Virtual Open Houses – A New Opportunity

Budget-friendly tips to keep interest high, remotely.

The challenges for those working in real estate are pretty daunting right now – especially for sellers agents. There are many unknowns, and there are levels of uncertainty we haven’t seen in over a decade. Plus, there’s the added hurdle of keeping sellers and buyers (and everyone in between) as safe as possible.

Still, we know that houses will continue to be bought and sold, and that in every challenge there is opportunity. We are lucky that technology, in many ways, is rising to meet the challenges of businesses and consumers, although the bandwidth is getting pretty thin! While Zoom meetings and virtual open houses may not be optimal (or preferred), the digital avenues we have to promote, engage, connect, and ultimately get the job done are very real. So real, in fact, that the amount of MLSs offering Virtual Open House data is growing by the day!

Shifting strategies to meet your seller’s expectations

We have experienced a surge in digital enablement over the past decade – Facetime, Siri, Alexa, Zoom (the list goes on). These were all beta technologies that exploded in terms of adoption. The novel feeling of using these applications, for the majority of us, has really been minimized – which is great news!

As a seller’s agent, you need to be quick to make a strategic shift. Keeping demand and interest going up is a must. First, it shows a level of property and technology (and business) acumen. Second, driving interest and sitting at the digital “connection point” could have your payoff far exceed the cost – that’s ROI!

On a budget, deploy these cost-effective (and even FREE!) strategies.

  1. Your Sphere and Facebook –  This is a given. If you have a listing, it absolutely must be shared with your sphere. You can do this for free, and make it stand out even more by designing a social post and boosting it to your sphere and beyond!

  2. The VIP Treatment – Connect your listing to a Single Property Website. Giving a property the VIP treatment is a must right now. Plus, it’s something you can do simply, and on a budget. Incorporating virtual tours, Matterport or YouTube videos, and a ton of other media will really make your property shine – even through a digital medium.

  3. Virtual Tours and Virtual Open Houses – Virtual Open Houses are relatively new, but they’re starting to show up broadly within many MLS datasets. This provides an interesting, new opportunity to connect, and get more buyer leads!
    For promotion, try creating a social post with AgentMarketing’s Design Lab. It’s easy, fun, very impactful and bound to drive shoppers to your virtual open house!

  4. Bonus! New Lead Capture OpportunitiesUnprecedented circumstances mean unprecedented opportunities for lead capture! A traditional Open House typically requires actual, physical attendance in order to collect the contact information of your (soon to be!) leads. But, by promoting and broadcasting a virtual event, the signup opportunity is realized at the very first touchpoint!

Consider creating a Facebook event for your virtual Open House – event pages are easy for your sphere to share, plus RSVP options make it simple to track who’s “Interested.” You can request emails or phone numbers to send a Zoom link and subsequently follow up with your new leads!

Leverage these tactics to boost demand for your listing, and give yourself every opportunity to nail it for your client!

How to actually do the Virtual Open House

Now that you have scheduled a time for your seller and your home-shoppers, it’s time to make sure you’re prepared! Using technology to promote and grow your Open House audience is great, but now is the time to show you can master showcasing a property digitally!

View More Examples of our Property Websites
  1. Make sure you’re comfortable with the technology. If you’ve never used Zoom, Facebook Live, Google Meet, etc., now is the time to get familiar with how it works. Will you answer questions live? How many attendees can be on the call? Do you need to connect to a strong wifi signal? Try the technology out, and make sure you look like a pro.

  2. Plan ahead of time. It should go without saying, but because this is new for many of us, simple things can be overlooked. So, turn the lights on, open or close the doors, and make sure you’re “all clear” for your walk-through and Open House. While you’re sure to receive some grace when a dog runs through your shot (maybe a great planned strategy?), make sure you’re ready for what could happen – and much like show business, if things go awry, the show must go on!

  3. Plan your path. It sounds simple, but knowing where to go and what to focus on will take some planning. Starting from an obvious location (e.g. the curb/exterior) begin the tour with a walkthrough that supports some sort of narrative – is this a perfect “family” home, or is this a chic professional’s living/workspace – knowing this will help drive focus and help you “talk and walk” your way through the property.

  4. Ask for help. Selfie-sticks are great…sometimes. When it comes to really creating a powerful virtual open house, though, it may be best to get a wider shot. Most of us are not videographers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t frame a shot in professional fashion. So, enlist someone that can help you! There may not be that many folks to select from, but getting help in making your virtual Open House one that stands out can be fun AND make your ROI pop!

The bottom line is that, as much as things have changed, there are really great avenues opening up in the digital realm. So, give these strategies a try. When the internet is the door to your listing – you never know how many leads you might get!

Mary Mackey
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