If you’re a real estate professional, you realize that a well planned and executed open house can do more to sell a house than any amount of money spent on Facebook ads, or sponsored posts on Twitter and Instagram. Open Houses are a key part of your real estate business because it can also bring more business to you.

The fact is that you’re more likely to get an offer at, or immediately after, an open house than any other time during the listing process. And why is that? Because it lets potential buyers see not only the house but other potential buyers sizing up the house. Simply overhearing the interest from other buyers can help prod even the most cautious buyers along in the decision-making process. It’s simple psychology: If people have a positive emotional response to the property, and feel there’s a big market for it, they’re more likely to make a strong offer as opposed to a low-ball.

But this can only happen if one important factor is present: PEOPLE. You need people at an open house. Not just prospective buyers, but people walking around and participating.

In this article, we compiled some of the tested and tried methods to successfully execute your open house and generate record footfalls for your listings.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

1. TELL THE NEIGHBOURS! Make it a Neighbourhood Event

People aren’t just buying a house, they’re buying into the neighborhood. Give the neighbors a heads up and invite them to stop by, have a snoop around and mingle with one another. Let them know there will be opportunities to ask you questions about neighborhood property values and/or random real estate questions they might have.

We all know that the neighbors pop by to ‘take a peek’ during open houses. It’s curiosity, and no one is immune to it. Who wouldn’t want to snoop around their neighbor’s place in a way which isn’t super creepy or illegal? If they have a similar house build to you, you want to see how they decorated and used their space. But who cares, right? They already own a house and aren’t going to buy. Why would you want to attract them?

Because they may know people in the market, and if they do, they’re quite likely to help you sell the house to get someone they know and like into the neighborhood rather than a stranger.

2. Promote for 1-2 Weeks in Advance on Your Social Media

Mix it into your planned content so that you offer reminders every two days, then increase to daily reminders every day when you’re within 5 days of the open house. Use targeted Facebook ads for the radius you feel makes the most sense for the listing, and make it sound FUN!

Here is quick step by step plan for promoting your open house with Paid Ads:

  • Create a Google Adwords account
  • Create banners for your open house
  • Promote the open house on Google’s Display Network geo-targeting the nearest zip codes
  • Send people to a dedicated landing page for the listing.

Geo targeting by zip codes

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

3. Hire a Professional Stager to ‘Depersonalize’ and Optimize the Space

Open House Staging Tips

The fact is simple: A buyer is buying the property, and don’t give two spits about the family living there currently. After the house closes and the check clears, the odds of the buyers and the sellers remaining in regular contact is minimal. What you want is for prospective buyers to envision themselves and their loved ones in the space, and they can’t do that with family pictures everywhere. Hire a professional stager to make a neutral and attractive space which highlights the attributes of the property.

Interested in doing it yourself? Check out this helpful resource

4. Prepare Some Killer Print Materials for the Open House

The days of listing brochures done on a word document and printed from your office laser printer are over. Take the time to make some visually appealing and unique marketing materials to hand out at the open house.

5. Host a Broker’s Open House as an Opportunity to Get Some Professional Networking Done.

Why not use the open house as an opportunity to invite some buying agents and other real estate professionals to talk shop? You can schedule an agents/brokers-only showing where you can circulate and get to know fellow real estate professionals. A strong network is a productive network!

6. FREE FOOD – It Always Works

You know who loves free food? People with mouths and stomachs. Why not make the theme a neighborhood BBQ? This is a great idea because you can either man the grill yourself and let people know to come ask you any questions when they come in, or you can have someone you know help out for a few hours. Set it up right out front so people can enjoy a snack on their way out (you probably don’t want to send strangers around your listing with food in hand), and have some cookies and popcorn going in the kitchen to fill the house with some awesome aromas!

Just remember to set timers and not forget about them. Nobody enjoys the smell of burnt popcorn!

There are literally thousands of possibilities to consider! Check out some of these cool food ideas.

7. Entertain the Kids

Have things for kids to do so that viewers with children can look around without having their children asking ‘Can we go yet? This is boring!’

Keeping the kids occupied lets you focus on the adults, and lets them focus on getting a feel for the house!

8.Partner With Other Listing Agents in the Area

Notice a house or two on the block up for sale? Why not reach out to the listing agents to team up and make it a true neighborhood event? Teaming up can help draw more people to the area by leveraging your respective circles, and pooling resources for marketing and staging costs can help lower the costs for all of you!

You WANT a reputation as a real estate professional who throws an epic open house. You WANT to be known for visually attractive, tasteful, fun and welcoming events where people can really visualize themselves not only living in the property but enjoying life there!

Now get out there and get at it!