Your open house is more than an event — it’s an extra opportunity to create buzz around your listing online. Nail the advertising for the open house and buyers will flock to the event, request private viewings, and forward your listings to friends.
“We’re big promoters of the open house concept,” shares top real estate agent Mark Boyland in Bedford, NY, who sells 70% more homes than the average agent. “We think it’s a great way to get some additional marketing for the house — it just provides an extra event to draw eyes. Even if the people don’t come to the open house, they’re seeing the whole social media campaign around that open house.”
HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Q4 2019 Report reveals 66.6% of real estate agents believe the most important factor in the success of an open house is marketing the event online. With expert tips from Boyland, we’ll walk you through how to advertise an open house online so you can blast the internet with a creative, eye-catching campaign.
Include open house details on your online listings
Start advertising an open house everywhere your home is listed online. Add an ‘Open House’ to your MLS listing including the time and date of the event. Mark the Open House as “public,” not “broker only” or “MLS only” to ensure it will syndicate to real estate listing sites. Include even more info on your open house on your home’s single property website. If the website format permits, describe in detail any incentives that may entice buyers to attend, such as complimentary food and beverages, raffles, or donation collection.
Advertise your open house on Facebook
Facebook is one of the best places to advertise your open house thanks to its massive user base and advertising options. According to PEW Research Center, roughly 7 in 10 adults in the U.S. use Facebook with 74% users visiting the site daily.
Set up an event page
Ask your real estate agent to create a public event from their agency’s Facebook page and invite their network to the event. An event page is the perfect platform to centralize posts and messages around the event. It’s also another space to post photos recapping the event after the fact. Set up your page in eight simple steps:
- From the News Feed, click Events in the left menu.
- Click + Create Event on the left side.
- Click Create Public Event.
- Fill in the event name, location, date, and time
- Add an enticing description of the property and mention any food, beverages, or giveaways happening at the open house.
- Click Create.
- Upload a professional photo of your home’s exterior for the page banner.
- Invite your network and real estate agent’s network to the event using the Invite button at the top right of the page under the event title.
Create engaging posts
Design Facebook posts that incentivize and delight to attract attendees to your open house. Boyland shares his team’s top tip: “We make the Facebook ads video driven, so they’re moving images, not just still pictures. We find that gets a lot more traffic.”
Here’s a few post ideas to get you started:
- Moving stills and texts highlighting your home (create these for free with Adobe Spark)
- Facebook Slideshow including multiple photos from the listing
- Photos and links to raffle prizes up for grabs at the open house
- Pics of snacks and beverages you’ll serve at the open house
- Photos of the surrounding area such as parks, shops, cafes, and local attractions
- Reposts of annual community events near the home
- Automatic reposts from your associated Instagram account
Boost your page and posts with Facebook Ads
Promote your Facebook posts and event page with an ad campaign reaching prospective buyers in your area. For your event ads, set the objective as Engagement. This option includes an Interested button in the ad so viewers can immediately follow your event page activity. If you prefer to direct audiences to your single listing property website, boost a post linking to the website and select the objective “Send people to your website.”
Set ad duration and budget to maximize the ad’s reach. Facebook provides an “Estimated people reached” range per day to help you determine how many impressions you’re likely to fetch with your budget.
Show off your home’s best features on Instagram
Instagram is another important social media tool to generate buzz for your open house. The Gram is all about beautiful photos, making it an ideal platform to showcase property details not included in the primary listing.
Here’s some post ideas for you:
- Open house announcement post: Post your best photo of the home’s exterior with a caption detailing the time and date of the event.
- Interior multi-post: Post an open house reminder highlighting the home’s gorgeous interior. The post should include shots of buyers’ favorite rooms: the kitchen, living room, and master suite
- Custom details post: Share close-ups of gorgeous granite, custom carpentry, and meticulous masonry.
- Influencer posts: Partner with local influencers to expand your social reach. Potential partners may include your architect or interior designer, pool contractor, community center, dog groomer, or local cafe. Tag these influencers in your posts and request they tag you back with a repost or new related post from their account.
Share even more in a Story
Instagram Stories are the more playful, spontaneous side to the platform. By default, your story only lasts 24 hours from the moment you post, but you can save them to Story Highlights so people can view them permanently on your profile. Share videos, boomerangs, and filter decorated photos to give audiences a digital tour of the house and local surroundings.
Add some of these to your story to advertise the open house:
- Boomerang of cookies coming out of the open to be served at the open house
- Video of the spacious walk-in closet
- Close up photos of countertop materials
- Video of your agent explaining the raffle prizes up for grabs at the open house
- Consecutive photos of local dining and shopping
Harness the power of hashtag
Tag your posts with 15-30 hashtags to get more eyes and engagement. Include a mix of popular hashtags (300,000 – 1M), moderately popular hashtags (80,000 – 300,000), and super niche hashtags relevant to the local community. Additionally, create a custom property hashtag like #402Winslow to include in every post, encouraging any promotion partners to include this tag, as well.
Here’s an example of what your hashtag bundle may include:
- Popular hashtags
- #newlisting: 1.2M posts
- #dreamhomes: 397k posts
- Moderately popular hashtags
- #colonialhouse: 65.7k posts
- #historicalhomes: 21.6k posts
- #openhousesunday: 40.k posts
- #househunters: 289k posts
- #phillyrealestate: 138k posts
- #phillyrealtor: 52.5k posts
- #philadelphiarealestate: 56k posts
- #phillylove: 272k posts
- Niche hashtags
- #phillyopenhouse: 1,000+ posts
- #cliftonheights: 5,000+ posts
- #adamsrealestate: 950 posts
Spread the word to the neighbors on Nextdoor
Nextdoor is the social hub for neighborhood information, events, and a bit of gossip. It’s the perfect outlet to advertise an open house to your local community. Create an open house promotion using your agent’s business account if they have one. The post will appear on members’ events calendars, in the neighborhood newsfeed, and in Digest emails. The post will also appear as a temporary listing in the Real Estate section until the open house concludes.
Email a video tour to buyers and their agents
Tap into your real estate agent’s network and fire off an e-blast advertising the open house. “We always send an email to buyers that match in our system. There’s over 20,000 active users in our database,” Boyland shares.
Here’s a quick break down of what your email should include:
- Informative subject: “Open House Sunday: 27 West 15th Avenue, an inspiring lakeside estate”
- Beautiful and brief body: Design an eye-catching e-blast including bright photos or a short video tour of the property with the necessary open house details in the top third of the message. Mindful of ever-shortening attention spans, keep the email short, easy to skim, and to the point.
- Call to action: At the end of the email, invite buyers to RSVP, linking them to the Facebook event page for the open house. If you’re incentivizing Facebook RSVPs, mention the prize buyers can win by signing up.
Sprinkle in a few offline efforts
Complement your digital advertising efforts with some old fashioned physical promotions. Distribute printed flyers to neighbors and public bulletin boards (community centers, grocery stores, real estate agency’s promotion window). Don’t rush the design house flyers or brochures — a poorly designed flyer won’t drive any traffic to your event. Instead, use one of these easy, online templates to help you design a graphic work of art:
Another essential offline advertisement is signage. Boyland shares,
“Ideally if we can, we put out 15-plus signs. That’s more than a lot of agents who just put a sign at the end of the driveway and maybe one at the end of the street. Extra signage really helps capture those eyes. When you go out a little bit further, you bring more people in.”
Place signs advertising the open house at major intersections near the neighborhood. Direct buyers to the door with clear signage indicating the direction into the neighborhood and to the property. When in doubt, put another sign out. The last thing you want is to confuse buyers before they even arrived at the property.
Make the open house live up to the advertising
Now that you know how to advertise an open house, read up on how to prepare for the open house itself to ensure you throw a successful event. Take photos and videos during the event and post live updates and post-event recaps across your social media channels.
Open house advertising is extensive, but worth it. Between the event and the surrounding promotions, you may just grab the attention of your home’s destined buyer.
Header Image Source: (Francesca Tosolini / Unsplash)
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