New Year, New You: Shake Up Your Open Houses with Periscope

Posted on Jan 7 2016 - 10:11am by Nick Caruso


With a new year comes a new you…and new business! Armed with any mobile device, there’s an overabundance of technology and apps at your fingertips to help you redefine your marketing strategy and hit the ground running in 2016. One particular app you should consider using? Periscope. Not only can it allow your sphere of influence to get to know you on a more personal level, which eventually builds trust, but the live broadcasting app can also help revitalize your pre-existing (or non-existent!) open house strategy.

Whenever we cover open houses here at Housecall, the results are always polarizing. Regardless of your personal stance on open houses, they are undoubtedly a hot topic in the industry year after year. But even for agents who have turned the other cheek on them, Periscope could be an innovative new way for you to include them back into your marketing strategy, while also ensuring perpetual safety concerns that are always top of mind for agents in the field. Most importantly, it can also help push on-the-fence prospectives into the next step of the home buying process: picturing themselves in a brand new home...aka your listing!

Related Link: Is an Open House Necessary When Selling A Home?

Not only can #Periscope help show off a home to heaps of buyers at a time, it can also widen your reach.  Everyone with a smartphone far and wide can join the broadcast, helping you reach potential out of state buyers who might be considering moving into your marketplace. For this reason alone, this technology is invaluable to a real estate professional, and since it’s free for everyone to use, it's a real no-brainer.

Periscope is also easy to adopt; it works almost exactly like FaceTime except multiple people can join in to see your broadcast. It will even auto-Tweet your Twitter followers, letting them know that you are broadcasting live, beckoning them to join. After that, simply point your phone at anything and transmit! Using Periscope, agents can give full walkthroughs of the interior and exterior of a home, and afterwards, provide more information about what’s included in the sale. The live virtual tour can also be interactive. Followers and attendees can ask you questions as you walk around the home via chat text, and you can respond to them right then and there on the broadcast.

Your video can also be viewed by those who aren’t able to tune in real-time; users are given the option to make a recorded version available for 24 hours, or you can download your broadcasts to your phone for later use on your blog, YouTube, you name it. In fact, here’s an example of what can be done, courtesy of Josh Sprague from Edina, Minn.:

Does Periscope change your mind about the value of open houses? Do you use Periscope to help sell your listings? Sound off in the comments and let us know if Periscope works in your market!

Nick Caruso
is RISMedia's senior editor. He avidly watches concerts on Periscope like it's his job.


4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Joan Shaffer January 8, 2016 at 12:19 pm -

    Very interesting concept. Camera moves too fast in some cases, making the viewer dizzy. Think an overview explanation of the property stating style, number of bedrooms and baths and if there is a garage, carport or extra storage would be helpful. Mentioning the HOA fees and what are included would also be of interest. Showing a map with the location of the property would help viewers not familiar with the area. Altogether I think this is a good idea and might be worth a follow up visit. More experience – especially with the camera person is needed – moving more slowly and perhaps with a wider lens if possible but not a “fish-eye”. Perhaps the agent could show his/her printed contact information on screen more than once. Good job!

  2. Mukul Lalchandani January 12, 2016 at 10:39 am -

    I have used it when it first came out, but the problem is that it is not very well at targeting an audience that is actually would-be buyers. It is too general and you get a lot of people asking ridiculous questions that make it a little creepy for homeowners, knowing that their home is shown to people that want to act like voyeurs into your home that are not your target demo. Id prefer to spend my time on videos that hit my target demo, such as bombbomb

  3. Wendy Wolf January 15, 2016 at 1:16 pm -

    I’m torn about these voyeuristic tools. This walk-thru now exists out there. The agent showing this home did do a good job removing personal and/or expensive items, but I can’t shake the feeling that these walk-thrus will become a tool for criminals as well. Does anyone know if there’s any information/statistics out there in regard to this yet?

    • Nick Caruso January 15, 2016 at 1:53 pm -

      Definitely a valid concern, Wendy! Though we aren’t sure (yet) if there are any stats regarding safety and Periscope, it’s something we’ll keep in mind for future coverage! My initial thought: post Periscope videos to the Web (YouTube, blog, what have you) while the listing remains for sale, but once you’ve sold the home, remove all content on your channels relating to that particular house. Yes, it’s an extra step, but perhaps worth it, for some, considering the selling power this free tool provides. Thanks for your comment!