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7-Step Guide to Hosting a Real Estate Virtual Open House

Jun 16, 2023 · 8 minutes to read

Open houses are a crucial part of home buying and selling. Open houses have been a tried-and-true formula for decades.

But times are changing, and technology plays a major role in this. Virtual open houses have many advantages today. Virtual open houses are becoming a popular way for real estate agents to reach out to more clients and close sales.

Here’s why you need to know about virtual open homes and understand why it is becoming a trend among real estate agents. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning how to host an open house for another agent, we’ve got you covered.

What does a virtual open house mean?

Virtual open houses are a great way to show potential buyers a house when they cannot physically visit the property. There are many reasons why.

Sometimes, the potential buyer is far away. Health concerns could also be a factor. Virtual tours are a good alternative to in-person tours when homeowners want to maintain a distance from others or there is pending COVID-19 sheltering-in-place order.

The virtual open house trend has also been fueled by technological advancements. Real Estate Agents are now able to use high-definition videos that help buyers feel as if they were walking through the home.

How do you create a virtual tour?

Open house tours are designed to attract buyers and close sales. Virtual tours can achieve the same. It’s important to get it right in terms of your approach and technology.

Here are some steps to follow to make sure you’re prepared to host an amazing virtual open house event for your client:

1. Choose your platform

Virtual open-house tours have evolved over the years. The two most popular options have their pros and cons.

Virtual open house with recorded video

You can hire a video producer to create a cinematic tour for your virtual open house, or DIY and use cell phone footage.

This approach allows you to be in control of what you want to share and highlight the most attractive selling points. Your clients will not get the same immersive, real-time experience as a live virtual open house.

Live virtual open house

Real estate agents often host virtual open houses in real time using their mobile phones, video conferencing platforms, or social media. They use these tools to show off the house and answer questions.

This method is popular with clients because it allows them to have a more personal experience and ask questions based on what they see. Agents can be asked to zoom in or go back to certain rooms. This allows for a more interactive tour experience for clients as opposed to a virtual tour that is prerecorded.

However, it is also more unpredictable. It is hard to adjust to being on the camera. Technical problems can cause issues, and you may have to answer questions that you hadn’t considered.

2. Open house advertising

You’ll want to inform your clients once you’ve decided to do a virtual open house tour. So set your event date at least two weeks before the actual date so that you can promote it to your clients and allow them time to RSVP.

Consider how you will capture leads. Set up a landing page specifically for each open house. You can then share the news via social media, email, and your website, and direct people to this landing page.

On Instagram and other popular social media sites, you may use a small teaser clip that shows when virtual the virtual open houses will be live.

Update your website with information about the virtual open house, and send emails to interested clients.

3. Do your homework

Prepare your virtual open house just like you would for a traditional open house.

Prepare your notes. You can be spontaneous, but not completely. Plan your route, highlight the features of each room, and know what you want to say.

Many real estate agents will do a test run to get the timing just right. If you choose this approach, practice as close to the date of the virtual open house as possible so that it remains fresh in your mind.

You can also test the sound and lighting by going through your house.

Don’t forget to test the lead capture system. Test all your sign-up and promotional forms. This will ensure that everyone receives the correct information.

4. The day of the virtual open house is a great time to focus on your goals.

If you have done your preparations, you will be in good shape when the day of the virtual Open House arrives.

What you need to do:

  • Sleep well the night before to ensure you are fresh and ready for your trip.
  • Arrive early at the property so that you can set up.
  • Re-read your notes.
  • Make any final adjustments or preparations by doing a walkthrough.
  • Include the address of the house at the beginning of your video.

Be yourself. You may feel nervous about being on camera. But you should treat it like a normal conversation.

When the time comes to open your house, your confidence and experience will guide you.

Leave time at the end for questions. This is an important part of your home tour. Here you can establish a personal relationship with a prospective homebuyer.

Your camera persona will be more natural if you are relaxed.

5. Some additional tips

You’ll learn that industry experts are familiar with a few tips and tricks.

Here are some suggestions:

  • You can get an open house buddy to help you. They can hold the camera for you and assist you with the tech setup.
  • Do not forget the exterior of the house. Backyards and curb appeal are equally important.
  • Open houses are all about the details, so make sure to highlight closet sizes, garage space, and finishes.
  • Plan to keep the virtual live open house at 10-20 minutes. You don’t want it to drag out or be rushed, depending on the size and style of the home. Recorded virtual open houses may be shorter.
  • Plan and anticipate the questions that your clients may ask, especially if going live.
  • Share snippets of your virtual open house on social media or your website to promote your business.

Open houses are a great way to convert curious visitors into home buyers.

You can establish yourself as a local expert. This will help viewers to get a better feel for the area and the house. A virtual open house is a good way to engage a captive audience.

6. After the Open House

Your work is not yet done once your virtual open house has ended. The next step is crucial, and that includes how to convert your virtual open house into sales.

You can use the following approaches:

  • Ask everyone who attended the open house, and has left questions or comments about it, if they would like to schedule an appointment to see you again. Take advantage of the opportunity.
  • Prepare a package with key information to send via text and email, including all the details of the house, a link for the open house to be viewed again, and high-quality photos.
  • Follow up. The majority of deals don’t close on the first contact. Staying in touch and being active will make you stand out. You may have other homes that would be better suited to this buyer.
  • Continue to promote the property on your social media platforms. Post clips of your video to Instagram, and use it as a highlight in Facebook ads that target attendees or others who are similar. You never know if this house will attract a buyer.

Virtual open houses can be a great way to close deals. It’s important to follow up with guests and do the necessary legwork after the event.

7. Stay Protected

It’s easy to think that a virtual open house is a safe thing to do. You might think that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to a virtual open house.

If you make a mistake on your tour, you should still be protected. This is true not only if you trip or slip, but if you damage anything inside the house. You could also face legal action if you provide incorrect information accidentally or fail to disclose important facts regarding the property.

Real Estate Agent Insurance protects you against common errors, accidents, and other risks.

BizInsure offers affordable coverage tailored to your specific needs.

Get a quote today.

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