If you’re a real estate agent, you know that open houses are an integral part of selling your listings.
An open house provides potential buyers with the opportunity to get up close and personal with their next home – and can be an essential element in closing the deal.
But while they may seem like a simple event, there is plenty of room for innovation when it comes to hosting an effective open house.
In this blog post, we’ll highlight 12 creative ideas to make your next open house stand out so you can sell more quickly!
1. Go Live On Social Media
In today’s world, so much real estate marketing happens online.
And while in-person open houses are a great way to create buzz around one of your listings and build brand awareness for your services, it’s been estimated that only 3% of homebuyers attend open houses…
So you’d be missing out on a lot of potential buyers if you didn’t take advantage of the power of social media.
Go live on your favorite platform or record a video tour – potential buyers may not be able to attend, but they can still experience the home and get a sense of what it looks like in person.
We recommend going live 15 minutes before the open house. This way you’re not distracted by being on video when people are coming and going — and it doubles as an opportunity to market the open house and maybe get some more people to attend!
Here’s an example of what this might look like…
2. Host On Sunday
Open houses traditionally happen on Sunday afternoons, and for good reason.
Most people are off work on the weekends and have a bit more time to browse homes – so this is the perfect time to really maximize your exposure. But most people use Saturday for decompressing from the work-week and are often more willing to get out of the house on Sunday.
Plus, if you host an open house in the morning or evening hours, there’s a better chance that the home will be bathed in natural light – making for an even more inviting atmosphere.
3. Get Email Addresses
What’s the point of an open house?
The easy answer to that question is to market and sell your listings.
But you know that’s not all there is to it.
You’re a real estate agent. Your success lives and breathes based on how many people know you, like you, and will contact you when they’re ready to buy or sell a home.
Therefore, an open house is about far more than just selling the property you’re marketing.
It’s about marketing yourself.
This is why it’s absolutely critical to get the email addresses for everyone who attends the open house. We recommend just putting out a sign-in sheet near the entrance and asking people to leave their name and email address.
With that list, you can follow up with them after the open house to thank them for attending and provide any additional info they might need. Just as importantly, you can add them to your general email list and stay in contact with them over the long-haul.
4. Be Sociable
Again, the open house experience isn’t just about marketing the property, it’s about marketing yourself.
You never know where your next buyer or listing is going to come from… so it’s important to be a social butterfly during the open house.
Greet people as they come in, have a few conversations about what they’re looking for, and don’t be too pushy.
People will ask you questions if they have them.
It’s far more important to make connections with people than it is to sell this home right now.
5. Follow Up
The chance that someone is going to pull out their wallet and say “How much?” at the open house is zero.
You can think of the open house as the top of the funnel.
You still need to take all of those email addresses and follow-up with the people who attended. You might mention the neighborhood, the listing you have coming on the market soon, or expand on features of the home they were interested in.
The power of a follow-up email (especially if it’s personalized) can go a long way towards turning those open house attendees into clients.
Here’s a simple template you can use…
And we definitely recommend adding everyone to your normal email list so you can stay in contact with them even if they don’t end up buying this house.
6. Put Out Signs
If people don’t know about your open house, it doesn’t matter how awesome it is.
And while most awareness-based marketing happens online in today’s world, let’s not forget about all of the people driving around Sunday morning looking for yard sales.
Those same people might be intersted in attending your open house.
So, don’t forget to put out signs advertising the event in strategic locations near the property – it’s a good way to attract more people who might not have seen what you posted online.
And it’s so easy.
Just make some signs and post them near traffic intersections or other prominent locations.
Plus, the more people who attend your open house, the better chance you have of making a great impression and getting some leads out of it!
If you’re going to do an open house… you might as well make it worth it!
7. Team Up With Other Agents
If you’re going to have an open house, it might sound counterintuitive to partner with other agents.
But here’s the thing – more people promoting an open house always get more eyeballs and thus more visits.
They promote your open house. Maybe you’ll promote theirs in the future.
Or better yet, you could offer them a referral fee for any clients they send your way through promoting the open house.
(You could track this in the sign-in book by asking how they heard about the open house)
Either way, there’s no downside to teaming up with another agent – it just increases the chances someone will walk through the door and leave with an impression of you they won’t forget!
8. Have a Moving Sale
You’re here to sell a property… not stuff.
If the owner of the property needs to get rid of a lot of stuff before selling, and if you were thinking of hosting an open house… then why not knock out two birds with one stone?
The benefit for you is that you get to meet more people and build brand awareness for yourself as a real estate agent.
And the benefit for the seller is that they get to market their home while they also get rid of some stuff they don’t need. You worry about talking to people about the home, and they worry about selling their old stuff.
It’s a win-win!
So, consider hosting a moving sale if the situation arises. It will help to get more people in the door and can be quite beneficial for both parties involved.
9. Get Professional Pictures For The Listing
I know that your smartphone has a super cool camera and stuff.
But are you a professional photographer capable of taking stunning photos?
If you’re not, then you need to hire someone who is.
Tons of research indicates that the quality of photos on a real estate listing have a huge impact not just on buyer interest, but even on the sales price.
- Homes with aerial photos sell 68% faster.
- Homes listings with videos get 403% more inquiries than those without them.
And listings with pro-quality listing images close between $934 and $116,076 higher than comparable listings with low-quality photography.
So, don’t skimp on the listing photos. Hire a professional photographer and get some great shots that show off the home’s best features!
10. Go Door Knocking
When you read that tip, you probably thought we’re going to recommend that you go door knocking in the neighborhood to try and get people to attend the open house.
But you are only half right.
Yes, we think you should go door knocking in the neighborhood, say, a week before the open house… but not to invite people to the open house, only as a courtesy to let people know they’ll be an open house nearby.
Because the courtesy of doing that is a great opportunity to build rapport and brand awareness in your target market.
It’s a no-brainer.
The angle of how your present this is very important.
Hi, my name is a Mike and I’m a real estate agent in the area. I just wanted to let you know that we’ll be having an open house just down the road at 1234 Example Ave. next Sunday. I’m going to try and make sure that the cars park as close to the property as possible, but I just wanted to let you know in case you saw all of these cars and were like, “Woah, what’s going on?” Alright? Have a nice day!
See how this is super non-salesy?
It’s just a courtesy visit… and you’ll build a ton of rapport with this simple act of kindness.
Or if you hate door knocking, then just put these hand-written door hangers on the neighbors houses to the same effect!
11. Use Post-It Notes To Create a Self-Guided Tour
Post-it notes are very versatile, and they’re great for a lot of things.
So how can you use them for open houses, you might wonder?
You can use them to create a self-guided tour of the property!
Here’s how it works:
- Place post-it notes around the property highlighting some of its best features. For example: “The master bathroom has been recently renovated!” or “The backyard is perfect for entertaining friends”.
- On each post-it note, write something about why that feature is great.
- Place the post-it notes in clear view and make sure they are easy to find.
With this approach, buyers can explore the property on their own terms (no one likes a real estate agent following them everywhere) and get a better sense of all the great features it has to offer!
And who knows? Maybe they’ll be more likely to make an offer after seeing how awesome your listing is!
12. Think About Curb Appeal
The first sense of a home for potential buyers is the initial curb appeal.
In fact, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t driven to an open house only to turn around after seeing the house from the road.
For better or worse, this is the first thing that people are going to notice when they pull up to an open house, and it can make a huge difference in their impression of the property.
So think about what you can do to spruce up the outside appearance.
This could mean mowing the lawn, trimming some bushes, planting flowers or even just giving the exterior of the house a fresh coat of paint.
These small changes will go a long way in making your open house more attractive and inviting.
13. Hold a Raffle
People love contests, and they love the chance to win something.
So why not add a bit of fun to your open house by holding a raffle or contest?
You can get creative with it — you could even hold a “Guess the Sale Price” contest for example.
Whatever you decide, make sure it’s easy to enter, so that more people feel inclined to participate.
You might be worried that doing so will attract people who aren’t actually interested in buying the property, just tire-kickers who want to take part in the contest or raffle.
But does that matter?
Remember: a big benefit of hosting an open house in the first place is that you get to meet people in the community and build brand awareness.
So even if you don’t get any serious buyers from the open house, it’s still an opportunity to meet people and show them that your company is a great choice when it comes to real estate services.
So the more people, the merrier.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when hosting an open house.
But the most important thing is that you simply take action and give it your best effort.
At the end of the day, if you put in some time and energy into making sure the open house goes as smoothly as possible, then you can rest assured that it will be successful.
Use the above ideas to make sure your next open house is a success! Good luck!