Real Estate Agents Don't Waste Your Time on Open Houses

Why Are You Really Hosting Open Houses?

“Realtors are in the business of making connections with people. Market knowledge, experience, and marketing ability are all important components of a Realtor’s ability to sell a home, but without making personal connections, there are no clients to provide these services to.” ~ Johnny Isakson


Is it to sell the house?

Is it to get new leads?

I don’t believe that it is black and white.  I believe that there is a grey area in the middle that we can not control.  That the grey area is the magic of Real Estate Sales.

Building Relationships.

If you go into the Open House with the idea you are going to use that time to sell the house then you may miss the opportunity to generate new business for yourself.   Likewise, if you go into the Open House with the idea that you are going to use the time to generate leads you may miss the opportunity to sell the house.

Real Estate Sales is a relationship business.

Notice I said Real Estate Sales:

I know this is a passionate topic for many Real Estate Agents. Don’t hate me but… It is my humble opinion that you are Sales Person.  Just like any other sales person that sells a product.  A house is a product, just like Software is a product.  There are many pieces of software that are just as expensive as houses.  So are Software sales people… Software Tour Guides?

But people hate Sales People!  No they don’t.  They hate bad sales people.

Don’t be a bad sales person.

“Sales Tip:  Sales is not about talking it is about listening.  Trying having a ratio of 2:1 of listening to talking.  When you are talking try to ask as many questions as you can.” ~ Jason Fox


I love Good Sales People!  When I need them.  I was at Costco recently to buy a new Sound bar for my TV.  They had about 4 to choose from.  All 4 were respectable brands and similarly priced.  I wanted a Sales Person to walk up to me and tell me about all 4 units.  The pros and cons.  The ratings.  Peoples experience.  Someone to help re-assure me that I was making a wise choice.

Be a Good Real Estate Sales Person.


Why do we choose to use a particular real estate agent?

Most of the time when I ask someone why they chose to use the real estate agent that they did… it is because they had some level of relationship prior to the need for an agent.

Some level of relationship??


  1. the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

Relationship does not mean;

  • Best Friend
  • Coffee Partner
  • Golf Buddy
  • Wedding Attendee

Could a relationship be built at an Open House?  Sure it can.

Could it be nurtured via Email and Social Media?  Most definitely.

Could it be furthered nurtured with an occasional mailed note and phone call?  Absolutely.

How my Grandmother Choose Her Real Estate Agent:

I have told this story before but I think it bears repeating.  When my grandmother sold her home she told me and knowing that I have relationships with many real estate agents, quickly explained that he had chosen a real estate sales person.  I asked her how she knew the man. She explained that he had been bringing her a calendar every year for the last 5 years and felt like they had a relationship.

Did she ask him to come to her 75th Birthday Party?  No… that level of relationship was not required.


My Experience With Visiting Open Houses This Last Week

I visited 3 open houses in the last week.  All 3 were beautiful listings, with great curb appeal, in desirable locations.  All 3 had a decent amount of foot traffic.

  • Not 1 of the Real Estate Sales People know my name.
  • Not 1 of the Real Estate Sales People have my phone number.
  • Not 1 of the Real Estate Sales People have my email address.
  • Not 1 of them asked me Sign In.
  • Not 1 of them offered beverages, food, or any kind of marketing that would help me remember them
  • 1 of them gave me a business card and a quick pitch.  The pitch was BS.
  • Not 1 of them had a strategy for building relationships.

Why were they there?  I don’t know.

2 of them were not the actual sales agents, which leads me to believe that they were there to build relationships.  So why didn’t they?

Perhaps they were just hoping that a nice young couple would walk up to them and say, We would like to use you to buy our new house!

All 3 of these Agents took the time to make sure the house looked good, market the open house and gave up their weekend to host.  But left so much on the table.


What I Expect From An Open House

I am not going to pretend that I have ever hosted an open house or that I am any kind of expert.  How you host your open houses is not really the point of this post.  What is, is that I left each of those 3 open houses feeling like the Agents left something on the table.

I expected:

  • To sign in to view the home
  • To be given a packet of information about the home and neighborhood, not a flyer on cheap paper.
  • To be asked questions about who we were and what we thought of the home
  • To be given a beverage, a snack, a promotional item, or entered into a drawing to win something
  • To be asked if it would be ok if the Real Estate Sales Person could follow-up with me

None of those things happened.

As I mentioned, 1 of the Agents gave me their business card.  What do you think the chances of me calling her are?  Close to 0%.  We have no relationship.



This post is not meant to be critical of the Sales Agents that I encountered the last week.  Just that I felt like those agents were putting so much time and energy into the process and not maximizing the event.

I feel like I should be getting an email today.  That some Real Estate Agent should be Facebook friend requesting me today.  That I should go to my mailbox and get a nice note from an agent thanking me for attending their Open House Event, or that I should be checking their Facebook Page to see if I won the raffle.

Unfortunately, I don’t even recall their names.

What Could Have Been Done:

  • Require a Sign-in
  • Ask me to follow-up
  • Provide a piece of unique content about the home, neighborhood, or how you market or sell
  • Provide some promotional items
  • Create a raffle or give away
  • Build relationships

Bottom Line, I am really surprised that not 1 of the Agents asked me for my contact information to follow up.