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Virtual open houses have become an ideal way for real estate agents to show homes during the pandemic. Not only are they a way to give prospective buyers a chance to see a home that may be off-limits due to the pandemic, but they are also one of the best real estate lead generation services. When you host a successful virtual open house or tour, you reach an expanded market of prospects. Even if they aren’t ready to make an offer on the home, they will likely follow you on social media or sign up for updates on your website so you can let them know when your next event will be. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can host an open house that will generate leads and conversions.  

Step 1: Promote It

Virtual open houses are just like traditional open houses—to get people to attend, you have to let them know about it. You can promote your event through the listing, by sending out email blasts to your network and other agents, and through social media postings or ad campaigns. Include information on when the open house will be held and how to attend as well as plenty of information and  high-quality images of the property to draw attendance. If you are using luxury real estate marketing services, enlist their help in promoting the event to reach as many potential buyers as possible.

Step 2: Plan Ahead

Hosting virtual open houses and tours is one of the best real estate lead generation services available to agents. To capitalize on the opportunity, don’t wing it. Plan carefully so you know exactly what information you’ll be sharing, the features of the home you’ll focus on, and the route you’ll take when you virtually walk attendees through the home. Writing a script and memorizing it can be valuable if you worry you’ll forget information. A good virtual tour is usually 10 to 20 minutes in length depending on the size and features of the home, and it may be your only chance to show the home to a potential buyer. It pays to be prepared and make the most of your time.

Step 3: Choose How You Conduct the Tour

There are  two ways to conduct your virtual open house or tour: record it on your smartphone or livestream it via a video streaming app like FaceTime. If you film it, interested buyers can view it whenever they have time. You also have the option of stopping and starting over or making edits if you make a mistake or miss something. With a livestream, you can respond to and alter your showing based on feedback from the viewers. For example, if one prospective buyer wants to look inside a closet, you can respond to the request immediately and incorporate it into the tour for a more personalized experience. If you decide to livestream the tour, you can also post it as a video once it’s completed and use your luxury real estate marketing services to help promote it.

Step 4: Don’t Rush

You should conduct your tour just as you would if you were doing it in person. Start outside and show viewers a glimpse of the neighborhood, taking care to focus on parking, landscaping, and the curb appeal of the home. Then walk them through the front doorway and proceed through each room. Show upgrades and extras as well as practical features such as closet space and storage. Conclude your tour on the back porch or deck (if applicable), and don’t forget to show off outdoor features such as sheds, gardens, or pools. As you walk through the home, chat about the schools, nearby amenities, or other highlights. Remember to respond to any questions or comments if you are livestreaming the tour.

Step 5: Market It

Now that you’ve recorded or streamed your open house, it’s time to market it to others who were not able to make the live event. Tap into your luxury real estate marketing services provider and have them create a social media ad campaign to attract more potential buyers. Post your tour on your website and link to it in your social media campaigns so that those who are interested will click on your site and look at other properties you have for sale. Consider asking for email addresses or contact information from those who view the tours so you can continue marketing to them if they decide not to make an offer on the home. Continue to market the tour until the home is off the market.

Other Ideas

Real estate lead generation services using virtual home tours and open houses are quickly gaining popularity. To make your tour stand out, consider doing the following:

Make a day of it. Reserve a whole day and do tours or open houses of all your listings. Promote it so that those interested can pop in and watch whenever a home they are interested in is being shown. You can even get fellow agents on board to show their homes if you don’t have enough to fill an entire day.

Upgrade to a 3D tour. If you really want to up your game, work with a photographer who has special 3D equipment and can show the home in three dimensions. This allows viewers to see the home in different ways and better visualize if the home is right for them.

Consider virtual staging. You may not be able to physically stage a home, as many owners are still leery about letting outsiders into their houses due to COVID. Virtually staging the home is a less intrusive (and less expensive) option that uses software to reimagine new décor and furniture to showcase the home’s best features.

Effective  luxury real estate marketing services are important to stay visible in the community, reach out to potential clients, and continually promote the homes you are selling. Virtual open houses and tours can help you increase traffic and generate the new leads you need to stay on top of your game.