Do Open Houses Really Work?
It’s Sunday morning. Friends call to ask you to join them for brunch or maybe your team is kicking off at 1:00 and you’re invited to watch the game. But not you, YOU are getting ready for an Open House and preparing to kickoff your own game plan!
In a recent survey of 923 real estate agents conducted by Inman News, 68% said that “yes” open houses are still worthwhile. While the internet is holding a 24/7 open house with photos and virtual tours, there is still the need to touch, feel and experience a home. Technology just can’t replace the feeling a homebuyer gets when walking through rooms and taking ownership. And that “feeling” is what motivates a buyer to make an offer on a home.
Internet aside, real estate is still a people business and open houses are another opportunity to meet prospects and grow your business. Visitors could be searching for their next property to purchase or discover the next listing agent to market their home. It is a chance to demonstrate your knowledge of the market and expertise in the community.
Those agents who opposed open houses in the survey cited that like newspaper ads, open houses are slowly disappearing from the Realtors® marketing and it was an “old fashioned” way to do business. Some felt there were safety issues for themselves, complained of unqualified prospects through the door and fake contact information was often provided.
Some good advice for getting the best out of your open house:
Be prepared. Know the home and the neighborhood. How many days on the market, how many sold in the past six months, how many actives, taxes, etc. If it’s a large lot know the boundaries, if it’s on water, what’s the largest boat you can have?
Let everybody know. In addition to the neighbors and fellow agents, reach out to all your buyers and sellers promoting the open house through social media. One of Florida Home Realty veteran agents knocked on the door next door to his open house and guess what? The owner’s brother bought the house that afternoon!
Partner with Lenders and Title Companies. Provide highlights about the home on one side of a flyer and a loan scenario sheet that tells the buyer how much their approximate mortgage will be based on the interest rate and how much down. The title company can provide closing costs estimates.
Offer an incentive for good contact information. Ask prospects to give their contact info and get a better response by offering a $25 gift card drawing. This might encourage them to at least give you a good email address to let them know they won.
Every day is a good day for an open house. One late Friday afternoon one of our top agents came smiling into the office and said, “I just got a buyer from my open house this afternoon and I’m writing an offer on it right now!” As much as we know our market is moving from seasonal to year round, there’s no arguing that there are more people here in the winter and spring. People are driving around all the time, looking. So when you have a slow day, do an open house!
Written By: Kathy Zorn