Two ways real estate agents can generate more interest in a listing are through holding Open Houses and through holding Broker’s Opens. While Open Houses are meant to bring in interested buyers and open the house to the general public for inspection, Broker’s Opens are meant to attract other real estate agents who may have potential buyers for the property. Broker’s Opens also serve to help an agent get valuable feedback on the presentation and pricing of a property before the general public sees it, allowing that agent and their seller to make any necessary last-minute adjustments.
So, how exactly do you hold a successful Broker’s Open? We reached out to our CENTURY 21 Redwood agents with that question, and here’s what they had to say:
Tips for a Successful Broker’s Open
- Make sure your client is on board with the idea and is excited about it when you discuss your marketing plan with him/her.
- The listing agent should enter the open in Keystone (MRIS) a few days before the open.
- Invite as many people individually as you can from your office and your sphere. People like to be liked.
- Make the open last for about 3 hours – no less. If you make a Broker’s Open too short, many agents won’t be able to fit it into their schedules.
- Make sure the directions are accurate in your advertising. Sometimes WAZE and Google aren’t accurate.
- Include food and advertise it!
- Include a door prize and advertise it!
- Ask an affiliate (title company representative, mortgage loan representative, stager, etc…) to help you host/pay for lunch/offer a door prize.
- Don’t serve alcohol. You want people to come and go, not linger.
- Put up directional signs to let people know you are open.
- Show up at least 15 minutes early and expect to leave 15 minutes after the open ends.
- Be nice and make sure to engage with every guest at the open. I’ve walked into many opens where the realtor hosting has been aloof, or seems to only want to have a conversation with people he/she already knows. That makes me feel like my presence isn’t appreciated. Conversely, agents who are nice make me want to share my comments with them and bring them buyers.
- Have written information about the home on site with beautiful brochures and know basic facts. I’ve been to opens where the listing agent has someone else in their brokerage hold the open on their behalf and the host is clueless, bored or totally not paying attention. I end up thinking that neither the listing agent nor their colleague is very professional.
- If you are holding an open for a listing that has been on the market for a while, advertise that and why you are doing the open (ex: Please join me at 1234 Oak Street for a Broker’s Open. My clients have made a few updates since we’ve been on the market and I would value your feedback on Tuesday!)
- Ask for written feedback from those who participate and provide enough sheets of paper/pens to gather their comments.
- Send a thank you email or card to each person who does show up to let them know you appreciate that they took time out of their day to visit the property and would love to do business with them.
- Consider doing a video post to social media before/during/after the open. I like to announce door prize winners with a Facebook Live video.
“When I do a Broker’s Open in downtown Fredericksburg on a unique home, I always do personal invitations to the agents (and companies) that tend to do the most business in the city. I will also call/text the agent the day before. Some of these particular agents who have been in business for a long time won’t typically come to anything so I do a personal outreach to them. I’ve found it to be pretty effective to get them there.”
She doesn’t stop there! In fact, Suzy believes that neighbors can be a powerful tool – even at a Broker’s Open. She continues,
“I’ll also invite the surrounding neighbors to come and walk through at that time. The hook (which usually isn’t necessary because they are way curious anyway) is come see the house and ‘pick your next neighbor!'”
While following these tips can definitely help you have a successful Broker’s Open, it never hurts to consider alternatives. Linda Partyke, a C21 Redwood Realty Stafford agent, tried something new last year:
“I have had trouble getting folks to attend Broker’s Opens. I think everyone is just too busy. So, last year, I called six agents who are my friends from 4 different brokerages and asked them to come to the property and give me their opinions. I sent comps to them, five came, toured the house, gave me their feedback and then I took them to lunch. It was quick and easy – I saved time and money.”
From all accounts, it appears that some of the key elements of a successful Broker’s Open include invitations, incentives, and including favorite lender and title companies in the process. The next time you’re out on Broker’s Open tour, remember that you’re invited to stop by our CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty agents’ listings!
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