller leads). A good website, on the other hand, is a lead gen system, albeit primarily for buyers. So that is where I focus my energy.

In my opinion, open houses can even be a way some agents placate sellers into thinking they’re actively marketing their home. And they are, to a degree. But the reality is that only 2% of all houses sold in the U.S. are sold through open houses so the chances of someone attending the open house actually buying that home are pretty remote.

If you believe that real estate is a numbers game & you value your time, there are far more efficient ways to market listings or pick up buyers than spending hours of your time holding a single home open to the public. That’s just my .02 worth.

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When an Open House is done systematically, and properly, the open house can be wildly successful as a lead generator & relationship building opportunity for the Agent and the local community.

Why do many Agents fail when hosting an open house? Typically because the Agent did not follow all of the steps to properly complete the marketing of the open house AND all of the follow up needed to successfully stay connected with the contacts. You would be surprised how many Agents host an open house, procure multiple contacts from the open house, call the contact once, and give up. Or the Agent will say, “I didn’t follow up with that visitor, that visitor wasn’t a ‘lead’… the visitor is a neighbor next door, and not in the market to buy or sell.” :flushed:

Open houses, when done correctly, are one of the FASTEST community relationship building tools Agents have… which can produce BOTH Buyer & Seller Leads.

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Hi Jolenta!

I miss you! And thank you, I’m very excited to officially be in the real estate world! All this feedback is so great. Some people are pretty passionate about open houses, and others like you have found a different way. I love hearing all sides. And yes, I do agree - a great website goes a long way :wink:

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Hi Rennee,

I agree about follow up and it’s sounds similar to the conversation you, me and Jeff were having about treating all online leads as valuable. Thanks for the insight!

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Aw, I miss you too, Carly! One thing I neglected to mention: even though I’m not a big believer in open houses, I do think they’re a great way to kickstart a real estate career for no other reason than when agents start out, they can make a great impression with prospective buyers just based on sheer enthusiasm and, for lack of a better explanation, because they’re generally not jaded (like us old-timers, lol). Case in point: almost 16 years ago, at my very first open house (it wasn’t even my listing), I met a couple who soon after sent me a beautiful letter that said if they ever sold their house & moved (a family member with a chronic illness would prevent it for many years, they said), they would definitely hire me to be their Realtor. I didn’t really give it much thought (though I kept the letter because it was so wonderful) but low & behold, 12 years later they called me & asked me to put their $700K house on the market. It was already beautifully remodeled & staged & it sold in like 72 hours. A wonderful surprise & of the smoothest deals ever! They even still had the business card I gave them all those years prior, even though I had left my broker & become an independent. So while I’m still not a fan of open houses for a variety of reasons, I do think they can be effective—provided you have a lot of time & energy! :smiley:

Hi Jolenta! That’s such a wonderful story! It goes to show what a wonderful impression you made upon them. But hey, that’s easy for you. :grinning:

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The two Open House Trainings we utilize on our Team:

Gretchen Carlson’s Open House Class:

@Mitch also a GREAT class, especially when a Team Member has a listing which is vacant and can be held open multiple days consecutively.

Two different hosting styles, both very effective!

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We do them as a courtesy i.e. we downplay their potential so that we don’t have disappointed sellers. That said my newest team member did one 2 weeks to appease my aggressive seller and he just removed conditions with the buyer that walked right into to his Open House. I already suggested to my team member that this might be a career first and last, but who knows for sure?

No, i don’t thing so