Open houses have been back in full swing for some time now after the pandemic put them on pause. But, for many real estate agencies, open houses are still reserved for “the newbies” — those agents who are fresh out of real estate school and willing to do what others prefer to skip in order to get a fresh lead.
One agency, however, has mastered the art of hosting open houses to such a high degree that these events accounted for nearly 50 of their transactions last year.
They decide who gets the open houses by way of a draft, similar to a draft in the sports industry, during which team members choose which open houses they want. Whoever has the highest production on her team gets the top pick.
Davis, who was licensed in 2013 and formed the Davis team three years later, came up with the idea of focusing their lead-gen efforts on open houses after bringing on 12 agents and six admins.
“We needed business,” Davis shares. “We, financially, were strapped, or we had brought on these agents and made commitments about getting them to a certain level of production. And we just needed to increase our activity, like, tenfold. And so we decided that we were going to tackle open houses and not only were they free, but we could also measure who came in.”
And what they discovered may surprise you. The value proposition was far beyond what they anticipated, and the results were almost instantaneous.
On average, The Davis Team hosts roughly 12 open houses every weekend and they average five new leads from each one, totaling 60 leads per week.
“We found that for every two open houses, we were able to secure one appointment. So, every 10 connects that came to an open house would meet with us to talk about buying or selling a home. And that was hundreds of open houses that we studied data and analytics because our team, at the time, was doing anywhere from six to 10 a weekend,” says Davis.
Davis’ system has an all-or-nothing approach that she wholeheartedly believes in.
1. Be consistent
You can’t host one or two open houses every few weeks and expect to see results. But if you’re consistent, you’ll open the door not just to people, but loads of success.
“Oh, they’re a phenomenal opportunity,” says Davis, “And what we’re finding is that open houses work when you work them. And when you work them systematically and consistently. I would agree open houses don’t work if you’re gonna do them once in a while. Don’t even worry about it. In fact, if you’re gonna put them on a sticky note, all your leads and maybe follow up with them and maybe don’t, don’t even waste your time.”
2. Promote your open house the day you list it
Davis’ team deliberately adds the open house to the MLS on Tuesdays at the same time the house’s listing goes live. Buyers can see those details while browsing the internet searching for homes. The day of an open house is even more strategic. Davis requires that her team place 12 signs that range in size leading up to the property.
“What we opted to do and what we train our agents to do is go to one major entry point to the neighborhood. Typically, neighborhoods have two or three. Pick one that goes to a busy street…take your big Davis Team signs, the bright red two-and-a-half-foot by three-foot signs that say ‘Open House’ with arrows, and flock them. So, go into an intersection and place one, then two, then three, and place them about 20 feet apart.
“So, start early and flock them out because what happens is you see it and you go, ‘What’s that sign? Oh, oh, there’s another one, an open house. Oh, it’s right there. We should turn.’ So, you wanna go one, two, three, so that they see it. Like, it stands out. And so that’s where we decided to just flock the entrance and it was something that would get their attention.”
3. Get help following up with leads
Davis’ team has a system for following up, and the agent hosting the open house is only allowed to keep the one lead they feel they connected with best.
The ISA (inside sales agent) takes all of the other leads and follows up with them. If they are able to set up an appointment, the lead most likely goes back to that agent, but it all depends on what the data indicates, says Davis.
“We have those numbers and that can also guide our decision of who we put an appointment with. Like when our inside sales agent generates an appointment, if, let’s say, Anne has a 90% closing ratio, well, Anne’s gonna get more listings.
4. Track and measure everything
Get it down to a science. By systematically managing her team’s open houses, Davis knows exactly how many visitors it will take to set one appointment, how many open houses it takes to get one closing, and who of her agents is most likely to close. In addition, she places scoreboards around the office so that agents maintain a sense of togetherness and accountability.
“There’s some Excel data math that tells us that we’re converting at 58%,” Davis explains.” “Hey, we’re doing better than last year, but remember our goal is to get to 65%. So, let’s go back to some of those listings that we didn’t take. Let’s go back to some of those buyers that we didn’t take and convert those, and just be really conscious of what we’re doing. We actually track that per person, too. So, we can tell you, is Brian a better converter than Anne? Is Amanda better at converting than Kelly?”
While you’re weighing this approach to open houses, also consider taking advantage of the fall market. This week is said to be one of the best weeks for buyers to purchase a home due to the increased inventory.
With that in mind, now may be the perfect time to begin hosting more open houses.
Header Image Source: (Zac Gudakov / Unsplash)