This past summer, I spent many hours attending Open Houses. These weren’t for
schools; they were for actual homes for sale on the real estate market. I think there’s a
lot we can learn from successful realtors about how to hold Open Houses at our
schools. Here are some real estate open house tips translated for the education world.
1. Never walk alone: Realtors never let prospective buyers walk through an Open
House unaccompanied. Schools should have the same practice. Every prospective
parent should be greeted when he walks in and should be accompanied around the
school. Current students, parents, and alumni are probably your best advocates and
can do the best job of helping prospective parents and students learn about your
school. Recruit a team of them to attend Open House. They can greet prospectives,
guide them around the school, and talk informally about their experiences. A little bit
of coaching and role playing is a great way to prepare these volunteers for the task.