No real estate agent wants to waste their day at an unproductive open house. Catch leads, please sellers, and become a hyperlocal leader with these 31 tips!
For listing agents, a weekend afternoon spent in a vacant home chatting up walk-ins is almost tradition. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and forget that for prospective clients, this may be their first open house or at the very least, their first time seeing the property.
Even after years in the real estate game, it’s important to consistently be on the hunt for innovative ways to make you and your listing POP.
Here are 31 fresh open house tips that will keep your listing in a prospective client’s mind and get the deal done that much faster.
1. Invite the Neighbors
Being on the neighbors’ good side is rarely a bad thing. Use door hangers or small gift boxes as invitations to entice neighbors in the area. Your invitation should include the details of the listing and invite them to a neighbors-only private viewing of the property before the open house. Encourage them to invite any friends or family that may be interested in the area. This way, you hit two very significant birds with one stone: befriending the neighbors and scoring leads/referrals.
Take the time to introduce yourself, share your contact information, and really talk to the neighbors to show your expertise and interest in the area. When it’s time to sell their home, they’ll remember their positive experience with you.
2. Offer to Host Other Agent’s Open Houses
Sometimes realtors just want a day off. Partnering with agents you know who can stand-in when either of you is unavailable is a great way to give yourself a break. Additionally, when you’re interested in breaking into a new neighborhood or zip code, hosting an open house in that area is a great way to boost your brand.
3. Set a Goal and Keep It in Mind
Don’t just let the day pass you by with semi-interested guests strolling in and out of the property. Set a goal before the day starts to keep yourself in check. For example, set the goal to score one solid lead at the open house and arrange a time to meet with them again (before they leave the property).
4. Nail Online Check-in
Check-in is a dreaded but necessary part of hosting an open house. No client enjoys filling out forms with boring personal details and the fear of being harassed with emails after they’ve left the open house. Reassure clients that the check-in form is for safety reasons and the ability to share valuable information with them about the market and hyper-local area, not just to promote your properties.
You’ll also want to keep your sign-in sheet direct and simple. Open house attendees are excited to see the property and will get annoyed if they need to spend a ton of time filling in the sign-in sheet or even worse – waiting behind other visitors to check-in.
Online check-ins allow you to easily integrate a contact’s information into your CRM so that you can have every lead saved and organized in one place, regardless of where they were sourced from.Whether you’ve gathered leads from your website, open house, social media or another source, keep them all organized in one CRM. Our CRM integration connects your web leads to your CRM automatically. Learn more about our integrations.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Scent
Open houses are physical, interactive experiences. It’s easy to assume that visuals are most important, but you’d be amiss to forget about the power of an incredible smell. Smells have the ability to automatically take us back to a place or feeling in our lives and evoke that emotion in us. A beautiful, warm smell in your property listing will create a connection between the welcoming aroma and the attractiveness of your property.
Consider what open house visitors want to feel when they enter your property. Fresh baked cookies may work wonders for a family home, while a fresh, perfumed scent could work better in a modern bachelor pad.
6. Turn on Some Music
Just like smells, music also creates positive associations and connections to experiences we’ve had. Play music that evokes the feeling of home – but not just any home. You’ll want to choose the type of music that suits the atmosphere of the home and isn’t abrasive or distracting for potential buyers. For example, classical music can suit a classic-style luxury apartment, while a brownstone with retro furnishings would show well with a “chill” playlist in the background.
If you have a music streaming app such as Spotify, you can choose one of their pre-made playlists (just make sure you get the clean version).
7. Market Your Open House With Video
There are loads of ways to market your open house online through your social media channels and website. Check out our list of over one hundred of specific marketing tips. However, video has proven to be the most powerful tool to market open houses time and time again on platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, and Facebook. Live video streams allow agents to connect with viewers that couldn’t make it to the open house in real-time. There’s even an option to permanently post them when you’re finished. This article, 25 Attention-Grabbing Real Estate Video Ideas, gives detailed tips on what to include in your video tour and how to get in front of the right audience.
8. Have Go-to Conversation Starters and Key Points Prepped
Open houses can be awkward. You’re sitting alone in a home that is not yours, waiting for an unknown face to walk in where you are then expected to entice them into making the biggest purchase of their life. Yeah, it can get uncomfortable.
Keep some general ice breakers in mind that are made to welcome and get to know the prospective client.
For example, when a guest enters the property, imagining that you’ve known them for years and trying to recreate that positive emotion can help to relax some of your nerves. A simple and calm, ” Hey, how are you? Thank you for coming..” can easily get the conversation rolling.
You’ll also want to have some key highlights and important points about the property memorized so that you can answer client questions quickly and naturally without “uhhs” and “umms”.
After experiencing genuine and intent conversation, these potential clients are much more likely to stay in contact with you and a lot less likely to unsubscribe from your emails when they pop up.
9. Try Different Timing
Every brokerage knows that weekend afternoons are open house time, but switching up the times could lead to a more successful open house.
Try weekday evenings as people are passing by on their way home from work. You should also pay close attention to the schedule of events in your hyperlocal area to increase foot traffic. If there’s an outdoor market or fair within walking distance, you’ll want to hold your open house around that time to attract curious visitors.
You should also think about what times highlight the best features of the property. A property with a great view may benefit from sunset showings, while a home with an incredible pool would shine in the mid-day sun.
10. Tell a Story About the Property or Neighborhood
Open houses often miss the mark in the culture department by focusing too much on the physical property. A client purchasing a home isn’t only buying the brick and mortar, they are joining a community and becoming part of that local history.
As a listing agent, you have the unique opportunity of becoming knowledgeable about a hyperlocal area without ever having lived there.
All properties have identifying traits that can be weaved into a story. Maybe something funny happened during renovations or the time that the property was built was particularly contentious and interesting. Include old pictures of the neighbourhood, local publications, and other emblems that show the history and culture of the property and area.
11. Stage With the Home, Not Against It
Similar to music and smell, the staging of a home needs to work with its aesthetic and the clients you are appealing to. It’s not uncommon to see a luxury home styled with luxury details such as a rented Lamborghini in the driveway or high-end retail shopping bags in the closet – this technique works.
Forcing a glam interior design style in a country home for example, will visually clash and make it difficult for open house attendees to picture themselves living there.
When worst comes to worst, leave it to the professionals and work with your seller client to hire professional staging.
12. Take Interior Design Seriously
In case you don’t have the help of professional stagers to spruce up the place, here are a few pieces of advice.
- Create focal points in each room like a large plant and social gathering spots.
- Use accent features such as lamps, candles, and plants to draw attention to the property’s best features.
- Focus on the function of each room and design from there. For example, set up a tray with a few nice coffee cups in the kitchen or add a complete accessory set in the bathroom to add cohesiveness.
- Make sure every surface is thoroughly cleaned.
These basic tips will establish a natural flow throughout the house, so that it appears comfortable at the very least.
13. Use QR Codes
At an open house, you are not only selling the property, but yourself as an agent.
Use an inexpensive QR code generator and connect it to your property listing, website, social pages or whatever promotional content you’d like. Then, place the QR code at the front door or in another high-traffic area to make it easy for guests to scan.
14. Consider Partnering with a Local Cafe
It’s difficult not to notice the enticing smell of coffee when it’s in your vicinity. Coffee draws people in and slows them down. Appetizers or warm drinks encourage open house attendees to spend more time exploring the property while enjoying their refreshments.
By partnering with a local coffee shop, you may score some free coffee for your showing and get totally free local advertising for the cafe. It will appear that you’ve spared no expense and really gone the mile for your visitors, when in reality you’ve managed to get yourself a great free deal!
15. Consider Partnering with Local Artists or Galleries
Don’t stop at just coffee, integrating local artists is yet another way to score free and mutually beneficial marketing. In exchange for using their art, include small plaques under each piece that identify the tile, the artist’s name, main social profile, and the price. This art will add character to a property with enhanced decor and design, plus your open house will stand out in the minds of homebuyers as a cultural experience.
16. Avoid Over Promotion
It doesn’t matter how eager your clients are to sell their home or how long it’s been on the market, nobody likes a pushy realtor. Keep in mind that potential buyers need to imagine themselves feeling comfortable in the space. So maintain a relaxed, friendly vibe and offer helpful tips when relevant. The last thing you want is to be so “helpful”, that guests feel pressured enough to want to leave.
17. Provide an Automatic Shoe Dispenser and Enough Garbage Bins
Many home owners (and agents) feel more comfortable requiring shoe covers to keep the floors of the property clean all-showing-long. They’re super easy to use: step on the device and a plastic bootie will automatically cover the soles of shoes.
Discourage people from leaving trash around (especially if you offer appetizers or goodies) by placing garbages in all high-traffic areas.
18. Let the Sunshine In
Natural light can completely change the look and feel of a home. As your planning your open house, go around the property and take inventory of the rooms with the best natural lighting and spaces that need more light.
In case it’s a cloudy day on the day of your showing, you’ll want to be prepared with fake candles or additional warm light resources that make the home feel bright and cozy. You’ll also want to speak to the sellers or stagers about moving or removing objects that block sources of natural light.
19. Speak to the Property Owners About Curb Appeal
Enhancing curb appeal does not mean that a huge landscaping project is necessary. If your property has a green area, sprucing it up can be enough to make a massive difference. The front lawn is after all, the first thing visitors will lay their eyes on before the actual house.
Taking the time to plant flowers, trim weeds, clean up, and furnish the front porch can have a significant return on investment (ROI). Even simple changes such as freshening up the paint on the front door and adding a few bright planters can make a powerful visual impact.
20. Offer Hyperlocal Goodie bags
If you don’t mind investing a bit of cash, this open house idea can go a long way. Goodie bags show visitors that you are truly invested in the property and your client’s success. If there’s something the area is famous for, try integrating some of those products into your goodie bag. Visitors will learn more about you, the neighborhood, and their time at your listed property will be unforgettable.
21. Provide Optional Feedback Forms at the End of the Tour (not at the beginning)
What better way to find out what you can improve than to hear from guests directly. Before they leave the property, ask for feedback about the home to show that you truly value their opinions, expectations, and needs.
Make it easy for them to give honest feedback by using a simple form to complete or a digital questionnaire to make it even easier.
22. Bring on Junior Agent or Associates
There are tons of beginner real estate agents looking for ways to gain more experience and confidence. If your brokerage has eager beginner agents, invite one to come along to your next open house and get a bit of extra experience.
Teach the junior agent how to show a property and what qualities to focus on, then allow them to walk around the property interacting with guests. They’ll get the extra experience they’re looking for and you won’t have to be in several places at once.
23. Raise Money For Charity
Be more than an agent, become a community leader. Leaving a donation box for a local cause on the property you’re showing demonstrates that you are aware and committed to the community. This will not only help you close more deals, but it will also make you feel good about doing it. Giving back to the community you work in is beneficial for everybody.
24. Avoid Alcohol
There’s something classy about serving champagne or a fun summer drink at an open house, but the after-effects may not be so classy. It’s a known fact: intoxicated people can make an otherwise peaceful environment into an absolute mess. Even someone who is slightly tipsy may lose balance on a stair, take property that isn’t theirs, or destroy something else; all of which leave you vulnerable to lawsuits. It’s just not worth it.
25. Show Other Virtual Layouts
Some people are simply not visual thinkers and will have a hard time picturing their own style or set up in a space without actually seeing it in front of them. Virtual layouts such as those that can be made in Ikeas Place (for example), help those prospective buyers visualize what they can do with the home, the different uses for each room, yard, kitchen, etc. with a range of different colors and styles.
26.Use the Neighbor’s Comments to Build a Unique Marketing Opportunity
During your private neighbourhood event, ask attendees what they enjoy most about the neighborhood. Speak to neighbors about their favorite things in the neighborhood, how long they’ve lived there, and what they envision for the future of their community, then compile the comments into your listing marketing package.
You could add these points in your property brochure, your website, or social media platforms. Just don’t forget to ask the individual’s permission first.
Your website is the base of your digital real estate marketing structure, so make sure you are referring clients to a website you can be proud of. AgentFire creates the number one rated web solution for real estate agents (as rated by Google and Facebook reviews in 2021) and our talented web designers have produced huge results for our clients. Book a free demo now and see what we can do!
27. Place Signs In Each Room to Bring Attention to Positive Features
You can’t be in every room with every client at once, and you don’t need to. Posting small informational cards in each room is an easy way to educate clients without irritatingly following them around. This way, you can focus on specific questions and concerns from genuinely interested guests.
28. Time Follow-ups Intentionally
After the open house, don’t wait too long before you reach out to the interested potential buyers. Ideally, you should follow up within 24 hours. From that point on, you can add clients to an email nurturing campaign and keep yourself top of mind until they’re ready to buy.
29.Take your Business Card to the Next Level
Imagine you’re an open house guest visiting a number of properties with your significant other. Between conversations with other guests and agents and admiring the details of each property, you’ve ended the day with a collection of business cards. How would you remember which agent was working with each property? Don’t force your guests to remember the unique spelling of your name or scribble details on your business card. Offering promotional material that inherently stands out is a much better solution.
Get creative and factor in the culture of the hyperlocal area. For example, in an area known for it’s high-quality breweries and culinary creatives, offer guests a wine opener with your details on it. It’s guaranteed that they won’t forget about you.
30. Note What Worked and What Didn’t
Every experience should be a learning experience – even an open house. At the end of your showing take note of what went well, what could be improved, and things you’ll stay away from next time. Your client feedback sheets will provide added guidance that you should take seriously and apply to your next open house.
31. Keep Yourself Safe
Open houses and one-on-one meetings are two of the riskiest situations most real estate agents will face. Suspicious people are aware that you are likely alone and vulnerable and will take advantage of the opportunity. If your open house is rather quiet or if you are attending a one-on-one meeting with a new client, consider asking them for basic ID in order to run a background check. Software like Safe Showings makes it easy to find out exactly who is in front of you. For more personal safety tips for agents, check out this article.
Days spent hosting open houses don’t have to be boring and dry. Cultivate strong leads and high-quality networking opportunities by putting the right strategies and techniques in place.
There are three areas of focus during each showing: client satisfaction, happy, interested guests, and agent recognition. Attention to each area of focus will make sure everyone ends the day feeling as if they’ve gotten the most out of your open house.
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