SantaThe holiday season is one of the best times of year to generate leads through effective open houses. However, the same old, same old open houses will generate the same old, same old responses.

The holiday season offers certain opportunities than other times of year due to the nature of the holidays. This is a great time to meet more serious buyers and sellers. Here are some great tips for making your open houses come to life this December:

  • Make them 3-day events. This is your time to make your presence known in the neighborhood, so don’t just disappear after one open house. Remember, one of the primary goals is to meet as many of the neighbors as possible. Make your open house an event (you’ll see why in a minute).
  • Pictures with Santa. This is the best way to collect people’s names, phone numbers and emails. Rent a Santa or have a friend dress up as Santa and invite all the kids to get their pictures taken (by you or a team member) with him. You will need to get the parent’s personal info to send the pictures to them. This may cost a bit, but the cost per lead is minimal, especially considering the quality of the contact info.
  • Set up a letter to Santa station. Parents love this. It’s another way for them to learn what their kids want for Christmas. Tell them you will email the letters their kids write to them later that day. Again, your collecting personal info while leaving a great impression on them about you. Also, it’s a great opportunity to follow-up by phone later in the week. Make sure they received the pictures and letters.
  • Treasure chest full of presents. Go to a store like Target that offers $1 toys and pick up a bunch. Spend some time wrapping each one and allow each child that attends your open house a free present from Santa. #BAM – that’s all I can say about this idea.
  • Hot chocolate & cookies. Who doesn’t like hot chocolate and cookies, especially children. This will just add to the excitement and overall experience of your open house.
  • Set up some inflatables. You want to make sure you catch peoples’ attention. Set up a couple inflatables in front of the house so everyone knows where the action is.
  • Send invites to the neighbors. Just holding the open house is not enough. Make sure to send the neighbors a personal invitation letting them know what your open house has to offer. You may want to offer special times for the neighbors to stop by and look at the house. This will satisfy their curiosity.
  • Day of flyers. Have some colored flyers ready to put on the doors the day of the open house. You want every child in the neighborhood to know that they can meet Santa and write letters to him. This is a perfect way to have the kids put pressure on their parents to stop by.

Now you can see why your holiday open houses need to be 3-day events. You will create a tremendous amount of buzz throughout the neighborhood. Being there all weekend will allow more neighbors to stop by.

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By Mike Weinstein, MBA