One of our favorite events is a “Meet the Stager” Open House
You don’t have to be a realtor to host an open house! As home stagers, we love putting together open houses to show off our clients’ properties. An open house is a great opportunity for us to educate other realtors about home staging and to foster connections in the local real estate industry and adjacent industries. Plus, sellers love when we help their house sell even faster!
But, as anyone who’s ever hosted a party can tell you, it is a crazy amount of work. How do we do it? Here’s a quick guide on how we put together an open house like this one:
Pick a House
When you’re deciding which house is best suited to an open house, keep in mind logistics, not just aesthetics. You want to make sure it’s the best example of your staging work, but that won’t matter if the kitchen is too small to hold more than five guests.
For an open house, you want plenty of space for entertaining, both indoors and outdoors. Depending on the list price of the house and how “grand” you want the event to be, you may want an outdoor area suitable for a live musician or pop-up bar. Or maybe you just need counter space for a charcuterie board and self-serve drinks. An open house doesn’t have to be extravagant to be successful, but the space needs to match the scale of the event.
Putting together an open house takes a lot of time. It can also take a lot of money. But it doesn’t have to if you know where to find good partnerships.
We’ve received sponsorships from title companies, pest control companies, waste removal companies—any industry even mildly adjacent to real estate. These companies know that by sponsoring our event, a lot of realtors will see their logos and any literature they bring along.
But if you’re just getting started and people don’t recognize your brand yet, it’s hard to pull in sponsors that way. Your best bet is to go to the title company or mortgage company that the listing agent uses most consistently. They’re more likely to want to partner with you for the event as a thank you to that agent.
Make it Special
If you’re just starting out, you want your first open house to make a great first impression. That’s how you gain interest in the next one, and the next one, and the one after that. While you’ll probably have a tight budget to start, you want to make it as special as possible to stand out.
Make your own charcuterie board with special cheeses instead of buying a premade tin with just Swiss and pepper jack. Even if you don’t have anyone to bartend, bring a broad selection of drinks. Be sure to greet everyone who comes through the door, and if you can, raffle something off to remind people to drop off their business cards.
Most importantly, you don’t want to forget the basics. No one will be impressed if they go to use the restroom and there’s no soap or toilet paper!
Take the Next Step after you Host an Open House
You’ve successfully thrown your first open house. Congratulations! The next step is important. You want to build on the momentum you’ve just built. Be sure to email everyone who attended and thank them. Send a special thank you to any sponsors or partners as well.
If you can arrange for a photographer or videographer to attend the event, share video and pictures afterward on your social media. Then, the next time you want to host an open house, remind people how well the last one went by re-sharing them. Over time, more and more locals will recognize your events, and they’ll start asking you when you’ll be hosting the next one!