In my last post I asserted that agents who don’t believe in open houses may just be lazy.

I hope I did not offend too may readers out there.

Moving on with my list of the top five reasons to do an open house this weekend, I will pick up at No. 3.

3. Branding. Multimedia marketing builds the brand of a product, and your product is your listing. The marketing that you do to promote an open house not only builds your brand as a go-getter agent, it brands the house as well.

Effective open house marketing includes posting on the MLS; syndicating to as many websites as you can; hand-delivered or snail-mailed postcards; targeted social media posts; inviting the neighbors; and alerting the cooperating agents in the area. Every piece of marketing should have a link back to the information page for your listing.

Sites such as offer reasonably priced single-property websites that are simple to use. You can put the URL on a sign rider and on all of your marketing. Add the URL to your email signature, put it on your business card, or even better make up property-specific business cards to hand out with a QR code and a photo of the house along with your contact information.

I explain to sellers that marketing is like a pie: Some pieces of the pie are larger than others. For example, Internet is a huge slice of the marketing pie and postcards are a smaller slice, but should still be included in a comprehensive plan to get a home sold. Open houses are a good-sized slice of the marketing pie. The more eyes we can get on on the house, the better.

4. Satellite office. Agents who have been in the business for a while often fondly remember the days when customers would call in or walk into their office ready to buy a house. Buyers today are not calling or walking into real estate offices as often.

Buyers report that open houses are a part of their search and that they visited a number of open houses as part of the process. This is according to the NAR 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The study also breaks down the methods buyers use to search by age group, and both the echo boomers and the millennials are visiting open houses.

Another interesting data point is that buyers interviewed only one agent for the job of helping them find a home.

Marketing 101 — go where the buyers for your product are. Think of the open house as your satellite office and set it up that way. Have on hand information on the homebuying process, area info, school info and any other “stuff” buyers may like and would be of value to them as they search.

You can also make your time at an open house productive by using an iPad application like Open Home Pro. The app is your sign-in sheet on your iPad. It takes the buyer through a few questions, has them enter their contact information and sends a follow-up thank-you email to all who sign in.

The agents using the Open Home Pro app report that they get better-quality contact information than they did when they used a paper and pen sign-in sheet. Open Home Pro eliminates the chicken scratch that you can’t read when trying to follow up.

5. The last and very best reason to hold an open house this weekend: Your listing photos are not very good. Even if they are good-quality photos, the photos of listings often do not do the property justice and people need to get in and see a property to truly appreciate it. It is common to hear a buyer at an open house remark that the house is much better than what they expected to find based on the photos.

In the Northeast where I am, the snow is starting to melt, the daylight is staying longer and the buyers are out in force. Put out the welcome mat for them and post your open house signs, and you will see your business grow.

Wendy English is the vice president and sales manager at Century 21 Commonwealth in Medfield, Mass.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription