Regardless of how serious COVID-19 may or may not turn out to be, it has created a significant impact on open house turn outs and home owner’s willingness to let a large number of strangers in their home. As a result, open houses are becoming virtual open houses.
While you won’t be able to meet people in person and bond with them personally, virtual open houses have a lot of upsides. First, you can reach a much larger audience. Second, the marketing that goes into a virtual open house, also brands you as the agent. Third, you don’t have to lug around heavy signs and spend hours setting up your open houses!
There is a tradeoff. All that time setting up the in-person open house, now needs to be spend behind a computer marketing the virtual open house. Don’t worry, once you go through the motions a couple times, it gets easier. Plus, we’ve included some tips and tools to help make your first virtual open house a bit less stressful and more successful.
As we know this is a new and evolving field. If you have any suggestions or comments that can help fellow Realtors with their virtual open houses, be sure to comment below.
Scheduling the Virtual Open House on Facebook
Let’s start with advertising the Virtual Open House. There are a lot of different platforms to hold the open house and to market the open house. For this guide, we are going to focus on using Facebook (FB) and Facebook Live (FBL).
Start by creating a scheduled FBL event. Scheduling the event in the future is key for marketing and grabbing a link that will let you share a direct link to the event so its easy for people to find. Also, FB will remind anyone who said they are interested in the event to join just before you start.
This will require a 3rd party software which essentially pushes a screen recording from your computer to FBL during the event. It’s also key to creating the schedule event.
Here are some helpful videos and a link to a free software.
How to Schedule a FB Live Event
How to Start a Scheduled FB Live Event
Free Software for Scheduled FB Live Event
Creating the Post Content
Once you start the scheduled FBL event process, FB will ask you to create the post. Below is a sample of what we recommend putting in the post.
What to Post
FB/IG Live Showings
Include these items:
Sample Text for FB Post
Virtual Open House
Luxury Scottsdale Home
5 Beds, 4.5 Baths, 4.484 sqft
Join us for a virtual open house on Saturday, May 16th from 12pm – 2pm. This stunning custom home in Pinnacle Peak just went on the market. We’ll give you a sneak peak of the home from the comfort of your home.
(Insert link to single property website)
Got questions about the home? Send me a message.
Greg Crespo, Broker
Blend Realty, 602-885-2075, [email protected]
(insert screenshot of final result)
Marketing the FBL Event
Once your FBL Event/post has been created, you’ll want to create an ad in FB to boost the FBL event/post. Here are some tips and guidelines to get you started.
- Boost the event for 3 days prior.
- Use the link from the scheduled FB event
- Suggested Budget: $5-10
- Market in the states or areas where you might find home buyers.
- For example, in AZ and NV a Luxury listing should be boosted to all of the US due to the high volume of relocation buyers and 2nd home owners.
Depending on your market, you may need to enter the virtual open house details on Zillow manually. If that is the case, this article explains how to make that happen.
Adding Virtual Open House Details to Zillow
Doing the Virtual Open House (tips)
Start right away, don't wait for others to join
Let people know who you are, and what the event is about
Engage with the audience, ask them to comment, let you know if they can't hear you, etc.
When people join, welcome them by their name and say hello
Ask the audience questions to help engagement "Would you guys like to see the stunning master bathroom?" or "What do you think about this outdoor shower?"
When you’re done, save it so people can find it later and you can run an ad promoting it
More people will watch the replay than attend the live event