TIP #1: Know Your Tools & Services
A Virtual Open House is a live streamed event that allows attendees to tune in and interact live from their personal devices. This interactive experience allows you to answer questions and personalize the Open House experience for your buyers.
Virtual Open Houses can be held on the platform of your choice, from teleconferencing platforms like Zoom to social networks like Facebook and Instagram Live. MIAMI Members can also leverage Homesnap Stories through your FREE Homesnap PRO service and Remine Live through your FREE Remine PRO service – both of these services are at NO COST to you as a Member Benefit from MIAMI Realtors!
TIP #2: Have a dress rehearsal
Now, you don’t need to run through your actual presentation here. Just offer a little sneak peek at the property, so that you can see how everything looks, while also making sure that your equipment is going to work properly. You’re going to want to stage the property just like you would in an in-person showing. Think of this as your chance to figure out exactly how everything is going to look on camera, so that you can make any changes if you need to. Be sure to have a couple of your friends tune in when you go live at this dress rehearsal, so that you can ask them for their feedback. You want to find out, was the lighting sufficient? Could they hear you clearly? Ultimately, you’ll want to identify any potential problems ahead of time, so that, on the actual day of the presentation, you can focus on just showing the property.
TIP #3: Promote to a larger audience and have fun with Tuesday’s Virtual Cinco de Mayo Mega Happy Hour
If you’re hosting this open house on Facebook, you should definitely create a Facebook event to promote it. In this event, make sure you include all the information about the open house, such as the date and time. Make sure you use the MIAMI’s Cinco de Mayo graphic for promo of your May 5th Live Streaming event. You’ll want to link to the listing of the property, so they can check it out. Be sure to invite all of your friends on Facebook to watch it, and then encourage them to invite people in their network. And, if you have a budget, guys, you can boost this event and promote it to get even bigger exposure. Be creative – Have Fun!
TIP #4: Get the right equipment
Make sure you have all the right equipment to host a high-quality open house. You want to convey a professional image, so poor resolution or muffled sound will turn potential buyers off. You will need a camera with high resolution, and given today’s high-tech smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you shouldn’t need to buy anything new specifically for your open house.
You’ll also want to consider your lighting, and you may want to use a selfie stick if you plan to chat with your guests during the tour. The quality of your stream depends on your internet connection speed. Make sure you have a strong internet connection; if you’re nervous about your equipment or connection, consider doing a practice run on a friend or family member.
TIP #5: Plan your virtual open house
Make a list of the home’s key features and any specific details you want to highlight. Create an outline of everything you want to cover in the video. With a little bit of extra work, you can host an open house and sell your customers’ homes virtually just as successfully as you could have in person.
Did you miss Tips #1, 2, 3 or 4? Click here to catch-up on any, and all the Tips for a Successful Virtual Open House
TIP #6: Be yourself
Don’t overcomplicate things. We’re all going through this less-than-ideal situation together, so be real, don’t talk like you’re reading from a script, and don’t be afraid to make jokes if you have technical issues during your first virtual showing. Letting down your guard and being authentic will draw in more people who may even want to work with you in the future.
Mini-Tip: Dress professionally
Just because it’s virtual doesn’t make it less professional. If you’re giving a live house tour, dress exactly as you would for an in-person open house.
TIP #7: Engage
If you’re hosting your virtual open house over Facebook or Instagram Live, engage with your viewers and acknowledge their questions as they send them in. Sometimes when our nerves take over, we tend to zone out. So if you start to get jitters, take a deep breath, maybe make a joke about your nerves (see Tip #6 re: being yourself), put your well-rehearsed spiel on pause and answer a few questions or comments.
You can even ask viewers questions: What’s your favorite room in the house? Anything in particular you guys want to see? What do you guys want to know about this house? Giving your audience some control over the open house will keep them engaged, too.
TIP #8: Focus on unique features
This one really depends on whether the seller feels comfortable with you being in their home. If they don’t and you’re showing a house via a 3D program, you won’t be able to zoom in and out of features that make the home unique unless you took specific photos beforehand.
If the seller is comfortable with you being in their home for the open house, zoom in on stand-out features. Maybe you’re showing an Old Spanish home with gorgeous original floors or stain glass windows, maybe the master bedroom has the most breathtaking view, or maybe the home has been newly renovated and you want to show off the high-quality workmanship. Just like you would at a live open house, you want to show off the characteristics a potential buyer will appreciate.
TIP #9: Save the video to your camera roll
Save the video so you can re-share on different platforms or embed it on your website or blog. Likewise, if you’ve used one of the 3D programs, make the 3D tour readily available, too.
The ability to view a home as if you’re in it helps potential buyers envision themselves in the house more so than a few photos can — no matter how professional those photos are or how stunning the house is.
TIP #10: Send a thank you to viewers
Within a couple hours of your open house, reach out to your viewers to thank them for virtually attending your open house. A quick thank-you email, in addition to being good manners and acting as a little reminder, gives you an in with these potential customers for when you get to the next step, following up.
Bonus Tip: Follow up
A few days after your open house, send a little follow up email or message giving them the opportunity to ask any further questions, give feedback, or follow you on social media. Anyone who responds to any of those is engaging with you so you don’t have to feel spammy reaching out to them in the future. Those who don’t engage in any way may not be interested, in which case you should make note not to include them in future emails or messages.