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When you peel back the industry stigma of open houses, you’ll find the only people who really complain about them are those who should be championing them — real estate agents.
A house may not sell that day to someone who came to see it, but no homeowner is going to scoff at the idea of more people seeing the house they need to sell. In most cases, more exposure is always a good thing.
Open houses are as traditional as bus benches when it comes real estate marketing. But unlike the latter, open houses have evolved. It’s no longer cookies and clipboards. It’s QR codes, tablets, integrated CRMs and automated follow-ups.
Let’s look at a few of the tools, tactics and tech that can take today’s open house to the next level.
In a testament to pandemic-era innovation, QR codes play a big part in Curb Hero, which was once called Block Party.
Using the tablet resting on the end table to a sign at the nearby intersection, any aspiring buyer can scan themselves into your database, then be delivered a very cool property listing page, as visually engaging as any portal, before they even enter the home.
This is also a slick tool for pulling in random passers-by, which never hurts. The page has an agent bio, community information and a map tab for quickly finding out what else is nearby the house about to be seen.
Curb Hero has also included lead qualification and identity verification, as well as the ability to easily add and edit questions to the intake form.
Spacio was one of the first to recognize the importance of connecting open house contacts to your greater business experience. Thus, it made it simple to connect your CRM and automate the post-event follow-up. It’s UI/UX is one of the more engaging in this category, making it easy, and especially non-salesy, for potential buyers to submit their information.
Open Home Pro has been at it perhaps longer than most in the app-based registration process. It has terrific traction industry-wide and can be found in the App Store and Google Play.
Along with digital sign-in, Open Home Pro offers trackable, custom email campaigns, onboard lead tracking and for those demanding sellers, an activity report to keep them on top of how well—or poorly—the home is performing.
I’m going to blend this category, as it has so many options that can be leveraged to promote and operate an open house. For starters, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook live streams can be quick, engaging tactics for inciting interest, as can be some new apps on the scene like Real and 1060.
Real is an agent-powered app that allows consumers to follow properties, markets and of course, their favorite agents. It’s also a great for agents to share market information, events and network with colleagues.
1060, new to the American market, is more promotional in nature, displaying a feature-filled, full-screen video interface for promoting properties that should resonate right away with the TikTok crowd. Its agent vetting process ensures its content remains of high value, and its overall short-form video UX could quickly pull Zillow surfers away from the long-established portal search.
Virtual tours, staging and dynamic media
Yep, even if they’re already inside, it never hurts to have alternative viewing options on hand. A 3D twin may can also be used to show some features and amenities that a person may miss in a crowded open house. Not only that, the experience of viewing a listing in the digital environment lends a bit of marketing panaché, elevating the home into something more than a physical thing.
BoxBrownie, too, provides all sorts of image enhancement tools to make homes look their best, which could help make a tablet-based property presentation solution, like Studeo, CORE Present, MoxiPresent or Agent Image’s Access really shine.
Remember to leverage your CRM to its fullest extent. If it offers marketing tools, as just about all of them do today, use them. Get your open house leads into your database, qualify them, categorize them and reach out accordingly until you find a reason not to. Don’t waste your time tracking down the tire-kickers, scrutinize leads carefully.
Use property landing pages to remind them of what they saw, link to any of the dynamic tour content you created and most importantly, measure their responses.
Not every form of technology you use has to be “open-house specific,” in which case, know that it will take time for you seamlessly link together the workflow from sign-in to contract.
The market is changing, and your marketing needs to do adjust with it. Open houses are important, again.