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What Should Your Open House Tech Checklist Contain? 9 Must-Do Items

February 22 2023

open house greetingOpen houses are a tradition that started more than 100 years ago. According to the National Association of Realtors, before 1919, anyone could claim to be a real estate broker. So when a home went up for sale, multiple "For Sale" signs, each from a different broker, could be strewn all over the lawn.

The open house, like the first professional real estate organization, was born to add organization to the home-buying process, which was chaotic.

The NAR archives show the first recorded open house was held in the 1910s. Called "Open for Inspection," it was held over several days. The first "staged" home was in 1925, and in the 1930s and 40s, open houses gained popularity among agents as a powerful personal marketing tool. In the 1950s, "open house" was the new nomenclature for "open for inspection."

Today's open houses have come a long way and are powered by technology. As a result, real estate agents can leverage tech tools to better promote – and host – an open house.

Agents also need to remember that many of today's homes boast an array of new tech of their own. That smart home tech can positively impact an open house, but you must be prepared.

Here's your tech checklist for an open house:

1. Wi-Fi and internet access: Make sure the home you are hosting offers a strong and reliable Wi-Fi signal. If not, check for cell phone coverage because you'll likely need access when hosting. Plus, you can create a hotspot to connect your laptop. Finally, having internet access can come in handy when you're trying to answer a question from a prospect or share online resources.

2. Make sure all your devices are fully charged: When your devices are fully charged, you won't panic if you leave your charger at home or in the office.

3. Do you have the alarm code? If the property has an alarm system, have a guest alarm code to turn it off — always double-check.

4. Do a run-through of the home's tech with the owners: Smart houses have some really cool features you can show off – if you know how to use them and what to say to Alexa or Google Home. Getting a demo and taking notes can add fun to a routine open house tour.

5. Let buyers know about cameras: Many homes have cameras today, which may always be on. Make sure you disclose this fact by having a sign that shares this information.

6. Offer a mobile charger: Here's a tip to get people to stay a while and spend time taking in the whole house. Set up a charging station for mobile devices and put out a sign to encourage use.

7. Digital sign-in apps: Instead of using a traditional paper sign-in sheet to track traffic, use an open house app – search the app store for your device. Most of these can connect to your CRM to add their contact info or are built to send out a follow-up email immediately afterward. It's the easiest way to track who visited the property and sync up with potential buyers.

8. Virtual staging software: While you know that professionally staged homes sell faster than vacant ones, sometimes, you must show a vacant property. Why not set up your laptop and virtual staging photographs to showcase the property in the best possible light? This helps potential buyers visualize themselves living in the space and may lead to more interest – and offers.

9. Live video broadcast: If you are accustomed to using video to showcase your listings and have tried your hand at live broadcasts such as Facebook or YouTube live, why not promote on your social channels a live broadcast at a specific time from your open house? The best part is your live video is recorded and archived for others to watch in the future on demand.

Overall, this tech checklist for an open house may need to be modified depending on the type of home you are showcasing, your local market, and ultimately understanding the preferences of the potential buyers you are trying to reach.

By going through this checklist before hosting your next open house, you can be well prepared to leverage technology – and spotlight the home's technology – that can help create a memorable experience for visitors and win more offers.

And remember, if you are among the more than 725,000 Realtors in North America with free access to Tech Helpline, you can always reach out by chat, phone, or email for help with your open house tech issues.

If you don't have access to Tech Helpline for free as a member benefit, ensure your MLS, association, or brokerage goes to TechHelpline.com to learn more.

Finally, if you have an interesting open house tech story, please share it in a post on social media using the hashtag #TechHelpline!

Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.