The digital age has called into question the relevance of what has long been a pillar of the home sales process: the open house. Today, research finds about 50 percent of homebuyers attend open houses. However, savvy and enterprising real estate agents are redefining the open house, reshaping it into a new tool with immense benefits for their businesses. The Mega Open House is empowering agents with new leads and broadening their exposure in the neighborhoods they serve.

This latest trend in open houses isn’t just about selling one listing. It’s about exposure, getting to know a neighborhood, and generating leads.

Just What Is a Mega Open House?
A Mega Open House is an event for prospective buyers, real estate agents, and the entire neighborhood. They often include food and beverages or a theme that draws people who aren’t actively shopping for a home.
The Goal of the Mega Open House
When hosting this type of open house, the idea is to think big and to think beyond this sale. It is an opportunity to chat with prospective buyers, to find out what they are looking for, and to position yourself as a resource for them. Agents can let prospective buyers know that, even if this isn’t the house for them, you can contact them when you know of another home in the area that meets their criteria.
This is also an opportunity to position yourself as a resource for neighbors. After seeing the value of the home for sale, they may become curious about the value of their home. Let them know you can provide this information. Collect their contact information so you can reach out to them in the future with potential offers—even if they haven’t listed their home for sale.

How to Host Your Own Mega Open House
Before the Event:
Agents should promote their mega open house in as many ways as possible. Create a short film standing in front of the home, letting people know that the home is for sale, where it is, and that you are inviting the neighbors and the general public to enjoy lunch, hors d’oeuvres, etc.

Post this video to social media and email it to your entire contact list. Some agents also recommend door-knocking a day or two before the event to introduce yourself to the neighbors and invite them personally. Hand them an open-house flyer with the home value and the event details.

Don’t forget about traditional open-house signs, and don’t limit yourself to just a few. Put out as many as you can.

During the Event:
During the event, introduce yourself to everyone you can. Ask them what they’re looking for in a house and if they would like your help knowing when homes in the area are coming on the market. For neighbors who aren’t actively looking to buy or sell, talk to them about their home. They may be curious about their home’s value, and this is an opportunity for you to become a resource and get their contact information.
Many agents are now using tablets as digital sign-in sheets to collect leads.

After the Event:
After the event, add all new leads to your database. Also, follow up personally with everyone you met.

A Few Ideas for Open House Themes
• lunch or hors d’oeuvres
• lemonade and cookies in the summer or hot chocolate in the winter
• raffle or giveaway
• wine tasting
• burger bar
• invite a pop-up shop
• showcase new home décor trends in various rooms during the event