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Hosting a Virtual Open House? Here's a Checklist

March 15 2021

delta virtual open house checklistVaccination is underway, but virtual tours are definitely here to stay. It may be months before travel restrictions and social distancing rules are relaxed throughout the United States, and in that time, virtual home tours are continuing to gain traction. Although they started as a safety precaution, buyers and sellers alike are realizing the benefits.

Open houses have long been among the most effective ways to show off any home. They generate excitement and provide opportunities to meet qualified buyers. Virtual open houses have the potential to be just as effective. Plus, they have some advantages all their own:

  • Since it means no travel, more people can attend a virtual open house.
  • Sellers can hold more open house events without disrupting their lives.
  • In many cases, attendees can go back and review open house footage.
  • Buyers from out of town or out of state can be included more easily.
  • Participants can ask questions and zoom in on key home features.

Agents Open the Door to Success When They Master Virtual Open Houses

The virtual open house has been an unexpected hit with agents, too.

Giving a virtual tour draws on the skills you already have, but it also calls on you to grow and stretch. More agents are getting comfortable both in front of and behind the camera. This, in turn, equips them with more fluency in video marketing, one of the most powerful methods for promoting any practice.

While there are a few different ways to set up a virtual open house, live streaming video has become more popular than video filmed ahead of time. While static video offers more control and a strong environment for practice, live streaming video is the gold standard thanks to its interactivity and personal touch.

But how can you overcome the learning curve quickly? Use these tips to get it done the right way:

Get Familiar with Your Hardware and Software

You don't need a fancy camera to give a great virtual open house. However, you should know exactly how it works and how to get the most from it. Get plenty of practice with your camera and streaming software before you plan your first event.

Stage the Home Before Your Tour Begins

Yes, most of your favorite home staging techniques still apply. It's crucial to de-clutter, but no fresh-baked cookies are necessary! When staging, be sure lighting conditions in each room are ideal for your camera. This may sometimes mean bucking old wisdom — use a little less natural light to reduce glare.

Experiment with Tripods

While many real estate agents are comfortable carrying their phone, tablet, or video recorder from room to room, some feel that this provides an unsteady and incomplete picture. Try using a tripod to stabilize panoramic shots of each room. You can carry a lightweight one or set up inexpensive tripods in each room.

Promote Your Virtual Open House Early

Virtual events can feel less urgent than in-person ones. With that in mind, you want to leverage every tool at your disposal to begin promoting early. Start with the local MLS, but don't stop there. You can automate email messages and target social media updates to prospective event attendees.

Make Time for Your Tour

You should schedule at least as much time for your virtual open house as you would for a face-to-face event. Pencil in additional time to tour each room. Leave ample time to answer questions both during and after the tour, too. These conversations are crucial for building buyer enthusiasm.

Use Your Tour Footage for Video Marketing

Not everyone interested in a property necessarily has the time to go to your event. That's fine: through the magic of video editing and platforms like YouTube, you can make it all available to them. Use your real estate CRM to quickly send out a post-event email linking interested subscribers to the videos.

Follow Up With Your Attendees

While your no-shows review your video and get up to speed, be sure you reach out to those who had a chance to tune in live. Delta Media Group's Open House Connector is a great way to capture, centralize, and act on participant information. Find out what they loved about the home and keep the conversation going!

Remember: You Are the Co-Star

The home may be the star in your virtual open house, but you are the co-star. It may take a few tries before you are comfortable, but always strive to bring all of yourself to the presentation. Whether it's your winning sense of humor or your unbeatable market expertise, build relationships by bringing your unique energy.

Promote, manage, and follow-up your virtual open houses with DeltaNET 6. RE Technology readers can try it 6 FREE for 30 days.

To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.