So, you finally won that luxury listing and now you have an open house to plan for — but now what?
You probably already know open houses are a great way to get a qualified buyer in the door, and maybe even a few new qualified leads for yourself. But how do you conduct a luxury open house to its fullest potential? How do you create a real estate marketing strategy that attracts the right people to respond and attend?
Where a luxury open house differs a bit from a traditional open house is that the approach largely depends on the price point and level of discretion your seller expects.
It’s not uncommon to qualify guests before they attend a luxury open house, or for luxury sellers to request private showings to protect their identity and situation.
At the same time, much like in the traditional market, a luxury open house also requires close attention to detail, a clear concept of who a qualified buyer might be, and fantastic staging that speaks to that perfect buyer the second they walk in the door.
While all that sounds fairly straightforward, there are three common mistakes luxury real estate professionals — both new and seasoned — make that can make or break the success of their luxury open house.
Luxury Open House Mistake #1 — Not Giving Yourself Enough Time to Market Your Event
Luxury clients are known to travel, work irregular hours, and have a lot on their plates. That means when marketing a luxury open house, you need to find the “sweet spot” between giving people enough time to work your open house into their schedule, but soon enough that they don’t forget about it or change their mind.
As a general rule, giving prospects a week or two’s notice can work. However, the marketing for the event will need to be done ahead of time for you to be ready to launch a week or two ahead. In other words, start thinking about the specifics of your open house marketing plan as soon as you begin getting the home ready for market.
Here are some strategies to consider for your luxury open house:
Will you run paid social media ads? If so, for how long?
How will you capture online leads to remind them to attend, and how will you follow up with those leads?
Will you use any influencer marketing?
How many direct mailers will you need?
How will you position the home via your marketing materials?
Luxury Open House Mistake #2 — Ignoring Curb Appeal
Most luxury real estate professionals know the outside of the home is just as important as the inside of a home when it comes to an open house.
The thing is, curb appeal doesn’t stop at taking care of the landscaping and paint. Curb appeal also refers to the first impression and first feeling prospects get when they first drive up to the home. That’s why some of the top producers in the industry go as far as parking their own car around the block from their open house to let prospective buyers feel what it would be like to park their car in the driveway and “come home” to their new house.
Another thing to keep in mind? Most luxury properties are unique, so there aren’t really “set guidelines” on how to prepare the outside of a luxury home before an open house. The best approach is to get as many professional eyes on the outside of the home as you do on the inside of the home before the day of the open house to make sure no details were missed.
Luxury Open House Mistake #3 — Missing Your Follow-Up Window
When it comes to open houses, the magic is in the follow-up. A big mistake some luxury real estate professionals make is waiting too long to make their move. Part of the problem is they don’t start planning their follow-up strategy until after the open house. Technically, follow-up begins with your sign-in method as soon as prospects walk in the door.
These days, it’s a good idea to trade in the old “sign-in sheet” for a sign-in app that lets visitors sign into your open house electronically. Many of these can be hooked up to your CRM for an automatic follow-up, and it helps negate the issue of illegible handwriting that makes it impossible to follow-up with some of your best leads.
Whether you opt for a sign-in app that lets you customize your follow-up email or still want to use a sign-in sheet, the follow-up email you send (and when you send it) is very important.
Here are some ideas for your follow-up email:
Use an enticing subject line rather than simply “Thanks for attending the open house!” or something similar. Think about what you might open as a prospective buyer and as a busy person with lots of emails coming in every day. Asking questions in subject lines, like “What did you think?” are a good way to increase engagement with your follow-up.
Keep it short. Remember, your follow-up isn’t about making the sale in the email. The goal of your email is to get them back on the phone, Zoom, or in person.
For hot leads, don’t be afraid to up the urgency a bit to make an appointment. Let them know there are a few other people interested (if that’s true) and offer to set up showings for similar homes if you have them to let them know you’re serious that your luxury open house listing might be taken soon.
Want to Feel More Confident Marketing Luxury Listings?
Becoming a Member of the Institute and earning your Certified Luxury Home Marketing™ designation gives you access to some of the top producers in the industry and done-for-you marketing tools that give you a tremendous advantage.
The Institute also offers a wide range of resources for you to invest in yourself at any stage in your luxury real estate career — even if it hasn’t begun yet.
Visit your Membership Portal for brand new training sessions, as well as our book, Rich Buyer Rich Seller: The Real Estate Agents’ Guide to Marketing Luxury Homes, which is available for free to all Institute Members and also available on Amazon.