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Virtual Open Houses – What We Have Learned One Year Later

Last year, we were all thrown for a loop when our world shut down. Just about every real estate agent I knew had to pivot into hosting virtual open houses. I created a video a year ago which has more views than almost any other video and I thought it would make sense to review that video and reflect on – where are we now? What lessons have we learned from a year of virtual open houses? 

Lesson #1: They are not going away! 

Even as our world starts to open back up – I don’t think virtual open houses are completely going away! First of all – sellers like them because it helps to keep the visitors to their home to more serious buyers. It prevents having unnecessary people through their home and is a great way to preview the property in advance. Buyers seem to love virtual open houses for the same reasons – it keeps them safe and it keeps them from having to visit dozens of houses to find their dream home. They can still visit in person but being able to watch a virtual open house first helps save them a tremendous amount of time! 

My advice for real estate agents is to have an open dialog with your clients about their comfort level. As a listing agent – you may even consider incorporating regular virtual open houses a few days in advance of your public open house. Always check with your local county or state to abide by local rules too! 

Lesson #2:  You can still do virtual open houses from YOUR home (or, from the property) 

If you are going to do a virtual open house from your home or office – I recommend using a third party tool like Zoom or BeLive to stream the broadcast. These tools make it much easier to broadcast because you can share your screen, share videos, share the listing flyer and more. Just using Facebook Live’s Producer can be challenging. Also when doing your virtual open house remember not to just share the facts – share your context, your examples and opinions! 

Also – if you are going to broadcast from the property always double check if you have strong wifi – from your phone at the property. If you do not – you may want to just record a video instead of going live.  

Lesson #3: Be prepared 

You don’t have to be scripted, but be prepared and know what you are going to talk about. Remember – you don’t have to share every corner and every cupboard. A virtual open house is like a movie trailer – give away enough information but don’t spoil the movie! Also, make sure you promote your virtual open house in advance and promote the replay.  

Are you still doing virtual open houses? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment on the video. 

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Check out these additional videos for more virtual open house tips!

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