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January 24, 2024

12 Innovative Open House Ideas for Realtors

Open houses provide realtors with a great way to show their listings and connect with people in the community. Since open houses are a typical event in the real estate industry, many realtors are left looking for ways to make these events more memorable for their guests.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most innovative open house ideas for realtors. We’ll explore some different tips and ideas for hosting an open house that help you add a more creative flare to the process.

Some Real Estate Open House Ideas to Get You Leads

There are quite a few ways to spice up your open house. Let’s take a look at some innovative open house ideas.

1. Host a Hybrid Open House

The point of an open house is to get prospective buyers acquainted with the property. However, sometimes, people have a hard time attending in person, especially if they are planning to relocate to the area and still live out of town.

You can accommodate these people by hosting a hybrid open house. All you have to do is live-stream your open house using a smartphone or tablet to showcase the home’s best features and create further interest.

Walk around the house for at least 10 minutes to show off the flow and amenities, and engage with potential viewers as if you are talking directly to them.

After the live stream, post the video on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to boost traffic. That way, your stream can continue to reach more people, and viewers can share with their family or friends who might be interested in the property.

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2. Plan a Themed Open House

Another innovative idea to make your open house stand out is to plan a themed event. Think of ideas that make sense for the local demographic, and have some fun with it.

An iconic open house theme that was featured in Netflix’s Selling Sunset was “Burgers and Botox,” where the agents invited brokers over to a multi-million-dollar property to get Botox injections and enjoy burgers. This theme was very “LA,” making it perfect for the clientele in that luxury real estate market.

Of course, you don’t need to plan something so extravagant. But feel free to push the boundaries and experiment with different out-of-the-box concepts.

3. Partner with Local Businesses for Cross-Promotion

Partnering with a local business to throw an open house is a great way to get people in the door at your open house. Typically, these partnerships work best when you collaborate with local businesses that align with your target market and could benefit from cross-promotion.

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You should look for businesses that offer complimentary services or have overlap with your target customer demographics.

When you approach these businesses with a proposal for cross-promotion, highlight the mutual benefits. Outline specific details such as joint marketing efforts or collaboration on events and focus on the potential return of each initiative.

Not only do partnerships like this help attract attention to your current listing, but they also help build strong community connections that could lead to referrals down the line.

Not sure how to activate a partnership like this? You could throw a themed event that showcases your partner’s business. For example, if you partner with a local music academy, you could have a representative of the school playing music during your open house.

Pre-Open House Preparation

Hosting an effective open house starts long before the actual event. Here are a few tips you can use to prepare for your open house.

4. Contact Real Estate Agents and Potential Buyers

If you want people to show up at your open house, you must ensure they know it’s happening. Many realtors find it valuable to tap into their networks when promoting their events.

You can start by creating a list of realtors and people who have recently bought or sold a home in the neighborhood. From there, you can reach out to ask if they know any interested buyers. This method is called circle prospecting.

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When you conduct this outreach, ensure you have all the information about the home ready to go so they can pass the listing on promptly if they know someone who might be interested.

5. Promote Your Open House Online

In addition to inviting people personally, it’s essential to promote your open house online.

You can promote your open house on social media by sharing pictures and videos, asking your audience engaging questions, and posting about the open house daily or a few times per week to build excitement. Many realtors publish open house details on Facebook and Instagram and promote them with targeted ads to extend their reach.

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Of course, the main point of promoting your open house is to increase attendance. Still, you can continue repurposing live streams and photos from the event even after it’s ended to boost engagement and continue lead generation efforts.

6. Prepare Information About the Home and Property

Since you listed the property, you likely know quite a bit about what it offers. However, it’s game-on during the showing since you’re the salesperson and the home is the sales floor.

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Be prepared to discuss the unique and influential features of the property, such as:

  • Recent improvements
  • Neighborhood events
  • Specific home details
  • Age of appliances
  • HOA amenities

You should also familiarize yourself with nearby hotspots, like stores and restaurants.

During the Open House

Once the open house starts, it’s time to put your best foot forward. Here are some tips to make the most of your interactions with guests.

7. Greet Guests Upon Arrival

It’s no secret that first impressions last. That’s why greeting each guest with a warm welcome is vital. By welcoming each guest individually, you’ll set yourself up to build trust and create a lasting relationship.

With that, it’s important to greet visitors in a friendly but not overbearing manner. Introduce yourself when they come in and remind them that you are there to answer any questions they may have.

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Let them roam the property as they’d like, and be sure not to watch over their shoulders the entire time. Most people will confidently take a self-guided tour, but others may need to warm up a little. It’s up to you to feel out of the situation and facilitate as needed.

Breaking the ice with guests may feel a bit awkward, especially if they aren’t giving you much to work with. Asking guests what they’re looking for in a new home and learning more about their property search is a safe way to go.

If that doesn’t play out organically, feel free to chat about the neighborhood’s highlights and call out some of your favorite spots.

8. Have a Raffle or Giveaway

Raffles and giveaways are always fun for engaging people during an open house since they show them you appreciate their participation. When properly promoted, it also helps get people in the door of your open house.

If you’ve never hosted a raffle or giveaway, it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is choose the prize, create the rules, set a timeline, and promote accordingly. When it comes to choosing a prize, a gift card is always a great option, but themed baskets or useful pieces of tech are fun, too.

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Be sure to list the rules for entry, eligibility, winner selection, and any legal requirements or restrictions on a framed flyer on the registration table.

9. Provide Goodie Bags With Branded Swag

Goodie bags are a fun way to create a more memorable experience for your guests, especially if you include some branded merch they can use in their daily lives.

Branded pens, bottle openers, and stickers are popular choices. No matter what you include, make sure it aligns with the brand’s image and the target audience’s interests since these small tokens can impact brand recognition and customer loyalty.

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As you create your goodie bags, prioritize quality over quantity. Opt for items that are more likely to be used and less likely to end up in the trash.

For example, branded stress balls are fun, but those will likely be forgotten after a few uses. Focus on maybe one or two branded items, and throw in some snacks and custom-wrapped water bottles.

10. Present Yourself Wisely

As we’ve mentioned, open houses create opportunities that extend beyond selling the property at hand. They serve as valuable networking opportunities to help grow your real estate business.

This means you must be thoughtful about presenting yourself at open houses. For starters, you should be dressed professionally. Business casual is always a safe bet. You should also ensure that your hygiene is up to par for these interactions.

Your behavior should also remain professional. Keep conversations as professional as possible. Of course, getting a little more personal is okay if you’re trying to find common ground with someone, but always err on the side of professionalism.

Having business cards at an open house is standard, but you can put an innovative spin on it by using virtual business cards with a QR code or AirDropping your contact card to interested people.

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Many realtors even encourage guests to follow them on social media.

After the Open House

Staying in touch with open house guests is crucial in solidifying connections to create meaningful business relationships. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your post-event communications.

11. Collect Attendee Contact Info

If you want to be able to contact guests after the open house, you need to start by collecting contact information during the event.

The easiest way to do this is by asking people to sign in at the door. You could simply lay out or hand them a sign-in sheet that asks for a name, phone number, and email address.

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Or you can take a digital approach. For example, you could have people sign in on an iPad or have them scan a QR code that triggers a quick form.

If you’re worried that people won’t sign in willingly, offer an incentive for signing in. You could enter them in a raffle for a chance to win a gift card, as we mentioned before.

12. Follow Up with the Leads You Generated

It’s essential to stay in touch with the leads you generate at your open house after the event. You could contact attendees over the phone or through an email or SMS campaign.

Phone calls and texts are a bit more personal, but email blasts (with enticing subject lines) can also be effective.

An innovative way to follow up with leads from the open house is to send a lookbook with virtually staged images to showcase different ways the home could be styled. That way, potential buyers can picture themselves in the home — especially if the home wasn’t staged (or to their liking) during the open house.

This can be a generic lookbook that addresses common style preferences.

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Or if a lead has expressed a specific taste, you could stage the dining room according to their interior design preferences.

examples_vsai1.png Virtually Rendered by Virtual Staging AI

Although you’ll likely connect with many leads, only one person or family can buy the house. By staying connected with all the leads you generate at the event, you can open doors to potential business in the future.

Since people who attend open houses are typically looking to buy, you may be able to assist them in their search.



Host a Memorable Open House and Close More Sales

Open houses serve as a great source of business for real estate agents. These events can generate leads and increase income quickly.

As a realtor, getting creative with your open houses is a great way to create memorable experiences for guests. Even if the current listing isn’t their home, meeting people at an open house is great for making connections and building your clientele for future opportunities.

Virtual staging is very useful for hosting an open house, especially when it comes to promoting the event, opening it to online attendance, and conducting an effective follow-up. We invite you to try VSAI for free to see how this tech could help you in all of your future real estate endeavors.