You don’t have to be a real estate agent very long to realize you’re not the only fish in the pond. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, there are an estimated 2 million active real estate licensees.
NAR also claims that in 2015, approximately 5,250,000 existing homes were sold. If you do the math, that’s about one licensee for every three homes sold.
I think it’s safe to say that, for most of us, sustaining a career as a full-time real estate agent requires thinking outside the box.
Lowering our commission, having better-looking business cards or using vinyl PVC posts to hang our signs from is all fine and dandy, but that’s not the kind of out-of-the-box thinking I’m referring to.
We need to incorporate tactics that will really move the needle and accelerate our pipeline growth. One such tactic is holding mini open houses.
What are mini open houses?
Mini open houses are the same as traditional open houses except they only last about an hour.
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“One-hour open houses?” you ask. I can hear you snickering.
Yes, one hour. Furthermore, I recommend doing these mini open houses over a weekday lunch hour. How many agents do you think regularly do open houses Monday through Friday over lunch? Certainly some, but I doubt very many.
Online real estate forums are busy with agents going back and forth trying to figure out the perfect recipe for open houses. There are discussions as to whether Saturdays or Sundays are better, debates over when open houses should start, how long they should last, etc.
However, there are far less conversations around weekday open houses.
Could it be because weekday open houses are a bad idea? Not in my experience.
Now, I’m not suggesting that weekday mini open houses should replace the traditional weekend open house.
But what I am suggesting is that if you are not doing mini open houses during the week at all, you are missing out on clients.
Let’s also not assume that weekends are always the best time for buyers. The 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday work schedule isn’t as common as you might think.
According to data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015, 33 percent of Americans work at least some of the weekend.
By doing mini open houses during the week over lunch, you’re potentially tapping into a sizeable market that many other agents have widely ignored.
Who typically attends mini open houses?
In my experience, mini open houses tend to attract:
- People on their lunch break
- People who have the day off
- People who work nights
Additionally, the one-hour timeframe makes it easier on your schedule, and it creates a sense of urgency for buyers.
How to promote your mini open house
The internet is the best way to promote your open house. Big surprise. So, scheduling your mini open house in MLS will give you sufficient exposure.
Now, if you really want to stand out, bring a Keurig coffee maker and a box of cookies. Use the marketing remarks in the MLS to invite people to your mini open house to enjoy some fresh coffee and cookies over lunch.
Doesn’t that sound better than sitting in a dingy break room watching Judge Judy?
Trulia will also give you a hand. When buyers sign up to receive open house alerts in Trulia, there is the “email me daily with today’s open homes” option as shown in the screenshot below.
How nice of Trulia. Your mini open house alert may be the only one that day. Talk about out-of-the-box thinking that makes you stand out from the rest.
Mini open houses are a great way to appeal to buyers who prefer a quick tour of a property during the week instead of the weekend.
Because many agents likely don’t do weekday open houses, you have the potential to capitalize on a largely untapped market and grow your pipeline faster.
Brandon Jones is a licensed Realtor, real estate investor, and the founder of RealEstateHacks.net. He resides near Springfield, Missouri, with his wife and two sons.