Take Your Open Houses Up a Notch
We suggest hiring a food truck; they’re tons of fun!
You can take your open houses to a whole new level, and today I’m sharing some tips to ensure they go from good to exceptional. You should think of them as events, which means they require planning; start planning open houses at least a week in advance. You’ll have to speak to the seller about delaying putting their house on the market for a week, but it’s in their best interest to generate pent-up buyer excitement about their listing.
To make an open house an event, it needs to look like one—you can’t just have a sign and a few balloons outside. You want plenty of activity so people know something’s happening. We suggest hiring a food truck; they’re tons of fun! Most food trucks are registered with your local Chamber, so you can find out who you need to reach out to there.
We’ve found that the optimal time for open houses is on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. However, a different day or time might work better in your area. On the Monday before the open house, mail a postcard invite to 100 households surrounding your open house. You can find those addresses through tax records, Command, or other resources. The postcard will invite them to come tour the house and have lunch on you. If you don’t mail that postcard on Monday (Tuesday at the latest), don’t send it at all because you don’t want it to arrive after the open house has happened.
On Wednesday, you’ll circle prospect those same 100 homes, letting them know you’ve listed their neighbor’s house, you’re hosting an open house, and you’re inviting them to see it and have lunch on you. Again, there are plenty of ways to find those phone numbers, but make sure you’re using a system that takes the Do Not Call Registry into account.
On Friday, door-knock at least 20 to 25 homes in either direction of the house—ideally, the entire street. The goal is to have a conversation, but also take a printed flyer inviting them to the open house that says there will be a food truck. Let them know there will be quite a bit of activity on the street, so there may be a lot of traffic, but ask them to please bear with you because it will only be for two hours. Once you’ve done all that marketing to get people to attend, put out 15 to 20 directional signs the day before. Those signs must have a rider that says, “Free Food Truck”.
How it will work is people will tour the home, and once they’re done, they’ll get a ticket. Then they have to give their ticket to the food truck to get their lunch (which is how the truck workers will tally the number of meals they’ve served). We’ve negotiated rates with the three food truck vendors we use; we pay $275 for the first 30 meals and $8 per meal after that. On the day of the open house, bring a card table and chairs, or better yet, one of those tent gazebos so people have a place to sit down to eat.
Inside the open house, on the kitchen counter, place an acrylic holder that you can slide a piece of paper into, which will say, “Ask if my system will work to sell your home!” Place some examples of your marketing next to it, such as brochures, door hangers, postcards, or whatever you do to market homes. That’s how you attract other sellers and get their business.
You’ll get a slew of traffic through these open houses. We very rarely see fewer than 30 people coming through our open houses, and we usually have many more than that. This system for open houses truly works. Neighbors and new people will congregate outside the house, and you’ll have conversations with folks who are super interested in what you’re doing because I promise that you’re doing more than the other real estate agents they know.
We would love to hear how this all works out for you. So if you have any questions or want to discuss it with us, send us an email or visit our website. We hope to hear from you.