Maybe some of you have returned to in-person open houses, but most of you reading this report probably have not. In either case, I hope you all are embracing virtual open houses as a very efficient and effective way to connect with neighbors, your sphere of influence, and new prospects.
They are efficient and easy to do once you have just a little practice.
You can walk around and do them live on a video feed. Or, if you already have a video and existing photos, you can even host it from your desk. Regardless, your goal is to be interesting, engaging, and encourage others to comment and participate.
If you are touring the property live, you could even interview the seller. Ask them questions about the property, and encourage them to share what they have enjoyed most about living there.
In fact, I have even seen virtual tours where the agent interviewed a few of the neighbors to get the real scoop on why it is such a great community to live in.
By the way, the sellers love this kind of stuff!
You will need to experiment with the best times of day to broadcast. Times that work well now may not work at all once the world returns to “normal” and people go back to their previous routines.
In everything you do, always think, How can I multi-purpose this content?!
Keep it fun, keep it light, and remember – even if you are camera shy – this is a must do. You will get used to it!
Keep in mind that if you are running Facebook Ads, you will not necessarily have a way to register viewers. Therefore, you will need to offer items of value to encourage viewers to contact you. Consider offering items of value like a tip sheet, a market report, off-market properties list, etc.
Once viewers email you and you respond with their requested item, ask them for their cell phone number. Then, you’ll be able to text them about “hot buys” and other special event invitations.
Remember that video on Facebook rules the social media world, and that includes doing videos for virtual open houses. If you have a personality, if you are interesting and entertaining, people will not only enjoy your videos, but will want to actually engage with you.
Don’t worry about making sure everything is perfect before going virtual. You should have a certain amount of preparation, but, at the end of the day, you just need to go for it!
Once you do the hard work of making the video of your virtual open house, be sure to retarget the people who watch it.
Use Facebook’s algorithm to your advantage so that you can remarket to viewers and follow up with them.
Facebook prefers live content over every other type of content. Facebook will promote your live content to people who follow your page. Any time you go live and stream it through Facebook, do it through your business page, not your personal profile. Going through your business page will allow Facebook to track who watches your stream, and you’ll then be able to retarget them later.
After you go live with your video, you will see a button underneath your video that says “Start a watch party.” Click this button and Facebook will take the video and play it on your personal profile. It will notify all your friends who are online that you are doing a watch party, and will ask if they want to come and watch the video. This ensures that people who are connected to you personally will see what you are doing, while you are still getting Facebook to track who watches.
It’s worth it to take time to perfect your skills of hosting virtual open houses, producing videos, and giving virtual tours. Eventually, once you choose to go back to in-person open houses, you’ll still be able to incorporate virtual open houses as a means of reaching new prospects.
If you don’t have a listing to “hold open” at the moment, ask agents in your office if you might be able to showcase one of their listings.
Don’t overthink it…don’t try to make it perfect…just do it!
If you want more guidance on how to grow your luxury real estate practice, you can learn more about the Institute’s training options here.
All outstanding, thank you!
Hello Debbie and Team at IHLM,
have you a few recorded ‘ virtual open houses’ examples to share?
thank you and keep well !
Colleen Hearn: residential real estate broker, Montreal Quebec, Canada
p.s. a few neighbors riding by on bicycles said hi after a showing recently , smiling , wishing me luck and sharing what a great quiet family neighborhood they lived in. I did not record this – never even thought to ask – interesting idea for future reference