Call them old-fashioned, but open house brochures make an impact in a world where everything’s “gone digital.” The medium translates especially well to selling real estate, an expensive item worthy of a display on a physical hand out.
Even millennials, who make up 37% of today’s homebuyers, might prefer something novel as opposed to the dozens of email promotions that flood their inbox daily. According to a study by global marketing solutions company Quad, 82% of millennials read direct mail while 54% order catalogs via snail mail. So as part of a larger 360-degree campaign for your home that uses digital, offline, and social strategies combined, brochures can be a great addition to the marketing mix.
We’re not talking about a slip of your run-of-the-mill printer paper folded up and stuffed into your neighbor’s mailbox, though. To prevent your brochures from ending up in the trash, they’ll need to feature amazing photos and all the right information packaged to achieve a professional look.
An experienced real estate agent will be more than capable of handling the marketing aspect of your home sale, including any print materials. But for sellers who want to be in the know, keep these best practices in mind for creating real estate brochures that entice buyers to attend your open house or just book a showing.
1. Use creative copy to highlight your home’s most marketable features.
If you want to have a hand in creating the copy that will be featured in your open house brochure, this is the time to unleash your inner Keats.
“All the key attributes of the home, whether it’s a brand new kitchen, the granite countertops, the spa tub, the pool—whatever that is, I try and bring all those into a couple of big paragraphs that make people envision themselves in the house.”
Taylor recommends starting at the front door and describing a walk-through of the property, setting the buyer up with an understanding of the flow of the entire house before they even set foot in the doorway.
When you’re writing the content for your open house brochure, don’t forget to include all of the following:
- Open house date and time
- List price
- Square footage
- Size of the entire lot
- The year that the home was built
- Attributes for indoor/outdoor living (patio, porches, pool, etc.)
In addition, be sure to include details like any recent remodels or upgrades, new appliances, and anything else that might sweeten the deal and draw in house hunters.
2. Take amazing photos of the house to include in the brochure—make sure they’re optimized for print!
Taylor is quick to emphasize the importance of large high quality photographs for any type of real estate brochure. It’s all about the visuals.
“Add lots of big pictures,” she advises. “They tell the story more clearly.”
Now’s not the time to bust out your iPhone for a few DIY shots. When you hire a pro to shoot your home’s photos, you can be sure that the quality of each photograph will hold up when it’s enlarged and printed on glossy paper stock. Professional photographers have the right experience and equipment to capture your home in its most flattering light (and from the best angles). Your agent will likely hire a professional photographer for your listing photos anyway that will translate nicely over to a brochure.
For an extra boost in buyer interest, sellers might even consider getting an aerial view when it comes time to photograph the outside of the home.
“People are very interested in the overview of the home and where it sits,” says Taylor. “If you can get a drone shot, that’s great.”
3. Use a template you trust to expedite the process.
There’s no reason to be intimidated if you don’t have a background in graphic design. By using the right design tools, you and your agent will be able to whip up a professional looking open house brochure that leaves potential buyers wanting to learn more.
There are a ton of sites and software you can use to create your brochure, but here a few of our favorites:
For under $20 per month, you can purchase access to more than 20,000 templates and everything you need to create an unlimited amount of brochures. Just choose a template, and then customize it with your photos and information so it fits your unique situation. You’ll be able to download as many files and designs as you want, with no limits on how many you can create each month. Yes, it’s really that easy!
One of the most well-known design tools, Canva is a free alternative for casual designers who may not need as many options as a professional would. Non-premium users enjoy access to thousands of templates (including real estate brochures) and photo editing tools without putting down a credit card, though more features can be unlocked for $12.95 per month.
- Adobe Spark:
Adobe has a reputation for putting out quality products, and their easy-to-use photo editing site is no exception. A free account will still get the job done with lots of templates and editing options, but a premium account unlocks everything for under $10 per month.
Check out HomeLight’s guide to creating open house flyers for more of our recommended web design tools!
4. Apply basic design principles to achieve a professional look.
When it comes to formatting open house brochures, Gabby Taylor has a system that works.
“I do an 11×17, 4-page glossy,” she tells us. “The front of it is a big picture of the home itself and the address. We also have our own website for the house, so that’s on the front. Half of the following page inside is writing, and the rest is basically pictures. On the back, I have a huge picture of the backyard.”
While you’re creating a brochure to fit your needs, make sure to consider some of the basic elements of design. Remember, good graphic design is full of CRAP: contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.
Pay attention to juxtaposing colors, lines, shapes, and anything that will draw in the viewer’s attention. Combining light and dark shades is a great way to put this into action.
To create a sense of unity, be sure to use many of the same colors, shapes, and motifs throughout your open house brochure. Consistency means that you’ll stay on message so the reader will pick up on the feeling or information you’re conveying.
Organize your brochure in a way that makes sense. Place your text and photos in such a manner that the content flows and the reader doesn’t find themselves searching for the information they’re looking for. Make sure the edges of images align with your margins, and use clean lines and white space wisely.
You want your brochure to be as easy to interpret as possible. In this case, that means grouping together elements that may be linked, whether by location, importance, or however else you choose. This can help to make sure your brochure is clear and concise.
5. Don’t skimp on paper selection.
Trust us, we totally get the desire to save your pennies wherever you can. However, you’re definitely not going to want to go full cheapskate when it comes to choosing the paper on which to print your open house brochures.
You’re going to make a much better impression with a high-quality, glossy print brochure than you would with a cheap homemade flyer fresh from your home printer.
Plus, a brochure made of high-quality paper will last a lot longer than its flimsier counterpart, which means that your home can literally be in front of your prospective buyers’ eyes long after your open house is just an entry on the calendar.
A hefty, glossy paper stock (like this one from Office Depot) can make all the difference when it comes to the quality of your open house brochures. Trust your agent’s guidance here though…whatever they use should be part of their marketing budget and they might be able to print at scale for an affordable cost through their brokerage services.
6. When in doubt, your real estate agent can guide you in the right direction.
Ultimately, a top agent in your area will know the best tips and tricks to draw in potential buyers in your market. Look for a listing agent with experience in creating open house brochures, and don’t be afraid to ask to see past examples. Your agent should be there to help every step of the way—from preliminary market research to hosting the big event—so your open house goes off without a hitch.
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