- Don’t rely on old-school marketing methods; focus on using tools such as DocuSign, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook groups, pages and articles to market your open house.
Are you still relying on the same 3P plan for marketing your open houses? You know the drill: put an ad in the paper, put up your signs and pray that someone shows up? Today, marketing and converting open house leads is easier than ever, and it costs next to nothing.
According to the 2016 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers, more sellers first learned of their agent from an open house (5 percent) or a for sale/open house sign (6 percent) combined than a real estate website or app (10 percent), search engine (4 percent) or social networking site or app (4 percent).
Furthermore, Zillow’s latest research reports that 43 percent of the buyers visited an open house to decide if the property was right for them. According to The Real Daily, 4 percent of attendees first met their agent at an open house.
How to digitally market your next open house
In the past, marketing your open house was both expensive and time consuming. Back in the day, a minuscule print ad cost $50. The other option was to door-knock and invite people to attend.
Although local newspapers can still be a good place to advertise your open house, there are other attractive alternatives that cost absolutely nothing and take far less time.
Here are five ways that real estate agents can market their open houses using digital tools that will reach far more potential buyers.
1. Be prepared to conduct a digital transaction
If you’re marketing your open house digitally, provide your open house visitors with other digital tools and information.
Include an e-signature platform such as DocuSign for contracts, free digital reports on the demographics, trends and local neighborhood from NAR/RPR, and the free Home Disclosure property report that pulls up school data, crime rates, environmental risks and whether the house has an insurance claim from fire, hail, water or wind damage.
2. Market your listings and open houses on Facebook and Oodle Marketplaces
In 2016, Facebook reactivated Marketplace on its own site. There’s no charge to post your listings “for sale” or your open houses on either Facebook or Oodle.
3. Use Facebook groups, pages and articles to market your open house
When I searched Facebook for “open houses this weekend,” agents were using three primary strategies to generate traffic for their open houses.
The first strategy was to create a group of users from their sphere, referral database and active client list who opt-in to receive their list of open houses this weekend.
The second option was to post a free list of open houses each week with pictures, prices and other information on the agent’s Facebook business page. One agent using this approach generated 4,800 likes for his weekly list.
Toronto agent Richard Silver uses a similar approach (3,700 likes), however, he also shares about what the lifestyle is like in Toronto as well as his “endeavors of selling real estate in Toronto.”
The third approach is to write an article that leverages the other two approaches.
For example, one agent publishes his “Top 5 Open Houses this Weekend in Worcester.”
If you do this, explain your reasoning as to why each of the homes you choose merited being in your weekly top 5 list. One or two sentences should suffice.
The idea is to build trust, stay in front of potential client leads every week and establish yourself as a local expert.
4. Take advantage of Instagram’s #openhouse
Posting videos and photos on the platform is an excellent way to create lasting exposure for your listing as well as to advertise your open house at no charge.
Some ideas for marketing your open house on Instagram include:
- Use video or any other livestreaming services to do a walk-through of the open house showing off its two or three best features.
- Make a video of your sellers answering the question, “What are three things that you love about living in this neighborhood?” You could also ask the same question of any of their neighbors who would be willing to be on camera.
- An entirely different approach would be to create an open house theme, complete with some tasty refreshments. Show the set up on your livestream that day, and invite viewers to drop by, see the house and enjoy those great brownies you baked this morning.
5. Don’t forget about Pinterest
Converting open house leads the easy way
Both tools allow visitors to sign in on your tablet PC as well as automatically send the open house visitor all the information you have posted on the app via text or email.
These two apps also automatically follow up after the open house by sending your open house visitor a thank-you text or email for attending your open house.
Spac.io has several other very useful features including lead verification, an evaluation of the lead’s social media profile, lead scoring against your ideal client type so you can get the best ROI on your time and money, plus the ability to generate separate property reports for other properties.
Is it time for you to revisit doing open houses?
The value consumers still find in an open house, the ability to generate closed listing transactions and the digital tools that make holding and converting leads from open house a snap are all reasons for adding open house to your lead generation toolbox this fall — take advantage of it!
Editor’s note: This story has been updated.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/