Retail vs. Wholesale Open Houses

One of the best, early omens for a new listing is when agents leaving the Broker Open casually toss off compliments like “nice listing,” “good job!,” or simply “congratulations.”

What’s another?

When several newer, less experienced agents contact you, asking if they can hold a weekend open house at your listing.

Sunday Open vs. Broker Tour

As opposed to a “wholesale” open house ” held for fellow Realtors each Tuesday, at least in the Twin Cities ” weekend open houses are intended for a retail crowd.

While many listing agents (myself included) like to do their own open’s, especially the first one or two, many experienced agents are happy to delegate weekend open’s.

Hosting such open houses is a time-tested way for newer, less experienced agents to find unrepresented Buyers.

Meanwhile, that frees up the (veteran) listing agent to work with their Buyer clients ” or cover an open house at another listing ” while still making sure that their client’s home has maximum market exposure.

(Note: it’s possible to do a 12:30 p.m to 2 p.m./2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m “double-header” if the listings aren’t too far apart. However, busy agents can easily have 6-8 active listings, especially during the peak Spring market).

Primed to Sell, or, Picking the Right Open

If you’re a new(er) agent looking for clients, which listing is the best to hold open?

The one likeliest to attract the most traffic.

Which just begs the question, “which home is that??”

Answer: the one that’s best-priced and marketed; stands out relative to its peers; and — yup — is newest on the market.

Who Gets Top Billing?

In return for hosting the open in their stead, it’s standard practice for the listing agent to give the “pinch hitter” agent top billing.

That means identifying them as the hosting agent on the MLS open house announcement, letting them use their sign riders (with their name) on any directional signs to the open house, etc.

But, I’m aware of at least one Twin Cities agent who, as a condition of hosting their weekend opens, insists that the other agent use their signage.

Their listing, their prerogative.

But, if I were the new(er) agent . . . I’d look for another open to host.

See also, “Realtor Compliments”; and “Open House as Hypothesis.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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