I remember the time of plopping a few open house arrows on the major cross streets, planting a handful of flags, opening the door, and receiving a healthy amount of traffic. Those were the days!!
Unfortunately, with so much technology: virtual tours, high resolution wide angle photos, and digital layouts, plus the softening of the economy, open house traffic has nearly evaporated! Buyers now have the ability to preview a home without ever stepping into it. Sure this may be convenient for buyers, but it's devastating for us agents who rely on that face-to-face connection and relationship!
There will never be a subsititue for physically stepping foot in and experiencing a property.
So how do we go from a trickle to a river of open house traffic? Well, like any good event it takes planning, preparation, and the use of all marketing tools. For us, this means marketing from both sides of the spectrum: On and Offline line.
We start with the foundation, offline marketing.
--> Place open house signs early... as early as 1 day prior to the event! We need to get people aware of the open house, so placing our signs in advance gives the neighbors the opportunity to plan their trip over.
--> We pre-sale the event using postcards! Just like the signs before, 1-2 days in advance, walk the neighborhood and drop off a 1/2 sheet Open House postcard invitation.
--> Lastly, creating Open House specific property flyers. Sure our standard listing flyer will do, but simply changing the headline to read "Open House" frames the property differently to the buyers.
Flyers, signs, and postcards are not enough nowadays, so leveraging social media and online marketing tactics is needed.
--> Now that Facebook as practically taken over the world, it's time we take advantage of the FB craze by creating Open House Events! Almost like the offline postcard, this spreads the word that much faster!
--> I thought we would never use this but now I've seen the application of QR codes on our flyers and postcards. The trick here is to link the QR code to our Facebook Event. It's a great way to tie-in technology with our open house and track our traffic.
--> Last but not least, we utilize social "Check ins". Facebook uses this as well as Four Square. It's a great tool to help visitors promote the property! We print out a flyer that looks just like this and place it in front of the door.
In comibination this is how we drive traffic. Selling real estate is getting increasingly harder. For us, instead of fighting it, we embrace it and incorporate on and offline techniques for max traffic and max business.
If you'd like to learn more about how to create a Facebook Event for your Open House or Listing, you can see our tutorial post here: http://activerain.com/blogsview/3410346/more-than-an-open-house-make-it-a-social-event
I hope our strategy and our tips help.
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