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Home » Blog » Selling a house » 10 Easy and Efficient Ideas for a Successful Open House

10 Easy and Efficient Ideas for a Successful Open House

A family of three talking to a real estate agent during an open house

In the world of real estate, open houses are a unique opportunity for agents to give a house the needed visibility and potentially shorten the house’s time on the market. Though a picture might be worth a thousand words, nothing compares to allowing prospective buyers to walk in and envision themselves living in that house.
The open house gives real estate professionals a great opportunity to learn more about the house and the respective neighborhood which can be used now and in the future.

If you are an agent on the lookout for creative and efficient open house ideas to speed up the buyers’ decision-making process you are in the right place!
Read on to discover 10 open house ideas to stand out from the competition and get more feet through the door to reach the widest possible audience.

1. Take the most of your online listing

The real estate market is very active. Every day, buyers and sellers are looking for the best deals.
The main goal of real estate listings is to facilitate the house sale, ensuring it stays as short as possible on the market. Nevertheless, real estate listings are powerful tools and can be used for open houses too. But exactly how? Well, some listing websites allow you to mark when an open house is going to take place on a given date. Agents might attract more prospects and potential visitors will have more time to organize in advance their life to ensure they can attend – a win-win for both.

Websites like realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow allow you not only to post real estate listings but allows you to add open house details 👇🏻:

Zillow Texas Open Houses
Open houses in Texas (Zillow)

According to an annual survey conducted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, in 41% of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the house-buying process was to look online at properties for sale. Also, 95% of buyers used online tools in the search process.

2. Explore the potential of QR Codes

QR Codes can hold almost any type of information within a square code. Are QR codes still relevant?

The answer is…YES. You can see them almost everywhere – on business cards, gyms, packaging, restaurants, and even in museums. According to a study by The Drum and YouGov, 75% of consumers have said that they plan to use QR Codes moving forward.

They were vital during the Covid-19 pandemic and are considered a useful marketing tool that can be used in your next open house event. Our suggestion is the creation of a touchless open house visitor registration to make the whole process easier and faster.

Steps to create a QR-Code sign-in sheet

Or, if you prefer, follow the YouTube video “How to make an Open House Sign-in Sheet using a QR code”

  1. First, you will need a Gmail account, if you don´t have one yet, please create one first. Once you are done, log into your Gmail account.
  2. Google forms are free and easy to use. So, go to Google forms and create a new form and change the document’s name to a meaningful title. This is where your visitors will register their attendance after entering the open house.
  3. Add questions to collect visitors’ information, such as “First Name”, “Surname”, “Phone Number”, “Address”, and “Working with an Agent?”. Don´t forget to add which of those are mandatory or not.
  4. After setting up all the questions, Press the button “Send”, from the top right corner, and click on the chain link icon (🔗).
  5. Select and copy the URL link.
  6. Open a new tab and search for QRCode Monkey, which allows you to create a free QR-Code for the sign-in sheet. Note: Many other websites do the same.
  7. Paste the link that you just copied and click on the button “Create a QR-Code” and download the QR-Code recently created
  8. Test with your phone using your camera, to confirm if everything properly working.
  9. Design your sign-in sheet, using Canva, Photoshop, or other graphic design platforms. Note that exist already buy options on the internet, such as on Etsy.
  10. Display the QR-Code sign-in sheet on a tablet or printed in a frame!

Below we showcase an example:

Example of a touchless QR-Code sign-in sheet with agents info in a small vertical wooden frame for open houses
Designed by Freepik

After the open house, go back to your Google Form, click responses and review the collected data. You can export visitor’s info as an Excel spreadsheet which makes it easy to access

As a real estate agent is always important to transfer all the leads’ info to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and you are all set to follow up after the open house. Now, you have a direct connection between the house address and the prospect contact.

3. Organize a surprise raffle for your guests

Everyone likes raffles, and why not make one in your next open house?
Promoting a raffle is an interesting way to create excitement and engagement between you and prospective buyers. It will not only help create a memorable experience but is also a convenient way to encourage your visitors to leave their contact information. There is a wide variety of prizes, from gift cards, local food, and coupons to gadgets.

To help you decide which prizes you should offer, ask yourself: What are my potential house buyers’ interests and needs?

Organizing a raffle is a unique opportunity to communicate with every single person who enters the house, and might be the first contact with many visitors. Every guest that enters the open house could have the chance to participate, for free, in the surprise raffle, only by writing their info.
Let them know that you are going to announce the winner after the open house, following up by phone or email. To make it easier, we present you with an easy and attractive example that would certainly have a huge impact.

Surprise raffle example to offer to your guests during an open house

According to Kenneth Er, a Senior Sales Associate, from San Francisco, California:

Kenneth Er, a Senior Sales Associate, from San Francisco, California commented that holding raffles during an open house entices more people to come to the open house

4. Display around frames with floor plans

Floor plans aren’t a requirement to sell a property, however, they could be very useful because they are authentic attention-grabbing and help buyers to move forward in the decision-making process.

Floor plans show the relationship between spaces and the overall layout of the property, and it’s a powerful tool for Real Estate Marketing that you can easily use in open houses.

In this way, we suggest displaying the property’s floor plan around the main divisions. For example, when a visitor enters the kitchen, a small frame with the floor plan is displayed above the island or countertop, and to make it even more interesting and straightforward you can darken the visited area and lighten the remaining areas.

The presented visual content you use will affect how your visitors feel about the property, and colors are an important factor that you should use wisely.

CubiCasa floor plan displayed on a wood frame in the kitchen division
Designed by Freepik

Remember, a professional floor plan makes the seller look more professional and reliable, and the buyer can imagine the property as their own (examples: furniture, future renovations, etc…);

Bonus: Lead Generation Strategy

Moreover, according to Rightmove, adding a floor plan to a real estate listing can increase click-throughs from buyers by 52%. And, floor plans are the 2nd most important feature on a listing and correlate highly with capturing potential leads, according to Zillow.

These statistics highlight the importance of floor plans in today’s market and demonstrate that, quite simply, a floor plan increases the chances of selling properties.
As an agent, you can boost even more your open house strategy through adding floor plans to your listings! Here are some reasons to do it:

  • Buyers have a better visualization of the property, rather than only using photos;
  • Less wasted time for both, sellers and buyers, and time is money;
  • Make the listing stand out and stay in the memory of potential buyers;

Are you interested in this effective and memorable idea?

CubiCasa allows you to scan an average property in no more than 3-5 minutes! Do you know the best part? You start for free, with no upfront investment and no training is required!
It’s as simple as tracing the baseboards with your smartphone. When you are done scanning, you just need to hit the upload button and you get a floor plan back a few hours later.
We offer a free floor plan option in the US!

Scan a Floor Plan in 5 minutes with CubiCasa

5. Offer promotional goodies to open house visitors

Real estate branding is so important nowadays and promotional items are essential to keep your company’s name top of mind for your current and future clients. People still receive dozens of business cards and agents simply do not stand out from their competitors. On the other hand, offering small gifts is one way to get them to remember you. By the way, who does not love freebies?

There is a wide range of promotional goodies and it can be very difficult to choose the best ones. So, we will show you the suggestions of iPromo LLC and Susan Sanchez, a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker.

iPromo LLC has worked with over 45,000 customers, helping them determine the best promotional products and ideas for their events and objectives, and suggests:

  • Calendars
  • Writing Instruments
  • Key Chain
  • Letter Opener
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Hand Sanitizer

Susan Sanchez, a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker, offers promotional gifts to her open house visitors. She suggests dishtowels, potholders, compact mirrors, or change purses.

Remember, the core of your business is your clients, and always ensure that you’re offering something that is going to add value to them.

6. Show virtual staging photos to prospective buyers

Agents know better than anyone else that selling empty properties or with outdated furniture makes the selling process more time-consuming. These scenarios make it more difficult for prospective buyers to imagine the property as their future house. However, with virtual house staging, now they can!

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 82% of buyers’ agents reported that staging helped buyers visualize the property as their future house. They also concluded that 47% of buyers’ agents reported that staging had a distinct impact on the buyer’s view of the house. With these virtual staging facts, it’s not hard to understand why so many real estate agents and apartments are turning to this technology.

While your visitors are analyzing the different spaces, they can have a different perspective of each division through virtual staging photos which can be presented in a 2-page catalog, with the Before and After. Showing your clients how the house could look allows your guests to realize the potentiality of the property and might change, in some cases, buyers’ final decision.

2-page catalog with a before and after image of the virtual staging, to be shown during an open house
Before and After images source: LCP Media

7. Delight your visitors with perfect grab-and-go food and delicious beverages

Every detail of your open house matters! Do you know how long does it take to make a first impression? The answer is 7 seconds, it takes ONLY 7 seconds. So, you might be thinking, how can I make those seconds memorable and enjoyable?

During the open house, rather than only activate visitors’ sight sense, why not smell too?
Remember, there is no magic trick here, all prospective buyers are different and you will only know what works best with trial and error.

Decorated sugar cookies

Did someone say…“cookies”? Everyone loves cookies, but why not take them to another level? Have you ever thought about serving your visitors personalized open house cookies? Instead of standard cookies, how about saying “house”, “open house”, house address, door number, date of the open house, company’s name, and/or logo? All these cookie ideas can give a more tailored experience and the perfect starting point for many conversations with your guests.
The only thing we cannot promise is that they will last longer during the open house. 😅

Open house personalised cookies
Source: Andy Kay’s

Tip: To ensure you are offering fresh and protected cookies, put them into small plastic packages.

Coffee

Coffee is considered a classic during open houses. Why not support a local small business coffee, and leave some flyers or some information about your next open house event? Nothing is better than a win-win relationship. The coffee should be served in ceramic mugs or disposable cups with lids (the last thing you want are stains in the house).

8. Offer guest’s kids funny and educational activities

As a real estate agent, you know better than anyone that even though holding an open house has lots of benefits, it is time-consuming and stressful. And can be even more when your guests bring their kids.
You might be thinking how can kids get entertained, while the adults are having grown-up talks? That’s where kids’ activity sheets come into action! Kiddos will be entertained with funny and educational activities while parents are looking at the house!

There are lots of activities that kids will LOVE and take the house, such as:

  • Colour the different elements;
  • Help a character/animal get a house;
  • Word hunt;
  • Connect the dots;
  • Maze;
  • Find the right path to the house.

 

Open House Kids Activity Sheet from Etsy
Source: Etsy

Don´t forget to bring some colorful crayons, pencils, and rubbers to ensure that kids have the necessary tools to play.
On top of that, you will be seen as more professional and gain prospects’ confidence way faster!
Like the previous ideas, don´t miss the opportunity to advertise yourself by adding your agent info like photo, name, contact, address, and/or logo. Personal branding in the Real Estate field is one of the keys to success. Remember, how do you want to be remembered if you are not seen?

9. Welcome your visitors with an open house doormat

The smallest details are the ones that create a big and positive impact on your visitors and might be the difference between receiving an offer or not. Have you ever thought of adding your real estate doormat? It’s seen as a simple addition and several underestimate his impact. So, let’s try to understand if you should invest in it for your next open house.

Firstly, it will help to create the perfect “welcome” even before guests enter the door, to what could be their future house. Moreover, the doormat by the entryway will be the first level of protection from dirt and possible dust coming from the outside.

Nowadays, it’s possible to find doormats at a very accessible price. Don´t forget that you are investing once and you get to use it in several open houses!
Several companies and websites offer a wide range of doormats in different colors, fonts, and sizes. But if you want to stand out from the competition you should add your special real estate touch! Can be as simple as adding a catchy sentence related to the open house/real estate field and your agent’s contact info.
See below a few examples that might inspire you to create your agent doormat:

  • Welcome to your future house + Agent info
  • Welcome to our Open House + Agent info
  • Have you already packed to move to your new house? + Agent info
  • Open House psst… take a look! + Agent info
  • Come on in Open House + Agent Info

All the previous ideas, and the current one, are unique opportunities to advertise your Branding such as Agent Name, Phone Number, and Website or Email Address.

10. Psst..have you heard of Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla Marketing is used all over the world, but do you know what is it? No problem, we’ll explain! Guerrilla Marketing is a method that tries to sell or publicize a product using unusual and low-cost methods, usually in public places. It focuses on creating messages for a specific field to attract a specific target’s attention.

Real estate is still seen as a traditional and conservative field by many people. However, it doesn’t need to be like this. What you need to understand is who you’re trying to talk to, your target interests, desires, ambitions, and fears.

The University of London held a study regarding people’s reaction to guerrilla marketing and it was concluded that people react positively to guerrilla marketing due to the surprise and creative aspect.

Here we present you two ideas that you can add to your next open house activities:

Distribute seed packets to invite a specific neighborhood

Clients are a vital element of open houses, and taking advantage of the neighborhood where the open house is going to take place is genius. But how can you invite them?
You can drop off open house seed packets with your agent information and a catchy sentence, such as:

  •  “Why not plant these seeds in your future house?” + open house details + Agent info
  •  “Why not plant these seeds in your future house?” + open house details + Agent info
  •  “Come to plant these seeds in your future house!” + open house details + Agent info
  •  “Ready to plant these in your future dream house?” + open house details + Agent info
  •  “Growing dreams into houses!” + open house details + Agent info

Suggestion: Sustainability is more than ever a today’s topic, and could contribute to this cause by providing a package made of 100% recycled paper. Small details make a difference.

 

Make use of door handlers to invite a specific neighborhood

You can drop off door handlers with the open house details and real estate agent, but how can you provide a special touch? Imagine that you are leaving or coming to your house and you stumbled upon a giant door handle in a key format. That would be surprising a different from what you have seen before.
Don´t forget to add both info about the open house details and agent info. Also, you can use a catchy sentence, such as:

  • “You’re invited to our open house. You already have the keys” + open house details + Agent info
  • “You’re invited to our open house. Take a tour and enjoy!” + open house details + Agent info

In this way, you have a fun and creative way to invite the neighbors and the memorable experience is starting to be created even before the open house grand day!

In a nutshell:

Agents give a house much-needed visibility and potentially shorten the house’s time on the market. Organizing an open house allows potential buyers a more complete picture of the property and many people don’t consider buying a house until they step inside and fall in love with it.
As a real estate agent, you intend to provide the best open house experience to speed up buyers’ decision-making process. So, we presented you with 10 memorable and efficient open house ideas.
Let’s repeat them:

  1. Take the most of your online listing
  2. Explore the potential of QR Codes
  3. Organize a surprise raffle for your guests
  4. Display around frames with floor plans
  5. Offer promotional goodies to open house visitors
  6. Show virtual staging photos to prospective buyers
  7. Delight your visitors with perfect grab-and-go food and delicious beverages
  8. Offer to guest’s kids funny and educational activities
  9. Welcome your visitors with an open house doormat
  10. Psst..have you heard of Guerrilla Marketing?

Use these ideas to stand out from the competition and get more feet through the door to reach the widest possible audience.

 

Author: Ana Rosa

Ana is a Marketing and PR intern at CubiCasa. When she's not writing content, participating in brainstorming sessions, or developing analysis, Ana is exploring charming Helsinki. On weekends, you can find her at Helsinki Oodi Central Library with a cup of coffee or looking for hidden reindeer.

We're building technology to digitize the real estate around us, and while doing it, helping families to find better homes, approve mortgages and renovate their homes. We are located in Oulu, Helsinki, San Jose, and Ho Chi Minh City. Currently we are especially looking for software developers to join our team.

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