What is the number one driver for a successful career in real estate? Lead generation. The more high quality leads you can generate, the more listings you will win. To help you capitalize on your next showing, here’s 29 open house ideas that will actually get you leads.
1. Meet the street
Before the first open, make sure you’ve introduced yourself to all of the neighbouring properties. Instead of inviting them to the open home, which will be interpreted as cold calling, simply inform them of the scheduled open times as a courtesy so they know to expect extra traffic and visitors to their street or building.
If you want to generate leads you need consistent branding. Therefore you must ensure that your open home signage is high quality and on brand. Use online design software to produce your marketing collateral with your brand ahead of time and display it prominently before and during your opens.
3. Livestream your open
Create a sense of urgency and capitalize on people’s fear of missing out by livestreaming your open house when it’s full of attendees. Not only will it drive traffic to your social media allowing you to retarget for lead generation, it will also position yourself as an agent who understands digital marketing.
4. Virtual staging
If you have a property that is vacant, virtual staging places computer generated furniture over photos to give buyers a sense of the property’s potential. Take virtual staging one step further than other agents by getting the same room styled as a study, nursery or guest accommodation. Buyers will appreciate the versatility of the space and it will help them visualize their lives at the property.
5. Use QR codes
Since the pandemic has brought QR codes into regular daily life, use them to your advantage at open houses to your advantage. You can direct people to your contact form, your social media or the property website.
6. Follow up is key
Don’t leave follow up to intuition or guesswork. After an open house you will have homework to do, following up attendees and people who expressed interest but did not attend. You should also be updating the neighborhood and then finally the vendor about the event.
7. Get leads from AI
Services such as SmartZip use AI to predict when home owners are likely to start considering selling their home. Armed with this knowledge, you can target your lead generation marketing to specific properties, minimising marketing wastage.
8. What’s the hook?
Why should someone buy this property instead of a comparable one in the area? Every property has a hook, understand and know the hook ahead of your open. When buyers are discussing other options available to them, you can confidently explain why the property they are viewing is superior.
9. Open to the neighborhood first
If your vendor has invested significant time and money to get their house ready for sale, use the opportunity to invite their neighbors to see the property and share some food and wine in an informal setting. Nearby owners will be excited to see what has been achieved and will help them visualize going through the same process.
10. Hold opens for other agents
You know the local area and you have time available? Ask other agents if they would allow you to hold their open house. While not everyone may agree, your offer might just be the opportunity they need on a busy day. To sweeten the deal you can offer a referral fee for any leads that you pick up from the open house.
11. Invest in hyperlocal marketing
While social media marketing helps with promoting listings to a region, going hyperlocal will generate more qualified leads. Services like Nextdoor have some of the most engaged members of all social networks and their marketing costs are more affordable than Facebook or Instagram.
12. Take a tour
If you have buyers from out of town attending an open, be sure to offer them a tour of the local area afterwards. While this might help them fall in love with the idea of purchasing the property, you’ll also position yourself as a trustworthy local expert if they are still interested in the area but not your specific listing.
13. Use Instagram stories to get the word out
Instagram stories are time sensitive and attract a lot of attention. Publicize your open ahead of time with a short call to action and some great visual content about the property.
14. Mind the follow up window
It’s critical that your follow ups are completed the day after your open house. For serious buyers ensure you’re making a personal phone call to discuss their impressions and thoughts. Less serious buyers should receive a text message thanking them for attending the open with a link to more information. Passive attendees should be added to your email marketing list with immediate effect.
15. Be photographed
When you’re working with a photographer to capture your listing, be sure to also get photos of yourself in the home. Action shots are a great source of content for your social media and marketing efforts, don’t waste the opportunity.
16. Don’t hide features
Does the bathroom have heated floors? Are the towel racks heated? Is there solar power? If you don’t tell attendees, they’ll never know. Consider how you can communicate during opens with signage about certain features that are less obvious to buyers at first glance.
17. Letterbox drop
Ahead of opens, be sure to capture the neighborhood’s attention by doing a letterbox drop of flyers with the times and select photographs of the property. This will generate interest and intrigue ahead of time.
18. Give gifts
Consider what branded items you might be able to give attendees that they would actually keep. Umbrellas in your colors with your logo are a fantastic item to have at the front door to give to attendees as they leave the open house in wet weather.
Are there multiple listings on one street? Consider collaborating with the other listing agents to syncronise the opens for comparable properties. Attendees will be able to easily move from one property to another, generating more opportunities for leads.
Contact local businesses and invite them to participate in your open house. Florists, interior decorators and cleaners will all appreciate the opportunity to showcase their services, generate content for their businesses and potentially pick up new clients at your listings.
It’s critical to capture the information of everyone attending your open home, however this is a task best delegated to allow you the freedom to mingle with buyers. As a realtor your best strategy is to talk to buyers in the home, leave the collection of data to a junior agent or assistant.
To promote your property, hold a raffle at your open homes for attendees to win a prize like gift cards, Alexa or Google Home. This will motivate more people to attend, driving up interest and expanding your contact list of locals.
23. Separate the neighbors from the buyers
While it’s great to have neighbors visit open homes, it can distract your attention from serious buyers. By holding an invitation only open for neighbors, you can build rapport and generate leads without compromising your attention for the general public.
24. Highlight the unique
Prepare ahead of time with props to highlight unique qualities of your listing. If you’re near a golf course, a set of clubs by the door will remind buyers about the benefits of moving in. If the property has extensive entertaining areas, provide food and wine to help buyers visualise their own dinner parties.
25. Begin 3 days earlier
Start promoting and marketing your open on social media and through email marketing at least 3 days ahead of time. This gives buyers time to make arrangements to attend. Pushing your open on the day is too late.
26. Schedule strategically
Are your open times scheduled around what best suits you, or what best suits the property? Evenings in summer hours appeal to working families, while mid afternoons on weekends will prevent clashing with other apartments in the area.
Every agent should have a cause they’re passionate about. Provide an opportunity for attendees to contribute to your favorite charity during opens. It’s a fantastic way to generate conversation about topics outside the real estate universe and will humanize you to attendees.
28. Promote to other agents
Other agents have buyers, don’t keep your properties a secret. Promote your opens to agent networks in your area to increase interest in your listings and generate more leads.
29. Offer shoe covers
Ever had a contractor stamp muddy prints through your house? Consider offering shoe covers at opens, including wearing them yourselves, to protect the flooring and keep the property looking its very best. Little touches like this will highlight your care and attention to detail.