With agents hosting open houses for listing clients so commonplace, it’s easy to get complacent. However, you and your clients benefit if open houses are special events that attract visitors but remain safe. Here’s how to make your next open house a success!
Advertising and promoting an open house
Telling the world about the open house is fundamental. Do not rely solely on signs along the road. Instead, pull out all the stops.
- Send an email to your buying client database advertising the open house.
- Make personal phone calls to the prime candidates for the house.
- Place Facebook ads and posts about the open house on Instagram and your website.
- Pre-place those “open house” signs on main roads around the property with the upcoming date.
- Create flyers to place around the neighborhood, unless there are HOA rules prohibiting them.
- Although it may seem counterintuitive to invite neighbors, some might know people interested in the house or refer you to future prospects.
Dress the home for success
Before putting the home in the spotlight, make sure it looks its best.
- Have the owner get the home, including carpet and upholstery, professionally cleaned to remove stains and odors.
- Get the landscaping manicured.
- Hire a professional stager to create the best first impression in the key rooms: living, kitchen, primary bedroom and bath.
- If there is a deck or patio, spruce up the furniture, grill and other furnishings.
- Depersonalize the home by stowing away family photos and keepsakes.
- Repair obvious deficiencies.
- Remove pets and anything that suggests they live in the home: beds, feeding bowls, toys, cat scratching posts and more.
After beautifying the house, post professionally shot photos in your online advertising and printed materials. Shoot a virtual tour as part of your regular advertising for the listing, but when posting for the open house, embed the link to the tour. During the open house, do a Facebook live stream.
Weekend open house events should happen mid-morning to mid-afternoon at the latest. However, do not rule out a weekday open house. Scheduling on a weekday between 5 pm and 7 pm allows buyers to stop by after work.
Put a professional flourish on the sign-in page for visitors. For example, use an electronic tablet or even a guest registry book with a high-quality pen.
Create professional information on the listing
Go beyond a simple flyer to give out. Create a bound, full-color, clear-covered presentation. Include a map of the neighborhood showing local stores, restaurants, and attractions. Display those same pages on a poster board on an easel in the living room.
Giveaway gift cards
Advertise a giveaway of gift cards to local merchants. Have entry slips for visitors to complete. (Include on the forms a request to add the visitor to your email list.) Contact the winners afterward and follow up on their thoughts on the house.
Covid-19 and safety protocols
Keep Covid-19 protocols top-of-mind by keeping a pump bottle of hand sanitizer within easy reach and use disinfecting wipes on the pen or the electronic pad that visitors use to register. In addition, offer disposal masks, gloves, and shoe coverings to comply with state and local regulations.
Finally, don’t put yourself in a situation that might turn dangerous. Never hold an open house by yourself! Instead, use the buddy system and have a friend or a coworker help you out.