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Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Upgrade Open Houses

Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Upgrade Open Houses

Real estate marketing ideas that bolster your real estate business are solid gold, so we're putting pen to paper with 6 real estate marketing ideas to upgrade your open houses! Let's review...

Real estate marketing ideas for your next Open House...

Let's first talk about the cornerstones of real estate marketing (ideas that haven't changed much at all). Open Houses and handshakes. Whether you love them or hate them, the fact is Open Houses work. New lead generation aside, when it comes to practical, results-driven real estate marketing ideas, Open Houses literally drive offline traffic to your listing while simultaneously providing a real-world opportunity for interested online homebuyers to tour a favorited digital bookmark. Of course, it works best when you have a line-up of interested leads in advance of the Open House, but coordinating that is herding cats. Empty Open House events are a reality and it's not necessarily the fault of agents (who work tirelessly to promote them). So what can we do to adjust and market to interested real estate leads enough to get them to show? Here are some fresh real estate marketing ideas...


"Uber chauffeur" key buyers. That's right. If you've got three parties in town that you know would love this real estate, then set it up in advance and have each party picked up at their homes and brought to your Open House at designated times throughout the day. Then market the heck out of it to your real estate leads! Let's face it, good intentions rarely translate to feet-in-door. So for about $15 to $25 each ($75 in total), you can lock key leads down by actually picking them up. For those that have used an Uber before, it'll be something familiar, convenient and yet still a unique way to shop for homes (it's certainly buzz-worthy if it becomes your thing). For those that haven't used an Uber before, it can be a fun, easy and unique first-time experience for homebuyers that may be set in a home viewing routine. It's easy to set up on your end and it makes it more difficult on their end to come up with reasons why they can't show (since you're picking them up at their door). Let them tour your Open House for as long as they like, then let them head wherever they like afterward - either home or...


Treat them to a lunch date. Buying a home is an emotionally-charged experience. So why not make it a Groupon-style package event for key buyer leads? After your Uber picks them up and after their tour of the Open House, buy them lunch at a great deli down the road. It'll be easiest to just give them the coupons when they show at the Open House. Okay, so it's a little timeshare-salesy, but you can make it real by keeping it real (just have fun with it and don't put any expectations on them). You already know them, so you're good there. You're just making this particular experience a memorable one. They've seen a few listings already (and they may be somewhat stressed with the process), but then you have a "big gala" of an Open House, complete with an Uber pickup and drop-off - maybe even a nice lunch for their homebuying team to discuss the home (and your brand of business). If you work with the deli in advance, you could be looking at $100 for your top three leads to have the Open House experience of their life. For a luxury market, consider a limousine and cocktails. Speaking of cocktails...


"Host" a VIP Open House Post-Wrap-Up Event. For select leads, host a VIP Post-Wrap-Up Event for later that evening, after your Open House. This could be a drink mixer at a nice wine bar or simply beers at a craft brewery in town. Invite some friends and clients you've helped in the past - focus on social. First, this is to add a little something extra to your Open House - something you can say before the Open House but that takes place afterward (to light it up a bit). Second, this will help soften the brand (and ego) blow that is just a natural part of the Open House experience. No matter what you do, there's always the chance that few or none show. Instead of scurrying away into a hole alone, embrace it and have a drink with friends that have been there with you in success. Third, a VIP Wrap Event with friends and select clients you've closed with in the past will provide an easy framework to discuss the listing and more importantly... referral opportunities. And fourth... it's an easy do. No prep, no real hosting duties... you're free to mingle, talk shop and socialize (but all centered around your listing). Even the flakiest of friends who will fail to show to an Open House during the day will show for a drink at the end of the day. Flaunt a successful showing, commiserate on human flightiness, negotiate referrals... it's all good. Soon, your Open Houses will be cause for celebration... social events to keep track of - even if after the fact.


Hold an open house for charity. There are a lot of charities that are actively looking to partner with anyone that can help them meet their goals. Sure, yours is a business and outside of your personal charitable contributions or volunteer work, you have to focus on your business's needs, but don't be too shy to reach out and see where you can make a common connection that helps everyone in the community. Eden Reforestation Projects, for instance, will plant a tree for under $0.50. Just partner with them (it's free) and they'll help you with the legal details and permissible advertising language (it's only 1 or 2 sheets - really simple). Within a few days, you can have a tree planted for every person that attends your Open House at less than the cost of a cheese platter. You help the planet by going green and have something unique to talk about on local radio and advertisements. If you want to get really creative, have a tree planted for every listing one-sheet you hand out - how's that for reducing carbon footprint while growing your business brand? And, of course, you’ll need everyone’s email to let them know how many trees you've helped plant! Speaking of footprints...


Organize a neighborhood walk. We've said it before, but you're not just showcasing a home, you're showcasing a neighborhood. There are a lot of reasons that a home buyer buys and lifestyle is often a major factor. For some, this will be an active lifestyle and for others, it'll be an old-fashioned, family-friendly neighborhood vibe. If your listing enjoys trails, tree-lined streets and a high walkability score in general, then showcase it in person - show it off! Every few hours (or every hour if you can), plan on a quick, 15 minute walk around the neighborhood or up and down a picturesque street. Don't lock yourself in a box - after all, you're selling them on how walkable it is... so show them you mean it and that you're already enjoying it! Coordinate with a team member to help with the tours, or have a sign made up that reads something like "Giving a neighborhood tour - we'll be back in 10 minutes! Call or text at (555) 555-5555 to meet up with us!" It's a way to say "Take this home's charm for a spin!" It's popular to do this in a car, but that's just not a unique experience and they already did that on the way in and out. Leads that are inspired by the beauty of the neighborhood need to smell the flowers and trees... they need to hear children playing and laughing... they need to see the neighbors walk by and wave. It's healthy, it's different and it's memorable. A great way to make the home a part of a bigger lifestyle upgrade for the buyer.


Make yours the peer example of real estate marketing ideas. The focus should always be on your product, but that doesn't mean you can't showcase your product as a best practice in the industry. Some of the most successful product demonstrations are B2B versus B2C. Of course, you'll have to be careful of who you're bringing in and where the conversation shifts. The easiest way to help make sure you're not muddying the waters (adding work and leading the discussion away from your listing) is to treat it less like a separate event and more like a partner event that is related to the property you're listing. Here's an idea to consider... partner with a staging expert to stage the house to maximum effect. Have them set it up in a way that accentuates the home's best listing features for the neighborhood, etc. Then have them host a special tour during your Open House. This might be particularly effective if you pitch this to your peers as a "learning event"  - it'll get feet in the door that might become some great referral opportunities. Now, your Open House just became an extended learning event, a showcase of how to stage the right way (led by an expert on the topic). Have your team or theirs blog about it before with an Eventbrite event signup or a Meetup group event signup then afterward with lots of photos as a case study in staging. Marketing leading up to your Open House and even marketing after your Open House can boast your Open Houses as the ones to pay attention to. Great for you and your client, the staging expert and your peers looking to learn a few good tips. 


Play it somewhat safe!

If you’re out of real estate marketing ideas for making your Open Houses more interesting, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. But, there are very serious considerations that you need to put first in line... like legal and ethical limits that you won't want to unknowingly edge near. The most important thing, however, is that you and your guests are safe. So look into these real estate marketing ideas and do your homework. Talk to your broker and if in doubt, team up with another agent to make sure you don't get distracted and slip up or... don't do it. These are designed to enhance your listing's appeal, grow your business and grow your brand reputation. If anything in this list even remotely hinders any of these, then they're not working to benefit you. Now... go get those creative juices flowing!





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