You know to have a successful open house you have to get foot traffic through the door. In some ways it was easier to advertise open houses before the internet. Before you would list the open house in the newspaper and drop off flyers in the neighborhood. Then the day of the open house you would stick a sign in the front yard and on the street corner. Prospects usually went to one or two places to find out about open houses. Now it feels like a crap shoot. There are many places to advertise your open house, but not one central spot where prospects are going to get the information. That means you need to get creative to get people through the door.
Here are 12 ideas to help you get more eyes on your open houses!
1. Get Local Partners
Networking with local business owners is a great way to support local businesses. It can also give your marketing a boost. Look to partner with local businesses to get more eyes on your upcoming open house. But you can’t walk into the business just looking for them to help you. Think about what you can do to help them first. Can you cater their food for your open house? Can you give out coupons to their business at your open house? Think about what you can do to help them get leads and they are more likely to help you. Only then can you ask them to help you promote you. Ask if you can display information about your upcoming open house on their welcome tables or counters. Do they offer a spot for small businesses to advertise their services? Ask if you can take part and offer to do something similar for their business in return.
2. Magnify Your Mailing
Sure you can send out open house postcards, but those usually get tossed in the trash. Another idea is to send out a 5×7 invitation to the open house. Create a template with a photo collage of the house on one side and create a formal invitation to the open house on the other side. Put them in envelopes, stick an address label on them and drop them in the mail. While this is more expensive than mailing a postcard, it is more effective too!
Email is still the number one way to reach people. When people receive an email they have to read it or delete it. They have to take an actionable step. Keep a strong email list and tell them when you have a new open house. To make it not feel like a spam email make the open house feel like an event. In the email include anything special you are doing at the open house. Ideas like serving food or having a kids’ corner are sure to make the open house stand out. Keep the email personal and write like you are talking one-to-one with your clients. Make the email standout even more by creating a template with photos of the house. Adding a little more to a standard email will help to generate buzz for your open house!
4. Network with Agents
Do you have a group of real estate agents that you talk to both in and out of your office? If not this is something you need to put on your to-do list. Get to know the agents in your area, the agents that are selling as many houses as you are and more. Within your network agree to share information on upcoming open houses. Have one person create a list of open houses for the weekend. Then have that person send an email of the list to everyone in the network. Working together can help everyone get more people through their open houses!
5. Create a Theme
Cinco de Mayo open house? Sports team open house? Think about creating a theme for your open house to create a buzz around it. Create a list of theme ideas and then items you would need to buy for the open house. If you have an ongoing list it makes it easier to prep for your themed open house. When you advertise your open house make sure to add the theme to the marketing piece. Make it feel like a small party and you will create interest that will get people coming through the door!
6. Rearrange the Time
As I write this post, it is 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon. The reason I write during this time on the weekends is because my toddlers are napping. Prime downtime for any parent and prime stay at home time for any parent. Now think about that with your open house time. Are you holding an open house for a listing that would appeal to families with young children? Then consider changing the time and doing it in the morning or later in the afternoon. Another thought would be to do it on a weekday over the lunch hour instead of the traditional Saturday/Sunday open house. If you advertise it well and put on a nice lunch you can generate good traffic. Plus your seller will be at work and they won’t have to worry about making plans to leave their house!
7. Check Out Offices
Take a look at the offices and small businesses near your listing. Make up flyers for the open house and drop them off at the businesses. To draw more attention to the flyers include a small treat or coupons to a local business. Flyers usually get thrown in the trash so adding something of value makes it more likely that people will look at them.
8. Get Signs Out Early
Most open house signs appear the day of the open house. To get more people to see your signs think about putting them out the Friday before the open. Place them in high traffic areas around schools and office buildings. Of course you can’t put out a generic open house sign because that wouldn’t make sense. Look into having custom signs made where you can switch out the address of the open house. Or create a generic sign that says “Open House in Your Neighborhood This Weekend. To learn more visit my website.” The sign is out of the ordinary and people will notice it. It also gives people the opportunity to plan to attend or share it with others that are looking in that area.
9. Be Creative on Social Media
10. Promoted Pins
Promoted pins are coming to Pinterest and there is a wait list! Go over there now and sign up to get on the list. Promoted pins are ads for Pinterest. Prospective home buyers, especially millennials, are active on Pinterest when they are buying a house. Promote your open house where these prospects are looking to decorate their future houses.
11. Kid Friendly
Where I live we have a spice store called Penzeys Spices. I love going in there and smelling all the spices. I love taking my time to do this even when I have a kid or two in tow. How can I like taking a kid to a spice store with glass bottles waiting for children to break them? For one reason: the kids’ table. In the back of the store Penzeys has placed an art table for kids. Kids can color while their parents look around the store. Talk about smart marketing! Now I can spend more time in their spice store because my child has entertainment. I don’t have to grab one thing and run out the door.
You can do the same at your open houses. Create a kids’ corner at your open houses so moms and dads can stroll through the open house. They won’t have to get in and out of there fast before the kids start to lose it. The internet is full of coloring book pages that you can print out to take with you. (Don’t forget to put your contact info on there somewhere!) You can get inexpensive crayons at the dollar store and keep them in a small box that you can take to each open house. By giving the kids something to do, it gives moms and dads more time to look at the details of the house and spend time talking to you. Plus moms and dads will think you are awesome for thinking of the kids in that way!
There is no question that people love free stuff. Offer a giveaway at your open house to get more people through the door. You can offer anything from a $25 gift card to a local resturant all the way to an iPad. The ideas for giveaways are endless. You could partner with agents that have houses for sale in the neighborhood to create an “open house day.” Then you could pool your resources to giveaway an extreme prize on this special “open house day.” Get creative with your giveaway and market it well!
The goal of marketing your open house is to get as many eyes on the marketing piece as possible. That isn’t always as easy to do in this internet age. You have to think outside the box when marketing an open house to make it successful. You can’t just stick a sign on the street corner and in the front yard and expect to capture traffic. You have to put your open house out there for the world to see well in advance of the actual event. Plan ahead, get creative and your open house will be a success!
Do you still hold open houses? Do you use creative marketing ideas to get people through the door? I would love to hear about them! Please share your ideas in the comments below. Thanks for commenting!