10 simple rules for a lead-generating open house (+ sign-in sheet templates)

Lead Conversion
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If you’re an ambitious agent, broker or team leader, chances are you’re already hosting your fair share of open houses. But are you making the most of them?

Initially called “open for inspection”, archivists from the National Association of Realtors® have tracked the first open house all the way back to 1910. And yet, despite the fact that open houses are one of the oldest and most timeless real estate marketing tools, they remain an untapped lead source for many agents and teams. 

At Follow Up Boss, we can't help you stage the perfect open house or make sure your open houses always smell like fresh-baked cookies, but we can help you understand the components of what makes a good vs. great open house and arm you with a fully customizable sign-in sheet template designed to help you capture more leads. 

Table of contents

  • How do you get someone to sign into an open house?
  • 10 simple rules for a lead-generating open house
  • Turning open house leads into deals with Follow Up Boss

First, how do you get someone to sign into an open house? 

The short answer of course, is that you can’t “get” anyone to do anything. But by creating an open house sign-in sheet that’s nice to look at and easy to fill in, you can make signing in an instant no-brainer for your open house visitors.

What is an open house sign-in sheet?

An open house sign-in sheet is a brief paper or digital form where visitors can register or ‘sign in’ to an open house. Sign-in sheets can vary in style and format but usually include a field for name, email, and phone number.

If you’re looking for ways to expand your network, generate leads, and build deeper connections from your next open house, your sign-in sheet is the one tool that brings it all together.

Of course, it helps if your open house also provides an unforgettable experience for visitors. 

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of how to use your open house sign-in sheet to capture more leads and start converting those relationships, let’s take a minute to recap the top ten best practices for a welcoming and lead-generating open house.


10 simple rules for a lead-generating open house

Ever wonder how some agents get dozens of people lined up at the door before an open house?

It’s not hard to see how open houses like that are a powerful lead gen tool — the trick is to know how they work. These ten simple rules will help you create a warm and welcoming environment that transforms open house visitors into real, revenue-driving relationships.

Rule #1. Make sure visitors sign in

You already saw this one coming, right?

Apart from the sheer safety aspect of knowing who’s at your open house and how to contact them, the number of open house visitors who register at the event is what makes the difference between open houses that become a genuine lead channel for your business, versus just another Saturday morning in the field.

Position your open house sign-in stand right at the door with plenty of extra sign-in sheets and pens, or a tablet if you’re using an open house sign-in sheet app (more on how these work in a minute!).

If you have a rockstar team you can tap into, assign someone to be stationed at the sign-in table to offer each visitor a warm welcome and help them get registered as soon as they enter.

💡 Not sure what to say to help get those registrations in? Don’t miss these free open house scripts specifically tailored to asking for sign-ins!

Rule #2. Get your listing live early

In a perfect world, your open house listing will have the longest possible exposure time before the big day. By the time visitors arrive at the property, you want to make sure the home is easily found on every listing site out there.

At a minimum, aim to get the property listed at least five days before the open house date. 

For example, if you’re hosting your open house on a Saturday and Sunday, make sure you enter it into the MLS no later than Tuesday so sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com have plenty of time to index your updates.

48% of all buyers attend an open house as part of their search process.

Rule #3. Run dedicated open house ads

To maximize the amount of foot traffic and leads, you’ll want to advertise your listing far and wide in the weeks running up to your open house.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that can help make this easy like Ylopo a complete digital marketing platform that creates Facebook Ads for you or with Zapier, a lead connector from Facebook Lead Ads and multiple other platforms to your real estate CRM.

💡 Did you know that Follow Up Boss has a direct integration to Facebook Lead Ad? In just a few simple clicks, you can connect your Facebook leads directly to Follow Up Boss!

Rule #4. Time it right

If possible, try to time your open house around other events happening in the neighborhood around the same time. For example, if your house is located near a church or place of worship, set the time of the open house around the same time a service ends. 

While weekends have traditionally been the best time for open houses, today’s working schedules vary a lot more than they used to. Some realtors have even had success hosting open house events during weeknights.

You may also want to consider extending the length of your open house so that you’re not competing directly with other open houses in the same time window.

Rule #5. Do a little door knocking

Meeting the neighbors and starting conversations early is a great way to build word of mouth for your next open house. 

While some agents swear by the 10-10-20 rule — knocking on doors that are 10 to the left, 10 to the right, and 20 across the street — the key is less about the exact number of doors and more about getting out there and spreading the word about your open house.

Plan to do this one or two days before the open house to start building the buzz and maximize your chances of bringing as many offers and new leads to the table as possible.

Rule #6. Remember, signs matter

In an age where 97% of homebuyers find their future home online, it’s easy to leave the tried-and-tested methods behind.

But don’t forget, real estate signs and sign riders are still an effective way to generate buzz and business. On the day of the event, be sure to get up early and place signs all over the neighborhood along with the open house schedule. 

To really optimize for maximum visitors, aim to post at least 30 signs within a two mile radius of the open house. This way, people can plan ahead and you don’t miss out on any potential leads or customers.

46% of buyers say yard signs are still a key source of information in their home search.

Rule #7. Get your agents and lender on board

If you follow the above rules, you’ll likely end up with more people at your open house than any one person can handle.

To avoid situations where you’re overwhelmed by the number of people coming in, enlist a team of agents and/or your lender to help keep a manageable flow. As a major side bonus, your lender can even help pre-qualify leads on the spot.

Plus, by having a team of people on-hand to help, you’ll make your open house visitors feel extra welcome while positioning yourself as an ace professional.

Rule #8. Be on time

This one may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many agents still struggle to get to their own open houses on time. And there’s nothing worse than arriving at an open house sweaty and stressed out.

Make sure you get there early, turn on the lights and get your head in the game before the first visitors arrive. Remember, this is about you being ready to close a deal (and generate a ton of leads in the process).

Rule #9. Zhuzh it up a little

For anyone who’s not an active follower of the Fab Five, according to Merriam Webster the word 'zhuzh' tends to mean “to improve in appearance by way of a slight adjustment.”

Whether it’s fresh flowers on your sign-in stand or tying balloons to the mailbox, a small splash of something extra can help signal an attention to detail that will set you apart from the other agents in your area, while drawing additional attention to your open house.

(Oh, and if the home is unoccupied but the water is still working, don’t forget to add a couple rolls of toilet paper to your list! 😅)

Rule #10. Engage. Engage. Engage.

No matter which tech tools you use, this business is all about personal connections.

Before the big day, take time to get super familiar with the property you’re showcasing, the surrounding area, and the market in general. 

Make a genuine effort to find out what visitors are looking for and, if possible, show them why the home fits those requirements. If this isn’t the one for them, mention any other listings you know of that might be a fit and take notes so you can follow up later with other options.

Remember, you don’t have to read off a flier or stick to the classic sales script. Talk to your open house visitors about everything from the weather, adventures in parenting, or even the name of their favorite pet.

At the end of the day, every person you meet at an open house is a potential client. Be you, have fun, and make those connections. The business will follow.

Turning open house leads into deals with Follow Up Boss

If you follow the above rules, you’ll be right on track to capture dozens or even hundreds of leads from your next open house.

But without a set plan and process for organizing and following up with these contacts, you could be leaving valuable deals on the table.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to instantly capture your open house leads for immediate follow up. 

Use open house sign-in sheet software

If you’re using a digital sign-in app like Spacio, it’s easy to integrate your sign-ins straight into your real estate CRM

Not into the idea of investing in another real estate tool? No problem.

You can also use Google Forms (or Typeform or Jotform) along with a simple Zapier Integration to instantly capture open house leads and drive them straight into your database.

Create an open house follow up automation to nurture and convert

Once the leads are stored safely in your CRM, you can set up automations to immediately launch an open house follow up sequence to nurture and convert those leads.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Turn on the Open House Follow Up Automation 
  2. Edit the automation to add an action plan
  3. Add your open house attendees via import, manually, or automatically if you use Spacio
  4. Tag each person with Open House Attendee
  5. And you’re done! 🎉

See your next open house as an opportunity to drive more business

No one loves waking up at 6 am on a Saturday, but with the right mindset open houses can be a stellar opportunity to generate more leads and revenue for your business. 

From there, it’s just a matter of doing what you do best. Market your open houses for maximum exposure, create a welcoming environment, and use technology intentionally to create a lead capture and conversion process that makes every open house visitor feel like a VIP.

Before you know it, the open house revenue will come rolling in.


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