Have You Tried Live Streaming an Open House?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Shore Points Realty BR# 8340248

My friend Kevin O'Brien a South Jersey SEO consultant who runs the Small Business Website Advice blog, recently wrote this article: Why Aren't Real Estate Agents Live Streaming Open Houses.

He really got me thinking about how effective it could be to live stream open houses, especially in luxury or second home markets. 

I'm working on incorporating more into my marketing in the coming months, what about you?

Do you have any plans to start live streaming open houses?



How to Make an Open House Productive


This recent article on Poynter.com caught my eye, How do you make real estate visual? Curbed is launching a Facebook Live team to find out. The article mentioned how Curbed New York, ran a test of live video using Facebook Live, and decided due to success to put together a team for creating video.

One thing I found very interesting was that it mentioned,

A push into live-streaming might seem counterintuitive for Curbed — after all, real estate probably wouldn’t top a list of the most visually dynamic topics. But Kelsey Keith, Curbed’s editor-in-chief, says property is actually a natural fit for the medium.

“Curbed is inherently about places,” Keith said. “It’s not about static real estate anymore. It’s about cafés, shops, bridges, streets, architecture, design. It’s about people in different places.”


I thought the statement that real estate might not me a visually dynamic topic, was outrageous. One thing you can note from HGTV is that people love to look at homes. For this reason, I think live video could be the great equalizer for real estate agents, looking to compete in very competitive markets.

Using Live Streaming for Real Estate

Live video is one of the areas, that is not currently saturated with a ton of content, so it would be easier to stand out among the noise. With a minimal investment of a tripod and maybe a couple clip lights, any real estate agent could get a good setup to create videos. For those looking to shoot video in their home or office, the team at Wistia has a great article on hacking together a, Down and Dirty Lighting Kit.

While you can find plenty of ways to use video for your real estate marketing, one great idea I haven’t seen used is instead of sitting around an Open House with your feet up, why not hold a few live streaming open house tours.

The Best Way to Market an Open House

For most agents, who are lucky to see 1 person walk through an Open House, using this time to create live tours would take previously wasted time, and instead turn it into a lead generation opportunity. Since most Open Houses are longer than an hour, I would take a try and broadcasting the live video tour several times, across different platforms.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all make live streaming video easy from within their app. I would run through the tour 1 time on each platform to start. Once you’re confident with doing live video, it would be just another step to incorporate some social ads, in order to leverage the value of each video.

Read the entire article: Why Aren't Real Estate Agents Live Streaming Open Houses?



Posted by



From the beautiful beaches of the Jersey Shore to Florida , I serve discerning home buyers and sellers. If you are moving anywhere in the United States contact me for a member of my Real Estate network that I would used myself if I was making a move. Ian Lazarus

Sea Isle City, NJ - Avalon, NJ - Stone Harbor, NJ - Outer Banks, NC 


Comments (20)

Moe Dadseresht
Austin Skyline Realty Inc. - Austin, TX
Buyer/Seller agent

It could be a boring video if during 2-3 hours of an open house only ten or so people (good number I would think) show up. That is about fifteen minutes per family. You have to fill quite a long period of dead time. 

Aug 07, 2016 01:58 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

I think it would be best to do some 10-15 minute walkthrough on different platforms. This way it wouldn't get so boring, Moe Dadseresht .

Aug 07, 2016 04:16 AM
Ian Lazarus

You can turn on music and wait for the next person. I have sat and watch a ball game. You can set up 2 or 3, 20 minute previews if you feel better about having clients on to see the house. Good luck.

Aug 07, 2016 03:03 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

I believe one valid reason, Ian Lazarus is that when a live stream is composed, there are no duble-takes and that intimidates many novice videographers.

Aug 07, 2016 03:19 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

Great point, Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 , I think fear is often the biggest thing from stopping us from adopting new techniques or strategies.

Aug 07, 2016 04:14 AM
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Interesting idea, not sure I'll be doing it, but then again, you never know.

Aug 07, 2016 03:22 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

Don't see the value David Baker Laveen Realtor & South Phoenix Realtor ?

Aug 07, 2016 04:14 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

No. There ain't nothing like the real thing baby.  Streaming and being there is the difference between sitting in seats behind the pitchers mound and watching a game in a local bar.  It's all about the experience of being there.

Aug 07, 2016 04:12 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

What is the streaming gets them to show up for the real thing, Kathleen Daniels ?

Aug 07, 2016 04:15 AM
David Spencer
Keller Williams Northland - Kansas City, MO
Show Me real estate in Kansas City

Had not given it much thought, but if I decide to have an open house perhaps I will give it a try.

Aug 07, 2016 05:30 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

If you decide to give it a try, would love to hear how it goes!

Aug 07, 2016 05:44 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

Our State legal counsel advises it is not legal to do so.

Aug 07, 2016 06:04 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

What's their concern Greg Large ?

Aug 07, 2016 06:15 AM
Rose Clark, Realtor, ABR, GRI
Alain Pinel Realtors - Carmel, CA
Inspiring & Passionate Real Estate Professional

An agent in our office just did a "Facebook Live Feed" from an open house this weekend... I will be trying it myself at my next one!

Aug 07, 2016 07:06 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

That's great, Rose Clark, Realtor, ABR, GRI ! How did they like it?

Aug 11, 2016 11:58 PM
Andrzej Niemyjski
Realty One Group - Sun City West, AZ

Very interesting concept that if done right could be a great marketing concept

Aug 07, 2016 08:04 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

Thanks, Andrzej Niemyjski - I think it can definitely be used successfully.

Aug 11, 2016 11:59 PM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Interesting idea. I think for women, it would be wise to team up for an open house to be safe.  It would be great to start at the open house, before it begins and walk through the house to show the best features.  One other disclaimer that would have to be considered is getting a sellers consent if the home is occupied.  

Aug 07, 2016 09:00 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

Great advice, Jan Green !

Aug 12, 2016 12:02 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Right about now am feeling over bombarded with FB live streams, if others feel like I do they will not be tuning in.

Best to just make a YouTube video and let them watch it when they are ready.

Aug 07, 2016 10:32 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

Bob Crane - Why not stream it live then upload a video to Youtube? Get the best of both.

Aug 12, 2016 12:02 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Interesting. I've done showings via Skype, but not open houses. 

Aug 07, 2016 10:47 AM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

Hi Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner - Interesting, did it turn into a sale?

Aug 12, 2016 12:03 AM
Melissa Jackson
Century 21 Alliance Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Yes, I have. It was short. I got the idea here on Active Rain. Plan to do this more often. 

Aug 07, 2016 02:16 PM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

Would love to hear how they go, Melissa Jackson 

Aug 12, 2016 12:04 AM
Annie Adjchavanich
Secret HQ, Inc - Los Angeles, CA
CRE LA, Orange Co, SFV, South Bay, Inland Empire

What a great idea! I've attended event where they live streamed on Periscope. It was pretty impressive how many viewers tuned in.

Aug 07, 2016 02:47 PM
Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS

I think trying various platforms like Periscope, would be great! Get to leverage each platforms audience.

Aug 12, 2016 12:04 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

The only reason to host an open is to capture unqualified leads, so live streaming may be a great aspect of getting the listing, but it defeats the purpose of luring the mice to the cheese.

Aug 07, 2016 10:49 PM
Jack Lewitz
Exit Strategy Realty - Evanston, IL

I think Periscope could be a tool to use for live streaming  and maybe create someone looking to drive over to you open house

Aug 07, 2016 11:25 PM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

That would be a neat concept. However, I can we legal must go over it before doing it.

Aug 07, 2016 11:55 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I attended one where they had set up a giant screen TV & was running a Disney movie which I found entertaining. Many ways to skin the Real Estate cat...meow

Aug 08, 2016 12:16 AM
Mary Jo Quay
EXP Realty - Minneapolis, MN
I Move You Home

You'd have to have a substantial fan page following to make it worth it, AND want to know more than two to three people show up.  2 hours of crickets chirpping isn't going to bring a flood of buyers.   

Aug 11, 2016 12:25 PM
Tim Flannagan

Are there any legalities involved from the realtors point of view?
Did the client have to sign any and of wavier?

Sep 01, 2016 04:06 AM