To hold an open house or not to hold an open house is an age-old question in the real estate industry – no one wants to waste a Sunday afternoon at an empty open house. Fortunately, new digital tools make it easier than ever to get buyers in the front door. Here are five ways to get consumers out of their cars and in the front door to your open house.

1. Update the deets.

Many agents mistakenly think their open house details are automatically updated from one site to the next, but it’s essential to make sure your open house times are updated on Trulia and other popular sites. With nearly 30% of Trulia’s weekend traffic coming from mobile, you’ll want to be sure your listing appears on buyers’ devices when they are out and about. Trulia’s open home calendar makes it a cinch to keep your open homes updated on the site.

2. Invite the likers on Facebook.

It only takes minutes to set up a Facebook Event for your open house. Make sure you include property photos and selling details on the event page that will make people want to see your home. Visit and click “Create Event” to get started. Once you have set up the event, you can advertise it on your Facebook Business Page. Be careful not to spam your entire network with your open house events or you may find yourself quickly losing friends.

3. Tell Craig.

Home searchers often frequent to find open houses in their area. Marketing your open house on Craigslist is another simple way to spread the word online. To make sure your event stands out and increase your post’s appeal, add photos or upload your online ad or property flyer.

4. Attract the “lookie-loos” with FourSquare.

Encourage your attendees to check in on FourSquare while they are at your open house. When you are marketing the event mention that you will have a gift for attendees who check in. If attendees check in, everyone in their networks will know they are at an open house, and you’ll expand your event’s reach. Offer a gift for people who check in, like a scratch-off lottery ticket or Starbucks gift card. Print a flyer and remind your visitors to check in for a chance to win.

5. Shout about it.

Okay, don’t really shout, but do talk about your open house on social networks. Minor modifications to your message will help you talk about it without being a turn-off. Try messages like these: “Baking cookies to bring to my open house at 123 Main St today” or “Bummer, it’s raining, I have my towels packed to protect the carpets for the buyers who brave the weather and come to my open house at 123 Main St this afternoon.” Wherever you are – spread the word! Tweet on Twitter, post on Facebook, update on Google+, pin on Pinterest, etc.

Open houses in a digital world

With so many people engaging online and accessing information on mobile, it’s essential to use all the modern tools in your arsenal to communicate about your open house. Of course, there are many other ways to market online. What are some of your tried-and-true methods?