Key Takeaways:

  1. Traditionally, an open house has limits on accessibility.
  2. Holding a virtual open house expands the potential audience.
  3. Technology accommodates home tours that historically would not be feasible.
  4. Virtual open house registrations and attendance information can still allow for follow-up and feedback.

There is nothing like having an open house full of neighbors and prospective buyers walking through a home, imagining what it would be like to live there.  We hold existing homes open and builders hold models open daily.  We even go so far to create a “Parade of homes” in communities where tens of thousands of people will walk through new homes just to see interior design and building trends.

Holding an open house will always be part of selling real estate, but what about those who can’t make the event?  It may be work schedules, it may be distance, it may be that they didn’t know about the event.  If you can’t be physically present, you can’t participate.

Virtual Open House

An alternative is to hold a virtual open house.  There are some benefits.  No foot traffic dirtying carpets.  No blocking out the day to prepare for and hold the home open.  No strangers rummaging through your closet and opening drawers when they really have no interest in buying.  It is a nice idea, but how would it work?

With the right resources, you could schedule a date and time, market the event, and drive traffic to the virtual open house.  Technology would register visitors, host tours, and distribute marketing material.  Real estate professionals could follow up and solicit feedback.

In today’s real estate environment enabled by technology, real estate professionals should have all tools at their disposal, traditional as well as virtual.  One isn’t better than the other, it is the ability to leverage both for a client that is truly valuable.  Too often we get caught deciding between mutually exclusive scenarios when evaluating the client’s needs and choosing a course that best fits their objectives is the best choice.

Want to add a Virtual Open House to your set of client solutions?  Here is how:

Hold a Virtual Open House

What you will need:

  • ARTI Listing Website with photos, video, 3D Experience, additional content
  • Make sure “Facebook Leads” are turned on in ARTI
  • Some kind of give-away (gift card, plate of cookies, etc)
  • Budget of $25 – $265
    • $25 if you only use a gift card,
    • $265 for expanded campaign ($25 gift card, $200 for two sets of postcards, $40 for social media marketing campaign
  1. Setup Your Virtual Open House
    1. Make sure you have photos, video, 3D Experience, HOA info, PR, Seller’s Disclosures, and any other information you want to share loaded into your property website.
    2. Schedule your open house for at least 48 hours (ie: Friday & Saturday).
    3. Schedule the open house in ARTI in ARTI under “Open Houses” in the marketing section. This will create an “open house” badge on your ARTI website.  It will also syndicate to Zillow and Trulia.
    4. Change the headline to indicate you are holding an Open House during the designated times.
    5. If you are using postcards order them ealry through the store. Provide instructions on how people can access your Virtual Open House
  1. Market Your Open House
    1. Market through email, social media, or other channels. Organic or paid advertising.  The more you promote, the better the turnout.
    2. Post cards go out
    3. Put out your Open House signs and promote that is a Virtual Open House
    4. Let people know that the have to “register” during the designated time to win the give-away. They register by selecting “continue with facebook” or submitting their name in the “Contact Agent” form.  You can see the time stamps for when the registrations happen.
  1. Promote the Winner
    1. Draw your winner based on registrations during the designated time.
    2. Make a big deal about it online or wherever you can. Post online, email everyone that provided contact information on your ARTI website, email your sphere.
    3. Send an Open House announcement cards to the Neighborhood identifying the winner and promoting your marketing abilities.