Many agents have already given up. Sure they still spend thousands on online ads, but somewhere along the way, some (negative) agent convinced them that open houses “don’t work”.
In order to get you thinking outside the box about lead generation, we talked to 15 top producing agents and got them to give up their best real estate open house ideas for 2019:
1. Run a Facebook Live Stream at Your Open House
What better time to stream and record a video walkthrough of you listing than when it’s full of people? Remember, people want what other people want.
Here’s online marketing visionary Gary Vaynerchuk on the benefit of live streaming your open house:
“I can envision a hotshot real estate agent streaming live from an open house while talking to potential clients. Potential buyers will be able to view the house remotely and ask relevant questions that the realtor can respond to and show in real time. Think about all the house-showcasing programs that took television by storm in the late 90s and into the 2000s. It’s MTV cribs made even more compelling with live streaming.”
Once your video is recorded, you post and boost on your Facebook page for even more traffic.
2. Ditch the Paper & Use an Open House Sign in App
One of the most frustrating tasks after a successful open house is trying to read people’s sloppy handwriting on your sign in sheet. The difference between a J and a D could mean the difference between an awesome lead and no lead at all.
Luckily in 2019,there are applications that allow agents to have people sign in on a tablet, ask custom questions, and send all their contact data instantly to your CRM where you can sign them up for nurturing emails, or come back later and follow up by phone with the hot leads.
You can even gain social insights on verified contacts in real time to help facilitate in-person relationship building during an open house.
3. Use Slydial Broadcast to Circle Prospect
Slydial Broadcast is a very special app that lets you leave an automated voicemail on your lead’s cell phone without ringing their phone. Since each voicemail sounds like it was left by one of your agents, engagement rates are through the roof.
All you need is the software, a DNC scrubbed list of contacts, and a great open house to promote!
4. Virtually Stage The Home With Different Decor & Offer to Email it to Your Open House Visitors
Since most people will have a very hard time trying to visualize how a space will look with different furniture in it, why not offer your visitors staged images that show how that extra room will look as an office, a nursery, or a man cave?
As you flip through the staged photos on your iPad, offer to email (or better yet, text) them the pictures.
5. Skip The Alcohol
One of the most common questions we get from new agents is whether or not to serve alcohol at open houses. On the one hand, people love booze so you may get a better turnout.
That said, unless you’re running an open house strictly for high rollers, best practices say to avoid the libations. Here’s why:
First and foremost, “social host liability laws” in some states mean you could actually get sued if someone drinks too much and gets hurt leaving your open house. Second, like dead weight on your email list, a room full of people who just showed up for the free chardonnay will distract you from the good prospects.
6. Use Door Hangers to Invite the Neighbors
“At the end of the day, it’s all about the client and the house we’re trying to sell, so I like to focus on the whole experience of the listing itself. I love taking advantage of the area, whether it’s the location or even the sunset for open houses, as it sets the scene. I also invite neighbors to come by as they usually provide their feedback on living in the area, which in turn, helps sell the home.”
One of the best ways to get nosy neighbors to your open house is by using door hangers. A targeted door hanger campaign a few days before your open house is the perfect way to pique the neighbor’s curiosity and get them through the door. They’re also a great (and often overlooked) way to stay top of mind in your farm area.
7. Focus on 3 Features That Make Your Listing Stand Out From Your Comps
“I recommend that agents do their homework on the MLS and find at least three features that their listing has that other comps don’t. Does it have more square footage? Larger bedrooms? Higher ceilings? Being able to confidently rattle off 3 hot sales features that make your listing unique will show off your market knowledge and help sell the listing.”
8. Invite the Neighbors for a Sneak Peek With This Simple Script
Whether you’re just starting out in your farm area or have been working it for years, getting the neighbors to your open house is always a good idea.
Many will be moving soon, or even better, will have friends and relatives that want to move into the same neighborhood. When it comes to getting referrals a face to face meeting is worth 100 emails.
9. Promote Your Open House Video Walkthrough as an Instagram Story
Are you active on Instagram? Why not use Instagram stories to promote your open house and open house Facebook live stream?
“You can also use Instagram and Stories to promote a Facebook Live Stream for an open house. Fact: There are WAY more people on Facebook then there are on Instagram. So try using Instagram posts and Stories like this:
“Showing a crazy nice house right now (or from 1pm – 4pm, or whatever) on Facebook Live.
10. Hold Raffle or Contests
I usually a raffle is held in open houses and advertise it over Facebook and Instagram. the items are raffled include gift cards, Google Home, Alexia, and more. This really entices people to come to your open house.
you can also two open houses – one for just the neighbors, and the other for the public. Often times neighbors come to open houses and aren’t looking to buy, but they still enjoy talking with you and learning more about the house. This is great but can take a lot of time away from speaking to potential home buyers. Separate open houses ensure you’re taking care of both the neighbors and the public. It’s also great to converse with the neighbors as you get to know them and their thoughts on the area. There’s also usually wine, cheese, and sometimes a gelato cart, which can’t hurt!
11. Give Your Guests Chocolate, Floorplans, FAQ, and HOA Information
When potential buyers come to my open house, they can always expect chocolate. I put chocolate in all the rooms for that sweet, personal touch. I also make sure to have printed floorplans at the home so that when people are walking around, thy can start picturing their own furniture in the unit. In addition, I have FAQ sheets available which covers interesting facts about the building, HOA information, rental restrictions, what’s around the area (grocery stores, entertainment, coffee shops, etc.), and more. When you walk away from my open house, you’re walking away with a ton of crucial information that gets potential buyers one step closer to owning the home.
12. Provide Your Guests an Automatic Bootie Machine & Welcoming Signage
We bring in an automatic bootie machine to help older buyers coming in to our open houses. Sometimes it is difficult for them to take their shoes off or even bend down to put booties on, so we make it easier for them! All they have to do is step in and the machine puts the bootie on for them, and then the tour can officially begin!
We also put up a framed sign saying “Welcome to our open house. Look around, ask questions, see yourself living here, fall in love, make an offer.” It’s a cute, subtle push to help out!
13. Create a Unique Experience for Luxury Open Houses
“In order for our buyers to get the full feeling of the lifestyle of the property, they have to live in it! For a four-hour, open house, we recreate the essentials of a unique experience at the property.
We also offer fine champagne and hors-d’oeuvres to tour the property while we explain the uniqueness of it.
14. Give Yourself 3 Days to Properly Market Your Open House
“Having 3 days to properly work an open house via cold calling neighbors will generate leads, getting face to face with neighbors will show them you’re a working realtor and in hindsight will generate listing leads. The open house is not meant to sell the home, it is meant as a lead source method of what you can actually deliver to a seller.”
15. Schedule Your Open House Strategically
- Weekend Open Houses 9-11 am or 3-5 pm While everyone else does 1-3pm, i do mine early or late
- Weekdays – Thursdays 6-8 pm Works especially well during the summer hours has also netted great foot traffic
- Any day power hours/happy hours – 5-6, 7-8 pm any day
- Choosing hours more conducive the buyers lifestyle and schedule has worked. I especially LOVE after hours “happy hour” sessions where folks can come thru and kick back.”