10 Unique Open House Ideas for Realtors
Open houses are a common way to get exposure for yourself and for a listing as well as meet potential clients in person. However, hosting the same old stuffy open house in a world that has changed over the last few years won't get you the results you desire. Instead, you can make some particular and unique changes to your open house to multiply your success.
Read on for 10 unique open house ideas for Realtors® that will stand out and get results!
- How to Plan & Promote Your Open House
- Open House Invitation Ideas
- Top 10 Unique Open House Ideas & Tips
- 3 Open House Sign Ideas
- Virtual Open House Ideas
How to Plan and Promote Your Real Estate Open House
The first ever real estate open house was hosted by William C. Brinkley in 1909. That means open houses have been a viable strategy for selling a house for over a century! They are still effective today because it's a rare chance for you, as the real estate agent, to meet potential buyers face-to-face and to open the door (literally and figuratively) for interested parties to see a listing without having to schedule an appointment.
But a successful open house today will look a lot different than the first one--and the promotion strategies should be different, too! If you throw the open house together in a day, you won't be able to spread the word to a large pool of potential buyers--plus, they may not have time to fit in an open house if they don't hear about it until the day of.
Make sure to read the full breakdown of the best ways to prepare for an open house.
One thing that hasn't changed over the last 110 years is that you can't have a successful open house if you don't get the word out to the right people at the right time.
That means that you need to plan your open house and plan your promotion methods in advance. The first time you do this, it will probably take a lot of time and effort. Then, as you host open houses consistently, this should become an easily repeatable strategy and system.
To start, here are seven ways to promote your open house:
- Reach out to fellow Realtors®: Real estate agents have the most connections to active and potential buyers--take advantage of this!
- Post on NextDoor and/or Local Facebook Groups: Finding local neighborhood Facebook groups and Nextdoor communities is like finding a gold mine. These groups are often already made up of the most qualified and targeted people who just need to see your post!
- Post on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist: Think of these two platforms as another social media channel. Together, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist reach billions of homebuyers every month, and it will probably take less than ten minutes to post on both channels. It's a no-brainer.
- Send emails to your contact list: Use your existing pool of contacts to send information about your listing and your open house! Your email list should be a group of leads who already know you, and thus, are more likely to open your email and attend an open house.
- Make Cold Calls: This is an old strategy that can still work! What better way to form a connection with someone than over a one-on-one phone call? If you do make cold calls, make sure you do them about a week in advance to give leads enough time to attend.
- Share on Social Media: This should be an obvious way to spread the word. Whether you only have personal pages, only a business page, or both, each of your open houses should be shared on these channels. Want to make the biggest impact in the least amount of time? Create a short TikTok video or Reel and share it on all the other social media channels (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).
- Advertise With a Single Property Website: One of the best open house advertising ideas is to create a single property website. This is a great way to compile all of the information about a property onto one page and generate leads for yourself. With Stuccco's single property website builder, you can generate one automatically. No extra time required!
To make sure that all of your open house promotion methods are attention-grabbing and as effective as possible, use virtual staging to show the full potential of every home.
Related: How to Successfully Market a Listing
Open House Invitation Ideas
As part of your open house promotion strategy, you can also send invitations to spread the word and make connections with potential clients. Both physical and digital invitations can be successful. You can mail or deliver invitations to surrounding neighborhoods, send personalized emails, or even reach out personally on social media.
Although some of the methods for sending open house invitations may look similar to the promotion methods, an invitation should feel different than a promotion. For example, if you choose to invite potential buyers via social media messages, make sure the message feels personal and only goes to friends or acquaintances.
In the same way, email invitations should feel like they were written specifically for each person. Use discretion when choosing your methods and message--otherwise, your efforts will be viewed as spam.
You can also stand out by sending something unique to local leads. For example, Red Paper Plane creates mailers that fold out, create a box, or even have a video screen. You could also attach a note to a small candy box or snack bag to make sure recipients take notice!
10 Unique Real Estate Open House Ideas and Tips
There are many ways to make a real estate open house stand out and grab attention. But it's important to keep in mind that there are two ultimate goals of an open house; to sell the home for the most money and to grow your real estate business. Here are our top 10 ways to do it:
Related: How to Get More Real Estate Listing Leads (11 Proven Strategies)
1. Include Your Personal Branding
Use the open house as an opportunity to use your personal branding and increase your brand recognition! Many Realtors® do this by having business cards out, but you should also add your logo to the property brochure and any signage in and around the home.
If you want to bring your business cards up to date, add a QR code that takes people directly to your website. You can easily find a QR code generator for free online.
2. Use a Script for Guests
Realtors often struggle with what to say during an open house since you don't know who's coming or when. That's why using a real estate script for guests can help you make a natural conversation and get all important points and information across.
Real estate scripts shouldn't be a broadway production, where you have to recite a word-for-word monologue. Instead, you can memorize a script as a guide, but feel free to go off-script when connecting with attendees and potential leads.
3. Gather Guest's Contact Information
You can't get new real estate leads if you don't get your guest's contact information. While this is most frequently don't by using a physical sign-in sheet, you can also use this opportunity to stand out by using a simpler, digital form of "signing in.”
For instance, SimpleTexting is a tool that allows guests to text a simple keyword (like "12MainSt”) to a number, then receive information directly to their phone. Many buyers may prefer having property information on their phone, and this makes it easy for them to do so--plus, they are willingly giving you their phone number for further follow up.
You can also use an even more comprehensive open house tool to gather and organize contacts, like Block Party. However, there is a cost, so keep this in mind as you continue to host open houses.
When you present the sign-in options to visitors, this is also a great time to use some kind of incentive. You don't have to offer a large giveaway that eats into your profits, but even something as simple as a $10 gift card to a coffee shop or local restaurant can motivate leads to sign in.
4. Create a Property Information Sheet with the Right Details
Most real estate agents just print out the property sheet from the MLS and hand that out to open house guests. Although this is often useful to potential buyers, those sheets often skip over important details. Plus, they don't really answer buyer's most important questions about the property.
Instead, create a thorough and aesthetically pleasing property sheet with additional information. For example, you can mention specific stores and restaurants close to the home and details about the neighborhood. Does the neighborhood do annual block parties, egg hunts, or trick or treating? These details are often even more important and influential to buyers as the square footage of the lot.
Think about features that you want buyers to remember. You can also add a floor plan or a bulleted list of the features, like new appliances, ENERGY STAR-rated windows, or first floor laundry.
Want to know what today's buyers are ACTUALLY looking for? Read what buyers want in a home.
5. Schedule Different Open House Hours
You may notice that open houses are rarely scheduled on anything but Sunday afternoons. Obviously, this has been proven to be a good time to host an open house--however, it's also likely that many potential buyers aren't available at that time.
To reach people with varying schedules, why not host a second open house? You might find a different crowd attending an open house that's scheduled on a weekday evening.
6. Make the House Feel Like Home
Instead of waiting for guests to come to your open house and wander around the house on their own, use the opportunity of being in the to make potential buyers feel what it would actually be like to live in the home.
For example, hosting a cookout open house theme with an NFL football game on in the background will make buyers feel a lot different than seeing a Realtor standing by the door in a suit reciting an obviously rehearsed script.
Think about the kind of buyers who may be interested in each home, and target their interests. If you're selling a home in a great school district with a playroom and a playset in the backyard, then have an open house with stickers, balloons, and coloring sheets for kids!
Bonus idea: Create a theme!
Themed open houses are particularly effective if you have a specific audience in mind for a home. You could even host an open house themed with a popular TV show, band, or holiday.
7. Host Multiple Open Houses Together
In the rare cases when there are multiple properties for sale at the same time between a few blocks, you could plan an open house block party with the other listing agents. It's easy for homebuyers to make time to attend a few open houses if they are all close together. Plus, putting the marketing efforts and connections of multiple Realtors® together, these types of events can bring a lot of traffic.
8. Host Another Agent's Open House
Don't have any current listings of your own? Offer to host another agent's open house! This is a great way to get your branding out and meet potential buyers, and many agents will be happy to have the day off.
9. Stand Out With Unique Items & Decor
If you decide that hosting open houses is a real estate marketing strategy you want to stick with, you may want to invest in a few additional items that help your listings stand out to buyers.
For example, you could use this agent doormat at every open house to add your branding and contact info.
>Image via Etsy
You could also send something home with guests. Snack bags or water bottles with a tag or message like this is a great way for leads to remember you.
Image via Etsy
Another product that many real estate agents swear by is an automatic bootie machine or shoe cover dispenser. This is a machine that automatically wraps guests' shoes in a cover.
This keeps guests from tracking dirt and germs into your client's home without asking guests to sit on the floor to wrap their shoes up.
These machines are only around $40 on Amazon, so it's a product that would quickly pay for itself.
Image via Amazon
You don't have to spend a lot of money or time on every open house event, but small details will help you stand out from the crowd and achieve your open house goals.
10. Use Signs to Communicate Home Features
Most guests at real estate open houses come into the house, talk to the Realtor for 1-2 minutes, then wander around the house for about ten minutes. If they're very motivated buyers, this may be longer--but it's still a short period of time.
If you think that all potential homebuyers will catch every feature of a home in ten minutes, you'd be mistaken. You don't have to leave it up to chance--you can actually help buyers see all the benefits of each home by using signs!
3 Open House Sign Ideas
Since one of the ultimate goals of hosting an open house is to sell the home at a great price, creating signage in your listings may actually be the best way to achieve this goal. Here are our top three sign ideas:
Outdoor Open House Signs
The first and most obvious way to use signs for your open house is to use outdoor signs. You can easily get affordable, generic signs at Home Depot or Amazon. An alternative option is to order customized signs from Etsy.
Image via Etsy
Related: The Best Outdoor Staging Ideas
No matter what kind of outdoor signs you use, make sure you place them about half a mile around the house to attract passersby.
Virtual Staging Signs
When using virtual staging, we've seen many real estate agents have amazing success by using virtual staging signs in each room. It looks like this:
This way, buyers get to see the physical room without any furniture or decor hiding anything, but they can also see the room's potential with the right design.
You could even display multiple versions of decor in each room! Learn more about how virtual staging sells houses.
Signs for Specific Features of the Home
Finally, you can use a plastic sign holder or even picture frames to display print-outs of each room's specific features. This is a perfect way to make sure buyers notice small things about each home, like custom shelving, extra wall outlets, or smart lighting.
Turn Any Open House Into a Virtual Open House
If you want your open house efforts to make the biggest impact, you can also turn your events into virtual open houses. This allows people who are uncomfortable or unable to attend an in-person event to feel included and get the same information.
One way to use all of your physical open house preparations for a virtual audience is by recording a walkthrough video. You can go into each room of the house to point out the features and show the audience how the house feels.
You can also set up a time to go live on one or multiple social media channels to answer questions about the property. Then, you can use that recorded video on remaining channels or in an email.
You can even use some of the same tools to benefit a virtual audience. For instance, your SimpleTexting keyword can be used to automatically text the property brochure to virtual attendees.
Hosting a Successful Real Estate Open House
Even though some Realtors don't enjoy hosting open houses, there are so many ways to have fun with yours and use it to grow your business! Make sure you create an open house strategy with your goals in mind, and test out different ideas to see what works best for you.
Don't forget to use virtual staging to maximize the impact of your open house and real estate marketing efforts. You can have beautifully staged photos in just 24 hours--try it now!