Real Estate Lead Generation, Real Estate Tips

How Do Open Houses Work?

By Lindsay Goebel Last Updated November 11, 2022 4 min read

While the premise is pretty straightforward, how open houses work can be a bit more complicated. 

A successful open house requires strategic preparation and thoughtful follow-up with attendees. The goal of an open house is to showcase the listing to the public while generating leads

What is an open house?

An open house is a special home showing event open to the public. Typically, the listing agent or their colleague hosts the open house on a weekend or weeknight. 

An open house is an informal way for potential buyers to see a listed home without an agent or private showing. 

Do open houses work? 

An open house usually doesn’t sell the home, but it does offer several benefits to the hosting agent.

For one, hosting an open house is a promising strategy for generating buyer leads. You should consider the property your real estate office for the day and actively engage with all open house attendees. 

An open house is an excellent way to expand your clientele and show off what you do best—sell homes. You never know—attendees may have a home they need to list. 

So does an open house work? If you consider lead generation and networking important, then yes! Take advantage of the opportunities an opening house can lend you.

How open houses work

There are several steps involved in preparing for and hosting an open house. Whether the listing is your own or you are hosting for another agent, it’s essential to understand how an open house works. Below are nine steps to a successful open house

Step 1: Prepare the home

Before you throw up the open house signs and invite your lead list, you must prepare the home. This step includes having your sellers declutter, deep clean, and discuss staging options. If the listing already has furnishings, consider rearranging the pieces to appeal to more buyers. 

Depending on the layout, a vacant home can remain empty or require staging. If the design of a room is confusing, for example, you want to add some furniture to help attendees visualize the layout. 

Step 2: Schedule a listing photoshoot 

After you prepare the home, it’s time for the listing photo shoot. You can schedule your shoot in advance online with some real estate photography providers. 

The professional real estate images you receive from the photo shoot are critical for your marketing needs. 

Step 3: Design the marketing materials

Using your real estate listing images, create the open house social media posts and e-vites. If your brokerage doesn’t offer branded templates, check out free design sites like Canva. Virtuance has a variety of social media listing templates available, too. 

If this is your first open house, or if you are hosting for another agent, save the templates you design for your next event—this will make the preparation process faster. 

Step 4: Promote the open house online

With the marketing materials complete, it’s time to promote the open house online. Share the open house invite on your social media channels, Facebook groups, and other local real estate forums. 

The more you promote your event, the better; however, follow online group guidelines and rules. 

Step 5: Notify the neighbors

It’s important to let the neighbors know about an upcoming open house event. Residents on the same street as an active listing appreciate being in the loop. The neighbors may also know interested buyers who they would love to live near. 

You can door knock a few days before the open house or leave door hangers detailing the event. 

Step 6: Send email invites to your lead list

Let your leads know you have an open house event. Looping in your lead list is a smart strategy to increase your attendance

Even if most of your lead list cannot attend, sending an open house invite is another touchpoint between you and your potential clients. 

Step 7: Arrive early

Give yourself at least 45 minutes before the open house begins to walk the property and set up. Arriving early allows you time to charge tablets, wipe down counters, set up your lead gen form, and straighten up the rooms. 

Step 8: Be the host(ess) with the most(est)

As mentioned, an open house is a perfect place to generate new real estate leads. Take this time to engage with guests and ask the right questions. You can really impress attendees with refreshments and appetizers. 

A great host can make an open house as memorable as the listing itself. 

Step 9: Follow up with attendees

Following up with attendees is one of the most crucial steps of an open house event. If you fail to follow up, you risk losing future clients. After your open house, upload the lead list into your CRM system and send a thank you email.  

Later, you can send the same open house lead list an email blast about your active listings. 

Enhance your open house with Virtuance 

It’s challenging to plan and host an open house on your own. Virtuance provides several resources and services to help new agents host open houses. 

With Virtuance’s professional real estate photography services, your listing materials will capture more attention online. And with every photo shoot, agents have access to the Virtuance Marketing Suite.

Promoting your open house using Virtuance’s Marketing Suite is easy because all your listing marketing is in one place. The Marketing Suite includes a listing website, an agent page, a brochure creator, social sharing, and much more. 

Schedule your Virtuance listing photo shoot today and enjoy the Marketing Suite’s real estate perks. 


Real estate agents can generate valuable leads by hosting an open house. Open houses also allow agents to work on social interaction skills and networking.

Open houses work in several ways. An open house promotes an active listing to a larger audience.

While the event may not sell the home that day, it can help spread the word among the community. Additionally, an open house generates new leads for the hosting agent.