In Episode 84 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien discuss the importance of being open for business with open houses.  They really are a great prospect opportunity and with some tips and tricks, you can stand out from the competition and make your open houses count!  In Wandering Zen, Matt interviews Caprice LePante who recently took an incredible trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  Today we start the first in a series that will explore her adventures.



WBNL 52: Open for Business with Open Houses






Making Money with Effective Open Houses

Open Houses…You either love ’em or you hate ’em.  And based on your attitude about them and as a real estate agent – they either work for you or they don’t. 

In my experience, open houses are the single, easiest, most cost effective way to make money and generate leads in the real estate business.

Let’s consider the benefits:

  • Marketing exposure for your sellers and your active, saleable listing inventory.  There have been offers written and accepted on the actual property an agent is holding open!
  • Opportunity to meet and work with buyers and sellers and make additional sales.
  • The real investment is your time!  Open houses can be the most cost effective prospecting activity if done properly.
  • Open for Business! Worst case scenario – if no one shows up – you can catch up on admin tasks, follow-up calls, mailers and other “busy” work at the open house.  Preparation and planning is required!

Attitude is Everything!

o Know that the open house is going to be productive
o Plan, Prepare and Know the Property and the Market
o Ask, Believe, Receive!

Selecting the property

o Location (choose a listing that has great traffic; cross streets)
o Condition, price, terms (How does the property show? Is it priced to sell?)
o Your own listings – leverage success through

  • Invest in Personalized Yard and Open House Signs
  • Hold open houses on listings in your farm areas

o Research office/company listings and coordinate with the listing agent to hold them open
o Vacant vs. Occupied properties
o Open houses work any day of the week!!

Supplies (Open House Kit)
o 1-2 tripod easels and cork or Custom Open House Info Tri-Fold Board for the surrounding properties by category to display

  • Minimum of 6 to 12 Open House signs with your name & number or website
  • Business cards
  • Relocation books, buyer handbooks, personal marketing materials
  • Client Information sheet or sign-in registers
  • iPad /Tablet users..Get the Open Home PRO App!  kvCORE users – use Open House app
  • Cooler of bottled waters
  • Purchase Contract Folder
  • Table & chairs (if vacant)

Preparation and Promotion

  • Preview the Listing – brief seller on any needed staging, de-cluttering
  • Preview the surrounding available properties (you must know the inventory)
  • Call your local title rep for the phone list of the subdivision and make calls to invite to your Open House
  • Call or email and invite other prospects and your Sphere of Influence

Coordinate any Advertising

  • Mail invitations to neighborhood
  • Run a Facebook Ad – use the drop pin method for creating an audience and select 1- 2 mile radius
  • Post in Facebook Marketplace
  • Post in Facebook Groups
  • Post to Zillow,
  • Post to GLVAR
  • Promote the open house on Your Personal Website
  • Canvas/Door knock the surrounding neighborhood – invitation – door hangars and ask them the Magic Question, “Who do you know that you would like to have as a neighbor?”
  • Put up an Open Sat-Sunday (& times) sign week prior or Flyers in the sign box to promote upcoming open house
  • Prepare a CMA on the property and neighborhood update
  • Create an Info packet for visitors (Modified Property Profile, plat map, school info, nearby businesses, property feature sheet, other pertinent info)
  • Search MLS and printout other categories or properties on the market for the area of your open house.  Post these printouts with photos on your boards with easels – excellent conversation starters:
      • Homes in various price ranges
      • Homes with or without pools
      • Homes with larger lots
      • Single Story – 2 Story homes

Conducting the Open House

  • Sign placement is key  (8-12 signs is optimal)
  • Hire someone to place and pick up signs if you don’t enjoy this task!
  • Consider a partner to work the open house with you.  This is an excellent idea for safety reasons and to control traffic through the open house.
  • Staging the property
  • Tidy up the house, inside and out
  • Prepare refreshments (with owner’s approval)
  • Set up Open House kit
  • Put on soft music
  • Place guest book or client information forms
  • Turn lights on; open drapes
  • Bring your busy work, follow-up calls, admin tasks. Make the best use of your time while you are open and ready for potential clients.

Post Open House

  • Return the house to its original condition; secure doors/windows
  • Collect your signs
  • Brief the sellers, if they return prior to you leaving, and the listing agent on activity
  • Write personal notes to all visitors
  • Make follow-up calls as necessary
  • Add any new prospects to your database

Always be ready to hold vacant open houses.


Wandering Zen – Rafting the Grand Canyon – Part 1



A raft trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is on many buckets lists!  Today we are joined by Caprice LePante who shares her adventure from the planning stage through the preparation, and then recants her tales of the river and how this trip changed her life in so many ways.



Caprice did her research prior to booking and really liked what she read, heard and watched online about Oars.  They’ve been around since the 1970s and have many options to choose from.  She chose the ‘Sampler’ and as you listen to her talk about the trip, she was clearly glad she did.  You can get all the scoop on their website –  Here is what they say about the Sampler:



  • Scenic flight from Las Vegas
  • Visit a working cattle ranch
  • Hike, horseback ride or skeet shoot
  • Helicopter ride to the river
  • Fun whitewater, ideal for first-timers

Adventure Overview

This shorter section of the Colorado River is a good trial for folks not sure they are ready for a longer Grand Canyon rafting trip. We meet you in Las Vegas and transport you by van and small plane to Bar 10 Ranch on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for an afternoon of ranch activities including horseback riding, horseshoe pitching, hiking, and skeet shooting topped off with an evening of country entertainment. The next morning, you fly by helicopter into the Grand Canyon where your rafting guides await your arrival at Whitmore Wash. We’ll cross the shattered Hurricane fault zone before heading west into the final majesty of the Lower Grand Canyon. This Grand Canyon rafting trip on the Colorado River provides excellent opportunities to hike and explore this exquisite desert wonderland. Several beautiful side canyons invite you to linger in spring-fed streams. Your Grand Canyon adventure ends with a jet boat ride across Lake Mead and a return shuttle to Las Vegas by van.

Links to more informaton, history, and things to see and do in the area:

Let the adventure begin!

Incredible terrain

Activities at the Ranch

The adventure continues...

Also mentioned in this episode:

The Anaheim Hills Oak Canyon Nature Center – A 58-acre natural park nestled in the Anaheim Hills.  A year-round stream meanders through the park.  Consisting of three adjoining canyons, four miles of hiking trails traverse one of the few remaining areas of oak woodland and coastal sage scrub in our region.  Native wildlife makes the canyon their home and is just waiting to be discovered.  Also located on site is the John J. Collier Interpretive Center, a small museum with live animal and regional natural history exhibits. 

The Nature Center is ideal for those who are just stepping into the wilderness for the first time or for those more experienced trekkers who are seeking a short hike.

If you’re headed to Vegas from So Cal – take a little extra time and check this out:

Las Vegas

Boulder City

Hoover Dam

Bar 10, Grand Canyon

Mentioned in the Episode (Resources & Links)



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