Hosting an effective open house is a great way for real estate agents to increase possible leads and home sales. And making a memorable in-person first impression to potential buyers is key during an open house. Here are five tips for real estate agents to help create the most impactful open houses.
Develop a Theme
To create open houses that consumers will remember, consider developing a compelling theme. If your open house event falls close to an upcoming holiday, potentially tie your invitations, staging, music, refreshments and giveaways to that holiday. For instance, if Halloween is around the corner, consider having a local bakery make Halloween-themed cookies and have small trick-or-treat bags available for kids.
Or get even more creative! I recently hosted an art-themed open house and enlisted a local glassblower to participate. The artist brought 30 pieces of glass for sale, along with the pedestals to display the pieces on into the home. The house was vacant, so this created a wonderful display of art inside the space. The event generated buzz amongst the guests and resulted in several additional showings strictly from positive post-event word of mouth.
Don’t Forget the Music
Bring a portable speaker that automatically connects to your smartphone and have a music playlist ready to go. When music is playing during an open house, people become more comfortable and feel as though they can talk freely. For higher priced listings, consider booking live musicians to entertain guests and create a more elevated and memorable experience.
Create an Enticing Registration Area
To encourage sign-ins at an open house, create a registration area that’s enticing to guests by offering refreshments, including light snacks and water. I have personally found success in offering nice branded water bottles to guests and arranging them near the guest book. I also like to bring fresh white flowers and have them displayed around the registration area as well.
Engage the Senses
It’s important to try and engage all the senses during an open house so that guests remember the experience. While I’ve already mentioned sound and taste, don’t forget smell. Bring a refreshing candle with you to light during the open house to make the space smell wonderful and more inviting, but only pick one scent for entire the house. You don’t want competing candle scents throughout the home.
Pick an Optimal Day and Time
Sunday’s between 2 and 4 p.m. are normally the best day and time for hosting broader public open houses because buyers tend to have the most free time available. However, every market is different and there are some areas that might be better served by hosting a weeknight open house. It’s important to understand the neighborhood and cross reference the local calendar of events to ensure you pick the best day and time.
Terri Bass is a sales associate at Lenihan Sotheby's International in Louisville, Kentucky. She has more than 20 years of marketing experience along with tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm for Louisville real estate. Terri is devoted to her career, and as a result, she has ranked as the top sales associate for Lenihan Sotheby's International Realty for the last five years. Terri offers her clients dependable guidance and strives to make every transaction seamless. Her approach to real estate is both passionate and personalized, making the client experience a true pleasure.