Okay hold a virtual open house. But like, how?

Apr 06, 2020
With the real estate world in unfamiliar territory, suggestions are being thrown around ad nauseam about the things we could be or should be doing. One of the most commonly mentioned strategies to keep your business moving forward is holding virtual open houses. 
But while it sounds like a great idea, the more I look, the less I seem to find in the way of practical advice that can be implemented immediately. How do you hold a virtual  open house, what are the best practices? 
Do I go to the house myself and host it from there? What's the best platform to use? How do I get people to come?
These are not only valid questions, there are several ways they can be answered, some highly involved and inefficient, some too simple and incapable of creating reach.
So let's settle it. Here's what I'm seeing from the front lines, what's really working for our agents on the ground that you can implement  in your business right now!
Best practices for a successful virtual open house:
- Download all of the pictures for the listing to your computer - if you are holding open a listing that isn't yours, email the listing agent for the high res photos rather than the MLS ones.
- Ask the sellers to take a video walkthrough of the property if possible. 
- Promote your open house the exact same way as you normally would (Facebook events, email, prospecting etc.) Give people the link to the FB event or Zoom call. Circle prospecting for a virtual open house can be wildly successful. Just because the neighborhood is on lockdown doesn't mean the residents don't still enjoy a good snoop through their neighbors homes!
-  Go live either on FB or Zoom. I would personally recommend FB live that way the video lives on and allows you to engage with people long after the OH is over.
- FB live and Zoom both allow you to share your screen. Open up your open house by giving a general narrated tour of the home as you scroll through the pictures on your shared screen and talk features of the home while showing off  the "tour" 
- As people jump on, engage with them just as you would in person. Scroll back through the rooms they want to see, show them the video tour. Treat it just like a normal OH!
What I love about this strategy is that it allows us to connect more with your sphere, if you go FB live your friends WILL jump on. That's a great way to talk real estate with people you would otherwise feel like you were forcing the issue with. I also love the scheduling aspect, there's no reason you can hold multiple open houses a week, and you should be!
Kick conventional wisdom to the curb - if you're meeting people virtually think about what that means scheduling wise. People are much more likely to jump on FB at 4pm on a weekday than they are at noon on a Saturday. Try weeknight open houses for an hour and do them 2-3 times per week! Try different listings, make yourself look like a rockstar by plugging in to your office inventory. Other agents should be pumped that you want to help market their listings!
The best part about this strategy is that it's evolving and therefore flexible! Try new  things - host a virtual open/trivia night for whoever wants to talk real estate and play games. Try a happy hour where you invite everyone to jump on with their favorite cocktail and tour the home. The sky is really the limit and the canvas is yours to paint. So leave any hesitation or excuse behind and  let's get to it!

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