• Shannon

Hey! Listing agents— remember open houses?

Updated: Jan 4, 2019

They’re baaaack – or soon will be. Marketing the listings you take in 2019 is most likely not going to be anything like the tactics you used in 2017 and 2018.

Those crappy homes that sold for well over what they should have in record time with almost zero marketing?

Not gonna happen in 2019.

In other words, listing agents are going to have to work harder for a smaller commission check (it happens when home prices soften).

One of the old-school tactics you might want to consider resurrecting is the open house, updated of course. You’ll need an additional lead gen tool or two and this year’s open house may just lure some double deals.

Gen X is in the house

While baby boomers hold the most money, Gen Xers earn the most of all living generations. They lost a lot during the recession – more than any other group. But, they’re back and they’re ready to move.

Even better: more than half of them visit open houses.

I recently wrote about this cohort for a client and performed my usual extensive research and here’s what I learned about Gen X’s home shopping wish list:

· Most want a single-family home, single-story, 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2,315 square feet of living space.

· The top 3 on the wish list include exterior lighting, a laundry room and Energy Star® rated appliances.

· They crave extra storage space.

· They care more about the home’s features than the neighborhood.

If you list a home that fits this description, hold it open at least once and laser-target Gen X buyers because the chances are good that they’ll be visiting.

When staging the home, ensure that the laundry room looks amazing. Create some obvious storage solutions in the garage and, if your clients are replacing any appliances, convince them to go with Energy Star® stuff.

Chances are good this cohort has a house to sell, so targeting them is a brilliant strategy.

Go big with handouts

Create new handouts for the 2019 open house with an eye toward proving your value. How?

  • Choose your best, short testimonial and put it up top of every piece of literature you create.

  • If you donate a part of your commissions to a cause, create a branded, compelling one-sheet explainer. Gen X LOVES social consciousness.

  • Create a single-property squeeze page and use it online to advertise your open house. For example, post it to Facebook with an enticement: all visitors to the squeeze page who fill out the form will be entered into a drawing for some amazing prize. Or, use the form as an RSVP for the open house, where you’ll be conducting the drawing. Easy Agent Pro does squeeze pages brilliantly (yeah, I write for them, but I was a fan before I started the gig).

  • Use an app as a digital sign-in sheet (all those names. . .leads!). OpenHomePro’s is easy to use and relatively inexpensive.

Crush it with a Facebook Live stream

“What better time to stream and record a video walkthrough of your listing than when it’s full of people? Remember, people want what other people want,” claims Gary Vaynerchuk.

He goes on to envision a “hotshot real estate agent” starring in a live stream from his/her open house, chatting with visitors, showing them around the home.

“Potential buyers will be able to view the house remotely and ask relevant questions that the realtor [sic] can respond to and show in real time,” Vaynerchuk continues.

Promote the event on Facebook, of course, but also to those in your CRM who might be interested in the home.

Then, boost the video on Facebook to generate additional traffic.

I don’t imagine this technique will be adopted by many, so if you want to stand out from the crowd of other agents in your area, this is the one for you.

By the way, if you read the article linked to, above, Gary Vee starts with Instagram. A few weeks ago, however, he said that he sees “the decline of the organic reach of Instagram” in 2019, mainly because “everybody’s become one-dimensional on that platform.”

He’s getting off the platform, for the most part, and concentrating on LinkedIn and Facebook.

It’s a crummy platform for real estate agents anyway. The demographics are all wrong so it ends up being more of a time suck than it’s worth.

Vaynerchuk swears that “2019 for me is the year of Facebook . . . I’m gonna go all-in on Facebook” and he’s writing original content geared to the “50 to 90-year old.”

Whatever you have planned for 2019, pay attention to the financial news, put aside some money from each commission check to bulk up your emergency fund and have some fun in your real estate business.

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