Sunday, April 3, 2011

Successful Open Houses - Part 4: Promotion

If you're not going to promote open houses, then what is the point?

A successful open house requires using a customized version of THIS OPEN HOUSE CHECKLIST.  Since every home is different, and all marketing should be strategic, it pays to customize the checklist.  Regardless of customization, some things should always be in place, and it requires a week or more of promotion:

A week or more in advance:

  • COORDINATE: If possible, coordinate to have several homes in the same area open at the same time.
  • ORDER DIRECT MAIL: Consider sending direct mail that will be delivered 2-3 days before the open house. If there is a lot of rental housing nearby, those are great targets. This sometimes requires that the post cards be ordered and mailed more than a week in advance.
  • NOTIFY NEWSPAPER: If you're using newspaper ads, get those ads placed on time so as to make the publication.
The week of the open house:
  • RIDER: As many as 6 days before the scheduled open house, add a rider to the sign to let neighbors and people driving by know when the open house is.
  • BLOGS: Write the blogs about the open house and submit to the various real estate sites.  Send a copy to the seller and ask them to let their friends know.  This should be done 2-6 days before the open house.
  • MLS:  Get the listing live, add the open house to it, and be sure to include in the comments section the date and time of the open house.  This should be done as soon as possible, 2-6 days before the open house.
  • OPEN HOUSE ONLINE LISTINGS: Several web sites list open houses.  Make sure you've listed it with all of them. This should be done as soon as possible, 2-6 days before the open house.
  • EMAILS: Email your sphere of real estate agents asking them to invite their clients.  Email potential buyers in your database and using any "Listingbook" type services in place for that area.  Do this 1-2 days in advance.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA:  Place the link to your blog advertisement on your FB, Twitter and other social media sites.  This should be done no more than 2 days before the open house - 1 day before and then again the day before are ideal. 
  • DIRECTIONALS:  Some directional signs should be put up as much as 2 days in advance (depends on neighborhood and local restrictions).  Then, more directionals added just before the open house.
  • BALLOONS:  If permitted, add balloons/flags or other eye catching additions to the sign in your yard to let people know that indeed their presence is welcomed.
This combination of things I have found will really generate interest.  In my opinion if you're not doing an open house RIGHT, then there is no point in doing one at all.

Read the entire series on Successful Open Houses by clicking here.

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