Your open houses are an opportunity for you to market yourself to dozens of potential long-term customers. Why not optimize this lucrative marketing funnel to bring you the most return on investment?
If you only see open houses as a way to promote and sell a single listing, you’re missing out on it’s other key strength. You should also be using your open houses as a way to promote and sell yourself and to advance your real estate career.
There are two primary reasons to leverage your next open house to sell yourself. One) to improve your brand and the awareness of it, and two) to build relationships and generate leads for future deals.
Modern REALTORS® have a habit of measuring their marketing efforts, making adjustments, and measuring again. Trying to improve their lead-to-customer conversion rates at every iteration. But this mentality doesn’t have to stop online. Your open houses are as much a marketing tool as your real estate website, so apply the modern mindset to your next open house and watch it produce results, then track those results and improve them next time.
There are a lot of ways that you can get creative at your open house to generate leads and make your brand stand out, including things like catering with gourmet food or inviting the architect to come speak with visitors.
However, today I’m describing five methods you can apply to your upcoming open house with the use of some simple tech and tools. These five tactics each have unique implications for your brand and your bottom line, so let them sink in and ponder ways to make them your own or build upon them. Creativity is highly encouraged!
1) Showcase Community
It’s relatively obvious that when a someone buys a property, they are also buying into a community. If you are a real estate agent with an open house in Maple Ridge, BC, you might have people driving up to an hour or more to get there. They probably had to use Google Maps to get there and might have taken a dead end turn or two. They have little to know idea where they even are.
When they walk into your open house, give them a chance to familiarize with the neighbourhood beyond the four walls. Make sure you have a prominent slideshow or video presentation that details the community. If the home owner does not have a decent sized screen in their home that you can use, bring your own and set it up in the living room or kitchen. Don’t forget to play it on loop throughout the entire open house.
This shows your visitors that you care about them and that you’ve thought about their needs. This is you going the extra mile and it will not soon be forgotten – it’s a good look for your brand. Speaking of which, don’t forget to add your brand identity, tagline and contact information in your video or slideshow. You might even want to include a call to action.
[-_-]~~ Ninja Tip: At the end of your community video, tell open house visitors to leave you their e-mail address before leaving!
2) Collect Emails
When someone steps foot into your open house, they are more often than not, a complete stranger. Within moments, you’ve introduced yourself and welcomed them. Where the conversation goes from here is up to you, but usually it includes a brief tour and some light Q&A. Most REALTORS® are quite outgoing and know the right questions to ask. This usually creates a pretty relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for the visitors; an atmosphere that feels cozy and safe, much like home.
By the time the visitors are about to leave, many words and a couple handshakes have been exchanged. These people don’t feel so much like strangers anymore. You’re probably on a first name basis and might have shared a laugh or two. You understand their family dynamic a bit more and generally get their needs and wants. You know what you can do for them, and they are without a doubt walking out with your business card or contact information.
So why not ask for theirs too? It’s really not much to ask, and their e-mail address today could result in a commission tomorrow.
If you have an iPad or tablet, download the Open Home Pro® app, charge up the device, and put it on a stand somewhere prominent at your next open house. Open Home Pro is being used by over 65,000 real estate agents and is rated 4.5/5 stars on the Apple store. It will let visitors easily check in to your open house using their e-mail address, and it will also automatically follow up with them after the open house to ask for feedback, thank them for coming or whatever else you choose!
Put the power of technology to work for you with apps and tablets, or simply opt-in for the analog version instead. A piece of paper and a pen will essentially do the same thing, but will not make you look as cutting edge. If your demographic would rather keep it simple, download this free, unbranded open house sign-in form that RealtyNinja designers created for modern REALTORS®.
3) Get Musical
This one is so simple, yet so overlooked. Why is it that when we create real estate tour videos, there is always a musical component. However, we never think to compliment the real experience with music?
I’m not saying you need to hire a band and turn ever open house into a party. Just bring a couple of wireless speakers and inject some audio to bring the open house experience to life.
There are plenty of musical apps to choose from out there, but my recommendation would be to invest in a Spotify account. It’s not free, nor is it particularly cheap. It is, however, the most intricate music app I’ve ever used and it contains a song library that puts practically every other service to shame. Using Spotify, you can either pick from thousands of playlists made by their expert curators or by the millions of users. You could also create your own custom playlist specifically for each open house.
Here’s an example of a Spotify playlist that you might put on when you’re showing a loft in Gastown. The playlist is called “Coffee Shop Chill” and features mostly indie and folk artists – easy listening, lots of acoustic. Can you picture it?
Music is an extremely powerful medium, as it makes us humans feel real feelings. The right music can accentuate any mood. Sometimes when you have your headphones on while doing something, doesn’t it feel like you’re listening to the soundtrack of your life? Why not replicate that feeling to create a romantic real estate experience for your open house visitors, and to help sell the listing?
Every property and every neighbourhood has it’s own identity. Try to identify their characters and pair them with a complimentary playlist. Put on the playlist with low volume during your next open house and gauge the reactions. What have you got to lose?
4) Ask for Engagement
Depending on who your open house visitors are, you may have an opportunity to ask them for some social media love. Here’s what I’m thinking, but please take this idea and run with it:
Before your open house begins, make sure you publish a post announcing it on your Facebook page. Then make sure that post is “pinned” to the top of your page (what does that mean?). Bring some sort of prize with you to the open house. Something that your expected visitors will enjoy winning – something that will entice them to act. It could be concert tickets or a gift basket, as long as it’s perceived as valuable. The more exclusive the prize is, the more engagement you can expect.
But don’t break the bank. If you’re expecting only 20 people to your open house, consider how much 20 potential long-term customers, genuinely engaging with you on Facebook is worth. Provide a prize of roughly equal value.
Okay now you have taken care of all the P’s: you have a prize, your post is published, and it’s pinned. Time to ask for engagement! As people arrive at your open house, let every single visitor know about the prize. Then let them know that they can enter by going to your Facebook page and commenting on or sharing the post about this open house, which is now pinned to the top of your page feed! Easy right? I would totally do that to win some Hockey tickets or something, wouldn’t you?
You could also outline all the instructions on a sign or postcard. Either way, your visitors will love you for the chance to win. More importantly they will share their Facebook info with you (leads) and realize that you are a savvy modern REALTOR® who uses social media well (branding).
I hope you realize this is only one example of using your open house to ask for engagement on social media. You can play with this concept and mould it with your own ideas and vision.
5) Go Live
Here’s a phenomena that’s catching on pretty quickly… last night I was on Facebook and my friend Rebecca Coleman showed up on my feed. But it wasn’t just your average post. She was live, showing me how to make a St. Patrick’s Day dinner!
These days, anybody can have their own live broadcast show. There are tons of tools out there that enable you to share your live experiences with followers on social media. People use these tools for personal reasons, and businesses use them professionally. Modern real estate agents can use them too, especially to increase your potential open house “attendees”.
If your open house is tomorrow from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, why not host a digital open house from 1:15 pm – 1:45 pm before anybody arrives? If you’re on Facebook, use their Go Live feature to publish your own live video feed like Rebecca does! If you have a bigger following on Twitter, and would like to promote your live open houses to that audience primarily, you’ll want to check out the Periscope Mobile App.
The most important thing to consider is where the majority of your audience is. If you’re dealing with a bit of an older demographic, it may be easier to get them to follow your digital open house using Google Hangouts, than any of the tools I mentioned earlier. You could also host a digital open house using Snapchat with dozens of 10 second videos.
No matter what tool you end up using, you’re affording people the chance to check out the listing with you live, from wherever they are. You also give “visitors” the ability to ask you questions by leaving comments while you’re guiding them through the property. This is totally cutting edge, and totally interactive. This experience will leave a lasting impression on your potential customers, much like Rebecca left a lasting impression on me.
Be sure to end your digital open houses with a clear call to action, so that the people who joined you live don’t just disappear into the shadows.
Thanks for reading this week’s Dojo article! I’d love to hear some agents putting these tactics to the test. If you do, please let me know how it goes.
Until next time, Ninjas! [-_-]~~