Summer’s here and that means BBQs, beaches and Open Houses! If done right, an Open House can be a great event to impress sellers while attracting new clients. Here’s a collection of our favorite Open House tips EVER — everything from unique ways to promote your event to the oh so critical follow-up.
Promoting Your Open House
1. Create a theme
Sports team Open House? 2016 Rio Summer Olympics? Think about creating a theme for your Open House to generate buzz around it. Once you’ve selected your theme, make a list of items you would need for the event – colored balloons, banners, music, etc. When you advertise your Open House make sure to add the theme to the marketing piece. Make it feel like a small party and you will create interest that will get people coming through the door and leaving with a lasting impression! (Jennifer Snyder, Marketing Ideas for Agents)
2. Produce a visual-heavy blog post that highlights the listing
Blogging can be one of the best marketing investments for your time. In as little as 20 minutes you can craft a real estate blog post about your listing and detail what makes the property great. In fact, this is one of the most effortless lead generation activities you can perform. Share your blog post on social media with a specific hashtag to draw even more visitors to your Open House. See some examples here. (Matthew Bushery, Placester)
3. Rearrange the time
Are you holding an Open House for a home that would appeal to families with young children? Then consider changing the time and doing it in the morning or later in the afternoon so it doesn’t conflict with naptime. Another thought would be to do it on a weekday over the lunch hour instead of the traditional Saturday/Sunday open house. If you advertise it well and offer a nice lunch you can generate good traffic. Plus your seller will be at work and they won’t have to worry about making plans to leave their house! (Jennifer Snyder, Marketing Ideas for Agents)
4. Set up a special Open House — for the neighbors
Let’s face it: Nearly all neighbors are curious to see what the inside of a house looks like. Take advantage of that curiosity and set up a mid-week, afternoon, or early evening Open House for neighbors only.
Be sure the homeowners attend the event; adding that personal touch will leave a positive impression of the home for those who show up.
The benefit? You might gain a new client or two or find someone right on the block so enamored with the home that he or she will recommend it to co-workers or family members. Plus a little neighbor buy-in helps as wandering home shoppers visit the neighborhood on Open House days – they feel more involved in the mission. The sale of the home can go quickly if you enlist all the help you can get. (Anita Clark, Selling Warner Robbins)
Presenting the Home
5. Display seasonal photos
It’s the summertime and landscaping during the hot summer months can look very different than during the lush springtime. To overcome this, create a bulletin board of seasonal house photographs so buyers can see what the home would look like at another time of year. This is especially helpful to showcase gardens during the winter. (Elizabeth Weintraub, Home Buying/Selling Expert)
6. Create a signature scent
Presenting a clean, decluttered house goes without saying. But have you considered creating a home’s signature scent? A lot of people have recommended baking cookies yet studies have shown that white tea and figs are the best smells for selling modern and new construction homes, while baked bread and coffee are better options for traditional and older homes. (Ryan Fitzgerald, Raleigh Realty)
7. Show a Disney movie
It’s almost guaranteed that you will have families with kids coming through the doors. Imagine how grateful those parents would be if you are able to draw their kids like a magnet to a popular movie in the living room while they are able to view the home without any behavioral issues getting in the way. (Joe Samson, Calgary, AB Real Estate)
8. Provide information
The dining room or kitchen table can be a great spot to capture visitors’ attention with extra information about the listing. Place a variety of items here, including a brochure or flyer with photos of the house, information on comparable home sales and perhaps school or community information. Don’t forget to attach a bold label (in 24- to 48-point font) with your contact information on each type of information you provide.
You might also want to consider partnering with a local lender to provide information on payments with a few loan scenarios.
The goal is to get visitors to pause and look at these resources, encourage them to speak with you, and build your credibility as an important resource—not only about the listing, but about the community too. (Teresa Mears, U.S. News and World Report)
9. Display a mini Housefax Report
Did you know 30% of home buyers purchased a home after viewing its Housefax Report? This is why agents in a recent survey ranked Open Houses as the number one marketing channel to feature a Housefax Report. Rather than displaying the full Housefax Report you might want to consider printing a mini version (i.e., the summary page) or just a few sections, such as those not found in a typical listing, to build confidence: Building Permits, Property Incidents and Natural Hazard Assessment. (Jump to tip #11 we’ll explain why this approach works best.) (2016 Home Buyer Survey, Housefax)
10. “Thank you” email
The Monday after your Open House, send everyone that attended a “Thank You” email. This first email is purely to say thank you, so leave any sales-talk out of it. You want to send it right away, while you are fresh in their mind. Keep it short and sweet. And if you created a theme for the event (tip #1) don’t forget to incorporate it! (Andrea Sutten, TheReadyAgent.com)
11. “I forgot to tell you” email
On Wednesday, send an “I forgot to tell you” email that highlights something that you did not put into the thank you email. It could be, “Oh, I forgot to tell you…since you’re interested in the Covered Bridge neighborhood, I know of a new home that just came on the market that you might like to take a peek at…” (Andrea Sutten, TheReadyAgent.com)
At Housefax, our marketing experts recommend adding something specific about the home, found in the Housefax Report. For example, “I almost forgot to tell you…GOOD NEWS! According to the Housefax Report that beautiful basement you loved, with the new wet bar, has a building permit.” And this is where you would attach the full Housefax Report. Housefax PRO subscribers can take it further by branding the report with their photograph and contact information and adding valuable notes in each section specific to the conversation they had about the house.
12. Keep the communications coming
Your communication strategy for all leads should include a variety of drip campaigns: newsletters, coming soon emails, neighborhood updates, etc. Don’t forget to add Open House leads to these campaigns. Since you have more insight into the neighborhood these leads are interested in (based on the location of your Open House), you might want to send an email with nearby listings once a month or make contact in a way that you are comfortable with; it will pay off. (Joe Samson, Calgary, AB Real Estate)
Use these Open House tips and you’ll be sure to impress buyers, sellers and prospects! What tips do you have to share? Let us know with the hashtag #OpenHousefax.