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17 June 2020

Can’t Host a Traditional Open House? Unique Ideas for an Open House

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Few real estate agents imagined a time when a traditional open house would be impossible to plan. Successful agents also recognize the need to be flexible when times change. These unique ideas for an open house will help people who are buying a house make educated and confident decisions.

Keep It Small

Open houses can be a small gathering with just one or two agents and clients coming one at a time. Keep the home environment sanitary at all times, holding the open house in just one or two rooms to keep it contained. People have the opportunity to see the home in person and view the yard and neighborhood. Give out sanitary wipes to ensure everyone feels comfortable in the area. Keep showings brief, and bring a laptop to offer a video tour of the remaining rooms. 

Offer Video Tours

A video tour is another way to schedule a non-traditional open house. Offer a preview of the home as it is listed, with promotions to watch the video online. Post the video on the agency blog and social media accounts, encouraging sharing. Create a stir by announcing an exciting video open house tour of a new property. Consider hiring a professional videographer for an optimum experience, especially for luxury and waterfront listings. Take it to the next level with cutting-edge technologies such as panoramic video, 3D, and virtual reality tours. 

Have a Live Open House Online

Make the open house a fun and timely experience by hosting it live online. Sites such as Facebook Live and YouTube make live streaming easy and accessible to everyone. Discuss the current conditions and why this an innovative way to view a new listing for the first time. Have agents at the home, showing the various rooms and living spaces via live streams. Send text and email invitations for a tech-friendly experience that is sure to resonate with the growing millennial market

Schedule a FaceTime Open House

Non-traditional marketing methods mean stepping outside the norm, especially when traditional methods are unavailable. Schedule a FaceTime open house tour with clients and agents to take them on an interactive tour of the property. Encourage comments and questions during the walk-through, providing a customized experience along the way. Let personality and news trends slip into the tour naturally, adding a personal touch to an experience that can’t be in-person.

Take an Open House to the Street

As social distancing becomes the new standard, take an open house to the street by hosting it in the yard. Large outdoor spaces can be used to host gatherings in pleasant weather conditions, allowing a few invitees to remain apart in the fresh air. An overhead gazebo can be used on extremely sunny or rainy days. Remember to follow all sanitary procedures to keep the areas clean, especially if food or beverages are served. Set up a large screen with a video tour of the home’s interior. Provide follow-up contact information via brochures or business cards, distributed individually to each attendee using gloves 

Rediscover the Power of a Slideshow

If a client does not want anyone to enter the home for videos, secure as many existing photographs as possible. Use them to put together a creative slideshow, adding details about what makes the property desirable and different. Add voice to the slideshow for a more personal touch in the absence of a video open house tour. 

Create a Facebook Group

Create separate Facebook Groups for local buyers, sellers, and real estate industry-related professionals. Encourage everyone to participate in the group and share details about new listings and available rentals in the area. Use the Facebook groups to share the latest unique open houses scheduled during challenging times. Encourage everyone to embrace a new way of marketing and become known as an expert in this area – generating future referrals when traditional marketing methods return.

Remember Sign Placement

Whether an open house is in-person or online, remember to place signs throughout the neighborhood to announce the event. Besides generating interest in the listing, signage is an excellent way for agents to market themselves. Include a headshot and contact information, as well as the address and a website URL, if required.

Send Follow-Up Information

Often part of the joy of attending an open house is receiving colorful information and freebies, such as food and incentives. Remember to send follow-up information about the house via email, text, and mail. Consider sending a fruit basket to key clients and contacts who might be interested in the property along with brochures, business cards, and items such as corporate gifts showing the agency name. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate affiliated agents can offer a full range of branded swag bearing the distinctive logo.

Tough times require changing tactics to achieve success.  Buying a house might look different when the world faces a crisis, but these unique ideas for an open house keep communication open – something everyone will remember about a hard-working agent.

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