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    Open house season is just around the corner. That means it’s time to take your open house marketing and executing strategy to the next level.

    Like most Realtors®, you may have mixed emotions about open house events. Depending on the weather they can be great or a big disappointment. If that’s how you see it, maybe you’re not trying hard enough. Here’s another approach to take.

    Two Open Houses are Better than One

    1. The broker preview

    Your first open house should be a private affair open to brokers and agents only. Try an early evening timeframe (cocktail hour) and invite as many brokers and agents as possible to view your latest listing before they head home for dinner. Offer drinks and appetizers. Send a formal printed invitation or send handwritten notes.

    2. Invite the neighbors

    The second open house should be divided into two parts. First, an exclusive viewing for neighbors—and then an opening for the general public arriving an hour or two later.

    Reach out to neighbors 48 to 76 hours prior to the event. People are always curious to see their neighbor’s home which, if nothing else, will make it look as if you had a better turn out. Neighbors can become a great source for referrals and new customers.

    • Start by going door-to-door in the neighborhood and personally inviting neighbors to an “exclusive” viewing.
    • Be sure to give them a detailed listing sheet and let them know that a light lunch will be served.
    • Once they’ve seen their neighbor’s asking price, you’ll be surprised by how many neighbors will be curious to know what their own homes are worth.
    • Share your contact information with them and offer to do a free estimate.

    Looking for more open house marketing ideas to reach the general public?

    • Post as many signs in and around the neighborhood as possible the week before the event.
    • Post a short-form video inviting the public and briefly describing the property. Display the video on your website and your broker’s website, as well as on all social media platforms. Also, send a link to all of your contacts. Even better—do a targeted Facebook ad to selected zip codes and broaden your reach.

    Questions for potential buyers

    • How long have you been in the market for a new home?
    • Where have you looked so far and have you found your ideal home even if was out of your price range?
    • Tell me about your ideal home. Would you be interested in seeing exclusive listings before they’re made available to the general public?
    • Do you need to sell your home before you buy?

    An open house is an important event for the seller. It makes their potential move more of a reality. It’s also their first chance to see how their home will be received. A broker preview assures them that all the agents in town are not only aware of their listing but have seen it first-hand. The exclusive preview for the neighbors is not only a chance to connect with potential buyers and referral partners.—it’s also a great way to show them what you can do.

    An open house remains an excellent way to market your new listing and your skills. You just need to make it more of an exclusive event versus a public run-of-the-mill walk-through.

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