Open House Weekend
In an effort to celebrate the spring home shopping season, Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors and regional MLSs are kicking off the Nationwide Open House on April 28-29, offering tools for agents to improve open house conversions, and encouraging consumers to search the site for all available open houses in their area.
Because the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that 45 percent of all buyers use open houses during their searches, and only 58 percent of agents hold open houses for their listings, a consolidated effort is helpful for a housing market that continues to struggle.
According to a NAR survey of buyers and sellers, 7.0 percent of home buyers found their agent through an open house, and NAR also reports that 65 percent of buyers go with the first agent they interview. So although the numbers for open houses being the source of a consumer finding a buyer’s agent, they often hire the first agent they interview. For listing agents, open houses are often part of an overall marketing strategy offered to listing clients to get more foot traffic in the door.
“Open Houses are back”
Orange County Realtor, Linsey Planeta said, “Just a few short years ago, it was about signage and feet on the street to promote the Open House. Those things are still valuable, but online promotion has vastly changed the Open House strategy.”
Planeta noted that “During my last two Open Houses, when I asked visitors how they found my Open House, at least 80% replied they had found it, ‘…through the Internet’. Not only has the traffic increased, but the client is targeting homes that fit their needs, their price range, and their geography. That’s a much higher quality visitor than the one that may have just stumbled upon it following signs. I think Open Houses are back as a viable way to attract buyer prospects, and more importantly for our sellers, attract buyers for their home.”
“It is a win/win for everyone.”
New Jersey Realtor, Bob Kelly at RE/MAX Main Street Realty said, “Open house weekends are essentially the same as going to a buffet. There are all kinds of homes to suit all types of tastes offered at the same time. Open houses are an opportunity for buyers to view a home without being committed to the process.”
Kelly added, “They also have the opportunity to meet many agents and have conversations which essentially are interviews. They can see which agents give them a comfort level and with whom they would consider working. Agents on the other hand also have the opportunity to gain exposure for their listing as well as themselves. Neighbors may come in and take notice of what their competition is as well as how it is presented by the realtor. It is a win/win for everyone.”