How to Make Your Open Houses Pay Off – BIG TIME

    By thinking outside the open house box 🏠

    Even though it’s not their first way of locating a house, eventually 45 percent of buyers, on average, visit open houses. Interestingly, repeat buyers are more likely to show up than first-timers. And, every one of those visitors represents the possibility for two transactions, a listing, and a sale (don’t you just love that thought)?

    Read on for some ideas on how to make your open houses pay off BIG TIME.

    Time is on your side 

    One of the aspects of the modern open house that differs from the old-school type is agents aren’t feeling locked into a particular day or time.

    While the after-work open house may not fly in a commuter-centric region, in other areas agents are having amazing results with it. Downtown condos and lofts being held open during the lunch hour are also becoming more common.

    Any home with a view will sell itself if it’s held open at the appropriate time of day. Why hold a downtown penthouse open on a Sunday afternoon when the city lights are best viewed in the evening?

    It’s easy to mention in your listing that the patio of the lakefront property faces west. Holding it open at sunset, however, drives home the fact far better.

    Have Open House brochures available for valuable take ways (available in the brochure section)
    Market the heck out of it

    Gone are the days that agents bought a display ad in the paper to advertise an open house. Today it’s all about leveraging the power of social media and advertising online at Craigslist, Backpage.com, Zillow, Yahoo, Twitter, etc.

    Why not run a Facebook Live stream and create a video recording walking through the house during the event. There’s no better time than when the home is buzzing with people (talk about creating a feeling of demand). After the event, turn your live stream into a story on Instagram.

    Don’t scrimp on the photos and the adjectives when you write the descriptions. You want people to feel that if they miss this open house they’ll regret it forever. And don’t forget to invite the neighbors. It’s a perfect opportunity to get face-to-face with more homeowners in the neighborhood.

    Digital sign in

    Many agents tell us that one of the most awkward parts of open houses is getting visitors to sign the guestbook. An old trick is to keep it by the door and tell visitors that the owner has requested that, for security purposes, they sign in before touring the home.

    A quick and easy way to sign people up is to use the Open Home Pro iPad or Android app or the less-pricey AM Open House. Agents who use it say open house visitors more readily sign in on an iPad than the old-school pen-and-paper.

    Order a stack for last minute Open House invites (available in the Door Hanger section)
    Open house extras

    From a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies to a full-on burger bar featuring a platter of sliders, food is becoming a mainstay for the real estate open house.

    Whether you serve food depends on regional customs. A lot of agents shy away from the practice. However, if you want to offer your guests something, how about bottles of water with custom labels with your brand or a CD of your virtual tour of the home or neighborhood?

    If you’re the agent that has lots of promotional items, such as pens, calendars, and pads of paper with your contact info engraved on them. Or make goody bags up — like the ones you got at birthday parties when you were a kid — and fill them with promotional items.

    Mike Blaney of Limelight Marketing in Vancouver Canada suggests that you should create a package of property information for your open house guests including:

    • Photographs (or a tour CD)
    • A list of all personal property included in the sale
    • Descriptions and photos of the home’s unique features
    • List of repairs and improvements, with dates
    • A list of average monthly utility costs
    • The copy of the property survey
    • Neighborhood information (including proximity to schools, if it’s a family-type home)
    The bottom line

    If you crossed open houses off as not worth your time, with two potential transactions riding on it and some new ideas to test, it’s time to reconsider.

    Getting ready for an open house? Send 100 Open House Postcards to the surrounding neighborhood ten days prior to your open house!
    Send out postcards to advertise your Open House for a BIG turn out (available in the postcards section under Open House postcards)

    Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

    PLUS: When you have time…here are Free killer tools to help your success this year!

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    Lisa Gray
    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.