While hosting an open house remains a tried-and-true way of connecting with qualified buyers and generating new client leads, results can vary.
“An open house is not just about the house, it is an opportunity to grow your sphere of influence and build a stronger farm area. If you have lots of open houses, be sure to ask around your office if any agents are looking to get more experience,” says Ruben Hernandez, President of EGA Homes.
Pump up the volume of your attendance and make your events even more effective with these eight tips.
#1 Get the Word Out
It takes more than yard signs. Make sure your dates and times are part of the MLS and use your social channels and email contacts to get the word out. Using an app like GoGo Partner can help automate the marketing process. While taking out ads in the local paper is recommended, consider pay-per-click advertising on Google, as well as ads on Facebook. You may also want to post a live stream of the house tour on your website.
“Door knock to let people know that you are hosting an open house and want to invite them to an “exclusive showing” a couple hours before you are showing to the public. This might spark conversation from neighbors who are interested in selling as well, or know someone looking to get into the area,” Ruben says.
#2 Offer an Incentive
Consider rewarding guests for giving up their time to attend. This could involve offering a discount on your services if they make an offer on the home within 24 hours, a random drawing to win a gift card to a neighborhood restaurant, or having several Loan Officers on site to answer questions about any local mortgage programs and to offer preapprovals.
#3 Put the Game On
Your open house may coincide with the big game. So, have it on throughout the house and provide visitors with the opportunity to linger and bond with the home. Offer tail-gating snacks and play up the team themes. It’s also a good idea to create an area where kids can enjoy supervised activities while their parents tour the property.
#4 Be Convenient and Be Visible
Consider expanding your hours from the traditional midafternoon time slot during the weekend by staying open longer or scheduling open house periods during weekdays or evenings. Make sure you are strategic about parking and signage to help attendees know where they need to park and find the property.
#5 Create Open House Ambassadors
Send invitations to neighbors. Perhaps offer a preview party with doughnuts and coffee and invite them to bring guests who may be looking in the area.
#6 Provide Transparency
Compile a kit that contains all the vital information that potential buyers might need to make a decision. Don’t just pull together your most current comps—list the dimensions and features of the home and have a dedicated computer set up with access to the sites that potential buyers will visit anyway to get information. By inviting them to do their comparisons on the spot, you can clarify and help guide them through their analysis.
#7 Stand Apart
Hand out DVDs or flash drives that contain a video tour and photo summary of the property. Invite the property’s architect to be on site to chat with visitors. Also consider compiling a guide to the open houses available in the area. It will help keep potential buyers in the neighborhood and enable them to make direct comparisons with the property.
#8 Collect Vitals and Feedback
Collect information you can use for following up, such as names, email and home addresses, phone numbers, and even what attracted the visitors to the home. It’s valuable information for marketing this home, but can also be used to build your prospects list for future listings. An app like GoGo Partner can automate this process.
Taking the time to make your open houses special can improve more than your days-on-the-market stats. It helps get the home—and your services— in front of prospective buyers and sellers in a positive and memorable way.