Once the renovations to our SRS Apartments in Munich were finished, we knew we had to share with our clients. The thoughtfully restored Neo Baroque building these modern units are in date back to 1902. And, what better way to do showcase these high-quality apartments than with an open house?
In our industry, open houses are a unique opportunity to create buzz around the launch of a new product or service. These occasions can be a great way to spread the word about your new property and create influencers from both your colleagues and clients. With so much riding on the event, there are certain elements of planning that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are five tips the Corporate Housing team at Dwellworks used to plan a successful open house at SRS Apartments.
- Pick the right date
This is an important element for success for any open house. Choosing the right date and time can be the difference between a full house and a few people milling about. Do some research on local industry events and select a date around the same time. We planned our event around the 2019 EURA Conference in Munich. It was a great opportunity to showcase the apartments with colleagues and clients in town.
It’s also important to take holidays into consideration and be thoughtful of your guests’ lifestyles too. Are they more likely to attend an event during business hours or after their work day is done? In our experience, we’ve found that the best day to host an open house is on a Thursday evening.
- Be specific with your guests
Create a guest list and send invitations with plenty of advanced notice. Let guests know the event date, time, contact information, and how to RSVP. For our SRS open house, we sent invitations a little over a month prior to the event. We knew it was crucial to give guests enough time to make travel arrangements and plan their schedule during a busy week of industry events.
Assign one person to oversee the RSVP list — this will make the process more efficient. In your invite, be specific about the event timeframe and let guests know what to expect. For example, include details so guests can plan accordingly regarding food & beverage and any special features, like the guided tours of the units and building amenities we offered.
- Build momentum
Promoting your event will make guests excited about visiting your units. At Dwellworks, our experienced Marketing team supported our promotional efforts. They used social media, blogs and e-blasts to create awareness and encourage engagement with guests leading up to the event.
The Marketing team sent reminders with interesting and relevant content so guests would keep our event top of mind. In one email, we shared different commute options guests could use to reach our event from their hotels. This served two purposes, it offered our guests useful information about the location and it showed how well connected the property is to the city.
- Create a welcoming environment
This is crucial! An open house is your client’s first impression of the property. You need to make sure everything looks its best. When you’re staging an apartment, use some special elements to make someone feel like they want to move right in. You don’t want the unit to look unwelcoming or like it’s just another apartment. Here are some of the essentials we used to create a welcome, inviting feeling of home:
- Food in the kitchen – Place the hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen and invite your guests to serve themselves. It’s a nice touch to serve local food and drinks — it’s also a great way to show what the city has to offer.
- Orchestrate the coziness – Use elements such as warm light, inviting smells, a basket of fruit, fresh flowers, soft blankets, rugs, curtains, and throw pillows. Think of it this way, what makes you want to sit down at the kitchen table or lounge on the couch? In our SRS apartments, we lit candles and it completely changed the ambiance!
- Be an attentive host and follow-up
I recommend showing up early along with your team. Make sure that everyone knows their role and spot check each room in every unit. We assigned a team member to greet our guests at the door with a sign-up sheet. This gave our open house a nice welcoming touch. As the host, I made sure to interact with everyone and gave tours around the four units we had on display. I focused on pointing out unique details and key amenities of the building such as, SRS has convenient underground and above ground parking spaces and additional storage on-site —which is exceptional for apartments in Munich!
Also, keep in mind that not everyone attending knows one another. I recommend offering name tags and take the initiative to introduce guests who may not know each other. This is a kind gesture of the host to make everyone feel comfortable and will encourage networking among guests. Apart from leaving the event with a gift bag of local treats, people will leave with new connections —this will add tremendous value to your event.
Follow up in the form of a thank you note. If it’s applicable, a further signal of appreciation for attendance is to send a referral code in your note offering a special rate for their next booking as a token of your gratitude.
After our open house, our clients and friends gave incredible feedback. It was a positive and impressive experience for all. All the planning for our open house really paid off and the entire event went off without a hitch! I hope you can take advantage of these tips while you’re planning your next open house to throw a successful, engaging event.
If you’d like to learn more about our SRS Apartments in Munich, follow the link below!
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