As a real estate industry professional, your life is based around dealing with people day in and day out. The question is, how to you get more of those qualified, interested potential buyers to check out your latest listing in person?
Most open houses are on the weekends, but there’s a trend towards weekdays. Nearly all of the open houses are for the earlier half of the day. Regardless, the question remains as so many agents sit in empty homes on a late cloudy Saturday morning, how can you drive more viewers to open homes?
Real Estate Sites/Apps
One of the best ways to get people to your open houses is to simply make it available and easily found for those who are specifically looking for it. The following applications are where your potential buyers are going to be looking first. Most buyers do not seek out a real estate agent until well into the house-hunting process.
Now, there are a handful of real estate professionals who detest some – or all – of these sites for various reasons. But, again, if you want to get people literally in the door, you need to make information accessible to them.
Email & SMS Marketing
Hopefully you’ve been collecting those emails and phone numbers (because you do not want to buy lists of leads – the ROI is terrible). If you’ve been grabbing the full contact information of people who’ve already been to your open houses, those who’ve called your business phone number with inquiries, and those who’ve filled out forms on your website, then you’ve already done the first step of a great marketing campaign.
Send out an email (using Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot, or similar) to your curated list of potential buyers. You’ll want to keep the subject line simple and to the point – ie: Open House This Saturday – as well as putting in the details (photos, facts, open house date and time) and a friendly note mentioning that you thought of them first when walking through the home. The fantastic thing here is that most of this – personalization included – can be automated.
Each of the social online platforms will have its own unique benefit. That being said, you’ll still want to cover all of them. You should have a professional/business account on each of the following, and all of your posts should ‘live’ there:
Facebook: This is a platform that’s all about sharing. While you need to post regularly to keep a presence and show that you’re still an active Realtor, you’ll definitely want to have people share your professional Facebook page’s posts, particularly one about an open house. Always include a photo and do not use the link preview – the former performs much better.
Instagram: This is a platform that’s all about the photo … and hashtags. The hashtags is what will make your post searchable, and the picture is what will draw people in. Suggested hashtags are #openhouse #realestate #yourcity #theneighborhood #houseforsale and the like. As for the image, go with the home’s best asset; if it has great curb appeal use the exterior, if it has an incredible pool then your best bet is that back yard, if it has a kickass kitchen then that’s your winning pic.
Sure, there are plenty of other platforms, but this is where you will be more likely to get the right people into your open house.
Live video is an element that was popularized by Snap, but is also available on most platfoms now. Take advantage of this and give a ‘sneak peek’ just before the open house.
Traditional methods are often still used because they still work at some level. With enough signage that’s strategically placed, you should be able to get passers by or old school independent house hunters in.
Place open house signs with balloons, if possible, so they stand out to drivers from a far enough distance. Make sure they have arrows pointing them in the appropriate direction. Locating them near major intersections, with enough time for a turn if need be, as well as the entrances into the neighborhood, will be your best bet.
Take some time to introduce yourself to the neighbors personally and invite those you see outside their homes, at least, to the open house. They’ll be curious to see what it really looks like, and may even have a friend or family member who’s looking to buy.
Now, one of your first steps should really be to update the MLS listing for your property. But in addition to that, you’ll want to shoot off an email or make a friendly call to your fellow local real estate agents. One of their clients may very well be your buyer, and they’d certainly be happy to satisfy another one of their clients.
Are you scheduling your open houses at the right time? If you’re wondering why few people are coming to your open house on a Tuesday at 2pm, it’s likely because they’re at work. Is it Sunday mid day and the open house is empty? Check for sports games before you schedule an open house in conflict with anything major for local teams. Maybe it’s Saturday at 9am and you’re expecting to get some bright and early house shoppers, but to no avail? If you live in a town with significant night life, you may want to consider at least keeping the open house going until noon, to leave the window open for those who have an active life outside of shopping for a home.
People do judge a book by its cover, and hence have no problem making assumptions for a home’s exterior. If your open houses are feeling less lively than usual, step outside and really evaluate if the curb appeal is at its best. Even the most serious of house hunters will readily pass by an open house if it looks less than spectacular from the street.
Keep up with even the ‘just browsing’ open house attendees. Unless they explicitly say otherwise, don’t remove them from your list of updating them on upcoming open houses you’re hosting. ‘Just browsing’ one month could very well be ‘ready to buy’ another month … or for the right home. You’ll get bonus points with them if you hold onto notable facts, such as location of origin, marital status, number of kids, pets, etc. Again, you can automate the majority of this, but the impact it will make on your potential buyer is significant.
Do you have any tips for a successful open house? Share them with us!