Face-to-face relationships remain essential for building a successful real estate business. But in today’s technology-driven world, real estate agents need to rethink how they use traditional in-person marketing methods to build their brand and generate leads. One of the most important tools in need of an overhaul: the open house sign-in sheet.
Whether you want to generate new contacts for your email newsletter, or connect with leads who might be in the market, a sign-in sheet is critical to your open house plan.
We’ve outlined how to use sign-in sheets to capture lead data, as well as how to use this data to nurture leads after your open house. We’ve also included free, downloadable and customizable real estate open house sign-in sheet templates for you to use at your events.
Not the way they used to.
Real estate search websites have largely replaced the need for buyers to attend open houses. Only 3 percent of buyers actually visit open houses, with 6 percent finding their agent at an open house.
Nevertheless, 51 percent of agents still host open house events—and not because they’re behind the times. While open houses are no longer an effective direct sales tool, they’re still a great way to find and capture new buyers to represent in the future.
By creating a great open house sign-in sheet, you can maximize the impact of your open house events and generate a new stream of buyer leads.
Great marketing is all about customization, and we’ve created 3 free downloadable real estate open house sign-in sheet templates in each of the major styles outlined above for you to save as a PDF, Word Document, or document directly into Google Drive.
Below are three major styles of open house sign-in sheets, each requesting a bit more information from leads. Click on the links to access the free PDF.
Because it’s so easy to fill out, the simple sign-in sheet will likely give you the highest conversion rate at your open house. If you expect a lot of visitors, a simple sign-in sheet can help you avoid traffic jams and get people to the tour more quickly. While you shouldn’t overwhelm visitors with an exhaustive questionnaire, you should ask for the essentials.
Simple Sign-In Sheet
A full sign-in sheet adds a bit more information without slowing your leads down too much. That extra question will help you learn more about how your marketing is working, and where to concentrate your efforts to improve your results.
Full Sign-In Sheet
Because it asks much more of your open house visitors, the buyer questionnaire sign-in sheet will probably have a much lower conversion rate. While this may sound like a bad thing, it’s actually a great way to ensure that you’re generating qualified and motivated leads, while filtering out the “window shoppers.”
Full Sign-In Sheet with Buyer Questionnaire
Just like the lead capture forms on your real estate website, an effective sign-in sheet can help qualify and segment open house leads in order to personalize the follow-up experience and increase conversions following the open-house event.
Here’s real estate agent Chris Gonzales discussing his open house strategy, from driving more foot traffic and tailoring scripts to email nurturing for different audiences:
Convincing lots of people to attend your open house is a great first step. But if you’re going to get value from the event, you need to convince attendees to fill out a sign-in sheet with their contact details. While leaving a sheet of paper out on a table might get you a few names, it’s unlikely to drive the results you want.
Place your open house sign-in sheet as close to the home’s entrance as possible, making sure it has its own table or counter. Don’t place it directly beside the door, where visitors might walk past it. Instead, make sure that it’s within their line of sight as they enter.
When welcoming visitors at the door, stick to a script that invites them to fill out the sign-in sheet before you begin discussing the property. For example: “Welcome! I’m Jane. Go ahead and sign in over there, and I’ll take you on a tour of the property.”
Draw more attention to your open house sign-in sheet by placing a standing sign next to it. No need to get fancy: just use an acrylic holder and create a simple, legible sign with clear instructions on standard printer paper. For instance: “Fill out the sign-in sheet, grab a piece of candy, and enjoy yourself!”
Whether it’s a flyer for the listing itself, a market report, or a brochure about your brokerage, you’ll likely have marketing collateral to offer your guests. Place this collateral on the table next to your sign in sheet, then instruct visitors to sign in before taking a copy.
Filling out the top line of your own sign-in sheet with your own information or a stock set of information has proven effective for many agents, given that most people follow what those before them have already done.
A promotion or raffle can get folks excited about filling in your open house sign-in sheets. It also helps ensure the information provided is more accurate—after all, you can’t claim a prize with phony information. Try offering free swag, a free real estate consultation, gift baskets of homeowner essentials, or gift cards from area businesses.
Your form should use a font that’s easy to read, and provide ample space for guests to fit their email addresses and other details. Because you’ll be busy during the event, be sure to provide plenty of pens. If using a mobile tablet, make sure to have your device fully charged.
Some guests may be hesitant to provide contact information to a REALTOR® they don’t know. In that case, let them know that you’re collecting their details on behalf of the seller, rather than for yourself.
One of the advantages of generating leads through an open house is that you’ve connected with visitors face to face. This means you’ll start with a personal connection that you otherwise wouldn’t have with online leads.
Still, a personal connection isn’t a guarantee of success: to convert open house leads (many of whom may not even realize they need your services), you’ll need to implement a strong follow-up strategy.
Each agent will approach their open house follow-up strategy differently, and it’s important to accelerate or slow the process based on how often your lead engages with you.
Below is an example of a good open house follow-up strategy for the first week:
Editor’s Note: Placester’s email marketing solution allows agents and brokers to stay top of mind with leads via drip email campaigns. Choose from pre-written campaigns for buyers, sellers, and branding, or create your own campaigns with custom templates and timing.
Now it’s time to put that email marketing opt-in clause to good use. In addition to nurturing leads in the short term via drip email campaigns, you can also use regular newsletters to keep leads up to date on your market and listings.
Some ideas for email newsletter content include:
Wherever possible, tailor your communications to match a lead’s preferences so that you’re always serving up relevant content.
If you’re using the “full” open house sign-in sheet template, you know how each of your visitors found out about your event, which is valuable information you can use to develop a strong marketing strategy.
After an open house, go through the list of attendees and rank which information sources generated the most interest (e.g. website, email newsletter, postal mailer, Zillow, word of mouth, etc).
Check the results against your investments to see which channels have the highest ROI, and which ones you should be re-evaluated. If you find any new or unexpected lead sources, spend time brainstorming how you can optimize them for future open houses.
Finally, if any of your guests came as a referral from a past client, be sure to send them a personal thank you note.
As you develop lead nurturing campaigns for your leads, pay attention to the details you’ve collected and use them to your advantage. For example:
A fast response time is often the key to converting a new lead. Whether it’s a note on your open house sign-in sheet, or a response to one of your marketing emails, make sure to respond personally to all of your attendees’ questions and comments in a timely manner.
Now that you’ve received some great feedback from open house guests, you’re more equipped to give your sellers a picture of how many qualified and interested attendees came. Give them confidence in your ability to keep in touch with people by sharing your follow-up plan.