15 Minute Open House

By
Real Estate Agent with America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc.

picHow long do you schedule your open house?

I generally schedule an open house for a two hour period.  I'm wondering if this time frame is what most agents do or should I adjust my open house times.  I have seen some open houses scheduled for an hour while others are scheduled for an hour an a half.

The most "extreme" (or should I say brief) open house I have seen was a 15 minute duration.  Yes, that's right, the open was held from 12:15 pm to 12:30 pm!  Oddly enough, they did have visitors during that time frame and also had a lender on hand to answer questions. 

The reason I know that this 15 minute open house had visitors is that I had buyers interested in the home (I had taken them through it) and they went to the open to give the home another look.  They reported back to me that they weren't the only people at the open.  While they were there a few other people were in attendance.

They did purchase another home that was a better buy for them however.

I'm not sure a 15 minute open house is the way to go and I'm continuing with a two hour open house schedule.  I am considering an hour and a half schedule in the future in order to hold multiple opens on the same day... but I haven't moved in that direction yet.

What works for you?

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Show All Comments
Rainer
30,116
Darin Haughie
Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell, Inc. (EWM) - Pinecrest, FL

I go with the 2-5pm     A 3 hour special

September 08, 2008 09:30 AM #1
Ambassador
819,295
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Hi Jon -  back when I began and held Open Houses I too did 15 minutes at a time and filled my 2 hour block of time on a Sunday with 6 different homes.  I called it Susan's Six on Sunday.  (I said S I X )  I even included listings other than my own when I first started out in different price ranges.

Each home had a Six on Sunday sign promoting it for that week, it was in my print ad and also on my website.  People could see the schedule and addresses allowing them to see just one home or join the tour for all six.  It created a fun feeding frenzy type of event.  If they liked a home they could schedule a personal showing perhaps later that same day.  It worked well till I got too busy to hold them.

Unfortunately, people are people and I just can not justify giving up a Sun afternoon with no control over who is going to show up and who isn't.  Sitting in one home, reading a book isn't my idea of using my time wisely (unles it is a realy good book!)

September 08, 2008 09:31 AM #2
Rainer
77,864
Rebecca Schrader
Competitive Insurance of Dundee - Dundee, FL

I've always been told, "Get ready to give up a Sunday afternoon if you have an open house" I guess the "norm" around here is a 1:00 to 4:00 on Sundays...and it seems to work fine.

September 08, 2008 09:33 AM #4
Rainmaker
29,568
Steve Dawson
J. Rockcliff Realtors (#01723588) - Walnut Creek, CA

I do at least 3 hours.  When I have a brand new listing, I hold it open for 5 hours.  12-5.  The first couple of weeks usually gets the most traffic.  It makes my clients happy that so many people came through and I usually can pick up a buyer or two.

September 08, 2008 09:35 AM #5
Rainer
131,967
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Susan,

When I first saw the 15 minute open house I thought it to be strange.  However, it did have some results and that got me thinking.  I do like your tour approach and it does justify using that technique for that specific purpose.  I have read articles related to the "tour" approach to showing homes and the articles have commented that it does promote an "auction" atmosphere.  They also mentioned that people tend to be more interested in a home when they sense someone else is also interested in a home that appeals to them. 

Thank you for your comment!

September 08, 2008 09:40 AM #6
Rainmaker
668,239
Sharon Paxson
HÔM Sotheby's International Realty, BRE License 01501912 - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - HOM Sotheby's Int'l Re

I do three hours - either 1-4 or 2-5. And I have done them from 9-12 on Saturday mornings depending on location. And last week, I did one from 3:30 to 7:00 on a Friday with good traffic.

 

September 08, 2008 09:41 AM #7
Rainer
131,967
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Thanks all for your comments.  So far it appears that a 3 hour open house seems to be the norm.

September 08, 2008 09:41 AM #8
Rainer
124,059
Hope Goss
Ventura Property Shoppe - Ventura, CA
Ventura Real Estate

I've heard plenty about the 15 minute open house, but I tend to shy away from any kind of gimmick when it comes to holding homes open.  I typically do a 2 hour open house, but a 1 hour doesn't sound too bad, allowing you to open more than one home in an afternoon.

September 08, 2008 09:44 AM #9
Ambassador
819,295
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Jon -  I forgot to mention . . .  The 15 minute concept is GREAT on listing presentations and won me many a listing.  The Sellers LOVE the idea of only being displaced from their home for 15-20 minutes.  They feel secure in knowing they can just walk around the block or go for a quick coffee, or even observe the Buyers traffic.   The prospective Buyers also became a little more aware of promptness being crucial and a respect for others time and consideration became the norm.  I think there were life lessons flying all around this concept and it helped me to acheive a quantum leap in sales!    I found prospective new Sellers taking advantage of the tour and, after liking what they observed, they would  contact me later on a Sunday evening to set up an appointment for me to list their home and hopefully include them in the next week's tour.  I've never been one for going with the flow.  I like to do what makes me stand out from the crowd and Susan's Six on Sunday still gets asked about by new Sellers to the market.

September 08, 2008 10:04 AM #10
Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Jon,  I do between 5-10 opens in a typical week.  I normally do a morning open from 9:30  -  noon and a second from 1PM until 3 or 4 Pm.  I also carry all my stuff in the trunk so that if a hole opens up in my schedule I can do a quick open.

September 08, 2008 10:10 AM #11
Rainmaker
247,421
Mike Klijanowicz
Baltimore & Harford County Maryland - RE/MAX AMERICAN DREAM - Perry Hall, MD
#1 Baltimore & Harford County Maryland REMAX Agent

Wow, 15 mintues?  That is crazy, but maybe it works!  In this market the usual tactics are not working as good anymore and we are having to think OUTSIDE OF THE BOX!  I may start doing only 1 hour long open houses to get the serious people to the door.  However, I normally do 2 hours opens, 3 is just too long for me!

September 09, 2008 08:11 AM #12
Ambassador
819,295
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I'm quite curious about these 2, 3 and 4 hour OpenHouses . . .   do you track when you have visitgors?  Is it the first hour?  The last hour?  Surely you're not getting visitors throughout the entire period??   I look at it ust like I would a chore or task:  it will take the length of time we give it to be done.   (I know that is a law with a name, help!)  ((No,not Murphy;s!!) 

In this market we do what we have to but do Open Houses really do it?

 

September 09, 2008 08:17 AM #13
Rainmaker
62,904
Scott Mazza
Consumer's Title of Southern California - Thousand Oaks, CA

Hi Jon, I will pass thi great info to a few of my agents this morning. We are going to be discussing the same idea.

September 09, 2008 08:47 AM #14
Rainer
131,967
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi all, I have had mixed experiences with open houses.  There are times when most of my visitors have arrived early in the open house schedule while at other times they arrive in the last hour.  I have had open houses where I have had a lot of activity and others where I was the only one in attendance.

Having no visitors at an open is discouraging and generally when I have two opens for the same property with no visitors, I will remove that property from my schedule.  Eventually I will advertise an open house for that property after a few weeks and have had new activity.

I have considered changing the times for my opens and working multiple properties in the same day.  I haven't seen anything that tells me what the right time frame might be and therefore find myself experimenting.

September 09, 2008 08:56 AM #15
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Rainer
131,967

Jon Wnoroski

Summit County Realtor
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