A Different Kind of Open House….

Smart Realtors Unlock Value with Open House

(Washington, DC) Who doesn’t like good food? I know I do. I have been working with Realtors for years to help them grow their businesses, and attract quality buyers to their open houses. One of my strategies is to bring some food that I actually make, and I use one of my favorite recipes. I have brought the food already cooked, and I have also actually cooked the food at the Realtor’s Open House although I prefer cooking the food at the open house because it fills the home full of a rich aroma that only cooking from scratch can yield. This is a take-away from the age old technique of baking cookies during an open house (which also still works by the way).

Use Food To Showcase Home’s Entertainment Value


Using Food to Sell Entertainment Value of House

My favorite dish is to bake quiche, and serve it to the guests that arrive during the open house. The custard can be prepared ahead of time, and a one gallon batch with make enough quiches to keep the house smelling yummy for hours since each quiche takes about one hour to bake. I know it’s odd that a mortgage guy would be at a Realtor’s open house actually baking for the their guests, but that’s one of my strategies, and yes, it works. Let’s look at what I put into it, and why the quiche tastes soooo good, and serves as an authentic searing memorable moment in the hearts, minds and tummies of potential homebuyers. You can also serve wine (if you’ve scheduled an evening event), or champagne and orange juice for a daytime brunch open house event. Either way, the goal is for your guests to have a good time during your open house event.

Creating A Memorable Open House Selling Event Using Foodie Favorites

A Happy Couple during a LOANSMART® open house event

Happy couple during an Open House Event

Like every good recipe, you start with good ingredients. I use fresh spinach, fresh garlic, fresh shallots, gruyere cheese, etc. The key for me is everything fresh. You can cut corners and buy frozen spinach, dried minced garlic, etc, but it won’t taste the same, and it won’t smell the same, but the end result will still be a decent tasting (and smelling) quiche.

I start the night before by doing my prep work, and making enough custard, and other materials to make one quiche for every hour of the Realtor’s open house, minus one. If the Realtor’s open house last 5 hours, then I make one quiche every hour and stop baking them one hour before the open house ends. A 5 hour open house usually gets 4 quiches. There is usually none left at the end, and often people are asking for more. Conveniently, we tell them to sign up for the next open house, where there will be more served.

David Hoffman of LOANSMART® Shares His Turkey Bacon Spinach & Cheese Quiche

Turkey Bacon Spinach & Cheese Quiche by David Hoffman

Turkey Bacon Spinach & Cheese Quiche

There is something special about walking into a house you are considering making an offer on, and finding that something smells really good cooking in the kitchen. The idea of friendly faces, gathered together in the kitchen, dining room, or maybe an outdoor deck really showcase how the home can serve as a focal point for entertaining. The new buyers can appreciate a homes high entertainment value more when they have experienced first hand such a memorable event.

Remember batching everything the night before makes this event come off effortlessly but really creates a bonding event between you (the mortgage professional or Realtor) and the prospective buyers. In this example I made Turkey Bacon Spinach & Cheese Quiche.

Here are the ingredients you need for each Quiche:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Cooked Turkey Bacon Chopped
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • A Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Cup of Grated Gruyere Cheese
  • 2 Cups of Fresh Cooked Spinach
  • 2 Cup of Shallots Minced
  • One 9 inch Pie Crust
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter

Here’s how it comes together.  Remember, I told you to mix up the custard the night before and refrigerate it.  Depending on how many people you’re expecting, a recycled and thoroughly cleaned plastic one gallon milk jug is perfect.

STEP 1 – Mix the cream, eggs, Nutmeg, Salt, Cayenne Pepper together in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture in a suitable container to be refrigerated until needed.

STEP 2 – Using one tablespoon of butter, gently saute the butter and minced shallots on low heat in a pan until soft but not brown! Remove from heat and set aside.  This becomes the base of your quiche.  It is spread onto the bottom of the quiche evenly just before you add the other ingredients.  After the shallots cook, use the same pan to add another tablespoon of butter and gently cook your spinach.  This will become a filler for your quiche along with the bacon, cheese, and custard egg mixture.

STEP 3 – Take your pre-made pie crust and let thaw for about ten minutes.  Note:  up until this time, it should have remained frozen.  If the pie crust happen to break into pieces, don’t panic.  Just let it soften enough until you can kneed it all back together, and then spread it out flat enough to place back into either the aluminum pan it came with, or a glass pie crust pan.  Of note, using the aluminum pan it can with makes it easier to serve, dispose of, or wrap and take leftovers home.  I usually give the leftovers to any potential buyer who asks, or the sellers, if they ask.

STEP 4 – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Use a fork and prick the bottom and sides of the crust.  The holes allow the crust to bake evenly and not bubble. Then, place the pie crust inside the oven for 5 – 10 minutes. You want the crust to get hard, but not burnt brown.  It should be still the same color but slightly tanned, and hard.

STEP 5 – After the crust gets hardened, remove from the oven and spread the shallots with any juices over the bottom of the crust evenly. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough.  Shallots are very strong, and they are full of flavor as well as aromatic.  Just a little will do the job.

STEP 6 – Pour a little of the custard mix over the bottom of the pie pan and the shallow mixture, but just a little. Then, sprinkle, or grate a spare layer of the gruyere cheese over the mixture you just poured. It sort of acts as a bed, for the remaining items.  Next, sprinkle a spare layer of the chopped, lightly cooked turkey bacon, and then a sparse layer of spinach on top of the pan.  Repeat this process until you are near the top of the pan.  I usually leave about a 1/2 inch border at the top because the quiche will rise when baked.  When you remove it from the oven, it settles back down when it cools.

STEP 7 – Place the completed pan into the oven for 50 – 55 minutes.  Do not let the quiche crust get too dark.  If you do, no one will heat it.  Stay strictly on the time limit, and you can remove it before the 55 minutes is up if you see the crust getting turning dark.

STEP 8 – Next, I let the quiche cool for about 5 – 10 minutes after it is removed from the oven.   I place a fork in the center to ensure that it is fully cooked.  If it isn’t I place the pan into a microwave oven – ONLY IF IT IS BAKED IN A GLASS BOTTOM PIE PAN.  If it is cooked in an aluminum pan, I slice the quiche into individual servings and then microwave each slice for 1-2 minutes and serve.

Also,  I usually make a sauce to garnish the quiche, and a side of fruit goes really well as seen in my photo.  Two or three sauces can heat up well and give your open house treat a nice twist for those visiting prospects with a discerning palate.

Realtor Open House Tip for Selling –  Appeal to Foodies

David Hoffman's Turkey Bacon Spinach and Cheese Quiche

A Different Kind of Open House Treat

I know that my Quiche is unusual and drifts from what other Realtors do with the ‘Fresh Cookie’ technique. But hey, I like Quiche.  And, given the results we’ve experienced since I started doing this for my LOANSMART® Realtor partners, it’s a great tool to create a memorable Open House moment for the home seller, and prospective buyers.

Any creative opportunity to showcase the Realtor’s offering in the marketplace, helps in my humble opinion. Bon Appetite!


by David Hoffman


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