Holding an open house is an age-old tradition practiced by Realtors, but it takes time and effort to be successful. By the time to prepare your material and signage, get showered and ready to go, drive to the home's neighborhood, set up your signs, open the house, and then close it all up again when you're done... If you're going to invest upwards of 6 hours of your weekend, let's make sure it's something worth doing.
Here are some of the main reasons a Realtor might hold an open house:
- Sell the house - Although this is *extremely* unlikely, it does happen from time to time.
- Appease your seller - Sometimes the best reason to hold an open house is customer service; it's something your clients want.
- Meet the neighbors - Whether they come through your open house to check it out, or you have to knock on some doors, this is a great way to meet other homeowners. (Especially those whom your client might be friends with, and who might hear great things about you from your client.)
- Meet buyers - This is most likely why you're holding an open house - people who stop to look at houses are probably in the market to buy a house. And people looking to buy a house could probably use your services.
These are all legitimate reasons, in varying degrees of likeliness for success.
In addition, the chances for finding business at an open house are significantly higher than if you were sitting at home on the couch!
Is there a better way?
However, if you're going to devote 4-6 hours of your day to your business, maybe there's a better use of your time.
Here are 4 alternative things your could do with your Saturdays:
- Mommy's Group - If you have young kids, get the Mommy's group together for an activity. Make sure to invite the people you don't know quite as well. Or ask each person to bring one of their friends. This is a great way to spend productive time with your kids, and have a fun social event, while also expanding your sphere of influence.
- Kids' Friends - If your kids are a little older, get together with the families from the team, or the club, or the neighborhood.
- Grown-ups - what can a group of 6-10 friends do together? Lunch, golfing, an afternoon at the MIM? Bring a couple of your close friends and a couple-few people you would like to get to know better.
- Neighborhood Barbecue - invite a couple dozen neighbors over for some food, drinks, and good social atmosphere.
So, which choice is the best?
Here's the exciting thing - there really isn't a "best" option. Good things tend to happen as long as you're out there putting in the effort. Let's be honest - it's a good use of your time if you can meet even one person who might one day buy or sell with you.
Me, personally - I would rather spend an afternoon among friends in a more casual setting than holding an open house. (Just gotta remember to not always spend time with the same few people, as that defeats the purpose.)
I like to keep adding people to my Sphere of Influence, and then emailing them something worth reading every month!
- Chris Butterworth