A common debate amongst real estate agents is whether or not open houses really work. Some sales agents have stopped holding open houses entirely while others diligently continue the practice.
A successful open house does not have to cost a lot of money, nor does it have to be very elaborate. In fact, the simpler the event the better since the goal is to get attendees to pay attention to the property not fancy cocktails, raffles or other distractions.
I personally feel that open houses are an important part of a property's marketing strategy. My standard marketing program calls for two separate open houses during the first 30 days of property marketing.
The first open house is hosted within 1 week of listing. This is a private open house for real estate agents and brokers only. This open house is usually hosted on a weekday for 1-2 hours, usually close to the lunch hour. The purpose of this open house is to visually introduce the property to a network of active real estate agents with buyers and to get their valuable feedback on the property. Attendees are surveyed for their opinion of price, condition and other factors that could influence the sale. Their contact information is also collected for future communications regarding the property (i.e. price adjustments, future events).
It is important to host this open house early on. Based on the opinions obtained during the broker/agent open house, the property price can be adjusted if necessary and other helpful changes to the property can be made before a lot of time, money and effort has been invested into the overall property marketing program. I find broker/agent open houses to be one of the most useful tools I have while launching a new listing. In many cases, I have 3-4 showing appointments scheduled within a day or two of the event.
The second open house is held within 2-3 weeks of listing. This is a public open house that is advertised to consumers and agents alike. These are usually held on a Saturday or Sunday for maximum traffic volume. Attendees tend to be curious neighbors and home buyers with or without agents. Attendees are provided with information on the property (brochures, flyers, etc.) and their contact information is collected for future communications. Public open houses are a great way to obtain some free advertising. Attendees often tell their friends, family and co-workers about the home(s) they saw over the weekend.
Additional open houses may be held. If a property fails to sell within 6 months of listing and it is determined that it makes sense to continue marketing the property, I repeat the open house process after the property is repositioned. The purpose of a second round of open houses is to re-introduce agents and consumers to the property at an adjusted price point or after major modifications have been made.
It is difficult to determine the actual impact of an open house. However, I am rarely disappointed by the return on investment since I always obtain:
1. Valuable professional and consumer feedback
2. Valuable contacts for future communications
3. Free advertising when attendees tell their friends, family and co-workers about that GREAT house they saw over the weekend.
In today's market we have to do everything we can to increase property visibility. Open houses offer an easy, inexpensive way to showcase your property to agents and consumers. I highly recommend making 1-2 open houses part of your standard property marketing plan.
Looking to buy, sell or rent in the Miami Beach area? For over 16 years I've had the honor of helping people prosper through real estate. I'd love to help you too! Call me at 305.851.5910.