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Open houses can be a great way to sell your inventory.
They’re particularly popular among first-time home-buyers who want to tour properties before they make a decision; the laid-back nature of the open house environment is a perfect introduction.
Still, some naysayers argue that open houses don’t work or that they’re not as effective at finding buyers as some less time-intensive strategies.
In fact, according to a HomeLight Top Agent Insights Survey, most responders rated open houses a 3 on a scale of 10 based on effectiveness. That’s was impart due to how open houses are used to generate lead rather than serious buyers.
But here’s what we can’t forget: so long as you’re collecting each visitor’s contact information, then the open house wasn’t a waste. You may not have found the perfect buyer for this property but you’ve generated tons of leads for future properties.
In other words, the benefit of running an open house is two-fold…
First, you very well might find a buyer for the property you’re advertising.
And second, if you get lots of attendees and collect their contact information, you can add all those leads to your list of prospects.
But how are you going to get attendees to your next open house and collect their contact information? Here are 10 effective open house ideas for getting more attendees and leads.
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10 Open House Ideas
1. Hold The Open House On Sunday
It’s no secret that the weekend is the best time to host an open house.
But which day is best — Saturday or Sunday?
Well, there’s probably not a whole lot of difference between the two, but according to Homelight, 75% of real estate agents claim that Sunday is the best day to hold an open house.
That makes sense if you think about it. On Saturday, most people are relaxing at home from a week of working or they’re using it to take day trips (especially during the summer). They’re going to the lake, shopping, hanging out with family, fishing, hunting, or kayaking.
On Sunday, though, many people are getting ready for the workweek again. Some people go to church and lots of people spend their Sunday afternoon on productive activities — catching up on house cleaning or yard work, for instance. It’s this time — during the afternoon on Sunday — when many people are likely to attend an open house.
Of course, the best time of day for an open house will be a bit different for every neighborhood and every property. So try out different days and times and see what works best for your market.
2. Use Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketplace
It might seem like a waste of money to run Facebook ads for an open house. But here’s what you have to keep in mind: you’re not just trying to find a buyer for this property, you’re trying to generate as many leads for your business as possible.
This means that the more people who attend your open house, the better. When you view it that way, running Facebook ads might not be such a bad idea, especially if you’ve got a visually irresistible property on your hands with high-quality photos.
Heck — you might even be able to cover the cost of Facebook ads by pitching it to the seller as an additional service with an additional fee.
However, if you really don’t want to spend money on Facebook ads, then at least post about the open house in the Facebook Marketplace — that should get you a little bit of extra attention for free.
3. Create a Facebook Event
This is an easy tip so I’m not going to spend too much time on it.
Facebook events are a great way to get attention for your upcoming open house, increase the number of attendees, and even gauge how many people you should expect (people you invite can mark “not going,” “maybe,” or “going”).
You can even run Facebook ads directly to the event that you created to give your open house a broader reach.
Create a Facebook event for your next open house and invite as many people as you can.
Here’s how to create a Facebook Event:
- From your News Feed, click Events in the left menu.
- Click + Create Event on the left side.
- Click Create Public Event. Anyone will be able to see your event and search for it, even if you aren’t friends. Once you’ve created a public event, you won’t be able to change it to private later.
- Fill in the event name, location, date, time and description.
- Type and select keywords about your public event so it can be recommended to people who are interested in that topic (example: open houses).
- Choose who can edit and post in your event and then click Create. You’ll be taken to your event where you can invite guests, upload photos, add a cover photo or video, share posts and edit event details.
4. Create Content Every Day Leading Up To The Open House
The more people you get to your open house, the better. With more attendees, you’ll generate more leads, more attention to your business, and you’ll have a higher chance of finding “the one” for the house you’re selling.
Because of that (and because running an open house is time-intensive), you’ll want to give yourself at least a week-long runway for getting people’s attention about the open house.
Try posting once per day on social media about the open house for the entire week before its scheduled date. You should also consider running some ads to those posts.
You might even think about writing an entire blog post on your real estate agent website which goes into detail about the home that the open house is for (the history of the home, perks, its neighborhood, special features, etc).
The more hype you build on social media, the more attention you generate and the better the open house will perform for your business.
Don’t have time to write a blog post? Take advantage of VideoPosts!
- Shoot a video.
- Transcribe it.
- Upload it to your website.
Need an example? Take a look at this VideoPost example from a Carrot member: Sell My Chalco Neighborhood House
5. Put Out Physical Signs During Open House
You might be surprised at how many half-committed home buyers drive around on Sundays looking for yard sales, events, and, yes, even open houses.
I know I used to!
These last-minute decision-makers might not be the ideal buyer for the house you’re currently selling, but they make for great future leads which help build momentum for your business down the road.
Plus, you never know where a house buyer is going to come from — might as well do everything you can to get people to your open house!
Putting out signs for your open house within a few block radius is dead-simple and, in collaboration with the other strategies in this article, will help you top-off an already popular event.
It works for yard sales — why not for your open house?
Here are seven different types of open house signs you can choose from:
- A-frame signs
- Directional signs
- Flags or feather flags
- Interior signs
Don’t forget to…
- Strategically place your signs
- Brand your sign
- Be sure to share it in a Facebook post
- Check neighborhood rules
6. Put Up Fliers In Public Places
A lot of real estate agents will hand out fliers to nearby neighbors and current leads. But if you spent time creating a nifty flier, why not take that one step further?
Most coffee shops, coworking spaces, cafes, and bakeries won’t mind if you set out some free fliers on their counter or near the newspapers.
And you never know how many attendees this is going to generate for your open house — it could get 1 person or it could get 10 people. But it doesn’t take much effort to create fliers and disperse them throughout your community — so why not give it a shot?
Just make sure that you have high-quality photos on your fliers (hire a photographer if you need to — it’s almost always worth it), the date and time of the open house, and your contact information. The last thing you’d want to do is hand out fliers lacking the necessary information (or God forbid, with the wrong information).
Here are a couple of other tips for creating attractive and effective real estate open house fliers:
As you begin to craft your open house flyers you’ll want to catch the eye of interested buyers. Follow these few rules:
- Use a professional photo of the home.
- Use a short, bullet point list, of the highlights of the home.
- Include event details. Date, times, your name, a headshot, and contact information.
7. Hold an Open House Contest Or Raffle
People love having something fun to do on the weekends.
And while it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, running a giveaway or creating a contest can be a great way to get attendees for your open house and generate leads for your business.
In order to participate in your contest and have a chance at winning whatever it is you choose to giveaway (it could be a money prize or it could be an item like a TV or stereo), people should, at the very least, have to attend your open house and submit their contact information.
You might also make it a requirement that they share your open house Facebook event and giveaway on social media with their friends, which will automatically improve attendance.
If you do decide to spend the extra money and run a giveaway, just make sure that you promote it adequately so that your money doesn’t go to waste.
8. Do a Facebook Live Video During Or After The Open House
Here’s the great news — even if your open house doesn’t have great attendance, you can still shoot a Facebook Live video and reach people who wanted to go to your open house, but didn’t for whatever reason.
Once the open house is over, just pull out your smartphone, turn on the selfie camera, and talk about the property while you walk around and show it to your viewers. This way, even people who are sitting at home can check out the house you have for sale.
Also, in the video description, you can encourage people to contact you if they have any questions or want to schedule a time to see the house for themselves.
It wouldn’t surprise me if more and more open houses start happening on Facebook Live vs. in-person over the years to come — it’s a quick and easy way to reach more people and advertise your inventory.
This is also a great option when you don’t have the time to do a full open house for a property and want to do something a little less time-intensive.
Here are the steps to use a Facebook Live:
- Select the Live Video button.
- Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted.
- Switch to “Live” on the bottom of your camera screen.
- Choose your privacy and posting settings.
- Write a compelling description.
- Tag friends, choose your location or add an activity.
- Set your camera’s orientation.
- Add lenses, filters, or writing and drawing to your video.
- Click the “Start Live Video” button to start broadcasting.
- Interact with viewers.
- Click “Finish” to end the broadcast.
- Post your reply and save the video to your camera roll.
9. Make Providing Contact Info Feel Mandatory
When someone walks into your open house, maybe you won’t require people to sign in, maybe you will. Whatever the case, signing in should feel as though it’s mandatory.
You don’t have to hunt down people who didn’t sign in, but people should feel as though they’re supposed to when they enter the open house.
Consider, for instance, putting your contact sheet near the entrance with a sign that says “Please sign in.” Most people won’t mind doing that. In fact, most people will expect that they’re supposed to.
You just don’t want to miss out on generating leads because signing in felt too much like an option and people easily skipped over it or missed it.
Generating leads for your business is at least half of the goal of any open house, so make sure that singing in and providing contact information feels mandatory to anyone who attends.
And if you’re running a giveaway as we mentioned in idea #7, then make clear that signing in is a mandatory part of entering the giveaway or contest.
Free download: Open House Sign-In sheet
10. Follow Up With Attendees
You ran an open house and had great success. People attended, you got their contact information, and maybe you even found a few promising buyers.
Buying real estate is a big decision that takes time and consideration. For that reason, most of the sales magic happens during the follow-up stage.
So don’t let all of that contact information go to waste. Add those leads to your CRM or whatever list builder you use and keep in touch with them. You can add them to a weekly emailing list, for instance, or you can add them to your list of people to call every few months.
However you do it, make sure that you follow up with all of those shiny new leads.
BONUS… Here’s an open house follow-up email template to get you started. Change the content to make it fit your style:
I’m just touching base to let you know it was very nice to chat with you yesterday at (open house address).
Through our conversation, it was clear you’re hunting for the perfect home, so I’d love to continue our chat and see what I can do to help you find that dream home.
Even though this home might not be a fit, I wanted to thank you for coming to my open house at (open house address) and let you know I have other homes currently available in my portfolio that I would like to show you.
I specialize in dealing with homes in competitive markets and pride myself on being able to offer clients the chance to get into properties before they are listed.
If this is of interest to you, let’s schedule a time that suits you and we can talk more about what you’re looking for in a new home and get you settled in!
There’s no denying it: open houses are more time-intensive than some other marketing strategies.
You have to sit at the seller’s house for at least a few hours and cross your fingers that potential buyers actually show up. Beyond that, you have to advertise the open house and make sure people know that it’s happening.
So if you’re going to run an open house, you might as well do it right. If you do, you can get attendees and generate lots of leads for your business.
And you can use the above 10 open house ideas to get the most bang for your buck.
But enough from us — what strategies do you use to make sure your open house is a winner? Let us know in the comments!