To open house, or not to open house…...that is the question.
In the digital age, hosting an open house can sometimes seem futile. Why waste energy and resources when more folks are doing their house-hunting online? Some say open houses are still a great way to prospect business, others say it’s outdated. Where you fall on the spectrum probably depends on your turnout thus far.
What if you could find a way to make an open house valuable and exciting for you as the agent? Chances are, that could manifest into better business.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with some creative open house ideas; both for marketing your open house and ways to engage people on the day of the event!
The Online Hustle
Prospecting starts online and only having your listing on the MLS and Zillow won’t cut it any longer. You have to cast a wide net and with so many ways to do that, it can be overwhelming. So where do you start?
Post it everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn….everywhere!
The more you put a listing out there, the better the chances someone will see it. How do you do that in a creative way? Create fun copy about the open house. Add your personality and flare to why and where you are hosting an open house.
Example: Hey there future home buyer! I know you are ready to spend your time online watching hilarious cat videos instead of searching for a home. I don’t blame you. So, here’s the deal...come to my open house this week at _____________ and let’s get you on your way to living in your new home, where you can watch those cat videos in the home theater this house has. The open house is this Sunday from 9am-3pm. There will be snacks and giveaways.
Have a sexy website for people to visit
It’s one thing to have a personal website with your listings. It’s next level to have a single property website. Property websites* are a hot way to market your listing and have been shown to provide real value for an agent. Your house has its own little slice of the internet and it makes it incredibly easy for people to focus on all of the features of a listing. According to an Inman article, “Single property websites provide better exposure for the listing agent, too. Unlike a syndicated listing, you have the power to advertise yourself on the sidebars or header as much as you choose. You can even provide links to similar properties in your portfolio.”. If you go the property website route (which you should!) you want to direct your viewers to a site that is visually appealing. They need to feel like they are being taken on a journey and are able to visualize themselves living there. Good design and copy should be able to capture that and create interest in the viewer visiting the open house.
*If you didn’t already know, InHouse makes property websites! Our layouts and designs are high-touch and stunning. We do the technical work for you and send you a new property website to you within 24 hours. Simple, fast, effective.
The Inside Hustle
So you’ve garnered some interest in your open house via your online efforts. Now what? Host an open house people won’t forget! You’ve probably already baked cookies, given away treats and played the Top 40’s at your open house. What else is there for you to do?
Engage prospects by appealing to their senses
Work with local artists to turn blank spaces into art galleries. This is a win-win for you and the artist. Creating exposure for local artists is a great way to show that you care about the community and for visitors to see what the local art scene is like. You are also giving guests something active to do by experiencing the artwork in the space. It will help them visualize what they could do in the space with their own decor and art and will brighten a space up. Especially if a room is empty and needs some love, this is a great way to do that without distracting from the room's potential.
Send your guests on a treasure hunt
Give your guests the gift of fun. Create a treasure or scavenger hunt throughout the house. It can be based on the architecture and features of the house or something entirely unrelated. If the house is mid-century modern and has unique features, play off that. Have visitors look for the vintage tile in the bathroom, etc. If they find all of the items, they get a prize. By getting them to interact with the house in this way, you are creating space for them to fall in love with the personality of the house.
Host a trends party or pop-up shop at your open house
If you are connected to vendors in the area, invite them to set up a shop in your open house. Or if you know someone who wants to host a symposium on upcoming housing trends, have them host the event at your open house. Again, this creates an opportunity for you and the vendor. It also puts people in the buying mode if you host a pop-up shop. Who knows, you may get someone who wasn’t even planning on buying a house, suddenly become interested!
Throw a themed party
Making your open house feel more like a party has been a way to get people excited for a while now. It’s still a tried and true way to amp up the environment and when people are in a good mood, they tend to remember a space or home more clearly. If you are going to go the party route, try mixing it up and hosting a theme party. Play with upcoming holiday for ideas or even things like the super bowl. You can get super creative! Need inspiration? Check out Pinterest
Connect with other Agents on what works for them
Your colleagues are your greatest resource! You may find that they do something that always drives them business or helps them close a deal quickly. Chances are you have something to offer them too. Reach out to those you admire and ask for their input.
We chatted with Realtor®, Carol Nigut to hear some of her creative ideas. One thing we love about Carol is how much she values her community and the way she connects with them. Here’s what Carol had to say about her open house success:
“A few days ahead of the open house, I go door to door and invite the neighbors to come by. They are always curious and frequently feel embarrassed to come to them because they aren’t “customers". I welcome them to come with an invite so they know I'd love to have them there. If they aren’t home, I hang an invite on their door or gate. It always amazes me how many people end up coming and how much they appreciate being welcomed by a Realtor® rather than being seen as a “nosy neighbor”. Neighbors may well know someone who might be interested in seeing the house or they may want to get a home valuation of their own, so I value their attendance. I also always ask if they have any feedback for the seller. People who take the time to attend an open house are a valuable source of input for pricing, staging, and other factors. One really good trick I learned for nicer homes is to have a sign that says, “The Homeowners Have Requested That You Sign In Prior To Touring the Home” at the front door, by the sign-in sheet. In addition to allowing me to capture leads, it sends a message to potential buyers that the sellers value their home. And finally, as much as possible, I send follow-up emails to thank people for stopping by.”.
Whether you try out all of these or just a few, we’d love to hear what has worked best for your past open houses. Share your best ideas and visit InHouse InHouse today to get your property story up and running!