As we began building an entire app around the idea of Open Houses, obviously we have been eager to hear from the experts about how this almost 100-year-old practice works for them! Not surprisingly, we have heard mixed opinions from agents on whether they think open houses are useful or whether they think they are destination number one for tire kickers. An expected result when nothing much has changed in the past 60 years!
We did a little digging and found that the NAR’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyer & Sellers tells us that only 9% of buyers purchased a home that they first saw at an open house, however 5% met their agent at an open house! Perhaps even more surprising in this digital age where home data is readily at our fingertips, 44% of buyers used open houses as a source of information during the home search process. To us, it would seem if you do it right, collect relevant data, and use that data wisely then hosting open houses is really an intelligent tool in your real estate kit!
Here are some reasons why it may be useful to bake the cookies and host that open house!
- Building a client list: Especially for new real estate agents, your list of clients may start off small. Hosting an open house and taking a visitor sign-in sheet seriously will help you gather valuable information on if the visitor. You can qualify visitors by asking if they are in the market to buy and if they are already working with an agent. Make sure to follow up!
- Building trust with your selling client: A seller of a home has their own timeline and desired outcome of a quick and lucrative sell. Hosting an open house is a way to show clients you are taking the sale of their home seriously. Building that relationship and trust is essential for future business.
- Selling the home: 9% ain’t the worst odds! In an ideal world the right buyer could walk right through the door. Open houses provide the opportunity for interested buyers to stop in and take a look without having to go through the process of setting up a showing. Again, following up with these visitors after the open house is critical.
- Qualifying the listing price: Some home sellers constantly watch the estimates they receive from Redfin and Zillow. When it comes time to pricing the home they are hoping for top dollar. Real estate agents know better though on what will sell. Hosting an open house can provide valuable feedback from visitors to ensure the home is priced appropriately. Allowing the homeowners to view that feedback may assist in pricing the home to sell.