The Secret to a Successful Open House & Easy DIY Project
Updated: Jun 13, 2019
When it comes to hosting a successful open house event in the world of real estate, the number one priority on any agent's mind should be: How on Earth am I going to get people to come!?
If you're like me, you've probably relied on the usual tried and tested tactics to try and secure some visitors. Methods such as posting on social media, shooting mass emails to your sphere/past clients and bribing your coworkers to stop by may seem like optimal ways to get the word out, but mostly result empty homes with counters covered in untouched cookies & fruit platters.
With that being said, I'm going to let you in on an often overlooked tactic to securing serious foot traffic and avoiding tumbleweeds and cricket chirps at your Open House. The secret is: Place your energy and focus on the neighbors. That's right, I'm talking about the people who are already nestled into their homes with (most likely) no desire to purchase the home you are so eagerly trying to show.
So why them? Even though they, themselves are not likely to be looking to purchase, chances are they have friends or family who are looking to move into the area. Statistics show that the average person knows 100 people. If you go door to door and inform 50 different homes about your exciting open house, you are potentially, inadvertently, extending your invitation to 5,000 people. Chances are, a handful of those 5,000 people are willing & able buyers.
Still feeling a little skeptical? Let's say you invite a neighbor and they happen to not know a single person looking to buy or sell in the area. What you can now count on as a backup, is "nosy neighbor syndrome". Don't pretend like you haven't been curious about what your neighbors homes look like on the inside. Most people will let curiosity get the best of them and likely end up stopping by your open house to see how their home compares to the homes around them. A tip for encouraging nosy neighbor syndrome is to mention all of the great custom features of the home you are showing. They might really want to know if the custom closet at your listing tops theirs, or maybe they are seeking ideas to update their kitchen.
Let's talk strategy. First of all, I think we can all agree that face to face interaction goes a lot further than words on a screen. The physical act of walking around, knocking on doors, and interacting with people goes a long way. People will remember you and the personalized feeling of being invited to an event. What will really increase your chances of having them attend is bringing them a tangible invitation with a pop of personality. Trust me, people will remember you as the agent who took the extra step and went out of their way to make them feel valid and included. Who knows, maybe that charming impression you made will put you at the forefront of their mind down the line when they are looking to sell their home as well.
Here is a DIY to making these quick, affordable, and easy invitations to bring to the neighbors to your open house. It took me a quick trip to the dollar store and about 20 minutes to assemble 50 invitations, all in a $15 budget. These invitations, though simple, are affective and can really make an incredible effect on the people who receive them.
DIY Open House Neighbor Invites
- Plastic bags
- Individually wrapped mints
- Fake flowers (optional)
- Printed invitation
- Business cards
Step 1: Print out your invitations. I went ahead and designed these using Adobe Photoshop, but even a simple Word design can work wonders! Be sure to include the place, date, time and details along with your contact information. I fit four invites on one page and cut them out after printing.
Step 2: Cut your Cardstock to include in the bag behind the paper invitation. I used this wood washed patterned cardstock that acted as both a contrasting background and more stability for my invitations. You don't want to hand someone a flimsy piece of paper in a plastic bag. That's dumb. Make it sturdy, and durable. It will make you look better, trust me.
Step 3: Add your goodies and garnishes. For this particular invite, I decided to use mints and white flowers to match my design. Feel free to mix this up by adding different types of candy, the not obnoxious kind of confetti, or other little decorative pieces to give the wow factor. TIPS: Make sure you use individually wrapped candy so you don't look sketchy & Don't use glitter. Just don't.
Step 4: Add your business card, because duh. (I placed mine on the back side)
Overall, this is an easy and effective way to get people into your Open House. I encourage you to use this strategy in addition to your current Open House strategies and see what a difference it can make. Remember that even if your visitors aren't looking to buy that particular property, chances are they are going to need real estate assistance at some point down the line. Be memorable, be creative, and most importantly, be yourself. The connection you make with people will draw them back when the time is right. Best of luck to you!