Open Houses are one of the best ways to generate new real estate clients. All successful real estate agents use their open houses as a tool to generate more prospects and build new relationships with potential buyers and sellers.
In this guide we will teach you how to host a successful open house (both in person and virtual open houses) as well as convert the Open House visitors into buyers and sellers.
Virtual Vs In-Person Open Houses
Ever since the onset of the pandemic, real estate professionals have been hosting virtual open houses for their prospects. This is true in the earlier days of the pandemic when we had to measure a strict social distance. While virtual open houses has its own set of pros and cons, in this guide we will be exploring them as well.
Virtual Open Houses – Anytime you are hosting the open house experience online instead of real in-person showings. The advantage of virtual open houses is that it’s scalable and you can market the event to generate way more leads as compared to an in person open house.
In Person Open Houses – In person open houses allow you to meet potential prospects face to face which is a huge advantage for any real estate professional looking to grow their sphere of influence and land more clients. The in-person open houses allow prospects to see every little detail of the property which is obviously a much more intimate experience compared to a 3D virtual tour or a live interactive tour.
Whether you should go with virtual or in-person open houses is a matter of preference. One strategy that we recommend agents and brokers adapt is a hybrid model.
In this hybrid model, you first promote the open house virtually to attract as many prospects as possible then invite them for an in-person event if they like the property. This not only allows you to get more prospects in the first stage, but you also have the chance to meet with interested buyers face to face.
5 Stages For Hosting The Perfect Open House In Any Area
There are 5 key stages that determine how successful your open house will be in any given area. They are:
- Open house date and location
- Online open house promotion
- Offline open house marketing
- Staging and experience
- Post open-house follow-up
In this guide we will go through each step and share some of the best practices for them.
Selecting The Proper Open House Date & Location
Selecting the proper open house date and location is extremely important because you don’t want to select a time that is inconvenient for potential prospects.
Usually weekends work best when it comes to Open Houses. Anywhere between 12 PM – 4 PM (Saturdays and Sundays) is a gd choice.
Although there is a bit of an exception when you are doing an open house for a luxury property. Some luxury properties have a higher turnaround if you do a late evening open house during the week. Again, if your property is targeting young professionals then you can test this strategy to see if it works for your luxury listing.
Also, make sure that you are giving a week’s notice before the open house as you need to invest in marketing and promoting the listing. Now that you have a set date and a time it’s time to focus on how to promote your open house.
Online Open House Marketing Tips & Strategies
Now that you have a confirmed date, you need to spend some time figuring out how to market your open house online and attract potential buyers to the property. These buyers can often end up working with you which is a key reason why most agents should focus on marketing open houses.
Strategy #1: Promote The Open House With A RSVP Page On Facebook
Assuming you have the pictures and videos for the property, start promoting your open house by creating a Facebook Ads campaign targeting the city or the area that the property is located.
Here is the step by step Facebook Ads strategy for your open house:
- Create a Facebook Lead Ad Campaign asking them to RSVP for the upcoming Open House.
- On the actual lead ad ask for their name email and phone number to RSVP for the upcoming open house. Make sure that you connect the lead ad with an email auto responder to send them a confirmation and reminder email.
- Use the photos or the actual video as the ad and clearly mention the open house time on the top text area.
- Run the ads for a few days before the actual open house to get some RSVP’s
- Make sure you are calling and confirming all of the open house RSVP’s.
Strategy #2: YouTube Ads Targeting In Market Audience Segments To Get More Open House Registrants
YouTube Ads is one of the most under-rated channels when it comes to promoting your open houses. I have not seen many agents using YouTube to drive leads and let me tell you that it’s a huge mistake.
Step By Step YouTube ads strategy to get lots of open house signups:
- Create a 30 second video ad showcasing the property where you clearly mention that they can attend the open house on a particular date. Try to get the call to action within the first 5 to 10 seconds.
- Upload the video as unlisted on your YouTube channel. Copy the URL and start creating a Google Ads campaign with the objective of lead generation and medium as video.
- Under audience select homeowners and set a day budget
- Also make sure that you are targeting the local areas around the open house.
- If possible exclude the younger segment from age 18-24 as they are often not homebuyers and neither the decision makers.
- Launch the YouTube campaign and send them to a page where you have all the property details with a RSVP form.
- Connect your form with an email autoresponder and send them reminders before the open house to improve your attendance rate.
Strategy 3: Retarget Your Existing Database and website visitors with Open Houses on Facebook & Google Display Network
The third strategy is to run retargeting ads to your existing database and showcase the open house to your own sphere of influence.
Steps to upload and retarget your database on Facebook Ads:
- Download your database (first name, last name, email at least). If you add phone number and city it will be more accurate. Also, you need to have at least 100 people in your database to use it.
- Upload the database as a custom audience on Facebook
- Run a separate campaign featuring your open house and targeting your database. Disable all other targeting like location.
- This will showcase your open house ads to your clients on Facebook.
Steps to target your website visitors on Google Display Network:
- Add the Google Ads code on your website (unless you have done this already).
- Now crate a audience in Google Ads targeting all website visitors in the last 60 days
- Create and run a Google Display Ad (targeting the display network) showcasing your open house.
- Send them to the RSVP landing page that you created for the event.
Offline Open House Promotion Tips & Strategy
Now that we covered some of our online strategies to get maximum exposure for your open house, let’s explore some offline channels as well. Offline channels are still important to market your open houses especially the near locality of the property.
Offline Strategy #1: Do a flyer campaign targeting the local area
During the week leading up to the open house plan a flyer campaign targeting nearby homeowners. Clearly mention the open house date and time. Add a QR code so that they can RSVP on your landing page and confirm their attendance.
Offline Strategy #2: Promote Your Open House With Clear Signs During The Day of The Event
This is kind of a no-brainer but most agents forget to promote the fact that they are hosting an open house properly. Make sure you add a placard in front of the entryway with clear signs directing prospects towards your open house.
Staging & Open House Experience
The 4th part of executing a successful open house is how you present the home itself to all attendees. Here I would like to Segway into two types of presentation.
- Online Open House Presentation – Make sure that you introduce yourself and set an agenda for the online open houses. It’s recommended that you include a link to the full 3D-tour at the end of the live video walkthrough for prospects. Always keep interacting with the audience and keep answering questions when presenting a live virtual open house.
- In-Person Presentation – The in-person presentation is a more traditional open house concept where you need to make sure that you are giving the attendees a positive vibe as soon as they enter the property. Hand then a feature sheet and give them a quick overview of the property. Make sure that you invest in staging (especially the key areas). Staging helps prospects visualize themselves in case they decide to put an offer. Staging when done right can even drive multiple offers in certain market. It is one of the most power things that completes a successful open house.
Post Open House Follow Up
This brings us to the final segment of executing a successful open house and this is following up with each and every attendee.
Whether someone is interested in buying a particular property or not, an open house visitor is usually a hot buyer lead.
The only way you can grow your sphere of influence and close some of these open house attendee leads is through consistent follow up.
As soon as you are done with your open house, transfer all the attendees to your CRM. Make sure that you send a follow up email to them and ask them to join your newsletter or subscription so that your can send them further content.
Set tasks in your CRM to follow up with them periodically and find out what stage of the buying journey they are currently at. In case some of these open house attendees are homeowners as well, you can easily do a double dip transaction.
Keep giving them value and build that relationship with these prospects so that when they are ready to transact or buy, the only real estate professional they think of is you.