Do you use the open house as part of your marketing tools for selling a property?


*Here we are, nearly five years after this post was originally written, and the use of iBeacons and geo-fencing for realtor open house marketing is still going just as strong as ever, with even more real estate agents and brokers participating in this type of prospect outreach and engagement. 

[LISTEN: Realtor marketing during a downturn in the real estate market – PODCAST EPISODE]

I know that a growing number of real estate agents don’t believe in the open house concept – they find that it’s not worth the effort.  But in geographic regions where open houses are still hot (San Francisco realtors often see people lined up for viewings more than an hour before the appointed start time), how can you use geofencing and iBeacons to better manage your open house and aid in generating leads – not just for that property, but for your other listings, or to establish a connection with potential buyers?

So I was doing a little Google research, prior to writing this post – and look what I found!

“Hand the buyers who come through a brochure that has substance — beautiful photos, town and school information, and a list of upgrades. Buyers crave information, so give them all you’ve got. That is what selling is about — sharing all the great reasons for buying what you are offering. You will create a lasting impression about the house and a lasting impression about you as an agent.”

This is from an article in Inman, written by a Century 21 VP, Wendy English.

I agree with her, giving potential buyers (or even looky-loos) this kind of information is how you, the agent, get the sale on your listing, and it’s also how you get the long term business from buyers who aren’t quite ready to buy but haven’t settled on an agent yet.

[FIND OUT MORE: Real estate broker marketing with mobile wallets – HOW TO]

What does this have to do with iBeacons and geo-notifications and your open house, you may be wondering…  so, here goes –

  • Setting up a property listing pass for iPhone means you’ll have this information accessible, with real time updates, to the prospective buyer – when they want to see it
  • Putting the information into their mobile device means they won’t misplace it or throw it away (90% of installed passes remain in the phone currently)
  • When you want to refresh or update the information, it’s about 2 minutes worth of your time do it and send it to ALL the interested parties.  No hoping for email opens, no worrying about mailing postcards, nope, none of that.

For instance, if you set up a geofencing notification (which uses the GPS in the phone, natively, since we’re leveraging Apple Wallet to manage the communications), when the prospect walks or drives within range of the property, a notification message is triggered, on the lock screen.

And if you utilize an iBeacon for your open house, you can target the iPhone with a message when the user is inside the property, since the iBeacon has a very short range, and the geofencing has a medium range.

Taking this one step further, if you were clever, you could add messaging for comparable properties that the prospect might be seeing the same day, at a different open house.  Be careful with your messaging though – if you overwhelm a prospect, they will delete the pass from their phone (the #1 reason for pass deletion is too much messaging, not because they don’t want the pass), and you will no longer have the direct contact with them that is essential to your business.

[LISTING DEMO: See your listing on a fully working mobile wallet ad – SIGNUP HERE]

In a nutshell, nothing has changed, when it comes to being able to engage and communicate with folks that came through one of your open house days for your listed properties.  It’s even more reliable, people are even more used to lock screen communications, mobile notifications, and push content today than they were in 2015.

Smart real estate agents, brokers and realtors are looking at ways to maintain 24/7 communication with prospects, clients, and referrals, and the younger generations don’t really use laptops or PCs – they are almost all strictly mobile, and a tablet is likely the largest device they use, unless they happen to be in the tech industry.

So talk to us about a demo and we’ll set you up to use the iBeacon and geo-fencing combination at your next open house!

This post was originally written in 2015, and recently updated with fresh content.