There are numerous ways to advertise your open houses. Some cost money, but there are also many free (or almost free) ways to get the word out and generate buzz. Use as many channels as possible to promote and draw attention to your open house events, including both online and offline marketing communications.
No-brainers: Post an ad on your website and announce the upcoming open on your blog at least a week prior to the event. Include high quality photos and, if possible, a video tour. Send preliminary email notices to your database and include links to your site and/or blog. A series of two or three email notifications as the open house draws near is not excessive if each message if different, distinct and contains new information. Be sure to ask recipients to help spread the word.
Traditional advertising: Send out out postcards to your database and place classified ads in newspapers and local periodical publications. Community calendar websites often allow open house postings also. Make sure your print ads and written communications are accurate, attractive and professional looking. Plan ahead and be aware of media deadlines.
Preach to the choir: Other REALTORS® are your best source of leads and buyers. Send out emails to real estate agents in the area and follow up with those who have shown the property previously. Make personal contact with agents who have listings nearby. Take advantage of your broker’s website and your local MLS.
For broader exposure, post on national real estate sites such as Zillow, openhomez.com and ActiveRain. Realtor.com offers an Enhanced Listings feature that has a place for open house information. By using data from Google Analytics, you can see where traffic to your listing has come from and focus your wide-area marketing efforts on agents in those areas.
Consider purchasing selected keywords on Google Adwords using the Google keyword tool. If you can identify keywords that hone in on a property’s geography and key feature(s) (for example: “Beverly Hills mansion” or “Orange County seaside villa”) you can purchase the phrases for a set amount.
Craigslist: You can get lots of eyeballs using this free marketing forum.
Online social media: Create events on Facebook and LinkedIn. Post tweets and be sure to update your blog to highlight the open house. Make these posts conversational by providing information about the neighborhood, area amenities, shopping and restaurants in the vicinity, etc. Try to create a dialogue and offer value-added information.
Guerrilla marketing tactics: Post flyers at local shops and ask small business owners to stop by. Use word of mouth opportunities at networking events, community meetings and social occasions. Ask neighbors to help promote the event. On the day of the open, be sure to put out plenty of signage at the home and colorful directional signs with balloons and streamers at nearby intersections.
The goal here is to spread the word about your Open House as far and wide as possible. Leveraging the internet is an great tool, but not the only one. Effective marketing is a mix between online, offline, and between-the-line marketing. Getting your Open House packed will be worth all the effort.