35+ Open House Ideas to get more Leads

Welcome to a hidden gem in real estate prospecting…

A 2021 NAR study reveals a striking fact: 53% of home buyers included Open Houses as part of their search to find a home. This statistic underscores that Open Houses are a prime opportunity not only for listing agents to attract buyers BUT also for agents on the buy-side of the transaction to add motivated prospects to their pipeline.

That’s why we created this massive list of Open House ideas. Some of these ideas are entire themes which can affect multiple facets of hosting the Open House and others are tactics that can be applied with minimal effort and yield significant results.

Open House Ideas

Depending on the amount of resources you have and the type of result you want to achieve you can use these links to navigate this knowledge bomb of Open House ideas:

Below, we’ll delve into innovative open house strategies that go well beyond convention. From the extensive planning of a Mega Open House to the cachet of a Twilight Open House, we explore various themes AND tactics to maximize the potential of your next Open House. Ready? Let’s GO!

Open House Concepts

Are you looking for “from the ground up” ideas for your next Open House? We’ve compiled the best themes and overall Open House concepts from thousands of conversations with agents and dozens of deep dive articles on the

1. The Feeding Frenzy Open House

This is a contrarian idea that some well respected agents and real estate coaches swear by. Popular wisdom is that the longer the duration of an event, the more people will attend. But the feeding frenzy Open House flies in the face of that logic by shortening the time of the Open House to just 1-2 hours.

In our article on the Best Times for Open Houses, we’ve found most agents pick a 3-4 hours window so this is less than half of that typical duration.

Why artificially shorten the length of the Open House? Well because it compresses the number of home buyers that visit into a shorter period, which leads to the appearance that the property is “hot”. Therefore increasing attraction and, theoretically, resulting in more demand.

This can also have the byproduct of building a buzz in the neighborhood which could attract nosey neighbors and start sewing seeds for future seller conversations down the line.

2. The Mega Open House

The Mega Open House is a large-scale event with extensive marketing and neighborhood engagement, offering food, entertainment, and possibly partnering with local businesses. The Mega Open House concept redefines traditional property selling by turning an open house into an elaborate event. It’s more than just showcasing a property; it’s about creating an experience that highlights every feature of the home in a vibrant and memorable way. This approach involves extensive marketing strategies, tapping into community interest, and transforming the property into a must-visit destination. The Mega Open House distinguishes itself by offering gourmet food, live entertainment, and interactive activities, emphasizing the lifestyle and community the property embodies, thereby converting potential buyers into enthusiastic bidders.

3. “Neighbors-only” Hour

Want to build a buzz in the neighborhood? Invite the neighbors to their own exclusive Open House and make it more of a social gathering. This can be done in different ways:

  • Carve out an hour before the public Open House to have a neighborhood brunch where you serve breakfast snacks – nothing too messy as you don’t want to have to do a lot of cleaning before the main Open House.
  • Hosting a twilight Open House only for neighbors on the Friday evening before the Saturday and Sunday public Open House times. Offer evening refreshments and cocktails.

At this “neighbors-only” Open House, make sure to develop rapport with these potential seller clients. Additionally, higlight the importance of this listing’s sale on their own property’s value. There’s a good chance it’ll be used as a comp for future sales in the area. Then ask them if they know anyone at all that’d be potentially interested in the property. It’s not an easy needle to thread but if done correctly, you’ve deputized an entire neighborhood to recruit buyers for you!

4. Create an Open House Circuit

Here’s a great concept to try if there are other friendly agents with listings in the area. Collaborate with these agents to cross-promote your listings and incentivize engagement by using a prize drawing where participants’ likelihood of winning increases as they visit more Open Houses on the circuit.

It may sound like a lot of coordination, but it could be pretty straightforward if you’re part of a local broker caravan. Just get in touch with the other listing agents on the day of the broker caravan and see who has Open Houses on the same day as you. You just need a couple other agents to jump on board to make a circuit…but the more the merrier!

5. Host Another Agent’s Open House

This is a common tactic for agents that don’t have listings but want to prospect for clients at Open Houses. We have an article that goes into all the ins and outs of hosting Open Houses for other agents here but here are some key points.

  • This can be a major source of leads for hungry agents: Hosting an Open House for other agents can build your database of buyers very quickly and serves as a strategic tool to expand a new real estate agent’s network, and learn the market from the frontlines of working with buyers and sellers.
  • It’s a hustle to find listings to host: In the beginning, the challenge is finding listings that you can host Open Houses at. Start with your team, then expand to agents in your office, focusing on agents who have multiple active listings.
  • Build trust and you’ll see more and more opportunities: As you prove yourself (especially when it comes to being reliable), you’ll build trust and get more opportunities to host Open Houses for more agents. Word will spread too which helps your standing in the local real estate market.
  • Marketing and promotion still matters: Promoting the Open House is still important even when the listings isn’t yours. Consider social media, signage, and direct community engagement to drive foot traffic to your Open House event. When the listing agent sees this drive, they’ll be more likely to have you host Open Houses at more of their listings.
  • Significance of preparation for an Open House: Even if you’re only going to be at the property for a few hours, in-depth research on the property and neighborhood and preparedness to answer visitors questions is important. It’ll help build rapport and establish your expertise with potential buyers which is the name of the game. See our section on mental preparedness below.
  • Lead division etiquette in Open House: Establish how leads should be split with the listing agent upfront. Typically you get the unrepresented leads and listing agent will get leads that have indicated that they have an agent.

6. Add a Virtual Open House for Remote Buyers

This is an Open House idea that is a slight departure from the previous concepts, but it’s still worth considering. We have a deep dive on holding a Virtual Open House but the summary is that this is a digital version of the Open House where prospective buyers can learn about a property remotely using platforms like Matterport, live video chat (e.g., FaceTime, Zoom, Instagram/FB Live), or pre-recorded video tours​​. Here are the key points to understand:

  • This isn’t an Open House replacement: A virtual Open House should be an addition to the existing Open House strategy. It can be used to even tease and generate interest for the in-person Open House. Also it can be valuable for buyers that aren’t able to attend the in-person Open House…especially if they are not in town and/or relocating to the area,
  • Benefits: For buyers, virtual open houses offer time efficiency, convenience, on-demand viewing, and ease of distribution among stakeholders. For sellers and agents, they increase property demand, cause less disruption to sellers’ lives, and can be conducted anytime​​.
  • Hosting Methods: We’re partial to using Curb Hero’s microsites which combine a digital sign-in with a virtual/video tour to maximize lead generation…but social media platforms and online video platforms should also be utilized for live or pre-recorded virtual tours, offering a personal interaction experience with buyers​​.
  • Post-Event Follow-Up: After the virtual open house, it’s crucial to engage with attendees for feedback and inquiries, using the event as a lead generation tool and keeping communication ongoing for long-term relationship building​​.

Other Open House concepts to consider:

7. Community Focused Open House: Similar to the Mega Open House, but focusing on inviting local artists, musicians, or chefs to showcase their crafts at the property, creating a community-centric event that draws in more visitors.

8. Educational Open Houses: Providing expert knowledge during an Open House, like a live home improvement workshop, or having a lender to talk through the latest loan programs and financing tips can give visitors a positive experience irrespective of their interest in the property itself. That will reflect well on you as a trusted resource for topics related to real estate.

9. Holiday/Seasonal Themed Open Houses: Hosting an Open House with a specific theme, such as a holiday – especially when the style of the home fits with the theme – can really leave visitors with a sense of excitement and joy. Just add decorations and some casual activities that match the holiday.

One of the key factors on picking a high level Open House theme is timing. We have an article that covers the best time to have an Open House but we include many Open House ideas that go against the typical weekend afternoon time slot.

Open House Preparation Ideas

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity

Seneca

So appropriately Open House preparation is a broad and important theme where there are tons of ideas for agents to consider.

For starters, the property has to look it’s best and you don’t have an unlimited budget (not to mention time is also limited). The process involves de-personalizing, decluttering, deep cleaning, decorating with less personal items, using subtle scents, and minor updates and repairs too. So what are some ideas to focus on?

Clean: We’re not going to count cleaning as an “Open House Idea” because it goes without saying. But just in case…just do it and don’t stop at swiffering ok? A true deep clean is needed unless the property is being marketed as a tear down.

10. De-personalize the Property

Shocking but home buyers don’t want to be reminded that their dream home was thoroughly lived in by complete strangers. Hence removing the sellers personal items, photos and clutter is non-negotiable as you prepare for an Open House.

11. Sprucing Up the Exterior

First impressions are crucial, so improving the property’s curb appeal through simple enhancements like upgrading the mailbox, installing exterior lighting, touching up paint, and tidying the landscaping all contribute to improving the experience when visitors arrive.

12. Channel your Inner Interior Designer

Some quick tips on making the property as aesthetically appealing as possible:

  • Let in natural light wherever possible and ensuring all lights are on
  • If you’re going to add accents and decorations, choose warm, neutral colors to appeal to a broad range of buyers.
  • Incorporate plants for a lively yet impersonal touch.
  • Highlight neatly arranged storage spaces to appeal to buyers’ organizational needs​​.


On the topic of design, Open House staging is a key part of maximizing visitor interest during an Open House. Here are some ideas specific to Open House staging to consider:

13. Master Bedroom: Focus on making the bed the focal point with crisp linens and inviting touches like throw pillows and blankets. Keep nightstands minimalist.

14. Bathrooms: Triple check cleanliness here. Also clear the counters completely. Make sure you’ve got some hand towels and a non-plastic liquid soap dispenser.

15. Kitchen: Organize cupboards and shelves to show ample storage space. Consider including luxury items if trying to appeal to higher end or “aspirational” buyers.

16. Dining Table: Use a centerpiece and set the table with a maximum of four place-settings to avoid a crowded look.

17. Flex Spaces: If the property has areas that can function in different ways, demonstrate the potential. For example turn an empty nook into a work or study area.

Now, if you’ve gotten this far in your prep and still have time, set the mood with some experiential enhancements.

18. Music: We’ve got an entire post on picking the best Open House playlist so pick some upbeat (yet not uproarious) background tunes for your Open House.

19. Food: For a run-of-the-mill Open House, you’d certainly be forgiven for not providing food, but if you’re going above and beyond OR the property is on the higher end, look through our deep dive on Open House Food to pick some snacks and refreshments.

20. Get Mentally Prepared

Now that the physical aspects of the property are covered, there’s your own mental preparation to work on. We’ve got an exhaustive list of questions that buyers ask at an Open House that you should be able to answer here…but here are the broad categories:

  • Property questions: make sure you’ve got those property specs committed to memory
  • Neighborhood questions: especially knowing other active listings and recent sales nearby AND nearby attractions and developments that could impact the local market.
  • Broader housing market questions: this means knowing the macro trends on real estate, interest rates, and more.

And demonstrating expertise is key, but so is effective communication so try and practice reciting answers to these Open House questions in the mirror a few times so you can nail the delivery.

Are you thoroughly overwhelmed with Open House Ideas yet? Well here’s an idea to help: see about recruiting help with preparation. Consider professional services, your team, business partners (ex: lender or title rep) OR even family and friends​​.

Open House Marketing Ideas

Open House marketing is a critical undertaking that deserves its own article. Luckily we have a deep dive on Open House advertising here, but here are the key ideas for your next Open House:

21. Door Knocking the Neighborhood to Promote the Open House

In the days leading up to the Open House, visit the neighbors for 20 houses in each direction and personally invite them to the Open House. This direct marketing approach creates local buzz and starts conversations with nearby homeowners who might be considering selling their homes or know someone interested in moving to the area. For anyone who doesn’t answer, have a door hanger with the details on the Open House as well as your contact info. Also for more on door knocking tactics check this article.

22. Use LOTS of Open House Signs

To maximize visibility, use more than 30 signs, place them at key intersections along common traffic routes, and ensure they do not obstruct traffic or pedestrian paths. Be aware of local sign ordinances to avoid issues​​. Use Curb Hero’s (free) Dynamic QR Code on your signs so people that are interested in the property details can get the info quickly. Also for more on this topic, check this article on Open House signs.

23. Add Open House and Brokers Opens Times to the MLS ASAP

Promptly add Open House details to the MLS for wider visibility. Adding the Open House info to the MLS as early as possible will make sure these details make their way to all the consumer portals with ample notice for people to plan. Similarly this applies to adding details for the Brokers Open, which (assuming your local market has Brokers Opens) is a critical step to getting the word out to other agents that may have interested clients.

24. Add Some Extra Flair to your Social Media Promotion

Social media posts that promote an upcoming Open House are table stakes. Get a little extra engagement by using video content and posting consistently across the different mediums (TikTok, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, Facebook, etc) in the days before the Open House to maximize visibility. To really take it up a notch though, try “going live” on Facebook and Instagram to give your audience a tour of the property.

25. Create a Facebook Event to Maximize Prospecting and Engagement

Facebook Events aren’t just for class reunions anymore. When you create a Facebook Event for your Open House – you’ll be able to see who’s interested in the Facebook event and follow up easily regardless of if they attend the actual Open House. You can share relevant content (see the social media promotion mentioned above) as well as any updates related to the in-person event too. Plus Facebook’s recommendation features can build buzz and awareness with other users that may be interested in the Open House.

26. Invest in High Quality Content

A lot of the tactics above require content…and the better quality the content is the more effective these approaches will be. So use professionals where needed to get high-quality photos, videos and custom graphics. Sidenote: almost all social media promotion is heightened when using video content so explore our Real Estate Video Ideas to get ideas on promoting your Open House

27. Use Virtual Staging to Show Off Different “Looks”

Virtual staging has come a loooong way and it’s pretty amazing how it can be used to dynamically change the furniture style, arrangement, and other interior design details to show off the versatility of a property. This type of content can be great for promotion before the Open House or as a tool to further engage visitors during an Open House.

28. Right Size Your Marketing Investment

Of course we saved the disclaimer on over-investing in marketing for last, right? Even though all of these Open House ideas can be used to maximize the visitors for your Open House, definitely don’t think you must execute on all of them. When it comes to what’s a good turnout for an Open House, you want to consider the total addressable market for the property. So, for example, if this is the 8th week that the property is on the market, maybe pull back on ordering that expert drone videography. Now if you have a legitimate hot home that’s about to hit the market, then by all, means go big!

Ideas to Maximize Open House Leads

29. Use a Digital Sign-in to Capture Visitor Information

The best way to get more Open House leads is to have an optimized lead capture system at the Open House. Does that sound a bit too obvious? Well you’d be surprised how many agents still use pen and paper even with all the benefits of digital Open House Sign-ins. If you haven’t found a digital solution that you love, we have to shamelessly plug our Open House app.

Curb Hero Demo + Tutorial
Hosted by  Ajay Pondicherry
In this interactive session we will show you how to use Curb Hero’s FREE digital sign-in to save time, capture better data, and look amazing at your next Open House.

Now that you’ve got your digital sign-in ready, you want to give people a solid reason to actually enter their info. Here are some popular ideas.

30. Incentivize Sign-ins with a Raffle Giveaway

Encouraging sign-ins and participation by offering a raffle with attractive prizes like gift cards or home-related items. The more you promote this giveaway, the less pushback you’ll get when it comes time to sign in AND it reduces the number of awkward convos you’ll need to have about signing in. In this article on Open House Drawings we’ll the exact process to run various types of giveaways. This can be even more effective when used as part of the Open House Circuit approach we mention above.

31. Send Property Details Digitally instead of using Flyers

Open House Flyers have become a real estate tradition, but maybe there’s a case for phasing them out. After all, high quality paper isn’t cheap and getting flyers printed just adds another item on an already busy Open House “to-do” list. In the digital age there’s very little value to a piece of paper that has 2 grainy photos and a few paragraphs of text on it. Property websites convey 1000x more info (like virtual/video tours, turn by turn directions, and vast photo galleries) so why not use them to your advantage? Tell visitors that you are skipping printed flyers, and instead, can text all the property details as soon as they sign in. As an added bonus, if you think they’re environmentally conscious, you can make it a point to tell them that you’re also saving a tree.

32. Entice with Off market properties

Many home buyers – especially in supply constrained markets – want to get an edge on their property search. The idea of getting the inside track on properties that will hit the market, can be a secret weapon to convince them to give you their info. Just tell them that “you can be notified as soon as I have similar properties – oftentimes before they even hit the market”.

33. Blame the Seller for why Everyone needs to Sign-in

Here’s where you get some cover for putting your foot down. Tell visitors that the seller actually requires that everyone who enters the property fills out their info. So now the question becomes: will these people be angry and cry foul when you start marketing to them? Well here’s how to do it: You blame the seller to get their info upon entry and then, for the rest of their visit, you can develop rapport and/or use the incentives above to get them to agree to being contacted by you later. It’s not a 100% solution but it’s much higher than trying to work in the reverse order.

34. Have Someone Help get People Signed in

Are you overwhelmed during your Open House? It’s typical that amidst all the visitors, lively conversation, and the occasional fire drill, you may forget to ask people to sign in altogether.

This is why having help at the Open House is a great idea. You can have another agent on your team join you or involve a business partner like a lender or title rep help out.

When you have another person at the Open House with you, you can divide and conquer. Assuming you’re the one that has the most knowledge on the property and the local market, you’ll want to be inside the property giving tours, answering questions, and demonstrating your value as a local expert.

That leaves the role of greeting visitors wide open…and that’s also the best time to get people to sign in. So if you can recruit someone to help you at your Open House, you should use them to get people signed in as soon as they arrive.

Not only is having a helper at your Open House a smart idea for maximizing leads, but it’s probably the best safety measure an agent can take when holding an Open House. If you can’t have someone there with you though, inform someone of your location and check in regularly.

35. Use Proven Scripts when Engaging with Prospects

Visitors often walk into open houses with a cautious mindset. Overlay aggressive sales tactics can lead to discomfort and prompt a swift departure. Yet, an agent skilled in sales can seamlessly integrate themselves into this environment, establishing rapport and potentially converting visitors into prospects.

This is where scripts come into play. They’re not intended as lines to robotically read out to visitors…but instead to build an agent’s conversational confidence. Being prepared with the right phrases allows agents to concentrate on non-verbal communication cues and strategic thinking, including how to handle objections and steer towards a successful close.

We have an article that includes actual scripts that agents can use here Open House Scripts for Buyer Prospects and Seller Prospects.

And sometimes it helps to see an expert demonstrate these scripts so check out this video on Open House scripts by Brian Icenhower

36. Use Longer Form Questionnaires afterwards

Questionnaires are great for getting feedback on the property. We have an entire article about how to use Open House questionnaires them and we even included easily reusable questionnaire templates. However one mistake agents make is combining the questionnaire with the Open House Sign-in. The sign-in needs to be one of the first steps when a visitor arrives. However the feedback provided in the questionnaire is only valuable after they’ve seen the property. Hence sending a questionnaire afterwards…and you can re-use that raffle idea to incentivize participation!

37. Don’t Forget about Follow Up Calls

Fight the urge on Monday morning to jump right into tasks for the new week. Remember those visitors to your Open House. The best time to follow up with them is within a few days of the Open House while you are fresh in their mind. You may not want to make individual calls to every Open House attendee, but definitely call these groups:

  • buyers that aren’t represented by an agent
  • agents for the represented buyers
  • any other visitors (ex: nosey neighbors) that you had a good conversation with

Not sure what to say? Check out these follow up call scripts for Open House visitors.

And add everyone to your CRM and put them on a home buyer marketing drip and/or your email newsletter (provided that you have permission to market to them).


Hopefully this list of Open House ideas inspires you to take your next Open House to the next level! And like most things the key to success with Open Houses is continual improvement. It’s unlikely that you will apply all of the ideas covered here, so instead focus on experimentation with a few new ideas at a time and then hone your approach to fit your skillset and market.

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