Open houses: some real estate professionals love ‘em, other think they’re a hassle. Ideally, your open house will draw a steady stream of potential buyers, producing offers and expanding your prospect list. But what if no one shows up? Or people do show up, but you don’t get a single bid?
We think it’s time to change the game a little. Consider throwing an open house party.
An open house party is, essentially, just an open house with better marketing (and probably better snacks). An open house party creates an event around your open house that highlights the listing’s best features and draws the right crowd. It also opens you up to new prospects. Here’s what you need to do to orchestrate the hippest home sale on the block:
Identify your listing’s key selling points.
You already do this anyway, right? Now pick one you can build an event around. Does it have a nice backyard deck? That’s perfect for a BBQ or sunset happy hour. Great family room? All the better for watching the game and serving up some snacks. The idea is to figure out who would want to buy this house and then select an open house party theme that will appeal to that particular market. Now we’re not suggesting you throw a pool party with a DJ and designer alcohol, but it is an option!
Plan the party.
Your open house party is designed to make potential buyers feel at home… so at home that they want to buy it and live there forever (well, maybe not forever, but at least until they’re ready to buy another property from you). Make your guests feel comfortable by staging the home – either hire a professional or DIY – and arrange for decent refreshments. Stale cookies are not going to cut it this time. This is a great opportunity to highlight the charms of the neighborhood by serving snacks provided by a local restaurant or deli. Who knows, you may even be able to score a discount if you plan on using them to cater other parties, ahem, open houses in the area.
Market your open house.
First, create an open house event in your Point2 account by following the instructions here. You can do this in advance. It will automatically appear under the specified listing on your website; it will also automatically disappear once the date for your open house has passed.
Next, promote your open house on your social media channels. Create a Facebook event and share it with your friends and ask them to share it with their friends – just make sure your event isn’t set to private.
Finally, don’t forget to market to the neighborhood! If it’s a walkable area, advertise in places your buyers might hang out. Cute midcentury two bedroom? Ask if you can leave fliers by the counter of the local organic bakery. And (almost) always invite the neighbors. Yeah, they may already have houses of their own, but by extending an invitation you increase the odds that they will share your event and listing with their friends and family.
On the day of your first open house party, prepare to have a good time and go with the flow. Maybe a ton of people will show up and you’ll have to scramble to talk to them all. Or maybe just few people show up but you’ll get to talk to them in depth. If you get an offer, fantastic! If you don’t, it’s no big deal. You just expanded your prospect network by reaching out to local businesses, neighbors and your social network with a fun event. You also distinguished yourself from other agents in the area in a memorable way.
By throwing your first open house party, you establish yourself as an agent doing something fresh in a sea of sameness. In marketing speak, organizing a value-added event like this is one of your key differentiators. Way to go!