How Experts Use Open Houses to Generate Listings

We’re sure you’ve heard the buzz about the hot new thing in Real Estate sales! Robot Listing Agents? No. Government-mandated 20% real estate commission? NO. The diesel typewriter? No, no, no.

Give up? It’s the Private House Showing – a strange, new approach to sucking the listings out of neighborhood after neighborhood – and maybe even selling the original listing!

What? You’ve been in real estate for 123 years and never heard of such an outlandish claim? No wonder, because it’s one of our industry’s newest concepts and it’s a great way to harvest listings when inventory is low.

We first caught wind of this new approach several months ago from clients who raved about their success after shifting their entire attitude about open houses. After doing a bit of digging, we discovered that the legendary real estate coach, Tom Ferry, was one of the brains (or perhaps the brain) behind these ideas. We’ve included a direct link to his video presentation on this topic at the end of this article.


Step One: Change your mindset about the Open House

If you’re like most of us, you slightly resent all the tire-kicking nosey neighbors trudging through your pristine listing and grabbing handfuls of your chocolate mints and Reeses-Pieces. Then they take several of your pricey, full-color, multi-page presentation brochures “just in case we decide to move 3 doors down and buy this place…” It’s almost as bad as that poor car dealer watching the family walk in after loading up at Dairy Queen. Grab the Windex!

Now it’s time to forget all about those things and look at the neighbors as home-sellers in your personal Listing Farm, ripe for harvest. Not only do you no longer care about your former angst over their visit, now you actively invite their visit.


Step Two: Hold a “Neighborhood Only” Sneak Peak

A few days before your Open House Event, introduce yourself to the neighbors by going door-to-door. Distribute flyers with a large photo of your listing and a prominent price. You’re not introducing yourself to ask if they’re interested in listing their own house – this isn’t a “door knock” in the traditional sense. If you’ve been actively farming with, say, a custom publication (or any “expertising” form direct-to-the-homeowner marketing), the knock won’t be so cold. They will already recognize you as the area’s real estate agent.

When they answer the door, you introduce yourself and invite them to the Von Tuttlesnoogle’s open house for a catered lunch and a private, neighborhood-only sneak peak. Of course they could bring friends too, but the idea is to show the neighborhood how YOU market your listings. And be sure they know what’s for lunch – it’s amazing how good food can bring people together.


Step Three: Set Listing Appointments

When the neighbors show up, many may ask what you think their home would sell for and they hope you’ll guess high. Now’s the time to make the appointment to get their address and offer to bring over a CMA rather than just educated guess, which is, after all, still just a guess. You may even notice that some sellers may be anxious to talk turkey about listing to get ahead of all those other neighbors now milling about the open house!

If you’re hooked on this approach to marketing around your listings, check out the very entertaining presentation by coach Tom Ferry. He does a fantastic job fleshing out this concept:

Thanks Tom, you’re a genius! Good luck with your open houses, agents, and let us know your thoughts.

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