12 Real Estate Open House Ideas That Actually Generate Leads


November 25, 2021

12 open house ideas for real estate agents that generate leads

There are endless open house ideas, but which ones actually work? As some agents would have you believe, the answer is “none of them.” But that’s not quite true. 

One reason the open house gets such a bad rap from some real estate agents is that it’s a lot of work that more often than not doesn’t lead to an instant offer on the listing. 

Another common complaint is that open houses aren’t necessarily a good way to get real estate leads if no one shows up or seems ready to buy. 

These are certainly fair points, but it’s not time to retire the open house just yet. In fact, there are huge benefits to getting a home ready to show and drawing a crowd. 

The fact is that people who take the trouble to show up to an open house are interested in buying or selling a home — they just might not be 100% ready to make their move. Many are first-time homebuyers just starting to get a sense of the local market. 

Open houses benefit agents at different points in their careers, helping aid your real estate lead generation, sell open listings and network with local agents and brokers. 

The main thing to focus on with any open house is to go big on advertising and then focus on getting leads. These 12 real estate lead generation ideas will get you and your listings noticed.

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12 Open House Ideas to Get Real Estate Leads 

It’s a toss up whether an open house was ever really meant to sell a home or whether it was meant to be purely a real estate lead generation technique for you and your brokerage. So much time and effort goes into these events that you really ought to treat them like they’re both. 

However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be pursuing two opposing strategies. All the best real estate lead ideas also help get buyers excited about your open house listing. Thus by courting seller leads at your open house, you’re getting the best of both worlds. 

Here are 12 open house ideas you can use to get real estate leads and help sell your listing. 

1. Count Down With Marketing

real estate agents - rely on marketing for your open houses

One way to get the ball rolling with an open house is to treat it like a multi-day marketing campaign. Planning out a three-day countdown will get more people to show up and increase the likelihood of finding either a buyer for the home or your next seller lead.

So what goes in your marketing blitz? Try a blog post or video that goes into detail about this home’s history, perks, neighborhood, etc. Use this piece of content as a stepping-off point for campaigns on your email and social channels. Have a call day and talk to agents in your network, your cold leads, and the neighbors. Invite everyone to stop by, see the listing, and chat.

2. Invite the Neighbors 

Neighbors are an important fixture of any open house. A few nosy neighbors will always show up, but you want the more reserved neighbors to take notice as well. Use cold calling, ringless voicemail, and door hangers to get out the word. Another one of the top open house ideas is to hold a neighbors-only preview. 

When neighbors do show up, they get to meet you and see the interest you were able to generate for the seller clients and the great presentation of the home. Meanwhile, you get to meet new potential prospects, learn more about the area, and open the door for referrals. 

3. Roll Out the Red Carpet 

An open house isn’t just about the listing itself. Like all great marketing, a great open house is about “show, don’t tell.” Demonstrate your real estate expertise by really rolling out the red carpet. 

Designate an assistant or junior agent to greet everyone at the door, while you mingle and talk to everyone. Offer goodies, handouts, booties, masks and whatever else you need to so that open house attendees feel the love. The attention to detail of the whole experience is what marks you as a professional. 

4. Use Good Sign-In Sheets 

An open house sign-in sheet is the primary opportunity for an in-person real estate lead to give you their contact info, so make sure the sheet you give them to fill out is a good one. 

A good sign-in sheet may mean different things to different agents. Basic contact information, including the address of their current home, is a must. Lead qualifying questions and feedback on the open house is also common. The goal is to end up with a list of leads you can qualify and nurture. 

5. Make Signing In a Must-Do

The warmest leads will be happy to fill out your sign-in sheet — and they’ll answer every question, too. But others may skip your sheet if they can’t find it or it seems unimportant to do. Don’t let this real estate lead generation opportunity go to waste. 

Leave no stone unturned by putting your sheet in a visible location and asking everyone to sign in. Most people are happy to do what’s asked of them when you show them how. 

6. Collab With Agent Colleagues

real estate agents - collaborate with other realtors

There’s plenty of competition in real estate, but that doesn’t mean agents can’t help each other out. Open house ideas involving collaboration and coordination with others can bring in money that would otherwise be left on the table. 

Try coordinating open house schedules in the same neighborhood with other listing agents. If someone has a listing in your zip code but lives on the other side of the city, offer to hold their listing open and give them a cut of any seller leads you pick up. Plus, remember to promote your own listings to your own agent network.

7. Differentiate Your Listing 

Even though you may work together with other listing and buying agents, it’s important to set yourself apart. The way you differentiate your listings is another trait that marks you as a key professional. 

Always be thinking about what else is on the local market in the same niche and price range. Be able to call attention to at least three features of your listing that the comps don’t have when you talk to guests during the open house and in your handout materials. 

8. Plug Your Personal Brand 

Remember that the open house isn’t just an opportunity to sell the house — it’s also an important opportunity to sell you. Make sure you seize that opportunity by plugging your personal brand.

There are countless unique real estate marketing ideas an agent can use to brand an open house. Make sure not to reinvent the wheel. Use templates to save time and money.  

9. Go Live During the Open House 

Social media is incredibly important for real estate marketing these days, so it’s a must to incorporate it into your open house. Live streaming via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is increasingly popular and easy enough for most tech-savvy agents to pull off.

Plan ahead and announce that you’ll be speaking from and giving a live tour during your open house. Introduce yourself, give the tour and answer any home-related questions you see in the feed. You can reshare the video later for even more engagement. 

10. Show People at Your Open House 

Agents spend a lot of time in empty houses, but one of the best real estate lead generation ideas is how beneficial it can be for you to show people in a house. 

It turns out that everyone wants what other people want. Buyers want a home that’s full of other potential buyers, and sellers want an agent that can draw a crowd. Do this by taking photos and video during the open house as guests mingle and tour. 

11. Let No One Leave Empty-Handed 

Most people walk into a home with two free hands, but it’s a loss if a potential lead leaves the same way. Part of your job as an agent should be to ensure no one leaves empty-handed. 

See that everyone gets information and a small branded token. Think about business cards, home specs, floor plans, neighborhood info, digital staging ideas, fridge magnets, pens and so on. 

12. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up 

As anyone in sales knows, most money is in the follow-up. Most leads won’t become clients much less sales without a lot of footwork, often involving a half dozen contacts or more. 

If you have a system for following up with open house leads, you’re already ahead of the game. 

Get yourself a good script and call anyone you hit it off with the next day. Sort sign-in sheet leads by level of interest and place them into an appropriate drip email campaign. 

More Ways to Get Real Estate Leads Hooked 

Use these strategies to get real estate leads into your CRM, but don’t just stop there. Most real estate leads need to be nurtured and carefully attended to in order to become clients and eventually sales. 

A lot of real estate lead nurturing takes place through email, which can be tricky if your inbox is overflowing. Folio is one tool you can use to manage your real estate communications for a smarter and more efficient experience. 

With Folio, managing email is a breeze thanks to AI-powered algorithms. As an email add-on, Folio works with your existing Gmail or Outlook email to help you stay on top of calls, meetings, deadlines, documents and more. 

Folio is great for new agents and pros alike, helping you save time and get more done with no extra work. 

Click here to try Folio today

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