Despite the countless different ways agents can now get the word out about their listings, open houses continue to be an incredibly popular method for connecting with buyers.
The reason for this is simple: open houses work.
Open houses give agents an amazing opportunity to establish their expertise and make connections with people in their target market. Plus, when it comes to building trust with potential customers, there’s nothing better than meeting face to face.
If you’re an agent looking to step up your open house game this year, keep reading for five effective strategies that will help you take your business to the next level.
If you’re not promoting your open houses on social media, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to connect. Facebook, in particular, offers so many ways to advertise your open house and create anticipation for it among members of your community.
First of all, you’ll want to create a Facebook event to promote your open house. Once you do this, you’ll be able to get the word out in several different ways:
- Invite your Facebook friends to the event.
- Share the event on your personal Facebook profile and ask friends to help get the word out.
- Share the event to your business page.
- Re-share the event a week, three days, and a day before the open house—counting down to the open house each time.
- Go live on Facebook to offer a video preview of the property.
You can also boost the event to reach an even wider audience. This is an especially effective method, since Facebook allows you to target ads down to the individual zip code.
Be sure to include a link to your listing ad on your open house event page so people can read more about the property before (and after) coming out.
As we typed this, we’re pretty sure we heard an audible sigh from at least a few readers. Door knocking, like its sister technique, cold calling, is a really divisive tactic among agents—some swear by it, while others won’t even give it a chance.
Though it might feel a little awkward knocking on the door of someone you’ve never met, the truth is that there is no better way to become known in your community than actually getting out and meeting people face-to-face.
Swallow your pride, and get out into your neighborhood. Invite a minimum of 50 people to your open house. Understand that many of them won’t actually attend, but be comforted by the fact that you’re creating brand awareness with every conversation you have.
When you meet your potential attendees, introduce yourself as a neighbor first—maybe let them know what street you live on—and then let them know why you’re stopping by. The key is to establish rapport before jumping in with an invitation to your event.
Be sure to leave a flyer for your open house, along with your contact information. Remember, this isn’t meant to be a high-pressure pitch. Show enthusiasm and excitement, but ultimately leave the ball in your neighbor’s court.
When you make a favorable first impression on a large sampling of your neighborhood, you’re far more likely to have a solid turnout.
When you’re hosting an event, it’s polite to greet every guest as they walk through the door, but that doesn’t mean you should stop there.
Serve some delicious, fresh-baked treats (American Lifestyle and Start Healthy magazines have some great options) and offer bottles of water for your attendees. Greet people warmly, and make sure they are comfortable.
Whether you’re throwing a party or an open house, a great host is attentive to the needs of their guests. Be available to answer questions, or, better yet, be proactive and ask people for their thoughts.
To make it a little bit easier to connect with all of your attendees, you could employ the help of our Open House Kit. It’s full of printable signage, checklists, and forms that make following up with your buyer leads a breeze.
Create a theme.
You may have been to a theme party before, but have you ever been to a themed open house?
This idea is a little outside the box, but it’s a great way to make an impression and stand apart from other local listings.
Here are a few themes you can use to spice up your event:
Serve seasonal food. Put out fresh flowers that match the colors associated with your theme (i.e., red, white, and blue for Fourth of July, or the colors of a local sports team). Give out free swag that ties back into your theme.
When you have a little fun with your open house and deliver the unexpected, you’re creating a memorable experience for your potential customers. Your open house will feel less like a real estate event and more like the party it is. That will go a long way in conjuring up good feelings around you and your business.
Be a wealth of knowledge.
When someone is looking to make a real estate transaction, they want to be sure they’re working with someone who knows what they are talking about. Put another way: they want to work with the local expert.
This starts with knowing the property you’re intending to sell. Yes, you should know the square footage, when the house was built, and other vital statistics. But you should also be able to comment on the property—talk about why youthink it’s special. Does it get a lot of natural light? Is there potential for expansion? You want to do everything you can to get people to picture themselves actually living in the home.
You also need to know the market. GEICO rose to prominence in the insurance field by offering up the rates of their competitors and showing how they stacked up against their own. You don’t necessarily have to show your competitor’s listings ads, but be aware of other similar properties and have a compelling case for why this one stands apart.
Finally, be aware of the surrounding area. Present information about the school district, what buyers might expect to pay in taxes, and even details about local parks and restaurants. Not only does this information encourage people to picture themselves in this home, it also goes a long way in showing your expertise. Even if these buyer leads don’t buy from you today, they’ll be more likely to remember you when they need an agent in the future (or know someone else who does).
If you really want to stay top of mind long after the event has ended, make sure your guests leave with something of value. This could be a piece of useful, branded merchandise like a coffee mug, chip clip, or bottle opener.
You could also give a copy of your branded, customized magazine from ReminderMedia. Bonus idea: if you’ve served a recipe found in the issue, dog-ear the page so your guests can make it for themselves later.
At the end of the day, an open house is about more than just getting a particular property sold—it’s about getting facetime with people in your community and sowing the seeds of valuable relationships. When you implement the above techniques in your open houses, you’re far more likely to create the level of top-of-mind awareness that will grow your business by leaps and bounds.