A paper open house sign-in sheet is sooooo 2010.
There are too many solid options to professionalize your open house game in the 2020s. There’s no excuse.
The paperless open house has more benefits than just legible contact information and a more polished personal image. A solid open house toolkit will let you easily promote your open house as well as automatically follow up with potential buyers afterwards.
Some include single property websites that you can post to social media and share with home buyers there, too.
Next, you can take your game to the next level with self tours!
Offer the ultimate convenience for would-be buyers for your vacant listings and allow agent-free showings! This may very well be the direction the industry is headed, and you have a chance to be an early adopter.
Read my self-tour and open house software reviews below!
Top Open House and Self Tour Software for Real Estate
Kagent is a great Open house sign-in software that relies on QR codes to capture open house visitors. It is free for the basic sign-in system, and includes premium follow-up surveys and contests.
Kleard offers a variety of self-tour options, making it easy for agents and brokers to get started. Their open house sign-in software is free, and can be used for simple sign-in sheets or an all-in-one solution for self tours.
Open Home Pro
View Other Open House Software Open Home Pro is an open house app and sign-in sheet. Available on both Android and iOS, the software promises the
Spacio is a well-rounded house-selling software that includes a number of features and integrations. For example, Spacio has ad integration which allows you to remarket to open house visitors, as well as social sharing and in-app branding for businesses.
Other open house marketing solutions and sign-in apps include:
Open House Software:
- AM Open House
- Block Party Open House App
- Open Home Pro
- Open House Wizard
Self Tour Software:
CRMs and Platforms
Some CRMs and Platforms have consumer-facing pages that can serve admirably as open house sign-in sheets. Wise Agent and kvCORE are examples that have specific resources for open houses.
A relatively simple workaround can be your own website. You can either create an open house form on a page there or even just share your site contact form. That is better than paper!
Many of the marketing tools and software designed to market your listings will also include open house features, like Proxio.
Get a Dedicated Tablet?
Five years ago, one wouldn’t imagine leaving a tablet just lying around for strangers.
But at under $50 for a Amazon Fire 7 as of this writing, it’s quite reasonable to have a decent sign-in tablet dedicated for your open house registrants.
iBuyers and the Rise of Self Tours
Self tours is a scary idea! Who is going to let buyers into a home with no agent?
Well, some of the largest companies in the space, that is who. Opendoor, Zillow, and Redfin are all iBuyers and placing bets on the idea that a significant fraction of buyers want to see homes without an agent.
Self tours do more for these industry players than offer consumer convenience. It obviously maximizes the odds that a buyer might take advantage of programs like Redfin Direct, and skip the buyer agent altogether.
The advantage that iBuyers have over brokerages, however, is that they own the homes. They don’t have a fiduciary duty to anyone but shareholders. Agents, however, have a fiduciary obligation to sellers. It is easy to see how self tours help an agent. It’s less obvious how they help the seller.
Self tours are still relatively new, so it remains to be seen what kind of effect they will have. Possibly buyers are trained to expect these and sellers will lose showings if they do not offer the service? It will be interesting to see if this becomes the new standard in real estate!
Property managers, in particular, are likely to find benefits of the self-tour in an industry where margins are slim, turnover is your biggest cost, and leasing agents are underpaid if paid at all.
Giving your seller and homeowner the option of offering self-tours to maximize accessibility and exposure might be a worthwhile experiment.
COVID and the Future of Open Houses
During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, agents and brokerages had to rethink their open house strategies. While 360 video and 3D tours might help to “socially distance” the buyer experience, there is no substitute for touring a house in person. And in some markets, open houses are fundamental to the proper marketing of a home.
It remains to be seen if the COVID drives the industry and buyer expectations to a more “touchless” buying experience, perhaps to the detriment of open houses. But it’s unlikely. I predict open houses will remain a marketing cornerstone in many markets and come back as strong as ever.
The future of real estate agents might be less as door-openers and more trusted advisors. Self touring home might be a thing!
Meanwhile, open houses are a useful tool for selling a home and promoting yourself. Professionalize yourself! There are free options to get started. Do it!