8 MIN READ
In the real estate industry, one thing may never change: open houses are one of the most effective tools for generating interest in a property. Technology and marketing trends shift across the industry, this is a universal truth for real estate professionals. So the trick is, how do you make your open houses attract potential buyers, and stand out in the marketplace?
Here are a few ways to ensure your open house is well attended, and makes an impact on the right buyers.
Be in the right places for online searchers
A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors notes that 51% of home-buyers found their eventual home using online sources. So make sure you list
your open houses on sites that will be frequented by an online market. Here’s a helpful tip: integrating your real-estate CRM with sites such as Zillow, Homes.com, and the Five Street can really make a difference. Make sure your listing includes information on all upcoming open house times to get maximum exposure online.
Use social media to get more reach
Social media can be used to reach more than just your friends and family members. Your network can help you spread the message by sharing your open house posts – so make sure all of the information is present, such as time, date, address and any special promotions. You can also put a little bit of money behind your posts, and turn them into highly effective ads. Make sure you’re targeting by region so that you aren’t wasting money promoting an open house a million miles away. It’s also a good idea to link your ad to a full listing or your website so that viewers can access more information and contact details. Automated social media posts also help boost your presence in the social media world. Schedule them anytime and find the most relevant real estate content to post on your social media.
Make information readily available for download
Sure, you’ll likely have handouts or info packages once people arrive at the open house, but what about before? Set up a landing page, or a place on your website or listing where interested parties can browse and download the information before they arrive. Having information available could help you close the gap of people who are “browsing” and people who will plan to attend the open house. What should be in this package? Try to include information about the home and property (i.e., number of rooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc.), neighborhood statistics (i.e., the walkability score, school district, nearby amenities, etc.), a floorplan, tips on getting a mortgage, and contact details.
Go from paper to digital
Many realtors have said goodbye to paper sign in sheets at their open house, and are using sing in apps instead. The value of an email address is critical these days, and you’ll get much better (and faster) information from people digitally. Download a sign in or lead capture app on your phone, laptop or tablet and place it in the doorway as people arrive. You should make sure these leads go directly into your real estate CRM for safekeeping, and opportunities to nurture the leads closer to a sale. You could also provide a download of the brochure in the same sign-in to avoid using paper at all. In fact, some people don’t like giving out their information, so sometimes to get the most participation, offering a free download of the floorplan or brochure works best.
Plan your time strategically
Know your audience. If your target buyer is a young professional, think about the times of the week, and day that would be most conducive to their schedule. Consider having two different times on the weekends – one slot in the afternoon, and one in the evening. Hosting a “happy hour” special event is one thing you could do to attract the right buyers. If you’re going to plan open houses on a weekday, make sure it’s after working hours, or even after normal dinner hours to allow for travel time, and/or family time. Do your research. If there are other properties in the area that are running open houses between 1-3, consider running yours on the off hours between 3-5. That will give you the best opportunity for foot traffic.
Go local with staging and snacks
What better way to introduce potential buyers to the neighbourhood, than by showcasing local businesses in your open house! Instead of baking cookies, talk to a local bakery about catering the event. Bringing in fresh flowers? Get them from a local florist. Do the same with your staging or redecorating – show off a thriving community by giving your open house a uniquely local touch.
Bonus: DO NOT miss your opportunity to follow up
Don’t let your hard work go to waste! You have a small window of opportunity to make sure you follow up with leads and solidify interest in your property. You can always make notes and schedule follow ups accordingly with a real estate CRM. This will allow you to follow up with your hot prospects in a timely manner. Every participant at your event should also receive an email follow up from you, with direct access to your contact info. Be sure to use their sign in information to trigger a specific email campaign following the open house. Again, a real estate CRM will make nurturing leads and email campaigns very simple to start and maintain.
Go one step further and invite the neighbours to act as local experts. They can help you answer questions about the neighbourhood and community, while adding the extra personal touch of introducing themselves. This kind of local and personal touch will allow homebuyers to “see” themselves in their new space, and new area, town or city.
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