Should You Get Paid For Hosting an Open House for Another Agent?

Renae Virata | October 5, 2016 | Best Practices

A real estate agent’s schedule can fill up pretty quickly. Jetting between open houses, housewarming party, showings, listing presentations and other events while trying to manage everything in between takes a lot of stamina – and time. Fortunately, as an agent, you can pay agents to help you to find real estate leads. Here’s how some agents we talked to make it work to everyone’s benefit.

Saving Time and Effort

Most agents who need the help are those who have years of experience under their belt and a long list of clientele to manage. This means many open houses ideas, for example, that they simply cannot attend all at once and apply a real estate lead follow up plan.

Benny Kang of Uniti Realty in Irvine, California, loves to pitch in when he can.

“I only ask top agents with many listings, because they are in need of agents to hold an open house on the weekends,” said Kang. “If they have five listings, the top agent will need at least four people to do open houses that weekend! Works out perfectly fine [for everyone].”

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Perfect for New Real Estate Agents

For newer agents, offering to host an open house is the perfect opportunity to get their feet wet in the business besides door knocking real estate.

“These types of arrangements are always a win/win for newer agents and their busy more established colleagues,” said REALTOR(R) Laura McGee of Keller Williams Realty Greater Worcester. “This allows the newer agents to receive
valuable on-the-job training (and – bonus – get paid for it!) and helps out a very busy established REALTOR free up some valuable time for other tasks.”

“Sitting an open house is very helpful for newer agents since they get to meet lots of people, which means they will be able to meet buyers who are unrepresented by a real estate agent,” advised Kang. “If the buyer doesn’t like the house, then you can always show them another houses, as a buyer’s agent.”

Get Your Name Out There

Husband-wife real estate duo Marilyn and Michael Marcus love the exposure that offering to do an open house, for example, gives them to potential buyers or even sellers.

“It allows us to get some name recognition and be seen in the marketplace as a viable alternative,” the Tucson-based agents said.

Build Your Book of Business

In San Antonio, Texas, REALTOR Al Cannistra sees hosting open houses as an opportunity to meet new clients.

“Sometimes it is a long day and nothing happens,” he said. “Other times you may meet a person who wants to make an offer on the home you are showing. But most often, if it goes well, you meet a future client. If someone walks in, has no agent and y’all hit it off, you might just land a client and sell a house. It has worked for me!”

In instances like these, it is always important to be prepared with realtor business cards, to have your calendar available to schedule a meeting on the spot and something to take down notes.

Getting Paid for Your Services

Among the agents we spoke with, it was pretty evenly split on how they were compensated or pay agents for showing or open house services.

“I was out of town and my client wanted to look at a house,” said Tracey Hampson of Realty ONE Group in Santa Clarita, California. “In a hot market you have to jump on new listings, so I asked a fellow realtor and great friend to help. I paid 150.00, and it worked out perfectly.”

McGee charges $25 per hour for errands such as letting home inspectors or contractors in or dropping off keys to a homeowner. She also offers a flat rate of $100 for when she must be present for 5 hours or more.

Some agents don’t need compensation such as Kang and Cannistra. The potential real estate leads they get and the opportunity to help other agents is all the thanks they need.

REALTOR Michael Kelczewski with Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International in Delaware goes both ways.

“To accommodate a busy schedule, I have employed new or administrative agents to host the open houses in my absence. The typical rate is $20/hour or the ability to convert unrepresented buyer leads using a unique value proposition.”

Paige Elliott of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas offered an alternative to both payment and business development opportunities.

“We value an agents time, so on the rare times that we can not meet a showing or hold a house open, we have offered to pay an agent. Typically, if the agent is holding an open house to the public and they may also pick up business, they don’t want or expect to be paid. If they are showing a client on our behalf we usually will agree in advance on an hourly rate.

“If we are out of town on vacation, which unfortunately isn’t very often 🙁 , we will either trade covering business with another agent when they are gone or pay them an hourly rate for coverage.”

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Renae Virata