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10 Effective Open House Ideas for Real Estate Agents

by Ashdon Fackrell, on July 11, 2023

You can make the most money by number 10 on how to follow up with open house leads to get your biggest bang for your buck.

An open house can be a powerful marketing tool for real estate agents, helping to showcase a property, generate leads, and make a lasting impression on potential buyers. Here are 10 effective open house ideas that can help you maximize the potential of your next event, along with information on Landvoice's call capture marketing system and new neighborhood search system to boost your listings and enhance your open house strategies.

1. Thoroughly Prepare the Property

Before hosting an open house, ensure the property is clean, well-staged, and inviting. Remove clutter, depersonalize the space, and arrange furniture to create a welcoming atmosphere that allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home. Here is your checklist: 

  • Pay special attention to your front door. If it's looking a bit worn, a fresh coat of paint could help, and consider updating any old outdoor light fixtures.
  • Utilize a "house wash" attachment for your hose (available at hardware stores) to spruce up the exterior of your house.
  • Cleanse your rain gutters and exterior windows and screens thoroughly.
  • If your house numbers are old or faded, consider replacing them. The new numbers should be clearly visible from the curb.
  • Streamline your possessions, since a cluttered space can deter a potential sale. Consider renting a storage facility or a portable pod for excess furniture or small decorative items. Alternatively, you might ask a friend if you could utilize some space in their garage.
  • Arrange your furniture strategically to maximize space and make rooms appear larger.
  • Tidy up all closets and drawers as potential buyers may inspect these spaces.
  • Ensure all surfaces gleam, from ceiling fans to baseboards. Don't overlook interior windows, mirrors, and floors.
  • Make each room neutral by removing personal items like photo frames, posters, or individualized artwork.
  • Spend time deep-cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, as these areas are often focal points for buyers.
  • Make any necessary home repairs ahead of time so that buyers won't have to worry about extra costs.
  • Invest in a new, welcoming doormat.
  • If needed, purchase new, neutral-colored linens and pillows.
  • Keep a good quality air neutralizer on hand and use it frequently to ensure your home always smells fresh.

2. Create Eye-catching Sign

Attractive signage can draw attention to your open house and help bring in more foot traffic. Use professional, high-quality signs with clear directional arrows and your contact information to guide visitors to the property. Use an eye-catching design or color scheme, or add a photo or graphic to grab attention. Consider utilizing a captivating design or color palette, or incorporating a picture or graphic element to draw interest. Top-notch visuals and designs are integral to crafting a superior-quality sign. You might engage the services of a professional graphic designer to assist with harmonizing color and font selections while ensuring a balanced arrangement of the sign's various components.

3. 8 delicious open house food ideas that'll get you clients 

Serving light refreshments, such as cookies and beverages, can make potential buyers feel welcome and encourage them to linger longer at the open house. This creates more opportunities for meaningful conversations and relationship-building. Here is a list of delicious items: 

  1. Finger Sandwiches: A perfect quick bite, finger sandwiches are often a staple at open house parties.
  2. Charcuterie Board: Always a hit at any gathering, a charcuterie board is highly customizable.
  3. Skewers: Offering a variety of flavors, skewers are an easy-to-handle option for guests.
  4. Hummus Cups: A healthy choice, these small servings are both convenient and delicious.
  5. Crostinis: Crispy and often topped with flavorful spreads or toppings, crostinis are a crowd-pleaser.
  6. Roasted Nuts: Offering a savory snack, roasted nuts are typically well-received at parties.
  7. Brownies: For those with a sweet tooth, brownies are a popular choice.
  8. Old Reliable: Cookies. Almost a guaranteed sight at an open house party, a plate of freshly baked cookies is a familiar and welcome sight.

4. Provide Informative Handouts

Prepare handouts containing information about the property, including high-quality photos, a floor plan, and a list of notable features. Include your contact information and a call capture marketing system to make it easy for potential buyers to reach you with questions or inquiries. 

Providing informative handouts at an open house is a great way to ensure potential buyers have all the necessary information about your property. It also gives them something tangible to take home and review. Here are some tips for creating and distributing effective handouts:

  • Content: The handout should include all the important details about your property. This includes the address, the listing price, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, unique features, recent updates, tax information, and your contact information. If it's a condo or part of a homeowners association, include details about the monthly fees and what they cover.
  • Photos: Include high-quality photos of the property. The photos should highlight the best features of your property and give potential buyers a visual reference once they leave the open house.
  • Floor Plans: If possible, include a floor plan of the property. This helps buyers remember the layout and can assist them in visualizing their own belongings in the space.
  • Neighborhood Information: Providing information about the neighborhood can be very helpful. Include details about local schools, parks, shops, restaurants, public transportation, and anything else that makes your area desirable.
  • Seller's Disclosure: Depending on your area's regulations, you may want to include a seller's disclosure statement in the handout. This document details any known issues with the property and can be very useful for potential buyers.
  • Display: Make your handouts easily accessible. Have them near the entrance of the open house so potential buyers can pick one up as they walk in or out. You could also consider handing them out personally as visitors arrive.
  • Quality: Print your handouts on good quality paper. This may seem like a small thing, but a high-quality handout suggests you take pride in your property and have attended to all details.
  • Call to Action: Lastly, remember to include a call to action. Encourage interested parties to get in touch with you or your agent for more information or to make an offer.

By providing well-crafted, informative handouts, you're offering an additional service to potential buyers while increasing the chances of your property being remembered after the open house ends.

5. Utilize Digital Marketing

Promote your open house through digital marketing channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and online geo-farming. This can help you reach a wider audience and increase attendance at the event. Digital marketing can be a powerful tool when promoting an open house. Here are some strategies for utilizing digital marketing effectively. 

  • Website Listings: Ensure your property is listed on popular real estate websites. Many potential buyers start their home search online, and these websites are often their first stop.
  • Social Media: Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote your open house. Create attractive posts with high-quality images and all the necessary details about the event. You can also use paid promotions to reach a wider audience.
  • Virtual Tour: A virtual tour can be a great way to generate interest in your property. You can either create a video walkthrough or use a 360-degree camera to create an interactive tour.
  • Email Marketing: If you have a mailing list, send out an announcement about your open house. Include high-quality images and a compelling description of the property.
  • Digital Invitations: Use digital invitation platforms to send out invites to your open house. These can be sent via email or through social media platforms.
  • Online Ads: Consider using online ads to promote your open house. Platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads allow you to target people in your area who are likely to be interested in buying a property.
  • Live Streaming: Consider live streaming parts of the open house on platforms like Facebook Live or Instagram Live. This can give people who are unable to attend a chance to experience the event.
  • QR Codes: You can create a QR code that links to more information about the property, a contact form, or even a virtual tour. Display this QR code prominently at the open house so visitors can easily access more information.
  • Feedback Forms: After the open house, use digital platforms to send out feedback forms to attendees. This can give you valuable insight into what people liked or didn't like about the property.

Digital marketing can significantly increase the visibility of your open house and attract more potential buyers. However, remember that the key to successful digital marketing is consistency. Make sure all your digital marketing efforts align and work together to create a cohesive message about your property.

6. Engage Attendees with Interactive Tools

Incorporate interactive tools, like virtual tours or touchscreen displays, to help attendees better visualize the property and its potential. These immersive experiences can set your open house apart from the competition and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers. Engaging attendees with interactive tools during an open house can be an excellent strategy to make your property more memorable and appealing. Here are some ideas. Print off this checklist: 

  • Virtual Reality Tours: Virtual Reality (VR) tours can provide a 360-degree walkthrough of the property. Potential buyers can explore different rooms and areas at their own pace. This is especially useful for attendees who want to revisit certain areas after the open house.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): Augmented reality apps can help prospective buyers visualize how their own furniture and decor might look in the space. This can be particularly engaging and assist attendees in picturing themselves living in the property.
  • Interactive Floor Plans: Provide attendees with interactive digital floor plans. They can tap on different rooms to see pictures or videos, read more information, or even view the VR tour of that room.
  • Digital Sign-In: Use a digital sign-in sheet to collect attendee information. This is a more modern and efficient way to follow up with potential buyers after the event. You could use a tablet for this purpose.
  • Interactive Displays: If your property has smart home features, let attendees interact with them. For instance, allow them to adjust smart thermostats, control smart lights, or interact with the home security system.
  • Touch Screen Information Points: Set up touch screens or tablets in different rooms with information about the house, like the materials used, any history, renovations done, and so on. It would allow attendees to engage with the information on their own terms.
  • QR Codes: Place QR codes in different areas of the house that link to more detailed information about specific features. This can be particularly useful for highlighting unique attributes of the property.
  • Feedback Tablets: Set up a station with a tablet asking for real-time feedback. Visitors can submit their thoughts and impressions right before leaving the open house.

All these tools not only make the open house more interactive but also give potential buyers a better understanding and feel for the property.

7. Collect Contact Information

Use a sign-in sheet or digital app to collect contact information from attendees. This will help you follow up with potential leads and inform them about the property and any updates. Collecting contact information at an open house is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Follow-Up: After the open house, it's important to follow up with attendees. A quick note thanking them for their time and asking if they have any additional questions can help maintain their interest in the property.
  2. Building Relationships: Even if attendees aren't interested in the current property, they may be looking for something else or may know someone who is. Collecting contact information allows you to build relationships and potentially help them with their future real estate needs.
  3. Feedback: Contact information allows you to request feedback about the open house or the property. This feedback can provide valuable insights for future open houses or property listings.
  4. Client Base: Every attendee at your open house is a potential client. By collecting contact information, you're building your client base, which can lead to more business opportunities down the road.
  5. Marketing: When you have attendees' contact information, you can send them information about upcoming open houses, new listings, and other services you offer. This helps you stay at the forefront of their minds when they're ready to buy or sell a property.

8. Network with Neighbors

Invite neighbors to attend the open house, as they may know someone looking to move into the area. Networking with neighbors can also help you gather valuable insights about the community and build relationships for future listings. Utilize Landvoice's new neighborhood search system to identify potential leads in the area. With this new tool, you can print out a mailing list & send out flyers for the open house for free. Some of Landvoices clients have had some of there biggest open houses from using this tool which drove more traffic which made the house more desirable. You can do this for free by signing up and using their free version. 

9. Partner with Local Businesses

Collaborate with local businesses, such as home stagers, interior designers, or mortgage lenders, to offer exclusive services or promotions during the open house. This can create added value for attendees and help establish your reputation as a resourceful and connected agent. 

Partnering with local businesses for an open house can be a great strategy for three reasons:

  1. Boost Appeal: Home stagers and interior designers can help make your property look its best, which can draw in more potential buyers. These professionals know how to highlight the property's best features and can give it a polished, attractive look.
  2. Expert Advice: Having professionals like mortgage lenders or real estate attorneys present at the open house can provide value to attendees. They can answer any specific questions that potential buyers may have and offer expert advice.
  3. Incentivizing Attendance: Local businesses could provide services or goods that could be used as incentives for attendees. For example, a local coffee shop could provide coffee and pastries, or a local spa could offer discounted services to attendees.

10. Follow Up with Leads

After the open house, promptly follow up with attendees to thank them for their time and gather feedback on the property. This can help you gauge interest, address concerns, and maintain the momentum generated by the open house. Refer to Landvoice's 5 pro follow-up tips for guidance on effective follow-up strategies. 

Following up with leads from your open house is a critical step in the real estate process. Here's a simple guideline to do this effectively:

  • Immediate Acknowledgement: Send a quick email or text message within 24 hours of the open house to thank attendees for coming. This can be a brief note, but it helps to make it personalized, commenting on something specific from your conversation during the open house.
  • Phone Call: A few days after the open house, give them a call to ask about their thoughts on the property and to answer any questions they may have. This is also a good time to ask about their specific needs and preferences in a home, which can help you guide them to other listings if this one wasn't a perfect match.
  • Email with Additional Information: If the attendees showed interest in the property, follow up with an email that provides more information about the property, neighborhood, or any upcoming open houses. You could also provide information on similar properties they may be interested in.
  • Stay Connected: Add the leads to your email newsletter list, if you have their permission to do so. Regular updates about new listings, market trends, and real estate advice will keep you at the forefront of their minds as they continue their home search.
  • Feedback: If the attendees were not interested in the property, it might be helpful to ask for their feedback. Their input could provide valuable insights for future open houses or property listings.
  • Follow-Up Over Time: If the potential buyer is not immediately ready to make an offer, don't lose touch. Periodic check-ins every few weeks or months can keep the relationship warm and you'll be their first call when they're ready to move forward.