How to Hold a Broker’s Open House
What is a broker’s Open House?
We’ll cover in more detail below but in a nutshell, a Broker’s Open House gives the listing agent a chance to show the property to other agents that may have buyers in the market. If buyer’s agents think there’s a fit with their client(s), they can coordinate a showing with their buyer(s).
Sounds simple, but there are some ways for agents to maximize the results of a Broker’s Open House…and there are additional benefits that come from coordinating a well attended Broker’s Open House. We’ll get into all of that and more below…and if you want to learn about just one aspect of the Broker’s Open House you can skip ahead here
- What is a Broker’s Open House?
- When should you hold a Broker’s Open House?
- Brokers Open House Ideas for more Attendance
- What is a Broker Caravan?
- Getting Listing Feedback from Agents
Otherwise let’s start with what exactly is a Broker’s Open House, and how do you hold a successful Broker’s Open House.
What is a Broker’s Open House in real estate?
A Broker’s Open House is an Open House for realtors and real estate professionals (as opposed to the home buyers themselves).
In addition to agents, other real estate professionals commonly attend a “Broker’s Open”. These professionals may include brokers, title representatives and loan officers.
Also while the listing agent may hope to maximize exposure to buyer’s agents, other listing agents may also attend a Broker’s Open House so they understand the inventory within the market…and what better way than physically seeing a property before the public Open House?
Because a Broker’s Open House usually happens right around when the property hits the market, some local associations plan a series of broker’s Open Houses on a single day in what’s called a “broker caravan” or “broker preview”. These are usually held on a set day of the week (Tuesday is a popular day) and it’s a great opportunity for agents to check out all the new properties hitting a specific market.
Not only does it provide a great opportunity to showcase a property to other realtors who may have clients interested in the property, but it’s also a great networking opportunity.
During the event, the listing agent will be available to answer questions, provide tours of the home, discuss specifics of the property and neighborhood, and more. Brokers Opens are commonly listed on the MLS and broker caravan schedules can usually be found online or in Facebook Groups.
When should you hold a Broker’s Open House?
Many markets have a set day and time each week when the broker’s opens happen (this is usually part of a broker’s caravan). For example in most Los Angeles areas, the broker’s opens occur on Tuesday.
If you’re, not taking part in these planned broker’s open events, you have many options on when to hold your broker’s open.
Weekday afternoons are usually a good bet for a brokers open. Some tips when planning when to hold the broker’s open:
- Usually a 1-2 hour window between 1-6pm will work fine. You don’t need to have as long a window for the brokers open as the public Open House. It’s actually better to compress the attendance so it can double as a realtor networking event
- Sweeten the deal with a free lunch (or at least really great snacks), it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to swing by.
- Not only are afternoons better for most agents schedules, but you’ll also get better natural light to truly show off the property
Weekends are typically not good for Brokers Opens: Why? because agents are most likely to be swamped showing homes to their own clients…and you may want to reserve the weekend for the public Open House.
Of course there are exceptions when the evening is the best time to host a Broker’s Open House:
- if there’s a spectacular dusk or evening view, like a city view with stunning lights at night
- you plan your goal for the Broker’s Open House is to host a networking event as well
We have a few ideas for nighttime Open House ideas in this article.
Brokers Open House Ideas for more Attendance
Want to hold a successful Broker’s Open House that’s well-attended and more likely to result in showings and offers? Let’s take a look some tips that should get you the results you want.
Reach Out to Agents Selling Similar Properties
If an agent just had a transaction on a property similar to yours, there’s a good chance they’ll know other buyers (or buyer’s agents) that may be a fit for yours. So definitely invite them to your Broker’s Open House.
Tip: You can use your broker’s database (or ask a title rep) to identify the agents who have made these types of sales.
Also invite agents and brokers that typically deal in properties similar to yours irrespective of recent sales.
Timing the Announcement of the Broker’s Open House
You never want to announce a Broker’s Open House the day it’s going to be hosted. Instead, you want to look at a minimum of five days before the event to start promoting it. That includes listing the Open House in your MLS. This gives ample time for people to add the Broker’s Open House to their schedule.
You may also want to avoid announcing the Broker’s Open House too soon and here’s why:
- this keeps it soon enough that people won’t forget about it
- it reduces suspicion that the property needs a bunch of work and/or deep cleaning to be presentable
So to avoid these issues, we recommend not announcing more than seven days before the Broker’s Open House.
Consider Offering Agent-centric Incentives for Showing Up
Want agents and other brokers to show up? Give them a really great reason for them to do so, making your Open House a truly enjoyable event by offering incentives.
Now we’re not suggesting the Mega Open House approach that’s designed to get the entire neighborhood attending. So definitely skip the petting zoo and the popcorn machine. But think of perks that agents may be interested in.
For example Selling Sunset famously had a “Burgers and Botox” themed Broker’s Open House to entice agents to attend, but you don’t need to be that extreme. Agents are always looking for great content so a photo booth or Instagram-friendly backdrop like a step-and-repeat is also a good idea.
If you want to the Broker’s Open House to function more like a real estate networking event (and you have a property that’s nice enough to draw a crowd) provide light drinks and snacks and consider the Open House music that’ll set the mood for mingling.
Promote on Social Media
If you’ve been active on social media, you’ve probably built up an audience of other real estate agents, so posting about your Broker’s Open House is a low cost/effort way of spreading the word!
To make it even easier, we have a Broker’s Open House Instagram template that’s great for Instagram and Facebook.
You can also use our other Open House social media templates and adjust them so they are Broker’s Open House specific (just a quick text change).
Participate in a Broker Caravan
As mentioned before, a broker caravan (also known as a “Broker Preview”) is a regularly occurring event where groups of real estate agents to tour multiple listings on the market. It’s like a buffet version of a traditional Broker’s Open House.
If your local market/MLS has a Broker Caravan setup, then make sure your listing is part of that event because you can take advantage of the built-in audience of real estate agents that they’ve already built up through repeatedly holding these previews.
Note: You can always do your own Broker’s Open House on the side.
If you want to take your Broker’s Open to the Next Level
If you have a truly spectacular property hitting the market you may want to set yourself apart and make it your Broker’s Open House a big event (not unlike the Mega Open House strategy for attracting consumers). In this case, consider avoiding the “normal” broker preview circuit and instead think about an evening event with food and drinks. Plan to send out a Broker Open House Invitation to the top agents and teams in your market too. In addition to getting the word out about the property, it can be a great way to network and establish your brand. If you plan to have one of these luxury Broker’s Opens, make sure to clear it with your sellers and even the neighbors (which is also a great excuse to meet the neighbors!).
Use a Digital Sign-in To Maximize Feedback
There are two vital things you’ll want to capture from your Broker’s Open House: who attended, and what they thought.
You want to know which agents came for a few reasons. The first is so that you can reach out a few days following the event to see if they have any buyers who may be interested in a showing. You’ll also want to assess how many agents came compared to how many you expected to attend.
And the feedback you can get from these events is invaluable. You can see what other agents think not only of the property (and thus help you gauge potential interest) but also what they think of the seller’s asking price. This may come in handy if you ever need to have the tough conversation of a price reduction with a seller.
Digitizing part of the feedback process is the best way to go. Curb Hero has both touch screens and completely touchless experiences (whichever you prefer!) that can help you capture sign-ins and feedback.
It’s a free app for real estate agents to use, and it increases the professionalism of the event while making it easy for you to get the feedback you need (and without needing to worry about decoding terrible handwriting).
How to Hold a Broker’s Open House: FAQ
Still have questions about how to hold a Broker’s Open House? Take a look at these commonly asked questions and answers!
What is a Broker’s Open House?
A Broker’s Open House is an event exclusively for other brokers and real estate agents where other agents can come see a house before it’s even on the market. They can gauge whether or not it’s a fit for any of their clients.
Why should I hold a Broker’s Open House?
A Broker’s Open House offers the following benefits:
- Networking opportunities with other agents and brokerages
- The chance to showcase your clients’ property and hopefully generate interest, showings, and offers
- Get feedback from other agents about the listing
What is a broker caravan?
A broker’s caravan (or broker’s preview) is a regularly occurring event where agents group together and visit listings in an order. It’s like back to back Broker’s Open House at multiple homes on the same day.
When is the best time to hold a broker’s open house?
The best time to hold a Broker’s Open House is weekday afternoons, when agents are most likely to be available and not working directly with their clients. Remember the best time to hold an Open House when home buyers are attending will typically be the weekend…so don’t use that time for your Broker’s Open.
Why should brokers make an effort to gather feedback from an Open House?
Brokers should always collect feedback from an Open House so they can assess what other agents think of both the event and the listing itself. This feedback can be invaluable, especially when using the right tools to collect it.
What tools do I need to host a Broker’s Open House?
In order to host a successful Broker’s Open House, you’ll only need two tools:
- Your MLS to promote the event
- Digital, touchless sign-in and feedback tools like Curb Hero (yes we’re biased!)
How do I prepare for a Broker’s Open House?
Similar to preparing for an Open House where home buyers are visiting, make sure the property is looking its absolute best. The main difference is that you should avoid the over-the-top event planning with things like on-site food preparation, live entertainment, and raffles. The reason is that many Broker’s Open Houses are part of a Broker Caravan or a pre-planned list of properties that agents are touring. So lavish Open House giveaways and other marketing splurges designed for the masses won’t make a difference in attendance. Save that budget for the public Open House. However agent specific attractions don’t hurt…so a photo booth is never a bad idea if it’s within budget.
A Broker’s Open House can offer a number of key benefits, making it an appealing option for brokers and agents who are looking to network with agents, generate interest in a property, and help their clients sell more. These Open Houses can create feelings exclusivity, especially when you play your cards right with great food, knowledgeable agents who know the property in and out, and the right tools to create a seamless, high-tech experience.